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1 April 2002 Using a transponder system to monitor incubation routines of Snowy Plovers
András Kosztolányi, Tamás Székely
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Abstract

We investigated the incubation behavior of a ground-nesting shorebird, the Snowy Plover (Charadrius a. alexandrinus) by developing a transponder system that recorded the identity of parents on their nest over 24 h. The system consisted of a small chip glued on the tail of the parent, an antenna that was buried under the nest, and a recording device that was buried nearby. The transponder system was both accurate and reliable, since only 0.2% of records were false. The records of the transponder system were augmented by visual observations, and these data were analyzed by randomization tests. We found strong daily incubation routines: females incubated during the day, whereas males incubated mostly at night. Overall, the females spent significantly more time incubating the nest (11.3 h (median)/day) than the males (9.4 h/day). We discuss several hypotheses for the observed daily incubation routines of the sexes, and propose experimental studies to test these hypotheses.

András Kosztolányi and Tamás Székely "Using a transponder system to monitor incubation routines of Snowy Plovers," Journal of Field Ornithology 73(2), 199-205, (1 April 2002). https://doi.org/10.1648/0273-8570-73.2.199
Received: 9 January 2001; Accepted: 1 June 2001; Published: 1 April 2002
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