Variability in shorebird incubation patterns – Nature paper

Martin Bulla with the contribution of 76 co-authors has compiled an impressive incubation dataset of 729 nests of 91 populations of 32 species of shorebirds worldwide. As well as revealing the amazing variability in incubation rhythms of wild shorebirds, they also identified that this variability would be mostly driven by predation risk and not the starvation risk:

Article “Unexpected diversity in socially synchronized rhythms of shorebirds”, published in Nature:

Photo: An American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) – from Barrow, Alaska – is sitting on its eggs.  © Joël Bêty

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Actogram_1 - Martin bulla et al (2016) in Nature

The figure shows 15 different patterns for each parent’s time on the nest over 48 hours — females are depicted in yellow and males are in blue-grey. Incubation bouts ranged from less than three hours to up to 48 hours. © Martin Bulla in Nature.