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Nesting Ecology of Bewick's Swans on Vaygach Island, Russia

Evgeny V. Syroechkovsky, Konstantin E. Litvin and Elena N. Gurtovaya
Waterbirds: The International Journal of Waterbird Biology
Vol. 25, Special Publication 1: Proceedings of the Fourth International Swan Symposium 2001 (2002), pp. 221-226
Published by: Waterbird Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1522356
Page Count: 6
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Nesting Ecology of Bewick's Swans on Vaygach Island, Russia
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Abstract

The nesting ecology of Bewick's Swans (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) breeding on Vaygach Island (70°15′N, 58°46′E), Russia was studied in 1986-1988 and 1995-1997. In particular, the effects of spring weather conditions on the use of old nests, breeding density and clutch size were considered. A total of 127 nests were found over the six-year period. All nests were mapped, clutch size was recorded and the eggs were weighed and measured. Bewick's Swan nests occurred across the island in different types of habitat. Nest density varied from 0.12 to 0.36 nests km2. Mean clutch size, which varied from 2.4 to 3.3 eggs, was significantly smaller than clutch sizes recorded in mainland Russia and negatively correlated with the date of clutch initiation. Calculated fresh egg mass varied depending on the timing of spring and the cold snaps. Nest failure was mostly due to abandonment of nests in cold weather rather then to predation. Climatic conditions in spring are the main determinants of nesting success for swans on Vaygach Island.

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