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Seasonal carcass composition and energy balance of female black ducks in Maine

Condor

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Abstract

Female Black Ducks (Anas rubripes) collected in Maine during the summer, fall, and winter of 1974-1976 showed significant seasonal variation in body weight, nonfat dry weight, gizzard and pectoral muscle weight, and fat, moisture, and protein content. Variation of body weight within and among seasons was correlated more strongly with carcass protein content, and with fat content during seasons of heavy lipid deposition, than with three structural size variables (culmen, tarsus, and sternum). Regression equations including fat and protein as independent variables accounted for 80-90% of the annual and seasonal variation in body weight; structural size variables alone accounted for less than 30%. Immature females averaged 54 and 99 g lighter, and carried 54 and 59 g less fat than adults during the fall and winter. Ducks of both age classes lost weight in December and January. Adult and immature females metabolized 59 and 64 g of fat and 17 and 25 g of protein in winter compared with 46 g of fat during the nesting season. Nutrient reserves are thus equally as important for the winter survival of these birds as for successfurl eproduction. Seasonal changes in carcass composition suggest that (1) fat deposited in late fall provides an energy reserve during winter, (2) a reduction in lean weight during winter may lower daily energy requirements and increase the effective amount of energy reserves, and (3) declining body weights during late winter may be an endogenous rhythm that reflects a shift in the expected benefits of an energy reserve compared to the costs of carrying additional weight,

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Seasonal carcass composition and energy balance of female black ducks in Maine
Series title:
Condor
Volume
84
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1982
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
420-426
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Condor
First page:
420
Last page:
426