A study of selected factors influencing the reproductive performance of the common tern (Sterna hirundo) at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1973 and 1974
Hunter, Rodger Allan.
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Several study areas were investigated at two Port Colborne terneries during the summers of 1973 and 1974 in an attempt to determine the influence of clutch size, time of clutch initiation, position in the colony, proximity to Ring-billed Gulls, vegetation and nesting substrate on the reproductive performance of the Common Tern. Hatching success and reproductive success (the number of chicks fledged per egg laid) were generally higher for 3-egg than 2-egg clutches but fledging (the number of chicks fledged per egg hatched) success was usually independant of clutch size. Hatching, fledging and reproductive success declined as a function of time of clutch initiation. Mean clutch sizes also generally declined as a function of time. Nests located in the center of the colony exhibited higher fledging success than those on the periphery. Rock-based clutches had a lower hatching success than clutches initiated on sand or dried vegetation. Reproductive performance did not appear to be related to proximity to Ring-billed Gulls or vegetation within the study area.