Diurnal time-activity budgets of nesting least terns and black skimmers

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melissa L. Leslie (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Steven Emslie

Abstract: Time-activity budgets for Least Terns and Black Skimmers were determined for the 2004 and 2005 nesting seasons. These species had significantly different time-activity budgets. Least Terns spent more time engaged in incubation activities (72.89%), followed by brooding (9.53%), preening (6.65%), and standing (3.95%). Aggression, courtship, courtship feeding, flying, nest building, nest relief, sitting, tucking, and walking or running collectively accounted for 6.98% of their budget. Black Skimmers spent the majority of their time standing (28.86%) and incubating (28.70%), followed by brooding (15.73%), tucking (9.45%), sitting (5.98%), preening (4.99%), and walking or running (3.12%). Aggression, courtship, flying, nest building, and nest relief together totaled only 3.16% of their budget. Black Skimmer time-activity budgets also differed by sex; however, both sexes spent nearly identical amounts of time incubating, walking or running, and in aggressive acts. Both sexes spent 49% of the time with their mates. Week of the nesting season, time of day, air temperature, cloud cover, and wind speed significantly influenced Least Tern and Black Skimmer behavior. Air temperature was correlated with week of the nesting season. Least Terns displayed a pronounced sexual division of labor; females primarily were involved in incubation and brooding while males provisioned their mates and chicks. Black Skimmers did not display a sexual division of labor; both males and females shared incubation duties and provisioned their chicks.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science
Language: English
Date: 2009
Least tern--Nesting--North Carolina--Wrightsville Beach, Black skimmer--Behavior--North Carolina--Wrightsville Beach, Black skimmer--Nesting--North Carolina--Wrightsville Beach, Least tern--Behavior--North Carolina--Wrightsville Beach
Least tern -- Nesting -- North Carolina -- Wrightsville Beach
Black skimmer -- Nesting -- North Carolina -- Wrightsville Beach
Least tern -- Behavior -- North Carolina -- Wrightsville Beach
Black skimmer -- Behavior -- North Carolina -- Wrightsville Beach

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