Milonoff, M., Pöysä, H. & Runko, P. 1998: Factors affecting clutch size and duckling survival in the common goldeneye Bucephala clangula. - Wildl. Biol. 4: 73-80.
Female age and condition as well as nesting schedule may affect clutch size and chick survival, which both are important factors affecting the annual reproductive output. Clutch size and chick survival are often interrelated in altricial birds but in precocial species the interrelation is dubious. To study factors affecting clutch size and the survival of ducklings in the common goldeneye Bucephala clangula, we examined ringing-recovery data, supplied by ringers, from seven intensively studied goldeneye populations from different parts of Finland. Due to large sample sizes it was possible to distinquish the effects of interrelated variables, e.g. female age and hatching date. Clutch size was significantly associated with both female age and hatching date; first-time breeders and late breeders had small clutches. Clutch size was not associated with female condition. The recovery rate of ducklings was associated with hatching date (low in late broods) but not with female age, condition or brood size. The natal brood sizes of recruited female ducklings did not differ from annual averages, but the natal hatching date of recruited females was earlier and their mothers were older than annual averages in the populations into which the recruited females were born. The timing of nesting was the most important factor affecting the reproductive output of common goldeneye females in a given year.
Key words: brood size, Bucephala clangula, clutch size, common goldeneye, duckling survival, reproductive output
Markku Milonoff & Hannu Pöysä, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Evo Game Research Station, Kaitalammintie 75, FIN-16970 Evo, Finland - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pentti Runko, Jukolantie 1, FIN-71750 Maaninka, Finland
Received 4 March 1997, accepted 15 January 1998
Associate Editor: Kjell-Einar Erikstad