WorldWideScience

Sample records for blackbird euphagus cyanocephalus

  1. Using the spatial filtering process to evaluate the nonbreeding range of Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul Hamel; Esra. Ozdenrol

    2008-01-01

    During the nonbreeding period, Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) occurs predominantly in forested wetland habitats in the southeastern U.S. We used spatial filtering of Christmas Bird Count data to identify areas within the nonbreeding range where the species occurs at higher than expected probability. Spatial filtering is an epidemiological modeling process...

  2. Migratory connectivity in the Rusty Blackbird: Isotopic evidence from feathers of historical and contemporary specimens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith A. Hobson; Russell Greenberg; Steven L. Van Wilgenburg; Claudia. Mettke-Hofmann

    2010-01-01

    The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) has declined dramatically across its range in North America since at least the 1960s, but the causes for this decline are unknown. We measured ratios of stable hydrogen isotopes (δD) in feathers collected from Rusty Blackbirds wintering in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (n = 255 birds) and the coastal plain of South Carolina...

  3. Prevalence of hematozoa infections among breeding and wintering Rusty Blackbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    William H. Barnard; Claudia Mettke-Hofmann; Steven M. Matsuoka

    2010-01-01

    The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) has declined precipitously over the past several decades,and stressors on both the breeding and wintering grounds are suspected causes. Over 3 years, we collected blood samples from breeding birds in Alaska and Maine and from wintering birds in Mississippi and Arkansas to determine the prevalence of hematozoan infections at...

  4. Historical trends in rusty blackbird nonbreeding habitat in forested wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul B. Hamel; Diane De Steven; Ted Leininger; Randy. Wilson

    2009-01-01

    Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) populations have declined perhaps 95% in the recent past, creating legitimate concern that the species may become endangered. During the nonbreeding period the species occurs predominantly in southern U.S. forested wetland habitats, with concentrations in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and in the southeastern...

  5. Geographic and seasonal variation in mercury exposure of the declining Rusty Blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel T. Edmonds; David C. Evers; Daniel A. Cristol; Claudia Mettke-Hofmann; Luke L. Powell

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that mercury exposure has negative effects on the health of songbirds, and species that forage in wetlands may be at a greater risk of bioaccumulation of mercury than are those of other habitats. We examined mercury concentrations in blood and feathers from the wetland obligate and rapidly declining Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) from...

  6. Tricolored Blackbird - Monitoring [ds98

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — Observations recorded during breeding season surveys for tricolored blackbirds conducted across their range in California primarily during the 1994, 1995, 1996,...

  7. Tricolored Blackbird - Monitoring [ds98

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — Observations recorded during breeding season surveys for tricolored blackbirds conducted across their range in California primarily during the 1994, 1995, 1996,...

  8. Tricolored Blackbird - Breeding [ds20

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — These data come from observations of breeding tricolored blackbirds throughout their range in California. NAD27 coordinates are given in the data for each record....

  9. Tricolored Blackbird - Breeding [ds20

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — These data come from observations of breeding tricolored blackbirds throughout their range in California. NAD27 coordinates are given in the data for each record....

  10. Undirected (solitary birdsong in female and male blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus and its endocrine correlates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Geberzahn

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Birdsong is a popular model system in research areas such as vocal communication, neuroethology or neuroendocrinology of behaviour. As most research has been conducted on species with male-only song production, the hormone-dependency of male song is well established. However, female singing and its mechanisms are poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We characterised the song and its endocrine correlates of blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus, a species in which both sexes sing. Like other estrildids, they produce directed song during courtship and undirected (or solitary song in isolation, i.e. when the mate is not visible or absent. We compare solitary song of blue-capped cordon-bleus to published descriptions of the song of its relative, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata. Solitary song of cordon-bleus shared some overall song features with that of zebra finches but differed in spectro-temporal song features, sequential stereotypy and sequential organisation. The song of cordon-bleus was dimorphic with respect to the larger size of syllable repertoires, the higher song duration and the lower variability of pitch goodness (measuring the pureness of harmonic sounds in males. However, in both sexes the overall plasma testosterone concentrations were low (ca. 300 pg/ml and did not correlate with the sexually dimorphic song motor pattern. Despite such low concentrations, the increase in the rate of solitary song coincided with an increase in the level of testosterone. Furthermore, the latency to start singing after the separation from the mate was related to hormone levels. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that the occurrence of solitary song but not its motor pattern might be under the control of testosterone in female and male cordon-bleus.

  11. Aliens or the SR-71 Blackbird?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Michael J.

    2006-04-01

    Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) capture the interest of our students and the general public.1,2 Here is a UFO story I tell my students to illustrate the workings of science. Science, at its most fundamental level, is observation and an attempt to analyze what is observed. But what happens when an observation cannot be explained with the available knowledge at the time? What do we do? The UFO sighting of my story could not be explained until disclosure of a top-secret military aircraft, the SR-71, also known as the "Blackbird."

  12. Performance Monitoring Enterprise Applications with the BlackBird System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, João P.; da Silva, Alberto Rodrigues; Silva, Fernando M.

    This work describes the BlackBird system, which is an analysis and monitoring service for data-intensive enterprise applications, without restrictions on the targeted architecture or employed technologies. A case study is presented for the monitoring of Billing applications from Vodafone Portugal. Monitoring systems are an essential tool for the effective management of Enterprise Applications and the attainment of the demanding service level agreements imposed to these applications. However, due to the increasing complexity and diversity of these applications, adequate monitoring systems are rarely available. The BlackBird monitoring system is able to interact with these applications through different technologies employed by the Monitored Application, and is able to produce Metrics regarding the application service level goals. The BlackBird system can be specified using a set of pre-defined Configuration Objects, allowing it to be extensible and adaptable for applications with different architectures.

  13. Allowable take of a population of red-winged blackbirds in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runge, Michael C.; Sauer, John

    2017-01-01

    Red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which has provisions against take. Blackbirds may be taken legally without a Federal permit, however, under an existing Depredation Order (50 CFR 21.43), which allows for take of blackbirds that are in the process of doing, or about to do, agricultural damage. Modeling the effect of take on blackbird population allows us to balance the conservation protections of the MBTA with the protection of agricultural interests. A quantitative framework based on harvest theory, demography, and population status has been used to assess the allowable take of a number of species of birds under the MBTA. In this chapter, we calculate allowable levels of take for two populations of red-winged blackbirds in the northern Great Plains from estimates of intrinsic growth rate and population size.

  14. WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS OF AGRICULTURALLY IMPACTED TIDAL BLACKBIRD CREEK, DELAWARE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Stone

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Blackbird Creek, Delaware is a small watershed in northern Delaware that has a significant proportion of land designated for agricultural land use. The Blackbird Creek water monitoring program was initiated in 2012 to assess the condition of the watershed’s habitats using multiple measures of water quality. Habitats were identified based on percent adjacent agricultural land use. Study sites varying from five to fourteen were sampled biweekly during April and November, 2012-2015. Data were analyzed using principal component analysis and generalized linear modeling. Results from these first four years of data documented no significant differences in water quality parameters (dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, inorganic nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, orthophosphate, alkalinity, and turbidity between the two habitats, although both orthophosphate and turbidity were elevated beyond EPA-recommended values. There were statistically significant differences for all of the parameters between agriculture seasons. The lack of notable differences between habitats suggests that, while the watershed is generally impacted by agricultural land use practices, there appears to be no impact on the surface water chemistry. Because there were no differences between habitats, it was concluded that seasonal differences were likely due to basic seasonal variation and were not a function of agricultural land use practices.

  15. Does song complexity matter in an intra-sexual context in common blackbirds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hesler, Nana; Sacher, Thomas; Coppack, Timothy

    Bird song is thought to be subject of both inter- and intra-sexual selection and song complexity a signal of male quality. One aspect of song complexity, repertoire size, correlates with estimates of male quality in several passerine species.  The Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) has a large...... repertoire of different song patterns which are organized in a complex structure without fixed song types. Previous studies found that Blackbirds show large individual differences in repertoire sizes and use these repertoires in both inter- and intra-sexual contexts. In this study we investigate the signal...... value of repertoire size in Blackbirds in an intra-sexual context with the hypothesis, that males use the repertoire sizes of rivals as a cue to assess their quality. We conducted playback experiments in which we broadcast songs of conspecifics with different repertoire sizes to the test birds...

  16. Food color, flavor, and conditioned avoidance among red-winged blackbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Scott J; Kimball, Bruce A; Provenza, Frederick D

    2008-01-28

    The relationship between food flavors and postingestive feedback enables mammalian herbivores to procure nutrients and avoid toxins within ever-changing environments. We conducted four experiments with red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) in captivity to determine the relative roles of color and flavor cues paired with negative postingestive feedback. We first conducted baseline tests to assess preferences for colors and flavors. All blackbirds preferred red- to blue-colored food, and they preferred umami- (l-alanine) flavored to bitter/astringent food (tannic acid). We observed no difference in consumption of salty (NaCl) vs sour (citric acid) foods during baseline tests (i.e., neutral flavors). We then conditioned experimentally naïve blackbirds with intraperitoneal injections of lithium chloride (LiCl) to avoid food treated with red and l-alanine, or red and NaCl (n=30 birds per conditioning group). Subsequent to conditioning with LiCl, three test groups were established from each conditioned group to evaluate color and flavor preferences, and preferences for novel color-flavor pairings (e.g., red/tannic acid vs blue/l-alanine). Blackbirds avoided red and salty food throughout the 4-day test. Avoidance conditioned with LiCl extinguished for preferred flavors, but not for colors, of food. Conditioning affected indifference for the otherwise preferred flavor and avoidance for the otherwise neutral flavor. Relative to the neutral-flavor conditioning group, the group conditioned with a preferred flavor exhibited stronger conditioned avoidance of colored food. Unlike conditioned flavor avoidance, birds were conditioned to avoid red food only when blue food was made familiar prior to conditioning. Collectively, these results illustrate that blackbirds used affective processes (flavor-feedback relationships) to shift preference for both novel and familiar flavors, and cognitive associations (colors) to avoid food, subsequent to toxin exposure. We discuss the

