Distribution and timing of nesting in Hawaiian Geese in relation to food phenology in scrublands.

Friederike Woog


The seasonal distribution patterns of individually marked Hawaiian
Geese or Nene Branta sandvicensis are described in relation to the availability
of their food plants in scrubland. The phenology of the most
important plant groups was recorded over a 18 month period, and goose
numbers and nesting activity monitored. Plant phenology varied considerably
between species, between sites and with elevation. Geese
appeared to time their movements and nesting according to local food
availability. The analyses of a long-term database on nest records (1960
-1996), revealed that peak nest initiation was in November and
December, coincident with high average rainfall. Generally, geese that
nested earlier in the season, when berry availability was high, were more
successful in rearing young, but other events such as predation,

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