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Using Candlers to Determine the Incubation
Stage of Passerine Eggs

jpg -- Lark Bunting Egg

by

John T. Lokemoen and Rolf R. Koford1
Northern Prairie Science Center
National Biological Service
8711 37th Street SE
Jamestown, North Dakota 58401 USA


Abstract

Determining the incubation stage of bird eggs can provide important information to investigators conducting nesting studies. We describe the use of candlers in the field to determine the incubation stage in eggs of Lark Buntings (Calamospiza melanocorys) and other small birds with an incubation period of 11 - 13 d. Candling was accomplished easily using simple tools and did not involve the destruction of eggs or lengthy disturbance of nests. Candling is often preferable to other methods that rely on egg mass, mass-growth curves, or immersion of eggs in water.

This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 0978):
Lokemoen, John T. and Rolf R. Koford.  1996.  Using candlers to determine 
     the incubation stage of passerine eggs.  Journal of Field Ornithology 
     67(4):660-668.
This resource should be cited as:
Lokemoen, John T. and Rolf R. Koford.  1996.  Using candlers to determine 
     the incubation stage of passerine eggs.  Journal of Field Ornithology 
     67(4):660-668.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center 
     Online.  http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/candegg/index.htm
     (Version 16JUL97).   

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

We thank Ray Thielman for photographic advice and fine work in the darkroom. We appreciate the helpful comments on the manuscript by reviewers Jane Austin, Larry Igl, Pam Pietz, and Carol Vleck.
1Current address: National Biological Service, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011 USA
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