  17. Campylobacter jejuni sequence types show remarkable spatial and temporal stability in Blackbirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Griekspoor

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: The zoonotic bacterium Campylobacter jejuni has a broad host range but is especially associated with birds, both domestic and wild. Earlier studies have indicated thrushes of the genus Turdus in Europe to be frequently colonized with C. jejuni, and predominately with host-associated specific genotypes. The European Blackbird Turdus merula has a large distribution in Europe, including some oceanic islands, and was also introduced to Australia by European immigrants in the 1850s. Methods: The host specificity and temporal stability of European Blackbird C. jejuni was investigated with multilocus sequence typing in a set of isolates collected from Sweden, Australia, and The Azores. Results: Remarkably, we found that the Swedish, Australian, and Azorean isolates were genetically highly similar, despite extensive spatial and temporal isolation. This indicates adaptation, exquisite specificity, and stability in time for European Blackbirds, which is in sharp contrast with the high levels of recombination and mutation found in poultry-related C. jejuni genotypes. Conclusion: The maintenance of host-specific signals in spatially and temporally separated C. jejuni populations suggests the existence of strong purifying selection for this bacterium in European Blackbirds.

  18. Usutu Virus in Blackbirds (Turdus merula), Czech Republic, 2011-2012

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hubálek, Zdeněk; Rudolf, Ivo; Čapek, Miroslav; Bakonyi, T.; Betášová, Lenka; Nowotny, N.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 3 (2014), s. 273-276 ISSN 1865-1674 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Usutu virus * blackbird * Turdus merula * Czechland Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.944, year: 2014

  19. Spatially explicit modeling of blackbird abundance in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forcey, Greg M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Linz, George M.; McKann, Patrick C.; Crimmins, Shawn M.

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of factors influencing animal abundance is important to wildlife biologists developing management plans. This is especially true for economically important species such as blackbirds (Icteridae), which cause more than $100 million in crop damages annually in the United States. Using data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the National Land Cover Dataset, and the National Climatic Data Center, we modeled effects of regional environmental variables on relative abundance of 3 blackbird species (red-winged blackbird,Agelaius phoeniceus; yellow-headed blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus; common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula) in the Prairie Pothole Region of the central United States. We evaluated landscape covariates at 3 logarithmically related spatial scales (1,000 ha, 10,000 ha, and 100,000 ha) and modeled weather variables at the 100,000-ha scale. We constructed models a priori using information from published habitat associations. We fit models with WinBUGS using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques. Both landscape and weather variables contributed strongly to predicting blackbird relative abundance (95% credibility interval did not overlap 0). Variables with the strongest associations with blackbird relative abundance were the percentage of wetland area and precipitation amount from the year before bird surveys were conducted. The influence of spatial scale appeared small—models with the same variables expressed at different scales were often in the best model subset. This large-scale study elucidated regional effects of weather and landscape variables, suggesting that management strategies aimed at reducing damages caused by these species should consider the broader landscape, including weather effects, because such factors may outweigh the influence of localized conditions or site-specific management actions. The regional species distributional models we developed for blackbirds provide a tool for understanding these broader

  20. Song repertoire size correlates with measures of body size in Eurasian blackbirds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hesler, Nana; Mundry, Roger; Sacher, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    In most oscine bird species males possess a repertoire of different song patterns. The size of these repertoires is assumed to serve as an honest signal of male quality. The Eurasian blackbird’s (Turdus merula) song contains a large repertoire of different element types with a flexible song organ...... is linked to overall male quality, our results are in accordance with the hypothesis that repertoire size represents an honest signal in Eurasian blackbirds that has evolved in response to sexual selection....

  1. Long-term effects of chronic light pollution on seasonal functions of European blackbirds (turdus merula)

    OpenAIRE

    Quetting, M.; Dominoni, D.M.; Partecke, J.

    2013-01-01

    Light pollution is known to affect important biological functions of wild animals, including daily and annual cycles. However, knowledge about long-term effects of chronic exposure to artificial light at night is still very limited. Here we present data on reproductive physiology, molt and locomotor activity during two-year cycles of European blackbirds (Turdus merula) exposed to either dark nights or 0.3 lux at night. As expected, control birds kept under dark nights exhibited two regular te...

  2. Blood-feeding patterns of the Culex pipiens complex in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Matthew J; Thiemann, Tara; Macedo, Paula; Brown, David A; Scott, Thomas W

    2011-03-01

    Mosquitoes in the Culex pipiens complex are competent vectors of West Nile virus (WNV; family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) in the laboratory, and field-collected mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in California and elsewhere. A better understanding of Cx. pipiens complex blood-feeding patterns will help define the threat that these mosquitoes pose to human health and their role in WNV amplification in northern California. We collected blood-engorged Cx. pipiens complex mosquitoes from resting sites near and away from human habitation in Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene sequences were used to identify the vertebrate species from which blood meals were taken. Of 330 engorged mosquitoes collected at 28 sites from June through August 2007 and May through August 2008, >99% fed on an avian host. Three mosquitoes contained bovine blood and none had fed on a human. American Robins (Turdus migratorius) were bitten most often, and the proportion of American Robin blood meals increased significantly over the summer. Other important avian hosts included House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta), and Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura). In rural areas, Barn Swallows, Brewer's Blackbirds (Euphagus cyanocephalus), and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) were frequent hosts. In settings near human habitation, Mourning Doves and Western Meadowlarks were common hosts. Our data indicate that in north central California mosquitoes in the Cx. pipiens complex may be more important as epiornitic than epidemic vectors of WNV.

  3. Blackbirds Turdus merula as competent reservoirs for Borrelia turdi and Borrelia valaisiana in Portugal: evidence from a xenodiagnostic experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norte, Ana C; Lopes de Carvalho, Isabel; Núncio, Maria S; Ramos, Jaime A; Gern, Lise

    2013-08-01

    To confirm that thrushes, such as blackbirds Turdus merula, play a role as reservoir for some Borrelia genospecies, we performed a xenodiagnostic experiment with blackbirds captured in a mixed wood located in Western Portugal where Borrelia turdi, an uncommon genospecies in Europe, was the most prevalent genospecies associated with birds. Two out of five birds harboured B. turdi infected Ixodes frontalis at the time of capture. Four out of five birds transmitted spirochaetes to Ixodes ricinus xenodiagnostic ticks: two birds transmitted Borrelia valaisiana to 25.7% and 10.5% of ticks, and two transmitted B. turdi to 6.4% and 5.4% of ticks. Our results showed that blackbirds transmit B. valaisiana and B. turdi to I. ricinus feeding larvae, acting as reservoir hosts for these genospecies in nature. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  4. Blackbird Creek Monitoring Program to Study the impact of Climate Change and Land Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozbay, G.; Chintapenta, L. K.; Roeske, K. P.; Stone, M.; Phalen, L.

    2014-12-01

    The Blackbird Creek Monitoring Program at Delaware State University continues to utilize various perspectives to study the dynamics of one of Delaware's most pristine ecosystems. The water quality of Blackbird Creek has been constantly monitored for 3 years and correlated with the rain and storm events. Soil nutrients composition has been studied by extracting the water associated with soil aggregates and analyzing the levels of different nutrients. Soil quality is also assessed for heavy metals to identify potential human impact that may affect the health of ecosystem. Within the Blackbird Creek there is a threat to native plant communities from invasive plant species as they alter the ecosystem dynamics. Saltmarsh cord grass (Spartina alterniflora) and common reed (Phragmites australius) are the common wetland plants. Aerial mapping of the creek has been conducted to determine the area covered by invasive plant species. The microbial community structure plays a key role in soil carbon and nitrogen cycles in the ecosystem. Molecular analysis has been performed to study the microbial diversity with respect to the type of marsh grasses. This program has also incorporated the use of diatoms as biological indicators to assess the health of ecosystem and correlate that data with physical and chemical water quality data. The abundance and diversity of macro fauna such as blue crabs, fish and other significant species has also been studied. Stable isotopic analysis of these macro fauna has also been performed to study the food web. The results from this program will be helpful in addressing environmental challenges and designing management strategies.

  5. Reproductive rate and temporal spacing of nesting of red-winged blackbirds in upland habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolbeer, Richard A.

    1976-01-01

    The literature contains numerous studies on Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) reproduction. Francis (1971) summarized eight studies dealing with nesting success. These and other studies have also provided information on breeding chronology, clutch sizes, sex ratios, survival rates for eggs and nestlings, reproductive physiology, and other life history aspects of reproduction. With few exceptions, these studies have provided no data on the number of young fledged per female, per territorial male, or per unit area. This is especially true for upland nesting habitats where, at least in the midwestern United States, most Red-wings now nest (Graber and Graber 1963, Dyer et al. 1973). Also insufficient quantitative information is available on the extent and nature of renesting (i.e. nesting more than once in a nesting season) and on movements of adult females during the nesting season.A better understanding of these aspects of reproduction is critical for the development of an accurate population-dynamics model for the species. Such a model is sorely needed to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of proposed population management strategies in places where blackbirds are deemed a health or safety hazard, or cause damage to agricultural crops (Tosh et al. 1970, Solman 1971, Stone et al. 1972).This study had three objectives: (1) to determine the distribution, size, and number of Red-winged Blackbird territories for an old-field habitat; (2) to determine the number of nesting females, nesting success, extent of renesting, and number of young fledged for these territories; and (3) to examine movements of female Red-wings during the nesting season.

