The little stint Calidris minuta is one of the smallest shorebird species breeding in the Arctic (weighing 4.3 g on hatching). Their chicks are small and have a high surface area-to-volume ratio. We determined prefledging growth, energy expenditure and time budgets for little stint chicks in northwestern Taimyr, Siberia. A modified power curve was introduced to model the relationship between daily energy expenditure and body mass. Total metabolisable energy, TME, over the 15-d prefledging period was 107% greater than the allometric prediction for a bird the size of a little stint. Their growth rate coefficient was 14% greater than the prediction for a bird their size. The growth of young chicks was reduced in cool weather, possibly due to a reduction in foraging time in order to be brooded and reduced food availability which impact foraging efficiency. We did not detect weather effects on energy expenditure of chicks, but lack of temperature variation during energy expenditure measurements may have prevented this. In sum, both growth rate coefficient and energy expenditure of little stint chicks were greater than predicted and this is similar to that observed in other arctic shorebird species.
- labeled water method
- breeding biology