Females may maximize their lifetime reproductive output by adjusting their investment in each breeding event to the perceived likelihood of success. The Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is a long-lived seabird with facultative siblicide. We examined whether there is differential resource allocation to eggs with laying order and whether greater egg mass increases hatching probability, chick survival, hatching interval, and mass and size at hatching. We found that the relative investment in first and second eggs decreased as the season advanced: second eggs were slightly (1.5%) heavier than first eggs in early clutches; by contrast, first eggs were 2% heavier than second eggs in late clutches. Accordingly, hatching probability increased with laying date for first eggs and decreased for second eggs. The mass of the egg increased hatching probability, and no effect on chick survival was detected. Laying interval increased after a heavier egg was laid, and heavier eggs produced heavier hatchlings. Hatching intervals were positively related to laying intervals, but egg mass was unrelated to the length of the incubation period and the hatching interval. Our results suggest that egg mass influences embryo survival and that Blue-footed Booby females may adaptively allocate resources to eggs of different laying order according to breeding conditions.
Variación del Peso de los Huevos y Secuencia de Postura en un Ave con Reducción Facultativa de la Nidada