  6. Retrospective Comparison of the Occurrence and Abundance of Rusty Blackbird in the Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories

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    Craig S. Machtans

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Rusty Blackbird is listed as a species of "special concern" by the Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada, and has shown steep population declines in recent decades. Forty-five locations with historical survey data from the 1970s in the Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories, Canada were revisited in 2006 to check for changes in the occurrence or abundance of Rusty Blackbird. Our retrospective analysis revealed a number of analytical challenges for such comparisons that we describe. The number of lakes on which this species occurred does not appear to have declined significantly in the past three decades when a correction for survey duration was applied. The range-wide decline of 5.1%/yr based on Christmas Bird Count data would have resulted in 2006 occupancy at ≈5 lakes. We estimate that with correction this would have increased to ≈26. However, naive or unadjusted analyses with a Chi-squared test showed a significant decline. A simulated resampling of the historical data was performed using a repeatability factor of 62% that was derived from a subset of historical lakes that was visited twice in the 1970s. Only 8 of 13 lakes resurveyed had the same results on both historical visits. Our unadjusted 2006 results are a likely outcome, i.e., a 14.9% chance of finding this result, when this repeatability factor is considered, and the likelihood of no change is higher when our corrected data are considered. The possibility of double counting in the historical data further reduced the likelihood of a large decline in relative abundance. Therefore, Rusty Blackbird occurrence does not appear to have changed significantly in the past 33 yr in the Mackenzie Valley. We conclude with a qualitative discussion that supports the notion that declines in the southern parts of their range may be a large factor in the observed rates of population decline.

  7. Characterization of a de novo assembled transcriptome of the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula

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    Sven Koglin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background In recent years, next generation high throughput sequencing technologies have proven to be useful tools for investigations concerning the genomics or transcriptomics also of non-model species. Consequently, ornithologists have adopted these technologies and the respective bioinformatics tools to survey the genomes and transcriptomes of a few avian non-model species. The Common Blackbird is one of the most common bird species living in European cities, which has successfully colonized urban areas and for which no reference genome or transcriptome is publicly available. However, to target questions like genome wide gene expression analysis, a reference genome or transcriptome is needed. Methods Therefore, in this study two Common Blackbirds were sacrificed, their mRNA was isolated and analyzed by RNA-Seq to de novo assemble a transcriptome and characterize it. Illumina reads (125 bp paired-end and a Velvet/Oases pipeline led to 162,158 transcripts. For the annotation (using Blast+, an unfiltered protein database was used. SNPs were identified using SAMtools and BCFtools. Furthermore, mRNA from three single tissues (brain, heart and liver of the same two Common Blackbirds were sequenced by Illumina (75 bp single-end reads. The draft transcriptome and the three single tissues were compared by their BLAST hits with the package VennDiagram in R. Results Following the annotation against protein databases, we found evidence for 15,580 genes in the transcriptome (all well characterized hits after annotation. On 18% of the assembled transcripts, 144,742 SNPs were identified which are, consequently, 0.09% of all nucleotides in the assembled transcriptome. In the transcriptome and in the single tissues (brain, heart and liver, 10,182 shared genes were found. Discussion Using a next-generation technology and bioinformatics tools, we made a first step towards the genomic investigation of the Common Blackbird. The de novo assembled transcriptome is

  8. Breeding biology of the European Blackbird Turdus merula in orange orchards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Zeraoula

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available During two successive years (2013–2014, we studied the breeding ecology of the European Blackbird Turdus merula in Guelma province, north-east of Algeria. The study was carried out in orange orchards of the region. We investigated nest placement in the orange trees and determined the factors of reproductive failure at this study area. Nests were placed at low height (mean ± SD = 1.42 ± 0.04 m and located near the trunk (mean ± SD = 0.61 ± 0.04 m. The breeding season occurred between mid-May and mid-June and the peak of egg laying took place during the first half of May. The mean clutch size was 2.96 ± 0.05, density of breeding pairs was 0.83 ± 0.30 p/ha. The breeding success reported in the present study was higher than that recorded in other studies. Predation was the leading cause of nest failure of the population under investigation. The present study shows that the orange orchards appear to be the preferred breeding area for Blackbird population.

  9. Effects of the mosquito larvicide GB-1111 on red-winged blackbird embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albers, P.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Buscemi, D.M.; Melancon, M.J.

    2003-01-01

    Mosquito larvicide GB-1111 poses a minimal risk to red-winged blackbird embryos when applied according to product label guidance. - Golden Bear Oil (GB-1111; legal trade name for GB-1313) is a petroleum distillate that is used in the United States and other countries as a larvicide for mosquito suppression. As part of a multi-species evaluation of the potential effects of GB-1111 on birds, red-winged blackbird eggs were collected, artificially incubated, and treated with one of five amounts of GB-1111 varying from 0 to 10 times the expected exposure from a spray application of the maximum recommended amount (X=47 l/ha, 5 gal/ac). The application of 10 X caused a significant reduction in hatching success. A dose-related reduction of hepatic microsomal monooxygenase activity (EROD) was detected. Among body weights, skeletal measurements, and age at death, only crownrump length was different among experimental groups. Overall, the potential hazard to embryos of a representative wetland passerine appears minimal until the application rate exceeds 3 X

  10. Sampling to estimate population size and detect trends in Tricolored Blackbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meese, Robert; Yee, Julie L.; Holyoak, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    The Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) is a medium-sized passerine that nests in the largest colonies of any North American landbird since the extinction of the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) over 100 years ago (Beedy and Hamilton 1999). The species has a restricted range that occurs almost exclusively within California, with only a few hundred birds scattered in small groups in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and northwestern Baja California, Mexico (Beedy and Hamilton 1999). Tricolored Blackbirds are itinerant breeders (i.e., breed more than once per year in different locations) and use a wide variety of nesting substrates (Hamilton 1998), many of which are ephemeral. They are also insect dependent during the breeding season, and reproductive success is strongly correlated with relative insect abundance (Meese 2013). Researchers have noted for decades that Tricolored Blackbird’s insect prey are highly variable in space and time; Payne (1969), for example, described the species as a grasshopper follower because they are preferred food items, and high grasshopper abundance is often associated with high reproductive success (Payne 1969, Meese 2013). Thus, the species’ basic reproductive strategy is tied to rather infrequent periods of relatively high insect abundance in some locations followed by much longer periods of range -wide relatively low insect abundance and poor reproductive success. Of course, anthropogenic factors such as habitat loss and insecticide use may be at least partly responsible for these patterns (Hallman et al. 2014, Airola et al. 2014).

  11. Cryptosporidium galli and novel Cryptosporidium avian genotype VI in North American red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chelladurai, J.J.; Clark, M.E.; Kváč, Martin; Holubová, Nikola; Khan, E.; Stenger, B.L.S.; Giddings, C.W.; McEvoy, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 115, č. 5 (2016), s. 1901-1906 ISSN 0932-0113 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Cryptosporidium * Red-winged blackbird * Passerines * Cryptosporidium galli * Avian genotypeVI * Proventriculus * Intestine Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.329, year: 2016

  12. Mercury concentrations in eggs of red-winged blackbirds and tree swallows breeding in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyser, Robin W.; Rolfhus, Kristofer R.; Wiener, James G.; Windels, Steve K.; Custer, Thomas W.; Dummer, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Most investigations of the environmental effects of mercury (Hg) have focused on aquatic food webs that include piscivorous fish or wildlife. However, recent investigations have shown that other species, including passerine songbirds, may also be at risk from exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). We quantified Hg concentrations in eggs of two species of songbirds, red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), nesting in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, USA. Geometric mean concentrations of total Hg (THg) were lower in red-winged blackbird eggs [218 and 107 ng/g dry weight (dw) for 2012 and 2013, respectively] than in tree swallow eggs (228 and 300 ng/g dw for 2012 and 2013, respectively), presumably reflecting differences in the trophic positions of these two species. Concentrations of MeHg averaged 98.4 % of THg in red-winged blackbird eggs. Levels of THg observed in this study were well below critical toxicological benchmarks commonly applied to eggs of avian species, suggesting these breeding populations were not adversely affected by exposure to MeHg. In red-winged blackbirds, concentrations of THg in eggs collected in 2012 were twice those in eggs collected in 2013. Hg levels in eggs of both species increased with date of clutch initiation. In red-winged blackbirds, for example, temporal patterns showed that a 3-week delay in clutch initiation increased egg THg by 60 %. These observations indicate that in ovo exposure of wetland birds to MeHg can vary significantly within nesting season as well as between years.

  13. Comparison of immune responses of brown-headed cowbird and related blackbirds to West Nile and other mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisen, W.K.; Hahn, D.C.

    2007-01-01

    The rapid geographic spread of West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) across the United States has stimulated interest in comparative host infection studies to delineate competent avian hosts critical for viral amplification. We compared the host competence of four taxonomically related blackbird species (Icteridae) after experimental infection with WNV and with two endemic, mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses, western equine encephalomyelitis virus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus, WEEV), and St, Louis encephalitis virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, SLEV). We predicted differences in disease resistance among the blackbird species based on differences in life history, because they differ in geographic range and life history traits that include mating and breeding systems. Differences were observed among the response of these hosts to all three viruses, Red-winged Blackbirds were more susceptible to SLEV than Brewer's Blackbirds, whereas Brewer's Blackbirds were more susceptible to WEEV than Red-winged Blackbirds. In response to WNV infection, cowbirds showed the lowest mean viremias, cleared their infections faster, and showed lower antibody levels than concurrently infected species. Brown-headed Cowbirds also exhibited significantly lower viremia responses after infection with SLEV and WEEV as well as coinfection with WEEV and WNV than concurrently infected icterids. We concluded that cowbirds may be more resistant to infection to both native and introduced viruses because they experience heightened exposure to a variety of pathogens of parenting birds during the course of their parasitic life style.

