Time-activity budgets in the family Anatidae are available for the wintering and breeding periods. We present the first flyway-level study of foraging time in a long-distance migrant, the Eurasian Green-winged Teal, Anas crecca crecca L., 1758 ("Teal"). Behavioral data from early and late spring staging, breeding, and molting sites were collected with standardized protocols to explore differences between the,sexes, seasons, and diel patterns. Teal foraging activity was compared with that of the Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos L., 1758 and Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata L., 1758, and the potential effects of duck density and predator-caused disturbance were explored. In early spring, foraging time was moderate (50.5%) and mostly nocturnal (45%). It increased dramatically in all three species at migration stopovers and during molt, mostly because of increased diurnal foraging, while nocturnal foraging remained fairly constant along the flyway. These patterns adhere to the "income breeding" strategy expected for this species. No differences between the sexes were recorded in either species studied. Teal foraging time was positively correlated with density of Teal and all ducks present, but negatively correlated with predator disturbance. Our study suggests that Teal, in addition to being income breeders, may also be considered as income migrants; they find the energy necessary to migrate at staging sites along the flyway.
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- Biological Sciences (106)