Selected aspects of the breeding biology of two Lake Erie herring gull colonies
Haymes, Gerrard Thomas.
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Aspects of the breeding biology of two Lake Erie Herri ng Gull colonies were studied in 1975 and 1976. In 1976 the incubation attention given 2-egg and 3-egg clutches initiated early and late in the season was measured. Brood size at one colony was artificially increased or decreased by addition of chicks shortly after hatching. Hatching success was not consistently re~ated to clutch size but early nesters were more successful than late nes'ters. Differences in hatching success between 2-egg and 3-egg clutches were a function of the time of clutch initiation with the clutch size having the greater proportion of its nests initiated early in the season being more successful. The incubation attentiveness of parents of 2-egg and 3-ev,g , and early and late clutches was similar. Most nests were incubated greater than 95% of the time although t heir hatching success was similar ' to those incubated less than 75% of the time. Fledging success, chick growth and weight at fledging were similar among broods of one, two and three chicks and artificially increased broods of four and five chicks. Fledging success was highest for o.e chick broods reduced from two and three chick broods.