Effects of weather and tides on feeding and flock positions of wintering redheads in the Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana

Hydrobiologia
By: , and 

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Abstract

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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of weather and tides on feeding and flock positions of wintering redheads in the Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana
Series title Hydrobiologia
DOI 10.1007/BF00027860
Volume 279/280
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 16 p.
First page 263
Last page 278
Country United States
State Louisiana
Other Geospatial Chandeleur Islands, Chandeleur Sound
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