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Prospecting During Egg Laying Informs Incubation Recess Movements of Eastern Wild Turkeys

We evaluated how hens prospected areas within the ranges they used during the laying period, to see if they visited places that they subsequently visited during incubation when they took breaks (recesses) from sitting on eggs.  We found that 57% of the places they went during incubation recesses were places they had visited during the 2 week laying period.  We also found that the number of patches that females had to visit positively impacted nest fate, meaning hens with more good places to forage within their incubation ranges were more successful.  Our findings suggest that these locations that hens visit during laying may be key to determining reproductive success, and that a diversity of patches to support hens during incubation is important.

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