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  • UC Riverside
  • College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Publications: Mark Chappell

Chappell MA, Bachman GC (2002) Energetic costs of begging behavior. In: The Evolution of Begging: Competition, Cooperation and Communication, J. Wright and M. Leonard, eds. Kluwer, Boston, pages 143-162.


ABSTRACT -- Energy expenditure during begging by nestling birds is of interest because of its potential role in the social dynamic between provisioning parents and their young. In this chapter we discuss methods of measuring the energy cost of begging and argue that continuous-flow respirometry is the method of choice. Evaluating the impact of begging on nestling energetics and fitness requires an estimate of nestling energy budgets. To date, studies show that the energy cost of begging comprises a very small fraction of the nestling's total energy budget. With existing estimates of the time budget and energy cost of begging, we calculate that even large increases in begging activity are likely to have little negative impact on nestling fitness. We suggest that additional work on begging energetics should broaden the range of behaviours and social groupings that are examined in order to explore the limits to begging activity in nestling birds.