Growth and energy requirements of captive-reared Common Loon (Gavia immer) chicks

The Auk
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Abstract

We measured the energy requirements during postnatal development of six hand-reared Common Loon (Gavia immer) chicks using continuous feeding trials and doubly labeled water. At fledging, the mean (± SE) body mass of chicks was 3,246 ± 51 g. They reached asymptotic body mass in ≈66 days and had a mean growth rate constant of 0.089 ± 0.002 day−1, which was greater than growth rate constants of other, similar-sized precocial birds. Between hatch and day 66, chicks allocated 16.5% of their metabolizable energy to new tissue, lower than the average for other bird species (20%), which might be expected considering their precocial mode of development. There was a developmental change in the assimilation efficiency of food (metabolizable energy coefficient), with a mean of 0.64 ± 0.03 in chicks aged 21 days, rising to 0.83 ± 0.07 in chicks aged 35 days.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Growth and energy requirements of captive-reared Common Loon (Gavia immer) chicks
Series title The Auk
DOI 10.1642/0004-8038(2007)124[1158:GAEROC]2.0.CO;2
Volume 124
Issue 4
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher American Ornithological Society
Description 10 p.
First page 1158
Last page 1167
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