Patterns of Incubation Behavior in Northern Bobwhites

Jonathan S. Burnam, Gretchen Turner, Susan N. Ellis-Felege, William E. Palmer, D. Clay Sisson and John P. Carroll

in Video Surveillance of Nesting Birds

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780520273139
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520954090 | DOI:
Patterns of Incubation Behavior in Northern Bobwhites

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Patterns of incubation and nesting behavior for many bird species have been difficult to observe due to logistical limitations. We assessed nest attendance patterns of northern bobwhites using continuous near-infrared video. Most nests were incubated by females;parents took only a single daily recess;and recesses occurred during midday to late afternoon (1200–1900 H).The number of recesses and the mean daily recess time was similar for hatched and depredated nests, and for males and females.Females initiated recess slightly later in the day than males. Recess length decreased later in incubation and increased as nesting season progressed. Video systems were a useful tool for observing and quantifying patterns of incubation behavior in a ground-nesting species with cryptic nests.

Keywords: behavior; incubation; nest attendance; northern bobwhite; recess time

Chapter.  6631 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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