Nesting behaviour of Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) females kept in aviaries

Rosenberger, Joanna and Łukaszewicz, Ewa and Kowalczyk, Artur and Deeming, Charles and Rzońca, Zenon (2016) Nesting behaviour of Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) females kept in aviaries. Ornis Fennica, 93 . pp. 137-145. ISSN 0030-5685

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Abstract

For many bird species in captivity best practice for incubation procedures have yet to be developed. This is hampered by a lack of cooperation between bird breeders or by a reluctance to experiment on valuable eggs. The last two problems may be solved by observation of natural incubation, which technology has made a lot easier. Many studies document incubation behavior: daily time spend in the nest, preferred hours of making absences, egg turning rate, incubation temperature. Such data is scientifically interesting but also allows for better protection of endangered species through development of captive breeding programmes. The Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is a threatened species over much of its European range and various conservation actions are being taken to save populations from global or local extinction. Our study took place in Capercaillie Breeding Centre in Wisła Forestry District and describes nesting and incubation behaviour of Capercaillie females kept in captivity. Our aim was to better document the nesting behaviour by recording egg turning rate, and the time and length of incubation recesses. Time of day and day of incubation had no significant influence on recess length, but number of recesses was related with time of day with two peaks at 06:00 h and18:00 h. Egg turning activity was the greatest during the first and last two days of incubation but generally consistent throughout the rest of incubation. Captive hens spent less time outside of the nest than wild ones, their absences were shorter, rarer and took place mostly at the evening. However, differences in preferred absence hours were not as clearly marked as in case of wild birds. It is hoped that this information will help improve management practises to maximise the reproductive output of captive Capercaillie.

Keywords:Incubation, Conservation, Egg turning, Capercaillie, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C140 Developmental/Reproductive Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:24932
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 14:27

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