Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus, n = 3 breeding pairs) at the Shanghai Zoo, China, were used to study breeding behavior and nest conditions using automated telemetry from 21 February to 25 March 2011. Both sexes were found to participate in egg incubation, but females spent 341.7 ± 180.0 min incubating while males spent 378.3 ± 180.8 min incubating during daylight hours. Females turned the eggs at 51.5 ± 22.8-min intervals, whereas males turned the eggs at 70.0 ± 64.3-min intervals. However, the differences between the sexes were not significant. The time budget of the Dalmatian Pelicans indicated that the breeding birds saved energy by reducing locomotion and increasing the time spent resting during the breeding season. The average nest temperature during the study was 35.5 ± 0.8 °C (Range = 33.1–37.1 °C), and diurnal fluctuations in egg temperature were small (F = 0.570, P = 0.942). The average relative nest humidity was 55.7 ± 4.8% (Range = 39.8–66.9%), and changes during the day were not significant (F = 1.347, P = 0.148). Therefore, ambient conditions had little effect on nest conditions in this study, but the sample size was limited.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2