North Water Polynya Seabird SurveysEntry ID: UAF_NorthWaterPolynyaseabird
Abstract: To relate avian usage of the North Water polynya to the distribution, abundance
and production of prey, we assessed seasonal changes in the distribution and
relative abundance of seabirds. In order to assess the spatial distribution of
seabirds in the North Water, we conducted surveys of seabirds from the bridge
of the Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers whenever the ... icebreakers were underway.
Bird specimens were also collected to carry out stable isotope analysis.
The purpose of this study was to assess the patterns of avian usage of the
North Water polynya. We assessed the timing of arrival and the seasonal changes
in the at-sea distribution of seabirds in the North Water polynya and related
these parameters to oceanographic conditions. Oceanographic variables were
collected by collaborators and are not part of this data set.
Birds were counted from the bridge of a ship within 300m one side of the ship
whenever the ship was underway. Weather conditions and ocean conditions were
recorded simultaneously and it was noted when sightability decreased to less
than 300m. Position was recorded from ships GPS. Strip width was regularly
checked using the Heineman method (Heineman 1981). Ship speed and course and
position were recorded regularly. Birds behavior (flying, sitting on the water,
feeding) were noted for each bird sighting. Some inconsistencies in the
estimation of how much area was surveyed (based on ships speed and course) when
ship changed course to avoid ice or had to back up to crash through ice.
We conducted surveys from the bridge of Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers
whenever the icebreakers were underway; the CCGS Louis St. Laurent in August
1997 and the CCGS Pierre Radisson in April-July 1998 and August-September 1999.
We counted all birds within a 300m wide arc from the bow on the side of the
ship with the best visibility. Data were entered directly into a notebook
computer by the observer. We determined the boundary of the area in which the
birds were counted by using the method of Heineman (1981). We noted the birds
behavior (Flying, sitting on the water, etc). as well as the ships speed and
course. As each bird sighting is entered into the computer, a time stamp is
given to each record.
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: George L. Hunt, University of California
Dataset Release Place: Irvine, California
Dataset Publisher: University of California
Start Date: 1997-08-01Stop Date: 1999-09-30
Quality Sightings are referenced to the observer, the cruise, ship name, date and time.
Birds were counted within 300m off of one side of the ship whenever the ship
was underway. Weather conditions and ocean conditions were recorded
simultaneously and it was noted when sightability decreased to less than 300m.
... Position was recorded from ships GPS.
Strip width was regularly checked using the Heineman method (Heineman 1981).
Ship speed and course and position were recorded regularly. Birds behavior
(flying, sitting on the water, feeding) were noted for each bird sighting. Some
inconsistencies in the estimation of how much area was surveyed (based on ships
speed and course) when ship changed course to avoid ice or had to back up to
crash through ice.
Transects with confirmed absence are reported. Absolute densities are possible
to estimate because bird flight direction and ship speed and direction were
Horizontal Positional Accuracy Report: Latitude and Longitude (seconds) were
recorded at the beginning and end of each transect and updated about every ten
minutes. Exact locations can be obtained through extrapolation of distance
traveled during these intervals knowing the course and ships speed.
Vertical Position Accuracy: Altitudinal variations were minor. Height f bridge
above water varied slightly with swells and ice conditions. Strip width was
calibrated for each observer based on their height above the water.
Access Constraints This study was funded by National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs
grant number OPP9725071 awarded to Dr. George L. Hunt, Jr. of the University of
California, Irvine, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. This data
set was created as part of the international investigation of the North Water
polynya which was initiated under the Arctic Ocean Sciences Board.
Use Constraints None, data available upon request, available with permission from principle
investigator, George L. Hunt, Jr.
Data Set Progress
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
321 Seinhaus Hall
Province or State: Irvine
Postal Code: 92697
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Global Change Master Directory
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Estimation of Carbon Flux to Dovekies (Alle alle) in the North Water. Journal
of Deep Sea Research, in press.
Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2006-02-06
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-11-18