State-dependent decisions in long-term fasting king penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, during courtship and incubation

Using an automatic identification and weighing system, we investigated changes in adult body mass in relation to reproductive behaviour during courtship and incubation in free-living king penguins. Despite stressful nutritional conditions and variability of fast length, the majority of pairs incubated successfully by accumulating large body reserves before fasting, which provided flexibility in fasting strategies. […]

Long-term fasting and re-feeding in penguins

Spontaneous fasting during reproduction (sometimes with a full stomach) and moult is a major characteristic of the annual cycle of penguins. Long-term fasting (up to four months in male emperor penguins) is anticipated by the accumulation of fat (incubation fast) and of fat and protein (moult fast). During most of the incubation fast, birds rely […]

Spontaneous egg or chick abandonment in energy-depleted king penguins: A role for corticosterone and prolactin?

Various exogenous or endogenous factors may induce an emergency response in birds, redirecting current activity towards survival. In fasting, breeding penguins, the achievement of a critical energy depletion was suggested to induce egg abandonment and departure to sea for re-feeding. How such a behavioral shift is hormonally controlled remains unknown. The possible involvement of corticosterone […]

Captive breeding for reintroduction: influence of management practices and biological factors on survival of captive kaki (black stilt)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20065.abs An important component of the restoration strategy for the critically endangered kaki or black stilt (Himantopus novaezelandiae) is captive breeding for release. Since 1981 1,879 eggs were collected from wild and captive pairs, with birds laying up to four clutches. Eggs were incubated artificially and most chicks reared by hand until released as […]

Breeding behavior in a flock of Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) at Dublin zoo

Abstract 10.1002/1098-2361(2000)19:43.3.CO;2-8 The breeding behavior of a flock of Chilean flamingos was observed over a 3-month period during the peak of breeding activity. This species’ habitat is becoming increasingly vulnerable, and concern has been raised over a decline in wild stocks numbers in the past two decades. Breeding programs in zoos have been established, but […]

Remote monitoring of parental incubation conditions in the greater sandhill crane

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430140209.abs To monitor incubation conditions in nests of greater sandhill cranes, a radiotrans-mitting egg was built using six temperature sensors, a position sensor, and a light sensor. Sensor readings were received, along with time of observations, and stored in a computer. The egg was used to monitor incubation in nests of six pairs of […]

Yolk androgens and embryo sex: Maternal effects or confounding factors?

Maternal effects occur when offspring phenotype is affected by environmental factors experienced by the mother and, in egg-laying species, are often mediated via egg resources. There is currently great interest among behavioural ecologists in maternally allocated yolk androgens, especially their relationship with offspring sex and development. Such studies need embryonic tissue for sexing, however, requiring […]

A Quantitative Analysis of the Incubation Behavior of Adelie Penguins

The incubation period of the Adelie Penguin was studied quantitatively to determine the behavioral requirements for successful reproduction. Incubation was divided into early, middle, and late periods to facilitate comparison between sexes and to evaluate activity in relation to stages of incubation. Analysis of time-lapse photo sequences showed that prone postures accounted for 87 to […]

Incubation Feeding and Nest Attentiveness in a Socially Monogamous Songbird: Role of Feather Colouration, Territory Quality and Ambient Environment

Parental investment and environmental conditions determine reproductive success in wild-ranging animals. Parental effort during incubation, and consequently factors driving it, has profound consequences for reproductive success in birds. The female nutrition hypothesis states that high male feeding enables the incubating female to spend more time on eggs, which can lead to higher hatching success. Moreover, […]

Shorebird incubation behaviour and its influence on the risk of nest predation

Both nest survival and incubation behaviour are highly variable among shorebirds (Charadrii), and we tested whether more conspicuous incubation behaviour increased the risk of nest predation. During 2000–2006, we monitored nest fate at 901 shorebird nests at three study sites across the circumpolar Arctic. Using miniature video recorders and nest temperature sensors, we obtained 782 […]