Female-biased incubation and strong diel sex-roles in the Two-banded Plover Charadrius falklandicus

James J H St Clair, P Herrmann, R W Woods, Tamas Szekely

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21 Citations (SciVal)


The relative contributions of males and females to incubation, and the diel schedules by which incubation is shared, are important breeding system traits. We used infra-red sensitive cameras to record incubation patterns at 13 nests of the Two-banded Plover Charadrius falklandicus in the Falkland Islands during both day and night. Because predation risk can affect incubation behaviour, we also recorded the diel pattern of nest predation in the wider study population. We found high nest attendance, female-biased incubation, and strong diel sex-roles, with females incubating during the day and males at night. We also found that incubation intermissions tended to be short but frequent, and were correlated strongly with the diel pattern of nest predations which occurred exclusively in the daylight hours (probably due to the absence of terrestrial mammals from the study site). Our results suggest that sex-roles are unusually strict in the Two-banded Plover, and that these strict sex-roles lead to inequality in incubation sharing and the level of exposure to sources of energetic cost such as disturbance by nest predators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-816
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • sex-role
  • temperature data-loggers
  • nest camera
  • incubation
  • nocturnal
  • nest predation


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