Unexpected diversity in socially synchronized rhythms of shorebirds

Press/Media: ResearchPopular


Birds facing many predators at their nests have longer incubation spells than birds that do not have this problem. The latter can more easily change shifts without risking foxes or crows discovering their nests. This is what Czech and Belgian biologists Bulla and Kempenaers and researchers from Groningen have discovered. They have shown that there is great variety in shorebird incubation patterns. Whereas the birds of one species will be relieved by their mates every few hours, those of another can easily spend 20 hours on the nest. Fieldwork spanning 20 years that studied 32 species has revealed that predator avoidance dictates bird incubation habits. The findings were published in the journal Nature on 24 November.

Period16-Nov-2016 → 12-Dec-2016

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Media coverage


  • shorebirds