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1 December 2013 Notes on the Incubation, Brooding, and Provisioning Behavior of Chuck-will's-widows
Ryan S. O'Connor, Gary Ritchison
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Because of their cryptic plumage and nocturnal habits, little is known about the breeding behavior of Chuck-will's-widows (Antrostomus carolinensis). Using temperature loggers and video-recordings, we quantified the incubation, brooding, and provisioning behavior of male and female Chuck-will's-widows in Adams County, Ohio, in 2011 and 2012. We located six nests, all 2-egg clutches laid on the ground. Four nests were successful, one was depredated, and one was abandoned. We quantified incubation behavior at all nests (mean  =  5.5 days; range  =  0.4–12.9 days). Adult Chuck-will's-widows incubated an average of 89.2% of the time, with females observed incubating more than males. Most incubation off-bouts (n  =  104) occurred at dawn (0400–0659; n  =  45) and dusk (1900–2200; n  =  48) and averaged 35 mins in duration. After hatching, the mean duration of brooding bouts was 20 mins (age of young  =  1–7 days). Both males and females provisioned young, and feeding rates were highest (P  =  0.003) during the hour immediately after sunset. The timing of off-bouts during incubation and provisioning visits after hatching suggest that Chuck-will's-widows in our study foraged primarily at dawn and dusk. Previous authors have noted that nightjars are visual predators and, therefore, their foraging behavior may be constrained by light levels.

2013 by the Wilson Ornithological Society
Ryan S. O'Connor and Gary Ritchison "Notes on the Incubation, Brooding, and Provisioning Behavior of Chuck-will's-widows," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 125(4), 815-819, (1 December 2013).
Received: 24 January 2013; Accepted: 1 April 2013; Published: 1 December 2013

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