Movement Patterns of Wilson’s Plover Chicks
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Movement Patterns of Wilson’s Plover Chicks

  • 2020

Filetype[PDF-911.44 KB]



Details:

  • Sea Grant Program:
  • Description:
    The period between hatching and fledging is understudied for many bird species, including Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia). To monitor chick movements during the time period between hatching and fledging, Very High Frequency (VHF) radio tags were deployed on 13 recently hatched chicks, which were then tracked via radio telemetry daily. Locations and times were recorded for each successful re-location, and these data were mapped and used to calculate chick speeds. Four chicks traveled more than 20 meters per hour at ages varying from 2-5 to 13-14 days, which we classified as “travel movements”. The other movements of those four chicks, as well as all movements of the remaining 9 chicks, were classified as “foraging movements”, which made up 89% of the recorded movements. The mapped data show that chicks cluster together in common areas while foraging, despite their nests being spread out over a much larger area. The chicks that traveled the furthest hatched in nests far from the foraging sites, so it appears that Wilson’s Plover chicks are capable of moving large distances necessary to reach common foraging sites, despite being only a few days old. This suggests a patchy distribution of good-​quality foraging habitat and perhaps some benefit of foraging near conspecifics, e.g., group defense or information sharing. Given declines in bird populations worldwide, the importance of determining what constitutes a healthy habitat cannot be understated.
  • Sea Grant Document Number:
    LSU-T-20-001
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  • Rights Information:
    Public Domain
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    Library
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