1 October 2001 Fitness-related Consequences of Relaying in an Arctic Seabird: Survival of Offspring to Recruitment Age
J. Mark Hipfner
Author Affiliations +

Seasonal declines in rates of renesting following clutch loss are common features of avian breeding, and are generally thought to reflect underlying seasonal declines in food availability that lower survival prospects for late-season offspring. However, in Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia), long-lived Arctic seabirds that lays a single-egg clutch, previous research has shown that early laying females will continue to relay until late in the laying period. Moreover, hatching success is similar between first and replacement attempts, as are nestling growth and survival, when parental quality is controlled. I compared survival between departure from the breeding site and recruitment age (4–5 years) for Thick-billed Murres that hatched from first and replacement eggs, but that were raised by parents that laid their first eggs early in the season. Replacement-egg offspring hatched and departed the colony about three weeks later than did first-egg offspring, but despite that, they were no less likely to survive to recruitment age. That result indicates that the potential fitness payoff from a replacement egg is similar to that from a first egg for the more capable members of the population. I suggest that an adequate and predictable late-season food supply ultimately underlies the considerable relaying capacity exhibited by Thick-billed Murres.

J. Mark Hipfner "Fitness-related Consequences of Relaying in an Arctic Seabird: Survival of Offspring to Recruitment Age," The Auk 118(4), 1076-1080, (1 October 2001). https://doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2001)118[1076:FRCORI]2.0.CO;2
Received: 15 May 2000; Accepted: 16 April 2001; Published: 1 October 2001
Get copyright permission
Back to Top