Parental differences in brood provisioning by hen harriers Circus Cyaneus: Capsule Females varied their provisioning patterns according to brood age and brood size, whereas males did not.

Fiona M. Leckie, Beatriz E. Arroyo, Simon J. Thirgood, Stephen M. Redpath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To quantify how parents balance the needs of their offspring for food and protection.
Methods: We studied 13 nests from hides and spent on average 101 hours per nest monitoring prey types, provisioning rate and the time spent at the nest by both sexes in relation to brood size and brood age.
Results: Males always provided more food than females. Males brought similar amounts of prey items irrespective of brood size and nestling age, whereas females brought more prey and bigger items to larger and older broods. Females spent less time brooding larger broods, particularly early on.
Conclusions: Hen Harrier parents share the provisioning burden, with each parent delivering prey as a function of brood care requirements, hunting capability and the behaviour of the other parent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalBird Study
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008



  • Hen Harrier
  • Circus Cyaneus
  • sexual differences
  • brood provisioning
  • parental investment
  • reproductive success
  • peregrine falcons
  • eurasian kestrel
  • food
  • prey
  • size
  • females
  • care
  • compensation
  • tinnunculus

Cite this