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Growth and energy requirements of captive-reared common Loon (Gavia immer) chicks

Fournier, F., Karasov, W. H., Kenow, K. P., and others, 2007, Growth and energy requirements of captive-reared common loon (Gavia immer) chicks: Auk, v. 124, no. 4, p. 1158-1167.


We measured the energy requirements during postnatal development of six hand- reared Common Loon (Gavia immer) chicks using continuous feeding trials and doubly labeled water. At fledging, the mean (± SE) body mass of chicks was 3,246 ± 51 g. They reached asymptotic body mass in ∼66 days and had a mean growth rate constant of 0.089 ± 0.002 day-1, which was greater than growth rate constants of other, similar-sized precocial birds. Between hatch and day 66, chicks allocated 16.5% of their metabolizable energy to new tissue, lower than the average for other bird species (20%), which might be expected considering their precocial mode of development. There was a developmental change in the assimilation efficiency of food (metabolizable energy coefficient), with a mean of 0.64 ± 0.03 in chicks aged 21 days, rising to 0.83 ± 0.07 in chicks aged 35 days.


Allocation, Common Loon, Digestion, Gavia immer, Growth, Metabolizable Energy, Production, Respiration, Salmo gairdneri, Rainbow-Trout, Mercury

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