  14. European Blackbirds Exposed to Aircraft Noise Advance Their Chorus, Modify Their Song and Spend More Time Singing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sierro

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Noise pollution has a strong impact on wildlife by disrupting vocal communication or inducing physiological stress. Songbirds are particularly reliant on vocal communication as they use song during territorial and sexual interactions. Birds living in noisy environments have been shown to change the acoustic and temporal parameters of their song presumably to maximize signal transmissibility. Also, research shows that birds advance their dawn chorus in urban environments to avoid the noisiest hours, but little is known on the consequences of these changes in the time they spent singing at dawn. Here we present a comprehensive view of the European blackbird singing behavior living next to a large airport in Madrid, using as a control a population living in a similar but silent forest. Blackbird song is composed of two parts: a series of loud low-frequency whistles (motif and a final flourish (twitter. We found that airport blackbirds were more likely to sing songs without the twitter part. Also, when songs included a twitter part, airport blackbirds used a smaller proportion of song for the twitter than control blackbirds. Interestingly, our results show no differences in song frequency between airport and control populations. However airport blackbirds not only sang earlier but also increased the time they spent singing when chorus and aircraft traffic overlapped on time. This effect disappeared as the season progressed and the chorus and the aircraft traffic schedule were separated on time. We propose that the typical urban upshift in frequency might not be useful under the noise conditions and landscape structure found near airports. We suggest that the modifications in singing behavior induced by aircraft noise may be adaptive and that they are specific to airport acoustic habitat. Moreover, we found that adjustment of singing activity in relation to noise is plastic and possibly optimized to cope with aircraft traffic activity. In a

  15. Long-term effects of chronic light pollution on seasonal functions of European blackbirds (Turdus merula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominoni, Davide M; Quetting, Michael; Partecke, Jesko

    2013-01-01

    Light pollution is known to affect important biological functions of wild animals, including daily and annual cycles. However, knowledge about long-term effects of chronic exposure to artificial light at night is still very limited. Here we present data on reproductive physiology, molt and locomotor activity during two-year cycles of European blackbirds (Turdus merula) exposed to either dark nights or 0.3 lux at night. As expected, control birds kept under dark nights exhibited two regular testicular and testosterone cycles during the two-year experiment. Control urban birds developed testes faster than their control rural conspecifics. Conversely, while in the first year blackbirds exposed to light at night showed a normal but earlier gonadal cycle compared to control birds, during the second year the reproductive system did not develop at all: both testicular size and testosterone concentration were at baseline levels in all birds. In addition, molt sequence in light-treated birds was more irregular than in control birds in both years. Analysis of locomotor activity showed that birds were still synchronized to the underlying light-dark cycle. We suggest that the lack of reproductive activity and irregular molt progression were possibly the results of i) birds being stuck in a photorefractory state and/or ii) chronic stress. Our data show that chronic low intensities of light at night can dramatically affect the reproductive system. Future studies are needed in order to investigate if and how urban animals avoid such negative impact and to elucidate the physiological mechanisms behind these profound long-term effects of artificial light at night. Finally we call for collaboration between scientists and policy makers to limit the impact of light pollution on animals and ecosystems.

  16. Long-term effects of chronic light pollution on seasonal functions of European blackbirds (Turdus merula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide M Dominoni

    Full Text Available Light pollution is known to affect important biological functions of wild animals, including daily and annual cycles. However, knowledge about long-term effects of chronic exposure to artificial light at night is still very limited. Here we present data on reproductive physiology, molt and locomotor activity during two-year cycles of European blackbirds (Turdus merula exposed to either dark nights or 0.3 lux at night. As expected, control birds kept under dark nights exhibited two regular testicular and testosterone cycles during the two-year experiment. Control urban birds developed testes faster than their control rural conspecifics. Conversely, while in the first year blackbirds exposed to light at night showed a normal but earlier gonadal cycle compared to control birds, during the second year the reproductive system did not develop at all: both testicular size and testosterone concentration were at baseline levels in all birds. In addition, molt sequence in light-treated birds was more irregular than in control birds in both years. Analysis of locomotor activity showed that birds were still synchronized to the underlying light-dark cycle. We suggest that the lack of reproductive activity and irregular molt progression were possibly the results of i birds being stuck in a photorefractory state and/or ii chronic stress. Our data show that chronic low intensities of light at night can dramatically affect the reproductive system. Future studies are needed in order to investigate if and how urban animals avoid such negative impact and to elucidate the physiological mechanisms behind these profound long-term effects of artificial light at night. Finally we call for collaboration between scientists and policy makers to limit the impact of light pollution on animals and ecosystems.

  17. Behavioural correlates of testosterone and seasonal changes of steroids in red-winged blackbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen

    1998-04-01

    I studied the relationship between behaviour and plasma testosterone level (T) and the seasonal changes in T and plasma corticosterone levels (B) in male red-winged blackbirds, Agelaius phoeniceus. I measured T and B using radioimmunoassay, and on the day after taking blood, I observed each male's behaviour for 60 min. The time that males spent conspicuously perched and the number of songs were positively correlated with T, but the proportion of time spent conspicuously perched and the frequency of song were not correlated with T. The frequency of aggressive encounters, sexual chases, epaulet exposure when singing and flights within the territory were positively correlated with T, suggesting a direct role for circulating testosterone influencing male aggressive behaviour. Both T and B increased early in the breeding season, peaked when the first females were receptive, and decreased through the remainder of the breeding season. Late in the season, the presence of a receptive female caused males to have increased T. The peak in T when the first females were receptive, the positive correlation between aggression and T, and the response to a receptive female with increased T support predictions of the challenge hypothesis. T was positively correlated with B, suggesting a cost to the males of maintaining high T. When a receptive female was present on the male's territory, T was negatively correlated with date. Male red-winged blackbirds in Indiana may respond less to receptive females late in the season when benefits associated with protecting paternity and gaining extra-pair fertilizations decrease.Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  18. Corticosterone levels in relation to trace element contamination along an urbanization gradient in the common blackbird (Turdus merula)

    OpenAIRE

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Bustamante, Paco; Michaud, Bruno; Parenteau, Charline; Marciau, Coline; Angelier, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    International audience; In a rapidly urbanizing world, trace element pollution may represent a threat to human health and wildlife, and it is therefore crucial to assess both exposition levels and associated effects of trace element contamination on urban vertebrates. In this study, we investigated the impact of urbanization on trace element contamination and stress physiology in a wild bird species, the common blackbird (Turdus merula), along an urbanization gradient (from rural to moderatel...

  19. Percutaneous absorption of several chemicals, some pesticides included, in the red-winged blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, J.G.; Cagan, R.H.; Kare, M.R.

    1974-01-01

    Percutaneous absorption in vivo through the skin of the feet of the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) has been investigated. Absorption after 18-24 hours exposure to 0.01 M solutions of salicylic acid, caffeine, urea, 2,4-D, dieldrin, diethylstilbesterol, and DDT was measured. Of these, only DDT and diethylstilbesterol were not absorbed to a measurable degree. The solvents ethanol, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), and vegetable oil were compared with water in their effects on the absorption ofcaffeine, urea, and salicylic acid. Ethanol, DMSO,and oil each decreased percutaneous absorption of salicylic acid. DMSO increased absorption of caffeine, and ethanol had no effect on it. Neither DMSO nor ethanol affected penetration of urea. Partition coefficients (K) (epidermis/water) were determined for all seven penetrants. Compounds with higher values of K showed lower percutaneous absorption. These findings suggest that K may be useful to predict percutaneous absorption in vivo. It appears unlikely that percutaneous absorption contributes greatly to the body burden of 2,4-D and dieldrin in A. phoeniceus.

  20. Energetic consequences of sexual size dimorphism in nestling red-winged blackbirds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fiala, K.L.; Congdon, J.D.

    1983-01-01

    The energy budget of nestling Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) was determined using doubly labeled water ( 3 HH 18 O) to measure field metabolic rate (FMR) and body component data to measure growth energy. Sex-specific measurements permitted the evaluation of the effects of this species' substantial sexual size dimorphism on FMR and total energetics. FMR averaged CO 2 release of 5.12 mL.g -1 .h -1 , or 0.129 kJ.g -1 .h -1 , with no significant differences between the sexes. Daytime FMRs of CO 2 production (5.34 mL.g -1 .h -1 ) were higher, but not significantly so, than nighttime FMRs (4.45 mL.g -1 .h -1 ). Water influx averaged 0.95 mL.g -1 .d -1 , with daytime rates (1.22 mL.g -1 .d -1 ) significantly higher than nighttime (0.40 mL.g -1 d -1 ) rates. Total assimilated energy from hatching to fledging was 1014 and 797 kJ for male and female nestlings, respectively. The sexual differences in total energetics reflected differences in body size of the nestlings and suggest that there is a greater cost to the parents in raising males than in raising females

  1. Does light pollution alter daylength? A test using light loggers on free-ranging European blackbirds (Turdus merula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominoni, Davide M; Partecke, Jesko

