Volume 49, No. 2

Volumes > 38 (2010-->) Volumes 28-37 (2000-09) Volumes 18-27 (1990-99) Volumes 5-17 (1978-89)
a.k.a. Cormorant

Quick Search by author or article title:

Diagnosis of hypothermia in seabirds from coastal California



1Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA (nlanderson@ucdavis.edu)

Received 02 April 2021, accepted 09 August 2021

Date Published: 2021/10/15
Date Online: 2021/10/14

Download PDF


ANDERSON, N. 2021. Diagnosis of hypothermia in seabirds from coastal California. Marine Ornithology 49: 343-347.

Key words: Hypothermia, cloacal temperature, near shore seabird, murre, grebe


This study established cloacal temperature (TCl) cut-off values to diagnose hypothermia in near shore seabirds rescued along the coast of California. All birds died when TCl was < 38.2 °C. When Aechmophorus grebes were excluded, 100% died when TCl was < 38.4 °C. Mortality increased 2-3× when TCl was lower than receiver operating curve-determined criteria for diagnosing hypothermia based on attitude: < 38.8 °C for mixed species, < 39.1 °C for Common Murres Uria aalge, and < 38.2 °C for Aechmophorus grebes. Reductions in TCl as small as 1.0 °C had significant physiologic effects.


ANCEL, A., HORNING, M. & KOOYMAN, G.L. 1997. Prey ingestion revealed by oesophagus and stomach temperature recordings in cormorants. Journal of Experimental Biology 200: 149-154.

BEVAN, R.M. & BUTLER, P.J. 1992. The effects of temperature on the oxygen consumption, heart rate, and deep body temperature during diving in the Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula. Journal of Experimental Biology 163: 139-151.

CABANAC, A.J. & GUILLEMETTE, M. 2001. Temperature and heart rate as stress indicators of handled Common Eider. Physiology & Behavior 74: 475-479. doi:10.1016/S0031-9384(01)00586-8

DI GIROLAMO, N., TOTH, G. & SELLERI, P. 2016. Prognostic value of rectal temperature at hospital admission in client-owned rabbits. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 248: 288-297. doi:10.2460/javma.248.3.288

DUERR, R.S., ZICCARDI, M.H. & MASSEY, J.G. 2016. Mortality during treatment: factors affecting the survival of oiled, rehabilitated Common Murres (Uria aalge). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52: 495-505. doi:10.7589/2015-03-054

GIBBLE, C.M. & HOOVER, B.A. 2018. Interactions between seabirds and harmful algal blooms. In: SHUMWAY, S.E., BURKHOLDER, J.M. & MORTON, S.L. (Eds.) Harmful Algal Blooms: A Compendium Desk Reference, 1st Edition. San Francisco, USA: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. doi:10.1002/9781118994672.ch6

GOKSULUK, D., KORKMAZ, S., ZARARSIZ G. ET AL. 2016. easyROC: An interactive web-tool for ROC curve analysis using R language environment. The R Journal 8: 213-230. doi:10.32614/rj-2016-042

GRÉMILLET, D. & PLÖS, A.L. 1994. The use of stomach temperature records for the calculation of daily food intake in cormorants. Journal of Experimental Biology 189: 105-115.

GRÉMILLET, D., TUSCHY, I. & KIERSPEL, M. 1998. Body temperature and insulation in diving Great Cormorants and European Shags. Functional Ecology 12: 386-394. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2435.1998.00199.x

JENSSEN, B.M., EKKER, M. & BECH, C. 1985. Thermoregulation in a naturally oil contaminated Black-billed Murre Uria aalge. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 35: 9-14. doi:10.1007/bf01636473

KIMBERGER, O. & KURZ, A. 2008. Thermoregulatory management for mild therapeutic hypothermia. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Anesthesiology 22: 729-744. doi:10.1016/j.bpa.2007.11.002

KIRKPATRICK, A.W., CHUN, R., BROWN, R. ET AL. 1999. Hypothermia and the trauma patient. Journal of Canadian Studies 42: 333-343.

LA PORTE, N., KOPER, N. & LESTON, N. 2014. Assessing the breeding success of the Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) after 40 years of environmental changes at Delta Marsh, Manitoba. Waterbirds 30: 30-42. doi:10.1675/063.037.0106

LOPEZ-RATON, M., RODRIGUEZ-ALVAREZ, M.X., SUAREZ, C.C. & SAMPEDRO, F.G. 2014. Optimal Cutpoints: An R package for selecting optimal cutpoints in diagnostic tests. Journal of Statistical Software 61: 1-36. doi:10.18637/jss.v061.i08

MARTIN, R.S., KILGO, P.D., MILLER, P.R. ET AL. 2005. Injury-associated hypothermia: an analysis of the 2004 national trauma data bank. Shock 24: 114-118. doi:10.1097/01.shk.0000169726.25189.b1

MCNAB, B.K. 1966. An analysis of the body temperatures of birds. The Condor 68: 47-55. doi:10.2307/1365174

MEDCALC. 2021. Diagnostic test evaluation calculator. Ostend, Belgium: Medcalc Software Ltd. [Accessed online at https://www.medcalc.org/calc/diagnostic_test.php on 22 March 2021.]

OILED WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK (OWCN). 2014. Protocols for the Care of Oil-Affected Birds. 3rd Edition. Davis, USA: Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis.

PETRONE, O., ASENSIO, J.A. & MARINI, C.P. 2014. Management of accidental hypothermia and cold injury. Current Problems in Surgery 51: 417-431. doi:10.1067/j.cpsurg.2014.07.004

POINT REYES BIRD OBSERVATORY CONSERVATION SCIENCE (PRBO). 2012. Identification of commonly encountered bird species during California oil spills. Version 2.0. [Manual accessed at https://data.pointblue.org/cadc2/uploads/Articles/OilSpill/species_placards_all_species_v2.pdf on 01 April 2021]

STANGROOM, J. 2021a. Social Science Statistics. [Accessed at www.socscistatistics.com on 22 March 2021.]

STANGROOM, J. 2021b. Easy Histogram Maker. [Accessed at https://www.socscistatistics.com/descriptive/histograms/default.aspx on 22 March 2021.]

STANGROOM, J. 2021c. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test of Normality. [Accessed at https://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/kolmogorov/default.aspx on 22 March 2021.]

STANGROOM, J. 2021d. Mann-Whitney U Test Calculator. [Accessed at https://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/mannwhitney/default.aspx on 22 March 2021.]

STANGROOM, J. 2021e. T-Test Calculator for 2 Independent Means. [Accessed at https://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/studentttest/default.aspx on 22 March 2021.]

STANGROOM, J. 2021f. A Single Sample Confidence Interval Calculator (T Statistic). [Accessed at https://www.socscistatistics.com/confidenceinterval/default2.aspx on 22 March 2021.]

STANGROOM, J. 2021g. One-way ANOVA calculator, including Tukey HSD. [Accessed at https://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/anova/default2.aspx on 22 March 2021.]

STANGROOM, J. 2021h. Binomial Test Calculator. [Accessed at https://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/binomial/default2.aspx on 22 March 2021.]

WILSON, R.P. & GRÉMILLET, D. 1996. Body temperatures of free-living African Penguins (Spheniscus demerus) and Bank Cormorants (Phalacrocorax neglectus). Journal of Experimental Biology 199: 2215-2223.

WILSON, R.P., PÜTZ, K., GRÉMILLET, D. ET AL. 1995. Reliability of stomach temperature changes in determining feeding characteristics of seabirds. Journal of Experimental Biology 198: 1115-1135.

© Marine Ornithology 2022