The flightless period of free-living male Teal Anas crecca in northern Sweden



A total of 126 flightless adult male Teal was caught in 1982 and 1983 in a moulting area in northern Sweden (63° 53′N). The birds were weighed and the stage of development of their primaries and secondaries measured. During the flightless period, the weight of the birds decreased by an average of 10% in 1982 and 19% in 1983. This weight decrease allows the birds to fly before their primaries and secondaries are full-grown. The weight loss is considered to be an adaptation making it possible, for example, for lighter birds to escape predators sooner after moulting. Birds varied greatly in the dates at which they initiated their flightless period, that is, from the end of June to the end of July. Thus, it is probable that both local birds and birds from distant breeding grounds were present in the moulting area.