Variations in growth of roseate tern chicks

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We measured growth parameters of Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) chicks at two contrasting colonies: Bird Island, Massachusetts, and Falkner Island, Connecticut, from 1987 through 1990. Differences in growth parameters among individual chicks are used to explore differences in parental performance, whereas differences in average growth parameters among colonies and years are used to explore differences in average environmental conditions. Chicks were marked at hatching and weighed at one- or two-day intervals. For each chick that survived to fledging, we calculated two measures of growth: linear growth rate and asymptotic mass. There were no significant differences between growth parameters of first-hatched chicks in broods of one and two. Both measures of growth were significantly lower and more variable for second-hatched chicks than for first-hatched chicks. Both measures were significantly positively related to egg mass and negatively related to hatch date. After controlling for these variables, differences between colonies and among years were relatively small and inconsistent. Mean survival of second-hatched chicks was positively correlated with the mean growth rate of survivors across colonies and years. These findings are consistent with a general hypothesis that growth of chicks reflects individual parental performance and parental quality.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Variations in growth of roseate tern chicks
Series title Condor
Volume 97
Issue 2
Year Published 1995
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 335-344
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Condor
First page 335
Last page 344
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