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Abstract

Seabird occurrence, distribution and behavior were assessed during cetacean surveys conducted between 2006–2007 in Santa Monica Bay, California. Gulls were most sighted year-round (55.63%), followed by brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis; 19.0%), terns (6.61%) and Western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis; 6.53%). Gulls, shearwaters, and pelicans were often found foraging with short-beaked and long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis, D. capensis), and California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) near underwater canyons. Behavioral budget showed a predominance of passing by and floating activities. Feeding was observed in 6.5% of the sightings. This study provides baseline data for future seabird monitoring, conservation and management in the study area.

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