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All you can eat: do peck rates of Greylag Geese (Anser anser) vary with age and social status?


Peck rates (pecks/min) were used to compare the relative frequencies of food intake of Greylag Geese (Anser anser) of different gosling ages and of different social statuses. As the goslings grew up, their peck rates increased, and by the time of fledging they had reached the level of nonbreeders. Parent birds pecked the fastest. This may be due to the fact that they spent more time being vigilant over their goslings and as a result had less time for feeding, thus compensating for their lack of time by pecking faster.


„All you can eat“: Einfluss von Alter und Sozialstatus auf die Pickraten von Graugänsen ( Anser anser )

Um die relative Nahrungsaufnahmerate von Graugänsen (Anser anser) verschiedener Altersklassen bei Gösseln und verschiedenem Sozialstatus zu vergleichen, wurden Pickraten (Picks/min) erhoben. Je älter die Gössel wurden, desto schneller pickten sie und erreichten zum Zeitpunkt des Flüggewerdens die Werte von adulten Nichtbrütern. Elterntiere pickten am schnellsten. Dies könnte daran liegen, dass sie viel Zeit mit dem Sichern ihrer Gössel verbrachten und daher weniger Zeit zum Fressen zur Verfügung hatten, was sie durch schnelleres Picken kompensierten.

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We are most grateful to all the volunteers who helped during the moult catches. J. Steidle from the University of Hohenheim kindly supervised this study. All necessary permits to carry out this research were obtained from the German authorities, including the regional council, the environmental representative, the tenant of the shoot, the landowner, and the Environmental Protection Office.

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Correspondence to Friederike Woog.

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Communicated by F. Bairlein.

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Woog, F., Schwarz, K. & Hulme, M. All you can eat: do peck rates of Greylag Geese (Anser anser) vary with age and social status?. J Ornithol 153, 1025–1029 (2012).

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  • Feeding performance
  • Gosling age classes
  • Growth