Parent and gosling strategies in wintering Barnacle Geese Branta Leucopsis

Gavin M Siriwardena, Jeffrey M Black


Barnacle goose parents caring for four or more goslings devoted less time to foraging than did those with fewer offspring, and more time was spent being vigilant. Goslings gained substantial benefits from being in the family unit, including better foraging opportunities and higher dominance status. Apart from greater distances from their neighbours, goslings did not benefit from being in larger sized families. Time budgets and foraging performance did not differ between the three parentless gosling types. It is possible that only weaker goslings adopted the group or parasite' strategies, thus raising their foraging performance to a level similar to that of single non-family goslings.

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