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Population Study of Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Using Marked Birds

Raymond Parr
Ornis Scandinavica (Scandinavian Journal of Ornithology)
Vol. 11, No. 3 (Dec., 1980), pp. 179-189
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3676122
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3676122
Page Count: 11
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Population Study of Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Using Marked Birds
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Abstract

A population of Golden Plovers was studied for 6 yr on breeding grounds in northeast Scotland. Winter loss, the time when birds returned in spring, and breeding dates were correlated with low temperatures and/or snow. Egg predation varied from 0-75% in different years, but the mean production of young was estimated to be enough to keep the population stable. Birds nested in short heather, and broods were found on patches of grass covering <1% of the moorland. Although most marked pairs stayed together on the same territories in successive years, some changed territories and partners. First-year birds were sexually mature, had as much black on the ventral parts as older ones, and showed no increase in the amount of black with age. The darkness of the male was significantly related to that of the female paired with him. The existence of two sub-species Pluvialis apricaria apricaria (L.) and P. a. altifrons (Brehm) is discussed along with colonisation of 'sub-optimal' areas by northern birds on abbreviated migration; both ideas are rejected.

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