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Energy metabolic rate in breeding Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta

Energy metabolic rate in breeding Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta

Journal fuer Ornithologie 137(2): 203-212

We measured the field metabolic rates of six incubating Avocets by the doubly-labelled water method in a colony on the North-Frisian Wadden Sea coast in 1994. The Avocets had a mean field metabolic rate of 5.04 W (SD +- 0.33 W), which is only 2.3 times their basal metabolic rate as calculated by the allometric equations of KERSTEN and PIERSMA 1987. The mean water contents of the Avocets was 66.8% (SD +- 2,4%). The water efflux was very high and showed a very high variation between the birds (mean 178 ml/day, SD +- 48 ml). Avocets with a low body mass (females) tended to have both higher water contents (in%) and higher water efflux rates than Avocets with a high body mass (males). A comparison with other studies reveals, that the field metabolic rates of waders during the breeding season are strongly influenced by the geographical position of their breeding sites and the related thermostatic costs.

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