    2015-05-05

    Artificial light at night is one of the most apparent environmental changes accompanying anthropogenic habitat change. The global increase in light pollution poses new challenges to wild species, but we still have limited understanding of the temporal and spatial pattern of exposure to light at night. In particular, it has been suggested by several studies that animals exposed to light pollution, such as songbirds, perceive a longer daylength compared with conspecifics living in natural darker areas, but direct tests of such a hypothesis are still lacking. Here, we use a combination of light loggers deployed on individual European blackbirds, as well as automated radio-telemetry, to examine whether urban birds are exposed to a longer daylength than forest counterparts. We first used activity data from forest birds to determine the level of light intensity which defines the onset and offset of daily activity in rural areas. We then used this value as threshold to calculate the subjective perceived daylength of both forest and urban blackbirds. In March, when reproductive growth occurs, urban birds were exposed on average to a 49-min longer subjective perceived daylength than forest ones, which corresponds to a 19-day difference in photoperiod at this time of the year. In the field, urban blackbirds reached reproductive maturity 19 day earlier than rural birds, suggesting that light pollution could be responsible of most of the variation in reproductive timing found between urban and rural dwellers. We conclude that light at night is the most relevant change in ambient light affecting biological rhythms in avian urban-dwellers, most likely via a modification of the perceived photoperiod. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. Ranking the risk of wildlife species hazardous to military aircraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakrajsek, E.J.; Bissonette, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    Collisions between birds and aircraft (birdstrikes) pose a major threat to aviation safety. Different species pose different levels of threat; thus, identification of the most hazardous species can help managers identify the level of hazard and prioritize mitigation efforts. Dolbeer et al. (2000) assessed the hazard posed by birds to civilian aircraft by analyzing data from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Wildlife Strike Database to rank the hazardous species and species groups. A similar analysis has not been done for the military but would be useful and necessary. Military flight characteristics differ from those of civilian flights. During the period 1985-1998, birdstrikes cost the United States Air Force (USAF) an average of $35 million/year in damage. Using the USAF Birdstrike Database, we selected and evaluated each species or species group by the number of strikes recorded in each of 3 damage categories. We weighted damage categories to reflect extent and cost of damage. The USAF Birdstrike Database contained 25,519 records of wildlife strikes in the United States. During the period 1985-1998, 22 (mean = 1.6/year) Class-A birdstrikes (>$1,000,000 damage, loss of aircraft, loss of life, or permanent total disability) were sustained, accounting for 80% of total monetary losses caused by birds. Vultures (Cathartes aura, Coragyps atratus, Caracara cheriway) were ranked the most hazardous species group (Hazard Index Rank [HIR] = 127) to USAF aircraft, followed by geese (Branta canadensis, Chen caerulescens, HIR = 76), pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, P. occidentalis, HIR = 47), and buteos (Buteo sp., HIR = 30). Of the smaller flocking birds, blackbirds and starlings (mostly Agelaius phoeniceus, Euphagus cyanocephalus, Molothrus ater, Sturnus vulgaris, HIR = 46), horned larks (Eremophila alpestris, HIR = 24), and swallows (Families Hirundinidae, Apodidae, HIR = 23) were species groups ranked highest. Coupling these results with local bird census

  3. Exploratory analyses ofmigration timing andmorphometrics of the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csörgő Tibor

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Ornithological studies often rely on long-term bird ringing data sets as sources of information. However, basic descriptive statistics of raw data are rarely provided. In order to fill this gap, here we present the fourth item of a series of exploratory analyses of migration timing and body size measurements of the most frequent Passerine species at a ringing station located in Central Hungary (1984-2016. First, we give a concise description of foreign ring recoveries of the Common Blackbird in relation to Hungary. We then shift focus to data of 6849 ringed individuals and 6081 recaptures derived from the ringing station, where birds have been trapped, handled and ringed with standardized methodology since 1984. Timing is described through annual and daily capture and recapture frequencies and their descriptive statistics. We show annual mean arrival dates within the study period and present the cumulative distributions of first captures with stopover durations. We present the distributions of wing, third primary, tail length and body mass, and the annual means of these variables. Furthermore, we show the distributions of individual fat and muscle scores, and the distributions of body mass within each fat score category. We distinguish the spring and autumn migratory periods, breeding and wintering seasons, ages (i.e. juveniles and adults and the two sexes. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the analysed variables. However, we do not aim to interpret the obtained results, merely to draw attention to interesting patterns that may be worth exploring in detail. Data used here are available upon request for further analyses.

  4. From blackbirds to black holes: Investigating capture-recapture methods for time domain astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laycock, Silas G. T.

    2017-07-01

    In time domain astronomy, recurrent transients present a special problem: how to infer total populations from limited observations. Monitoring observations may give a biassed view of the underlying population due to limitations on observing time, visibility and instrumental sensitivity. A similar problem exists in the life sciences, where animal populations (such as migratory birds) or disease prevalence, must be estimated from sparse and incomplete data. The class of methods termed Capture-Recapture is used to reconstruct population estimates from time-series records of encounters with the study population. This paper investigates the performance of Capture-Recapture methods in astronomy via a series of numerical simulations. The Blackbirds code simulates monitoring of populations of transients, in this case accreting binary stars (neutron star or black hole accreting from a stellar companion) under a range of observing strategies. We first generate realistic light-curves for populations of binaries with contrasting orbital period distributions. These models are then randomly sampled at observing cadences typical of existing and planned monitoring surveys. The classical capture-recapture methods, Lincoln-Peterson, Schnabel estimators, related techniques, and newer methods implemented in the Rcapture package are compared. A general exponential model based on the radioactive decay law is introduced which is demonstrated to recover (at 95% confidence) the underlying population abundance and duty cycle, in a fraction of the observing visits (10-50%) required to discover all the sources in the simulation. Capture-Recapture is a promising addition to the toolbox of time domain astronomy, and methods implemented in R by the biostats community can be readily called from within python.

  5. Migratory New World blackbirds (icterids are more neophobic than closely related resident icterids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Mettke-Hofmann

    Full Text Available Environments undergo short-term and long-term changes due to natural or human-induced events. Animals differ in their ability to cope with such changes which can be related to their ecology. Changes in the environment often elicit avoidance reactions (neophobia which protect animals from dangerous situations but can also inhibit exploration and familiarization with novel situations and thus, learning about new resources. Studies investigating the relationship between a species' ecology and its neophobia have so far been restricted to comparing only a few species and mainly in captivity. The current study investigated neophobia reactions to experimentally-induced changes in the natural environment of six closely-related blackbird species (Icteridae, including two species represented by two distinct populations. For analyses, neophobic reactions (difference in number of birds feeding and time spent feeding with and without novel objects were related to several measures of ecological plasticity and the migratory strategy (resident or migratory of the population. Phylogenetic relationships were incorporated into the analysis. The degree of neophobia was related to migratory strategy with migrants expressing much higher neophobia (fewer birds feeding and for a shorter time with objects present than residents. Furthermore, neophobia showed a relationship to diet breadth with fewer individuals of diet generalists than specialists returning when objects were present supporting the dangerous niche hypothesis. Residents may have evolved lower neophobia as costs of missing out on opportunities may be higher for residents than migrants as the former are restricted to a smaller area. Lower neophobia allows them approaching changes in the environment (e.g. novel objects quickly, thereby securing access to resources. Additionally, residents have a greater familiarity with similar situations in the area than migrants and the latter may, therefore, initially

  6. Social cues are unlikely to be the single cause for early reproduction in urban European blackbirds (Turdus merula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominoni, Davide M; Van't Hof, Thomas J; Partecke, Jesko

    2015-04-01

    Despite urban ecology being an established field of research, there is still surprisingly little information about the relative contribution of specific environmental factors driving the observed changes in the behavior and physiology of city dwellers. One of the most reported effects of urbanization is the advanced phenology observed in birds. Many factors have been suggested to underline such effect, including warmer microclimate, anthropogenic food supply and light pollution. Since social stimuli are known to affect reproductive timing and breeding density is usually higher in urban populations compared to rural ones, we experimentally tested whether social interactions could advance the onset of reproduction in European blackbirds (Turdus merula). We housed male blackbirds of rural and urban origins with or without a conspecific female, and recorded their seasonal variation in gonadal size and production of luteinizing hormone (LH). Paired and unpaired males of both urban and rural origins did not significantly differ in their timing of gonadal growth. Moreover, rural and urban birds did not differ in their response to the social stimuli, rather they became reproductively active at the same time, a result that confirms previous studies that attributed the difference in reproductive timing observed in the field to phenotypic plasticity. We conclude that social stimuli do not contribute substantially to the observed early onset of reproductive physiology in urban bird species, rather other factors such as light pollution are likely to be stronger drivers of these physiological changes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Corticosterone levels in relation to trace element contamination along an urbanization gradient in the common blackbird (Turdus merula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Bustamante, Paco; Michaud, Bruno; Parenteau, Charline; Marciau, Coline; Angelier, Frédéric

    2016-10-01

    In a rapidly urbanizing world, trace element pollution may represent a threat to human health and wildlife, and it is therefore crucial to assess both exposition levels and associated effects of trace element contamination on urban vertebrates. In this study, we investigated the impact of urbanization on trace element contamination and stress physiology in a wild bird species, the common blackbird (Turdus merula), along an urbanization gradient (from rural to moderately urbanized areas). Specifically, we described the contamination levels of blackbirds by 4 non-essential (Ag, Cd, Hg, Pb) and 9 essential trace elements (As, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Se, Zn), and explored the putative disrupting effects of the non-essential element contamination on corticosterone levels (a hormonal proxy for environmental challenges). We found that non-essential trace element burden (Cd and Pb specifically) increased with increasing urbanization, indicating a significant trace element contamination even in medium sized cities and suburban areas. Interestingly, the increased feather non-essential trace element concentrations were also associated with elevated feather corticosterone levels, suggesting that urbanization probably constrains birds and that this effect may be mediated by trace element contamination. Future experimental studies are now required to disentangle the influence of multiple urban-related constraints on corticosterone levels and to specifically test the influence of each of these trace elements on corticosterone secretion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Geologic history of the Blackbird Co-Cu district in the Lemhi subbasin of the Belt-Purcell Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookstrom, Arthur A.; Box, Stephen E.; Cossette, Pamela M.; Frost, Thomas P.; Gillerman, Virginia; King, George; Zirakparvar, N. Alex

