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Colony edges, as opposed to interiors, are often considered less advantageous nesting places in colonial species. For temperate-breeding penguins, inland colony edges should be less desirable than other edges, as there are added costs of walking farther inland, and ambient temperatures are higher. During settlement and incubation, we compared body condition and baseline and stress-induced levels of the hormone corticosterone in male Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) nesting on the sea edge of a colony with those nesting on the inland edge, >800 m from shore. Body condition in both groups was significantly lower during settlement than during incubation, but was similar in both groups within breeding stages. Corticosterone levels were similar between breeding stages and for groups within each breeding stage. While body condition can vary over time, penguins appear to be well buffered to physiological extremes, as they do not show modification of corticosterone levels with variations in nesting conditions.


Copyright 2004 University of California Press for Cooper Ornithological Society

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Walker, BG, PD Boersma, and JC Wingfield. 2004. Physiological condition in Magellanic Penguins: Does it matter if you have to walk a long way to your nest? Condor 106 (3):696-701.



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