Grazing and vigilance behaviour of breeding Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope in relation to distance from water

Odd W Jacobsen, Morten Ugelvik


Grazing and vigilance behaviour in breeding Eurasian Wigeon at various distances from water were studied in 1983 and 1984 in western Norway. Females performed longer grazing bouts, pecked with a higher rate and were vigilant for shorter periods than males. The length of grazing bouts and peck rate in males decreased, whereas their length of vigilance bouts increased, with distance from water. In females, length of grazing and vigilance bouts and peck rate were independent of distance from water. We conclude that Wigeon generally feed close to water because they may be in more riskier areas when they move further ashore. The decreasing length of grazing bouts and increasing length of vigilance bouts in males with increasing distance from water, is explained by potential differences in predation pressure between the sexes.

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