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Breeding biology and nesting success of palila

June 16, 2010

We studied the breeding biology of Palila (Loxioides bailleui ) at 85 nests from 20 April to 14 September 1988. Eggs were laid over a 139-day period and incubation averaged 16.6 days. The female incubated 85.2% of daylight hours and males fed incubating females. Modal clutch size was 2 (x super(-) = 2.0) and an average of 1.4 nestlings fledged per successful nest. Nestlings were in the nest an average of 25.3 days. Both females and males fed nestlings with the rate of feeding decreasing as the nestlings grew older. Palila nesting success was 25%, reduced primarily by hatching failure and depredation of nestlings. Hatching failure, due to inviable eggs or desertion, occurred in 41% of nests with eggs (55% of nest mortality). Egg depredation was rare (5% of nest mortality). Inbreeding and low food availability are postulated as the major causes for poor hatching success.