Sleep in the herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Charles Amlaner, David J. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sleep postures and eye state of free-ranging herring gulls (Larus argentatus) were studied during the breeding season. Three mutually exclusive behaviours were observed, namely sleep, rest-sleep and rest postures. Arousal thresholds, eye blink rates and eye closure time were obtained during these behaviours. Significant relationships existed between eye blinking, eye closure, and a raised threshold of arousal when birds were in the sleep and rest-sleep postures. During a natural disturbance, birds in the sleep posture remained in this posture but did not blink their eyes: this is called pseudo sleep. Male gulls also exhibited a lower threshold of arousal while in the sleep posture compared with females. We conclude that rhythmic eye blinking is a good indication of sleep in herring gulls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-556
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1981

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Larus argentatus
sleep
posture
eyes
bird
birds
Laridae
breeding season
disturbance

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Amlaner, Charles ; McFarland, David J. / Sleep in the herring gull (Larus argentatus). In: Animal Behaviour. 1981 ; Vol. 29, No. 2. pp. 551-556.
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Sleep in the herring gull (Larus argentatus). / Amlaner, Charles; McFarland, David J.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 29, No. 2, 01.01.1981, p. 551-556.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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