    2016-01-01

    The Blackbird cobalt-copper (Co-Cu) district in the Salmon River Mountains of east-central Idaho occupies the central part of the Idaho cobalt belt—a northwest-elongate, 55-km-long belt of Co-Cu occurrences, hosted in grayish siliciclastic metasedimentary strata of the Lemhi subbasin (of the Mesoproterozoic Belt-Purcell Basin). The Blackbird district contains at least eight stratabound ore zones and many discordant lodes, mostly in the upper part of the banded siltite unit of the Apple Creek Formation of Yellow Lake, which generally consists of interbedded siltite and argillite. In the Blackbird mine area, argillite beds in six stratigraphic intervals are altered to biotitite containing over 75 vol% of greenish hydrothermal biotite, which is preferentially mineralized.Past production and currently estimated resources of the Blackbird district total ~17 Mt of ore, averaging 0.74% Co, 1.4% Cu, and 1.0 ppm Au (not including downdip projections of ore zones that are open downward). A compilation of relative-age relationships and isotopic age determinations indicates that most cobalt mineralization occurred in Mesoproterozoic time, whereas most copper mineralization occurred in Cretaceous time.Mesoproterozoic cobaltite mineralization accompanied and followed dynamothermal metamorphism and bimodal plutonism during the Middle Mesoproterozoic East Kootenay orogeny (ca. 1379–1325 Ma), and also accompanied Grenvilleage (Late Mesoproterozoic) thermal metamorphism (ca. 1200–1000 Ma). Stratabound cobaltite-biotite ore zones typically contain cobaltite1 in a matrix of biotitite ± tourmaline ± minor xenotime (ca. 1370–1320 Ma) ± minor chalcopyrite ± sparse allanite ± sparse microscopic native gold in cobaltite. Such cobaltite-biotite lodes are locally folded into tight F2 folds with axial-planar S2 cleavage and schistosity. Discordant replacement-style lodes of cobaltite2-biotite ore ± xenotime2 (ca. 1320–1270 Ma) commonly follow S2fractures and fabrics

  9. Multi-Isotopic (δ2H, δ13C, δ15N Tracing of Molt Origin for Red-Winged Blackbirds Associated with Agro-Ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott J Werner

    Full Text Available We analyzed stable-hydrogen (δ2H, carbon (δ13C and nitrogen (δ 15N isotope ratios in feathers to better understand the molt origin and food habits of Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus near sunflower production in the Upper Midwest and rice production in the Mid-South of the United States. Outer primary feathers were used from 661 after-second-year (ASY male blackbirds collected in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota (spring collection, and Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas (winter collection. The best-fit model indicated that the combination of feather δ2H, δ13C and δ15N best predicted the state of sample collections and thus supported the use of this approach for tracing molt origins in Red-winged Blackbirds. When considering only birds collected in spring, 56% of birds were classified to their collection state on the basis of δ2H and δ13C alone. We then developed feather isoscapes for δ13C based upon these data and for δ2H based upon continental patterns of δ2H in precipitation. We used 81 birds collected at the ten independent sites for model validation. The spatially-explicit assignment of these 81 birds to the δ2H isoscape resulted in relatively high rates (~77% of accurate assignment to collection states. We also modeled the spatial extent of C3 (e.g. rice, sunflower and C4 (corn, millet, sorghum agricultural crops grown throughout the Upper Midwest and Mid-South United States to predict the relative use of C3- versus C4-based foodwebs among sampled blackbirds. Estimates of C3 inputs to diet ranged from 50% in Arkansas to 27% in Minnesota. As a novel contribution to blackbird conservation and management, we demonstrate how such feather isoscapes can be used to predict the molt origin and interstate movements of migratory blackbirds for subsequent investigations of breeding biology (e.g. sex-specific philopatry, agricultural depredation, feeding ecology, physiology of migration and

  10. Multi-Isotopic (δ2H, δ13C, δ15N) Tracing of Molt Origin for Red-Winged Blackbirds Associated with Agro-Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Scott J; Hobson, Keith A; Van Wilgenburg, Steven L; Fischer, Justin W

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed stable-hydrogen (δ2H), carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ 15N) isotope ratios in feathers to better understand the molt origin and food habits of Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) near sunflower production in the Upper Midwest and rice production in the Mid-South of the United States. Outer primary feathers were used from 661 after-second-year (ASY) male blackbirds collected in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota (spring collection), and Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas (winter collection). The best-fit model indicated that the combination of feather δ2H, δ13C and δ15N best predicted the state of sample collections and thus supported the use of this approach for tracing molt origins in Red-winged Blackbirds. When considering only birds collected in spring, 56% of birds were classified to their collection state on the basis of δ2H and δ13C alone. We then developed feather isoscapes for δ13C based upon these data and for δ2H based upon continental patterns of δ2H in precipitation. We used 81 birds collected at the ten independent sites for model validation. The spatially-explicit assignment of these 81 birds to the δ2H isoscape resulted in relatively high rates (~77%) of accurate assignment to collection states. We also modeled the spatial extent of C3 (e.g. rice, sunflower) and C4 (corn, millet, sorghum) agricultural crops grown throughout the Upper Midwest and Mid-South United States to predict the relative use of C3- versus C4-based foodwebs among sampled blackbirds. Estimates of C3 inputs to diet ranged from 50% in Arkansas to 27% in Minnesota. As a novel contribution to blackbird conservation and management, we demonstrate how such feather isoscapes can be used to predict the molt origin and interstate movements of migratory blackbirds for subsequent investigations of breeding biology (e.g. sex-specific philopatry), agricultural depredation, feeding ecology, physiology of migration and sensitivity to

  11. Seasonality of odonate-mediated methylmercury flux from permanent and semipermanent ponds and potential risk to red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Edward B; Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W; Kennedy, James H

    2017-10-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an aquatic contaminant that can be transferred to terrestrial predators by emergent aquatic insects such as odonates (damselflies and dragonflies). We assessed the effects of month and pond permanence on odonate-mediated MeHg flux (calculated as emergent odonate biomass × MeHg concentration) in 10 experimental ponds and the potential risk to nestling red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) posed by consuming MeHg-contaminated odonates. Emergent odonates were collected weekly from permanent ponds with bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus; n = 5) and semipermanent ponds without fish (n = 5) over an 8-mo period (January-August 2015). The MeHg flux from damselflies, aeshnid dragonflies, and libellulid dragonflies began in March and peaked in April, May, and June, respectively, and then declined throughout the rest of the summer. Odonate-mediated MeHg flux from semipermanent ponds without fish was greater than that from permanent ponds with fish. Nesting of red-winged blackbirds overlapped with peak odonate emergence and odonate-mediated MeHg flux. Because their diet can be dominated by damselflies and dragonflies, we tested the hypothesis that MeHg-contaminated odonates may pose a health risk to nestling red-winged blackbirds. Concentrations of MeHg in odonates exceeded wildlife values (the minimum odonate MeHg concentrations causing physiologically significant doses in consumers) for nestlings, suggesting that MeHg-contaminated odonates can pose a health risk to nestling red-winged blackbirds. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2833-2837. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  12. Tonawanda Creek, Genesee County, New York, Regional Flood Control. Final Environmental Impact Statement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-11-01

    Linarea vulgaris Wild Mustard :Brasica sp. Sensitive Fern :Onoclea sensibilis *Christmas Fern :As21dium acrostichoides Panic Grass :Panicum sp. Barnyard... Sciurus carolinensis Reptiles E ’tern Painted Turtle :Chrysemys picta picta Birds Mallard :Anas platyrhynchos Black Duck :Anas rubripes Ring-necked...migratorius migratorius Starling :Sturnus vulgaris Eastern Golden-crowned Kinglet :Regulus satrapa satrapa Rusty Blackbird :Euphagus carolinus Red

  13. Influence of landscape composition and diversity on contaminant flux in terrestrial food webs: a case study of trace metal transfer to European blackbirds Turdus merula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsch, Clémentine; Coeurdassier, Michaël; Faivre, Bruno; Baurand, Pierre-Emmanuel; Giraudoux, Patrick; van den Brink, Nico W; Scheifler, Renaud

    2012-08-15

    Although understanding the influence of the spatial arrangement of habitats and interacting communities on the processes of pollutant flux and impacts is critical for exposure and risk assessment, to date few studies have been devoted to this emergent topic. We tested the hypothesis that landscape composition and diversity affect the transfer of trace metals to vertebrates. Bioaccumulation of Cd and Pb in blood and feathers of European blackbirds Turdus merula (n=138) was studied over a smelter-impacted area (Northern France). Landscape composition (type and occurrence of the different habitats) and diversity (number of different habitat types and the proportional area distribution among habitat types) were computed around bird capture locations. Diet composition and contamination were assessed. No sex-related differences were detected, while age-related patterns were found: yearlings showed a sharper increase of tissue residues along the pollution gradient than older birds. Factors determining bird exposure acted at nested spatial scale. On a broad scale, environmental contamination mainly influenced metal levels in blackbirds, tissue residues increasing with soil contamination. At a finer grain, landscape composition and soil properties (pH, organic matter, clay) influenced metal transfer, while no influence of landscape diversity was detected. Landscape composition better explained metal transfer than soil properties did. Diet composition varied according to landscape composition, but diet diversity was not influenced by landscape diversity. Surprisingly, metal accumulation in some insect taxa was as high as in earthworms (known as hyper-accumulators). Results strongly suggested that variations in diet composition were the drivers through which landscape composition influenced metal transfer to blackbirds. This study shows that landscape features can affect pollutant transfer in food webs, partly through ecological processes related to spatial and foraging

  14. Red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) with higher baseline glucocorticoids also invest less in incubation and clutch mass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenle, Laura A; Dudek, Alana M; Moore, Ignacio T; Bonier, Frances

    2017-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones facilitate responses to environmental challenges by mediating diverse physiological and behavioral changes, including resource mobilization and altered reproductive effort. Elevated glucocorticoids might indicate that an individual is facing high levels of environmental challenges and thus, elevated concentrations might be associated with reduced fitness (CORT-fitness hypothesis). Alternatively, the energetic demands of reproduction might be a challenge that requires elevated glucocorticoids to mobilize resources to support reproductive effort, ultimately increasing reproductive investment and fitness (CORT-adaptation hypothesis). Investigations of glucocorticoid-fitness relationships have yielded mixed results. Variation in the direction of this relationship could be caused in part by differences in the contexts in which the relationship was assessed. Incorporating context, such as life history stage, could be key to understanding the role of glucocorticoids in influencing fitness outcomes. We investigated the relationship between corticosterone and reproductive effort and success within a single life history stage: incubation of eggs. In an observational study, we measured baseline corticosterone in incubating female red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), monitored incubation behavior, and determined hatching success for each nest. Incubating birds with higher baseline corticosterone concentrations had more frequent, shorter incubation bouts and spent less time overall incubating their clutches of eggs than birds with lower corticosterone concentrations. Elevated corticosterone was also associated with lower clutch mass, but neither corticosterone nor incubation effort were correlated with hatching success. Although experimental tests are needed to establish causation, these results suggest that during the incubation period, corticosterone might shift resource investment towards self-maintenance, and away from current reproductive

  15. Structural controls and evolution of gold-, silver-, and REE-bearing copper-cobalt ore deposits, Blackbird district, east-central Idaho: Epigenetic origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, K.; Tysdal, Russell G.; Evans, Karl V.; Kunk, Michael J.; Pillers, Renee M.

