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Observations of geese foraging for clam shells during spring on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Wilson Bulletin

By:
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Abstract

We studied the behavior of geese on exposed river ice during spring on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The predominant behavior while on the ice for both sexes was foraging; however, females foraged more than males. Visual inspection of the ice revealed no potential plant or animal food items. However, numerous small (<20 mm) clam shells (Macoma balthica) and pieces of shell were noted. It appeared that geese were foraging on empty clam shells. This potential source of calcium was available to breeding geese just prior to egg formation and geese likely stored this calcium in the form of medullary bone for use during egg formation.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Observations of geese foraging for clam shells during spring on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska
Series title:
Wilson Bulletin
Volume:
110
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Science Center
Description:
3 p.
First page:
411
Last page:
413
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska
Other Geospatial:
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta