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Creching Behaviour of the Shelduck Tadorna tadorna L.

Murray Williams
Ornis Scandinavica (Scandinavian Journal of Ornithology)
Vol. 5, No. 2 (1974), pp. 131-143
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3676057
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3676057
Page Count: 13
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Creching Behaviour of the Shelduck Tadorna tadorna L.
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Abstract

Creche formation and behaviour of duckling and adult Shelduck Tadorna tadorna were studied during 1970-1972 on the Ythan estuary, Scotland. Most 'creching' occurred when ducklings were less than one week old and involved two-thirds of the broods studied. Some ducklings passed through at least three creches during their development, some creches contained ducklings from at least four different broods, and some adults reared ducklings that were not their own. Only successful breeding adults guarded creches. Females attending their broods until all ducklings fledged survived just as well as those which lost their broods. Duckling mortality was significantly higher in creches than in family broods. Growth of ducklings was faster in larger creches than in family broods. A higher survival of creche ducklings during the post-fledging period may on balance offset the higher mortality associated with creching.

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