Food and Energetic Requirements of Seabirds at French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Spring 4-1984

First Page


Last Page



Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Ornithology | Physiology


A time-and-energy model for the energetic requirements of 18 species of seabirds at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) is presented. Estimates of the energy needs for producing eggs and chicks, and the time-and-energy budgets of breeding and non-breeding adults are used to valuate consumptive rates of various prey species. The caloric density of prey species and the caloric contribution to the diet of each seabird is analyzed. A conservative estimate for the total annual energetic requirements of more than 500,000 seabirds breeding and/or residing at French Frigate Shoals exceeds 7,700 kcal x 10 6. This energetic demand is met by a consumption of more than 6,000 metric tons of various food items.


Original publication information:

Pettit, T.N., G.C. Whittow, and H.I. Ellis. 1984. Food and energetic requirements of seabirds at French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii. Pp. 265-282 in Proc. Second Symposium on Resource Investigations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (R.W. Grigg and K.Y. Tanoue, eds.), Univ. Hawaii Sea Grant Misc. Rept. 2.

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