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Influence of growth rate retardation on time budgets and energetics of Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea and common tern S. hirundo chicks

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


  • M. Klaassen
  • B. Habekotté
  • P. Schinkelshoek
  • Eric Stienen
  • P. Van Tienen


Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1994


Time budgets of free-living chicks of Arctic Terns Sterna paradisaea and Common Terns S. hirundo throughout development are presented with special reference to changes in time allocation when growth rate varies. Chicks of both species were inactive most of the time observed (87%). Time allocated to the different behaviours changed during development and was generally better correlated with body mass than age. Slower growing nestlings were brooded more and allocated more time to quiescence and less time to locomotion, preening, begging and attacking (the latter two significant only for the Arctic Tern). The energetic implications of variation in time budgets with age and growth rate were considered. Parental brooding resulted in an average energy saving of nearly 40% of an individual nestling's thermoregulatory costs. Whereas thermoregulatory costs remained nearly unchanged in Arctic Tern chicks, these were negatively correlated with growth rate in Common Terns. Tentatively, we estimated a 30% reduction in a nestling's total energy requirement for a 50% reduction in average growth rate for both species.

EWI Biomedical sciences

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