Observations on the chick-rearing strategy of yellow-eyed penguins ( Megadyptes antipodes ) on Otago Peninsula, New Zealand
|Title||Observations on the chick-rearing strategy of yellow-eyed penguins ( Megadyptes antipodes ) on Otago Peninsula, New Zealand|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2000|
|Authors||Schuster, K, Darby, JT|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||chick-rearing strategy, Megadyptes antipodes, one-chick parents, two-chick parents, Yellow-eyed Penguin|
The chick-rearing strategy of yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes) breeding on Otago Peninsula was examined in 12 pairs of adults, between 17 November 1996 and 3 1 March 1997, from time of hatching of chicks to parental moult. Differences in behaviour of both male and female parents towards one- or two-chick broods were not statistically significant, but behaviour towards all offspring changed significantly over time with respect to breeding phases. Differences observed resulted from a change in feeding procedure. "Food-walks" started significantly earlier in the course of a feeding session as time progressed, while major components (duration and number of individual feeds) decreased significantly. The changes observed are interpreted as resulting from the chicks' growing independence in concert with the parents' decreasing urge to spend time with their offspring outside the still necessary feeding encounters. An evolutionarily stable environment and reliable food source are suggested as the reason for the lack of development of different chick-rearing strategies for different numbers of offspring or for male and female breeders.