Ecological factors regulating brood attendance patterns of the western sandpiper calidris mauri

  • Ruthrauff D
  • Keller J
  • Rizzolo D
  • 21


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 5


    Citations of this article.


Parental brood attendance patterns vary greatly among shorebird species. For monogamous calidridine species, biparental care with female-first brood departure is most common. It is believed that adult sandpipers balance potential individual survival costs associated with extended parental care against the benefit gained by their brood of prolonged parental care. These costs and benefits are difficult to quantify and factors affecting the termination of parental brood attendance are unclear. We compared clutch size, nesting phenology, and parental attendance patterns of Western Sandpipers Calidris mauri at Nome and Kanaryarmiut, Alaska, sites separated by three degrees of latitude. The sites differed in breeding density and duration of breeding season, but the distribution of clutch sizes did not differ between sites or between nesting attempts. Parental attendance patterns were similar between sites, suggesting that parental attendance is a highly conserved life-history trait in Western Sandpipers. Male Western Sandpipers attended broods longer than females, and the duration of parental attendance decreased at a similar rate for both sexes as the season progressed. Male and female Western Sandpipers undertake differential migrations to their non-breeding grounds, with males typically settling at more northerly locations and females at more southerly sites, a migration pattern shared by certain other monogamous calidridine species. These same species exhibit similar parental brood attendance patterns, suggesting the strong role of overall migration distance in shaping the expression of parental attendance behaviours. A contrast of more geographically disjunct sites coupled with a better understanding of the migratory connectivity between Western Sandpiper breeding and non-breeding populations would elucidate the role of cross-seasonal effects on parental brood attendance decisions.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Breeding phenology
  • Latitudinal variation
  • Migration distance
  • Migratory connectivity
  • Parental attendance

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • Daniel R. Ruthrauff

  • Juliette N. Keller

  • Daniel J. Rizzolo

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free