Presenter Information

Natalie Jesski

Description

Shorebirds are athletes in nature. North American shorebirds (order Charadriiformes) migrate thousands of kilometers a year between Artic nesting grounds and wintering grounds in Central and South America. Migration routes typically follow coastlines or interior water sources. Staging areas and stopover sites in North America provide abundant food resources crucial for supplying the energy needed to complete migration. About 70 species migrate through North America each year. However, declining numbers have been observed at many staging grounds.

Shorebirds have the greatest diversity of parental care of any order of birds. This diversity ranges from fully biparental, with incubation and broodrearing equally shared by both parents, to care provided exclusively by the male or by the female . The majority of shorebirds have precocial offspring in which the chicks leave the nest within a day and are able to feed themselves . To date there has yet to be a comprehensive study linking migration distance to parental investment.

In this study, I compiled comprehensive data on North American shorebirds. I hypothesize that migration distance is significantly correlated with various categories of maternal investment including female mass/length, relative offspring quality (mass/length), incubation time, nestling time and fledgling length.

Comments

Presented as part of the 2019 USFSP Undergraduate Research Symposium held April 16, 2019.

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The Migrants Above: A North American Shorebirds Investment

Shorebirds are athletes in nature. North American shorebirds (order Charadriiformes) migrate thousands of kilometers a year between Artic nesting grounds and wintering grounds in Central and South America. Migration routes typically follow coastlines or interior water sources. Staging areas and stopover sites in North America provide abundant food resources crucial for supplying the energy needed to complete migration. About 70 species migrate through North America each year. However, declining numbers have been observed at many staging grounds.

Shorebirds have the greatest diversity of parental care of any order of birds. This diversity ranges from fully biparental, with incubation and broodrearing equally shared by both parents, to care provided exclusively by the male or by the female . The majority of shorebirds have precocial offspring in which the chicks leave the nest within a day and are able to feed themselves . To date there has yet to be a comprehensive study linking migration distance to parental investment.

In this study, I compiled comprehensive data on North American shorebirds. I hypothesize that migration distance is significantly correlated with various categories of maternal investment including female mass/length, relative offspring quality (mass/length), incubation time, nestling time and fledgling length.