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A comparison of reproductive success in early and late breeding Sooty Terns (Sterna fuscata) in the dry tortugas

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Date Issued:
1988
Summary:
Evidence indicates that earlier-nesting birds are often older, choose preferred nest sites, and have greater reproductive success than those nesting later. The Sooty Terns at Bush Key appear to follow a similar pattern. The first birds arrive at the west end of the breeding grounds three weeks earlier than birds at the east end and behaviorally appear to be older and more experienced. The west birds settle in the more desirable habitats (the west end was cooler than the east end) and laid larger eggs, hatched larger chicks, enjoyed greater hatchability, fed their chicks at a lower frequency when they were young, and had greater reproductive success than birds in the east. This was accomplished through a combination of choosing physically and thermally more favorable habitat, which was more centrally located, being more persistent incubators and brooders, and, by nesting earlier, having larger, less-easily eaten chicks by the time avian predators arrived on the island.
Title: A comparison of reproductive success in early and late breeding Sooty Terns (Sterna fuscata) in the dry tortugas.
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Name(s): Plantier, Terry Lynn.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Mahoney, Sheila A., Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 1988
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 77 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Evidence indicates that earlier-nesting birds are often older, choose preferred nest sites, and have greater reproductive success than those nesting later. The Sooty Terns at Bush Key appear to follow a similar pattern. The first birds arrive at the west end of the breeding grounds three weeks earlier than birds at the east end and behaviorally appear to be older and more experienced. The west birds settle in the more desirable habitats (the west end was cooler than the east end) and laid larger eggs, hatched larger chicks, enjoyed greater hatchability, fed their chicks at a lower frequency when they were young, and had greater reproductive success than birds in the east. This was accomplished through a combination of choosing physically and thermally more favorable habitat, which was more centrally located, being more persistent incubators and brooders, and, by nesting earlier, having larger, less-easily eaten chicks by the time avian predators arrived on the island.
Identifier: 14446 (digitool), FADT14446 (IID), fau:11246 (fedora)
Note(s): Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 1988.
Subject(s): Sooty tern
Sea birds--Florida--Dry Tortugas--Reproduction
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/14446
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.