Courtship feeding in the South Island rifleman
- Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
[Abstract of a paper read at the Ecological Society Conference, 1983.]
Paired male rifleman feed their females prior to and during egg-laying of first clutches only until incubation commences. Most pairs of a small population near Kowhai Bush, Kaikoura were watched daily while foraging prior to the laying of the last egg of their clutch. The frequency and size of food items fed to females were recorded plus the amount of food retrieved by male or female in the same sample period. The frequency and volume of food fed to females by males throughout the pre-incubation period is presented independently and as a proportion of the females and males daily food intake. Results are discussed with respect to the hypothesis that courtship feeding contributes to the energy requirements of egg production.