Three species of shorebirds were collected at bimonthly intervals in 1979-1980, from the time of their arrival in early autumn to mid-February, on the south Texas coast. Female Long-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus) and Western Sandpipers (Calidris mauri) were heavier (P < 0.05) than males, but the reverse was true for American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana). Lipid content, relative to whole body mass, did not differ (P > 0.05) between sexes in any of the three species. During the wintering period, fat stores in Long-billed Dowitchers and Western Sandpipers declined 70% and 44%, respectively, but not in American Avocets. Lipid content was highly correlated (P < 0.001) with body mass in all three species, providing further evidence that fat accumulation is responsible for the major variation in total mass of some shorebird species.
Additional publication details
Body mass and lipid content of shorebirds overwintering on the south Texas coast