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Data from: Preparation for flight: pre-fledging exercise time is correlated with growth and fledging age in burrow-nesting seabirds

Citation

Yoda, Ken et al. (2016), Data from: Preparation for flight: pre-fledging exercise time is correlated with growth and fledging age in burrow-nesting seabirds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2c1c9

Abstract

Chicks of many burrow-nesting seabirds are known to repeatedly emerge from their nests (these trips being termed “excursions”) and exercise their wings prior to fledging, but this behavior is poorly documented in the literature, and thus the relationship between growth and exercise remains unclear. Here, we used infrared video cameras placed in front of streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas) nests during the chick-emergence period to examine correlations between chick excursions and parameters known to be important for juvenile survival after fledging. In addition, we also attached acceleration-temperature loggers to several chicks in order to evaluate the relationship between excursion time and time spent exercising the wing muscles (i.e. flapping). Chicks that undertook longer excursions exhibited more rapid increases in wing length and larger body masses at fledging, and also fledged earlier. Correlations between fitness-related parameters and excursion time indicate that excursions during the emergence period might offer insights into the various relationships between growth and behavior and/or the mechanisms underlying offspring survival following fledging.

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