The Influence of Weather on Shorebird Incubation

Paul A. Smith, Sarah A. Dauncey, H. Grant Gilchrist and Mark R. Forbes

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:
The Influence of Weather on Shorebird Incubation

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Shorebirds breeding in the Arctic must balance energetic demands with the need to incubate, and how this balance is struck could be influenced by whether incubation is shared betweenparents or undertaken singly.Using nest-temperature and video recordings, we show that biparental species left the nest unattended for longer periods during windier conditions, thereby increasing their potential foraging time.In contrast, uniparental species took fewer recesses and spent more time on the nest when weather conditions were poor, but temporarily abandoned nests in some cases when conditions were cold and windy.This suggests that uniparental species usually rely on capital energy reserves to withstand periods of adverse weather but temporarily abandon their nests when reserves are insufficient.

Keywords: biparental; egg neglect; incubation behavior; nest age; shorebird; uniparental; weather

Chapter.  7946 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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