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CLUTCH SIZE IN CAROLINA CHICKADEES.

CLUTCH SIZE IN CAROLINA CHICKADEES. T. David Pitts, The University of Tennessee, Martin, Martin, Tennessee. Carolina Chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) are small (body mass of approximately 10 g), cavity-nesting birds that are permanent residents in Tennessee woodlands, Each female chickadee typically lays only one clutch of eggs per year. In northwestern Tennessee where I have studied Carolina Chickadees since 1970, the earliest clutches are initiated in March and the latest clutches are laid in May; the peak of egg laying typically occurs in late March and early April. Clutches in Tennessee range in size from 2-8 eggs. Both mean clutch size and maximum clutch size increase from south to north across the range of Carolina Chickadees, which includes 20+ states in the southeastern part of the United States. Within each nesting season, clutch size and laying date are inversely related. Unlike some other species of parids, nest cavity size has not been shown to significantly affect clutch size in Carolina Chickad ees. Approximately 60% of the females that nested in more than one year laid clutches of the same size each year. All of the clutches of 8, the largest clutches observed, were laid during 1978-1983, the six-year period with the coldest winters that occurred during my study.
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Author:JORDAN, RAY
Publication:Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U6TN
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:207
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