    2011-01-01

    The Cu-Co ± Au (± Ag ± Ni ± REE) ore deposits of the Blackbird district, east-central Idaho, have previously been classified as Besshi-type VMS, sedex, and IOCG deposits within an intact stratigraphic section. New studies indicate that, across the district, mineralization was introduced into the country rocks as a series of structurally controlled vein and alteration systems. Quartz-rich and biotite-rich veins (and alteration zones) and minor albite and siderite veinlets maintain consistent order and sulfide mineral associations across the district. Both early and late quartz veins contain chalcopyrite and pyrite, whereas intermediate-stage tourmaline-biotite veins host the cobaltite. Barren early and late albite and late carbonate (generally siderite) form veins or are included in the quartz veins. REE minerals, principally monazite, allanite, and xenotime, are associated with both tourmaline-biotite and late quartz veins. The veins are in mineralized intervals along axial planar cleavage, intrafolial foliation, and shears.

  16. Constraints on the timing of Co-Cu ± Au mineralization in the Blackbird district, Idaho, using SHRIMP U-Pb ages of monazite and xenotime plus zircon ages of related Mesoproterozoic orthogneisses and metasedimentary rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleinikoff, John N.; Slack, John F.; Lund, Karen; Evans, Karl V.; Fanning, C. Mark; Mazdab, Frank K.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Pillers, Renee M.

    2012-01-01

    The Blackbird district, east-central Idaho, contains the largest known Co reserves in the United States. The origin of strata-hosted Co-Cu ± Au mineralization at Blackbird has been a matter of controversy for decades. In order to differentiate among possible genetic models for the deposits, including various combinations of volcanic, sedimentary, magmatic, and metamorphic processes, we used U-Pb geochronology of xenotime, monazite, and zircon to establish time constraints for ore formation. New age data reported here were obtained using sensitive high resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) microanalysis of (1) detrital zircons from a sample of Mesoproterozoic siliciclastic metasedimentary country rock in the Blackbird district, (2) igneous zircons from Mesoproterozoic intrusions, and (3) xenotime and monazite from the Merle and Sunshine prospects at Blackbird. Detrital zircon from metasandstone of the biotite phyllite-schist unit has ages mostly in the range of 1900 to 1600 Ma, plus a few Neoarchean and Paleoproterozoic grains. Age data for the six youngest grains form a coherent group at 1409 ± 10 Ma, regarded as the maximum age of deposition of metasedimentary country rocks of the central structural domain. Igneous zircons from nine samples of megacrystic granite, granite augen gneiss, and granodiorite augen gneiss that crop out north and east of the Blackbird district yield ages between 1383 ± 4 and 1359 ± 7 Ma. Emplacement of the Big Deer Creek megacrystic granite (1377 ± 4 Ma), structurally juxtaposed with host rocks in the Late Cretaceous ca. 5 km north of Blackbird, may have been involved in initial deposition of rare earth elements (REE) minerals and, possibly, sulfides. In situ SHRIMP ages of xenotime and monazite in Co-rich samples from the Merle and Sunshine prospects, plus backscattered electron imagery and SHRIMP analyses of trace elements, indicate a complex sequence of Mesoproterozoic and Cretaceous events. On the basis of textural relationships

  17. Urban-like night illumination reduces melatonin release in European blackbirds (Turdus merula): implications of city life for biological time-keeping of songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Artificial light-at-night is known to affect a broad array of behaviours and physiological processes. In urbanized bird species, light-at-night advances important biological rhythms such as daily cycles of activity/rest and timing of reproduction, but our knowledge of the underlying physiological mechanisms is limited. Given its role as chronobiological signal, melatonin is a strong candidate for mediating the effects of light-at-night. Results We exposed urban and rural European blackbirds (Turdus merula) to two light treatments equal in photoperiod but with different light intensities at night. The control group was exposed to 0.0001 lux (almost darkness), while the experimental group was exposed to 0.3 lux at night, simulating conditions recorded previously on free-living urban blackbirds. We obtained diel profiles of plasma melatonin for all birds in summer (July) and winter (January), while simultaneously recording locomotor activity. Daily patterns of melatonin concentrations were clearly affected by light-at-night in both seasons. In winter, melatonin concentrations of light-at-night birds were lower in the early and late night than in those of birds kept in darkness. In summer, melatonin concentrations of the light-at-night birds were lower through all night compared to birds kept in darkness. Locomotor activity in light-at-night birds was overall higher than in control individuals, both during the day and at night, and it increased sharply before dawn. In winter, the amount of activity before dawn in the light-at-night group correlated with changes in melatonin from midnight to late night: the greater the decrease in melatonin, the greater the amount of pre-dawn activity. Urban and rural birds responded similarly to light-at-night with respect to melatonin, but differed in their behaviour, with rural birds showing more locomotor activity than urban counterparts. Conclusions This study points to reduced melatonin release at night as a potential

  18. The effect of urbanization on helminth communities in the Eurasian blackbird (Turdus merula L.) from the eastern part of the Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitko, J; Zaleśny, G

    2014-03-01

    In the present study we investigated two ecologically distinct populations of T. merula for the presence of helminths. We wished to determine whether urban populations of blackbirds had reduced helminth fauna compared to birds from forest habitats. Birds were caught in two ecologically distinct sites located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic. A total of 320 birds were examined. The first site was located in Prerov where the birds were obtained from a typical urban population, and the second site was Zahlinice, which constitutes a typical forest area. As a result of parasitological examination, 30 helminth species belonging to Digenea, Cestoda, Nematoda and Acanthocephala were recorded from both sites: 29 species were found in the forested site and 15 in the urban site. The overall prevalence of infection was 93.1% and differed significantly between the sites (Zahlinice 97.2%, Prerov 85.1%). The mean species richness was almost three times higher in the forest population (3.37 ± 0.10) than in the urban one (1.78 ± 0.11). The clear qualitative and quantitative differences in the helminth community of T. merula obtained from two ecologically disparate localities show that urbanization leads to a significant reduction in the helminth fauna of a bird which is highly adapted to synanthropic habitats, while still remaining common in its original forest habitat.

  19. Differentiating the evolution of female song and male-female duets in the New World blackbirds: can tropical natural history traits explain duet evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odom, Karan J; Omland, Kevin E; Price, J Jordan

    2015-03-01

    Female bird song and combined vocal duets of mated pairs are both frequently associated with tropical, monogamous, sedentary natural histories. Little is known, however, about what selects for duetting behavior versus female song. Female song likely preceded duet evolution and could drive apparent relationships between duets and these natural histories. We compared the evolution of female song and male-female duets in the New World blackbirds (Icteridae) by investigating patterns of gains and losses of both traits and their relationships with breeding latitude, mating system, nesting pattern, and migratory behavior. We found that duets evolved only in lineages in which female song was likely ancestral. Both female song and duets were correlated with tropical breeding, social monogamy, territorial nesting, and sedentary behavior when all taxa were included; however, correlations between duets and these natural history traits disappeared when comparisons were limited to taxa with female song. Also, likelihood values supported stronger relationships between the natural history traits and female song than between these traits and duets. Our results suggest that the natural histories thought to favor the evolution of duetting may in fact be associated with female song and that additional selection pressures are responsible for the evolution of duets. © 2015 The Author(s).

