We studied the effects of weather and tides on percent feeding and flock positions of wintering redheads (Aythya americana Eyton) in the Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, USA. Flock scans (n = 750) were made on 55 flocks from November through March of 1988–1989. The percent of the flock that was feeding was negatively correlated with time of day, temperature, water level, and distance of the flock from shore, and was positively correlated with wind velocity, flock size, fetch, and wave height; birds also fed more in early winter and during northerly winds. Flocks were closer to land earlier in the winter on cloudy, rainy, and windy days when waves were high, and those flocks were smaller than flocks farther from shore. Conditions associated with reduced fetch by flocks included later time of day, smaller waves, warmer air temperatures, northerly wind shifts, stronger winds, increasing cloud cover, and rain. Redheads minimized energy expenditure by foraging during low tides and in shallow water closer to shore; they increased feeding and reduced fetch during times of high thermoregulatory demands.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Effects of weather and tides on feeding and flock positions of wintering redheads in the Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana|
|Contributing office(s)||National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|
|Other Geospatial||Chandeleur Islands, Chandeleur Sound|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|