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Female Roseate Tern Fledges a Chick Following the Death of Her Mate during the Incubation Period

Jeffrey A. Spendelow and James M. Zingo
Colonial Waterbirds
Vol. 20, No. 3 (1997), pp. 552-555
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1521609
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1521609
Page Count: 4
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Female Roseate Tern Fledges a Chick Following the Death of Her Mate during the Incubation Period
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Abstract

Despite the death of her mate during the incubation period and a shortage (or lack of availability) of food in nearby waters, a female Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) nesting at the Falkner Island Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut was able to raise a chick to fledging in 1995 without human assistance. The growth and development of this chick was slower than that of other single chicks in the colony; it never weighed more than 90 g and did not fledge until 32 days of age. Despite this exceptional female's ability to rear a chick on her own, this observation supports the idea that biparental care is important in Roseate Terns, particularly during years of food shortage.

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