Breeding ecology of Snares Island Snipe ( Coenocorypha aucklandica huegeli ) and Chatham Island Snipe ( C. pusilla )
|Title||Breeding ecology of Snares Island Snipe ( Coenocorypha aucklandica huegeli ) and Chatham Island Snipe ( C. pusilla )|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1999|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||breeding ecology, Chatham Island Snipe, Chatham Islands, Coenocorypha aucklandica, Coenocorypha pusilla, growth rates, New Zealand Snipe, Snares Islands|
Snares Island Snipe (Coenocorypha aucklandica huegeli) were studied on the Snares Islands during parts of six breeding seasons between 1982 and 1987. Laying was between 4 November and 19 February; the breeding season (including chick-rearing) spanned the months November to May. Nests were well concealed among dense vegetation with solid overhead cover. Most birds were monogamous, with shared incubation of the two-egg clutch. Males incubated for 51% of the time, mainly at night and during late afternoon; females incubated 49% of the time, mainly during the morning and early afternoon. The eggs hatched synchronously and the chicks stayed in the nest for less than 13 h. The male cared for the first chick to leave the nest. Growth of chicks is described using Gompertz equations. Full juvenile plumage took c. 54 days to attain, and adult size in all growth parameters was attained soon after independence (c. 65 days).Chatham Island Snipe (C. pusilla) were studied on Rangatira Island during the 1983-84 breeding season. Laying was estimated to extend from late September to the end of December. Most nests found (86%) were under Carex sedges. Incubation of the two-egg clutch was shared; incubation patterns were not determined. The eggs were 19% smaller in relation to predicted egg-weight than those of Snares Island Snipe. The eggs hatched synchronously and the chicks stayed in the nest for less than 11.5 h. The male cared for the first chick to leave the nest. Full juvenile plumage took c. 47 days to attain. The bill grew much more rapidly than for Snares Island Snipe and chicks became independent much earlier (c. 41 days old).