Chicks, phalaropes and phalarope chicks

Like the Arctic Skuas in Slettnes, the Long-tailed Skuas in Ammarnäs are now rapidly hatching. It usually takes only a few days before all have hatched; this is strongly peaked. However, the hatching period appears to be a rather vulnerable period: in particular many one-egg clutches vanished (predated) in the last week before hatching, or – in the case of one pair in Gelmetje – both a chick and an about-to-hatch egg have been predated. Others are more lucky, such as the chick in the picture below.

A one-day old chick of a Long-tailed Skua.
A one-day old chick of a Long-tailed Skua.

We have been focusing on capturing Red-necked Phalaropes during the last days, now using mistnests to catch them. Red-necked Phalaropes are so-called uniparental, meaning that one parent is taking the lion’s share of the parental duties. In this case, that’s the male. During incubation, these guys need a break now and then to do some foraging. We found out that many males used the same pond (full of small yummy flies) as a local snackbar. Here, we managed to capture five phalaropes, two of them wearing geolocators from last year! That makes a total of four retreived loggers. Also, we lured females into mist nests (see below, the first adult females to be caught here) and we recaptured a male today that I ringed in 2010 when it was still a chick of only 4-5 grams.

Red-necked Phalarope. Definitely the hottest chick in Gelmetje.
Red-necked Phalarope. Definitely the hottest chick in Gelmetje.

Already a while ago Tim did a very good discovery: a nest of a Bar-tailed Godwit. Despite their big efforts for nest searching, the wader team never found one between 2008 and 2013. Sadly however, it looks like the nest is abandoned. When we checked it today, the eggs were already cold and wet.

Bar-tailed Godwit nest.
Bar-tailed Godwit nest.
'Sunset' on midsummer evening at Raurejaure.
‘Sunset’ on midsummer evening at Raurejaure.
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2 thoughts on “Chicks, phalaropes and phalarope chicks

  1. Juan June 27, 2014 / 8:32 pm

    Congrats for that Bar-tailed Godwit nest, marvellous!! Nice to see again Long-tailed Skua chicks over the treeline!

  2. Steve June 30, 2014 / 2:22 pm

    Phalarope loggers galore! Nice.

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