No renesting observed after experimental clutch removal in Red Phalaropes breeding near Utqiaģvik, Alaska


236 – 243

1 December 20

Jillian Cosgrove, Bruce Dugger, Richard B. Lanctot


Jillian Cosgrove
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA


Public Files

Renesting is thought to be uncommon for shorebirds breeding in the Arctic, where breeding seasons are short and energy constraints may limit birds to a single clutch. However, few studies have assessed shorebird renesting using experimental clutch removal and tracking of adults. We conducted such an experiment on the sequentially polyandrous Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius to assess renesting propensity and explore underlying factors that affect renesting. None of 24 males whose nests we experimentally removed (n = 19) or had been abandoned/depredated (n = 5) were known to renest in our study area. However, 19 males left our study area prior to the end of the laying period and three of those males were re-paired prior to disappearing, indicating they may have renested outside the range of our telemetry system. The operational sex ratio was strongly male-biased when most males lost their clutches, so opportunities to renest at our study site were likely limited. Had we conducted our clutch removal experiment in a year with an earlier and longer breeding season, it is possible that some males would have renested. Future studies on renesting in shorebirds, especially in opportunistic-breeding species, should track and monitor the behavior of individuals across large distances after their initial clutch loss.