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Nesting biology of Lesser Canada Geese, Branta canadensis parvipes, along the Tanana River, Alaska

TitleNesting biology of Lesser Canada Geese, Branta canadensis parvipes, along the Tanana River, Alaska
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsEly, CR, Pearce, JM, Ruess, RW
JournalCanadian Field Naturalist
Volume122
Pagination29–33
Abstract

Lesser Canada Geese (Branta canadensis parvipes) are widespread throughout interior regions of Alaska and Canada, yetthere have been no published studies documenting basic aspects of their nesting biology. We conducted a study to determinereproductive parameters of Lesser Canada Geese nesting along the Tanana River near the city of Fairbanks, in interior Alaska.Fieldwork was conducted in May of 2003, and consisted of locating nests along the riparian corridor between Fairbanksand Northpole, Alaska. Nests were found on gravel islands and shore habitats along the Tanana River, and were most commonlyobserved among driftwood logs associated with patches of alder (Alnus spp.) and willow (Salix spp.). Peak of nest initiationwas 3-8 May, with a range from 27 April to 20 May; renesting was likely. Clutches ranged in size from 2 to 7 eggsand averaged 4.6 eggs. There was a negative correlation between clutch size and date of nest initiation. Egg size (&\#967; – mass =128 g) was similar to other medium-sized Canada Geese. A positive correlation between egg size and clutch size was likelyrelated to female age. Nineteen of 28 nests (68%) were active when visited; nests located on islands with nesting Mew Gulls(Larus canus) were more likely to be active than nests located elsewhere.

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