February 2021

A mixed-species flock of sea ducks (Tribe: Mergini) at sunrise off the coast of Rhode Island, USA. This flock was photographed during an early-morning trip to capture sea ducks at sea and fit them with GPS transmitters. Sea ducks often concentrate in large, dense flocks in preferred marine habitat areas during non-breeding. In Lamb et al., we used tracking data from this region, as well as from other locations throughout eastern North America, to examine sea duck habitat use throughout the annual cycle in a multi-species context. We found that sea ducks prefer highly productive nearshore marine habitats, often in areas with seagrasses and strong tidal currents. These findings help to identify important habitats used by high concentrations of non-breeding sea ducks, which may overlap with areas recently proposed for offshore wind energy development along the Atlantic coast of North America. Photo Credit: Peter Paton, University of Rhode Island.  

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