In order to increase body mass during the 4–6 weeks before their departure from the Banc d'Arguin in spring, some waders, such as Dunlin, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, increased the total time they spent feeding. They fed more at night and fed throughout neap tides and at high temperatures, circumstances in which feeding activity was depressed in winter. In other species, however, such as the Little Stint, feeding time did not increase during the premigration period. In winter, feeding time and body mass in the 14 wader species studied were negatively associated, but this trend disappeared during the premigration period. Nocturnal feeding was particularly important in the smaller waders, but the larger waders also began to feed at night later in the season. It is suggested that only when pressed for time, waders will feed at times when the yield from feeding is low.
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