Body mass and physical condition of breeding Dotterels Charadrius morinellus in Finland
AbstractThe body mass and physical condition of heeding Dotterels Charadrius morinellus were determined in the Varriotunturi fell area in Finnish Forest Lapland. The decrease in the male body mass during the incubation period was 25%, i.e. greater than in southern Norway (7%). This resulted on average in poorer physical condition during the hatching and chick rearing periods. The differences in the mean body mass of the male Dotterel between three successive periods, egg laying, early and late incubation, were highly significant. In some cases the fermale helped her mate to incubate, in which case males lost on average a smaller proportion of their body mass during incubation. Dotterels cannot gather any substantial energyreserves for breeding at their breeding sites under the harsh conditions prevailing on the dry alpine heaths during the very short period between arrival and the commencement of egg laying and incubation. These reserves have to be gathered during their spring migration and/or at the wintering grounds.
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