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Change in Body Mass of Female Common Goldeneyes during Nesting and Brood Rearing

Michael C. Zicus and Michael R. Riggs
The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 108, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 61-71
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4163638
Page Count: 11
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Change in Body Mass of Female Common Goldeneyes during Nesting and Brood Rearing
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Abstract

We measured body mass of female Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula) during nesting on fish bearing lakes in northcentral Minnesota, in 1982-1985. Median body mass during egg laying was 775 g. Female mass during incubation varied among lakes and possibly years. Mass at the start of incubation (698-715 g) was 10.7-11.0% greater than that at hatching. Females regained most of the mass lost during incubation by the time they abandoned their class IIC or class III ducklings. Goldeneyes in Minnesota weighed less at the start of nesting than those studied on predominately fishless Ontario lakes; proportional mass loss during incubation was also substantially less than that reported in Ontario (approximately 20%). Differences in body mass dynamics may be related to the relative ease of food acquisition during nesting; foods might be acquired more easily in more productive wetlands despite the presence of fish.

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