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Abstract

Thermoregulation is fully developed in 5 day old Wilson's storm petrels Oceanites oceanicus (Kuhl). Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and body temperature (Tb) of unattended 1- and 3-day old chicks continuously decrease at ambient temperature (Ta) of 5°C. After being heated the chicks return to normothermia. Ability to survive temporal deep hypothermia seems to be an adaptation to absence of parents and low temperatures in the nest during first days of life. After snow storm, during two days of starvation, chick RMR decreases by 40% at Ta of 0°C, but chick Tb is stable. This suggest decrease of thermal conductance (Ct). Fall of Ct may suggest beginning of hypohermia.
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Abstract

Energy delivered to the nests of Wilson's storm petrel, Oceanites oceanicus (Kuhl, 1820), was evaluated by measurement of the oxygen consumption of brooding adult birds and nestlings of different ages. During the brooding period adult birds have to deliver more than 180 kJ per visit to the nest vs. less than 170 kJ during the rest of the nesting period. It seems likely that the parental ability to deliver large quantities of food per visit affects the duration of the brooding period and therefore also affects growth rates of Wilson's storm petrel chicks and the duration of their nesting period.
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