  20. Combining site occupancy, breeding population sizes and reproductive success to calculate time-averaged reproductive output of different habitat types: an application to Tricolored Blackbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Holyoak

    Full Text Available In metapopulations in which habitat patches vary in quality and occupancy it can be complicated to calculate the net time-averaged contribution to reproduction of particular populations. Surprisingly, few indices have been proposed for this purpose. We combined occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, and reproductive success to determine the net value of different sites through time and applied this method to a bird of conservation concern. The Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor has experienced large population declines, is the most colonial songbird in North America, is largely confined to California, and breeds itinerantly in multiple habitat types. It has had chronically low reproductive success in recent years. Although young produced per nest have previously been compared across habitats, no study has simultaneously considered site occupancy and reproductive success. Combining occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, reproductive success and nest failure rate we found that that large colonies in grain fields fail frequently because of nest destruction due to harvest prior to fledging. Consequently, net time-averaged reproductive output is low compared to colonies in non-native Himalayan blackberry or thistles, and native stinging nettles. Cattail marshes have intermediate reproductive output, but their reproductive output might be improved by active management. Harvest of grain-field colonies necessitates either promoting delay of harvest or creating alternative, more secure nesting habitats. Stinging nettle and marsh colonies offer the main potential sources for restoration or native habitat creation. From 2005-2011 breeding site occupancy declined 3x faster than new breeding colonies were formed, indicating a rapid decline in occupancy. Total abundance showed a similar decline. Causes of variation in the value for reproduction of nesting substrates and factors behind continuing population declines merit urgent

  1. Habitat-induced degradation of sound signals: Quantifying the effects of communication sounds and bird location on blur ratio, excess attenuation, and signal-to-noise ratio in blackbird song

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dabelsteen, T.; Larsen, O N; Pedersen, Simon Boel

    1993-01-01

    The habitat-induced degradation of the full song of the blackbird (Turdus merula) was quantified by measuring excess attenuation, reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio, and blur ratio, the latter measure representing the degree of blurring of amplitude and frequency patterns over time. All three......, and discriminated across more than two territories. The song's high-pitched twitter sounds were degraded more rapidly than its low-pitched motif sounds. Motif sounds with a constant frequency projected best. The effect of microphone height was pronounced, especially on motif sounds, whereas the effect of speaker...... height was negligible. Degradation was inversely proportional to microphone height. Changing the reception site from a low to a high position reduced the degradation by the same amount as by approaching the sound source across one-half or one-whole territory. This suggests that the main reason for a male...

  2. Urban blackbirds have shorter telomeres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ibanez-Alamo, Juan Diego; Pineda-Pampliega, Javier; Thomson, Robert L.; Aguirre, Jose I.; Diez-Fernandez, Alazne; Faivre, Bruno; Figuerola, Jordi; Verhulst, Simon

    Urbanization, one of the most extreme human-induced environmental changes, represents a major challenge for many organisms. Anthropogenic habitats can have opposing effects on different fitness components, for example, by decreasing starvation risk but also health status. Assessment of the net

  3. Surfactants as blackbird stressing agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, P.W.; Seubert, J.L.

    1970-01-01

    Applications of wetting-agent solutions produce mortality in birds. The exact cause of death is undetermined but it is believed that destruction of the insulating qualities of the plumage permits ambient cold temperatures and evaporation to lower the body temperature to a lethal level. The original concept of using these materials as bird-control tools was developed in 1958 at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife Laurel, Maryland. Early field trials by personnel of the Division of Wildlife Services and the Denver Wildlife Research Center indicated that ground-application techniques had promise but limitations of the equipment precluded successful large-scale roost treatments. In 1966, Patuxent Center personnel began using tanker-type aircraft to evaluate high-volume aerial applications of wetting agents. The success of these tests led to the use of small aircraft to make low-volume, high-concentration aerial applications just prior to expected rainfall. Recent trials of the low-volume method show that, with some limitations, it is effective, inexpensive, and safe to the environment. Current research emphasizes the screening of new candidate materials for efficacy, biodegradability, and toxicity to plants and non-target animals, as well as basic investigations of the avian physiological mechanisms involved. Field trials to develop more effective application techniques will continue.

  4. Fluid sources and metallogenesis in the Blackbird Co-Cu-Au-Bi-Y-REE district, Idaho, U.S.A.: Insights from major-element and boron isotopic compositions of tourmaline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbull, Robert B.; Slack, John F.; Krienitz, M.-S.; Belkin, Harvey E.; Wiedenbeck, M.

    2011-01-01

    Tourmaline is a widespread mineral in the Mesoproterozoic Blackbird Co–Cu–Au–Bi–Y–REE district, Idaho, where it occurs in both mineralized zones and wallrocks. We report here major-element and B-isotope compositions of tourmaline from stratabound sulfide deposits and their metasedimentary wallrocks, from mineralized and barren pipes of tourmaline breccia, from late barren quartz veins, and from Mesoproterozoic granite. The tourmalines are aluminous, intermediate in the schorl–dravite series, with Fe/(Fe + Mg) values of 0.30 to 0.85, and 10 to 50% X-site vacancies. Compositional zoning is prominent only in tourmaline from breccias and quartz veins; crystal rims are enriched in Mg, Ca and Ti, and depleted in Fe and Al relative to cores. The chemical composition of tourmaline does not correlate with the presence or absence of mineralization. The δ11B values fall into two groups. Isotopically light tourmaline (−21.7 to −7.6‰) occurs in unmineralized samples from wallrocks, late quartz veins and Mesoproterozoic granite, whereas heavy tourmaline (−6.9 to +3.2‰) is spatially associated with mineralization (stratabound and breccia-hosted), and is also found in barren breccia. At an inferred temperature of 300°C, boron in the hydrothermal fluid associated with mineralization had δ11B values of −3 to +7‰. The high end of this range indicates a marine source of the boron. A likely scenario involves leaching of boron principally from marine carbonate beds or B-bearing evaporites in Mesoproterozoic strata of the region. The δ11B values of the isotopically light tourmaline in the sulfide deposits are attributed to recrystallization during Cretaceous metamorphism, superimposed on a light boron component derived from footwall siliciclastic sediments (e.g., marine clays) during Mesoproterozoic mineralization, and possibly a minor component of light boron from a magmatic–hydrothermal fluid. The metal association of Bi–Be–Y–REE in the Blackbird

  5. Climate change and the decline of a once common bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClure, Christopher J W; Rolek, Brian W; McDonald, Kenneth; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to negatively impact wildlife through a variety of mechanisms including retraction of range. We used data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey and regional and global climate indices to examine the effects of climate change on the breeding distribution of the Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus), a formerly common species that is rapidly declining. We found that the range of the Rusty Blackbird retracted northward by 143 km since the 1960s and that the probability of local extinction was highest at the southern range margin. Furthermore, we found that the mean breeding latitude of the Rusty Blackbird was significant and positively correlated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation with a lag of six years. Because the annual distribution of the Rusty Blackbird is affected by annual weather patterns produced by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, our results support the hypothesis that directional climate change over the past 40 years is contributing to the decline of the Rusty Blackbird. Our study is the first to implicate climate change, acting through range retraction, in a major decline of a formerly common bird species. PMID:22423330

  6. QRLabel y Blackbird: 2 aplicaciones accesibles para Android

    OpenAIRE

    Mercade Aguila, Gisela

    2012-01-01

    El objetivo de este proyecto es el de realizar dos aplicaciones para dispositivos móviles con sistema operativo Android. Estas aplicaciones están ideadas para ser usadas por una persona invidente o con deficiencias visuales. El transcurso del desarrollo de cada aplicacion sirve para conocer y experimentar con diferentes herramientas que dispone este sistema operativo, y de este modo estudiar sus ventajas y limitaciones. Se presentan dispositivos y prototipos de dispositivos diseñados exclusiv...

  7. 78 FR 39309 - Proposed Information Collection; Depredation Order for Blackbirds, Grackles, Cowbirds, Magpies...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-01

    ... that the United States has signed with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia. Under the treaties, we must... which the birds were taken (such as for protection of agriculture, human health and safety, property, or natural resources). We collect this information so that we will be able to determine how many [[Page 39310...

  8. Flight of the Blackbird: "Red Tails" and Fighting for American Legitimacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    "Red Tails," a recent movie about the Tuskegee Airmen in battle, is the latest in a line of movies that seem to petition for admission to the fellowship of the mainstream American society by showing stories of groups overcoming discrimination and proving their strength and their patriotism. As the most excluded and longest-lasting pariah group,…

  9. Assessing the Status of Declining Rusty Blackbirds on DoD Lands in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    University, and David Evers, BioDiversity Research Institute, for methylmercury concentrations (Edmonds et al. in press). We collected all unhatched eggs... mosquitoes and biting flies to transmit the parasites to new avian hosts. The high prevalence among birds in Mississippi indicates that wintering

  10. Does song repertoire size in Common Blackbirds play a role in an intra-sexual context?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hesler, Nana; Mundry, Roger; Dabelsteen, Torben

    2011-01-01

    Bird song is thought to have a function in both inter- and intra-sexual contexts with song complexity serving as an honest signal of male quality. Theory predicts that males use repertoire sizes to estimate rivals’ fighting ability. Here we tested whether element repertoire size plays a role...

  11. The Blackbird Whistling or Just After? Vygotsky's Tool and Sign as an Analytic for Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbrenda, Jon-Philip

    2016-01-01

    Based on Vygotsky's theory of the interplay of the tool and sign functions of language, this study presents a textual analysis of a corpus of student-authored texts to illuminate aspects of development evidenced through the dialectical tension of tool and sign. Data were drawn from a series of reflective memos I authored during a seminar for new…

  12. 75 FR 75153 - Migratory Bird Permits; Removal of Rusty Blackbird and Tamaulipas (Mexican) Crow From the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-02

    ... implements conventions with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, Japan, and the Soviet Union (Russia). Part 21... agencies' actions. (c) Whether the rule will materially affect entitlements, grants, user fees, loan...

  13. Does light pollution alter daylength? A test using light loggers on free-ranging European blackbirds (Turdus merula)

    OpenAIRE

    Dominoni, Davide M.; Partecke, Jesko

    2015-01-01

    Artificial light at night is one of the most apparent environmental changes accompanying anthropogenic habitat change. The global increase in light pollution poses new challenges to wild species, but we still have limited understanding of the temporal and spatial pattern of exposure to light at night. In particular, it has been suggested by several studies that animals exposed to light pollution, such as songbirds, perceive a longer daylength compared with conspecifics living in natural darke...

  14. Study on the blackbird (Agelaius ruficapillus Viellot- Emberizidae, Aves) in the rice production areas of Southern Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil : basis for a population control management program

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silva, da J.J.C.

    1999-01-01

    Rice is one of the main components of the Brazilian diet. The State of Rio Grande do Sul produces approximately 4,6 millions tons per year - more than 54% of total Brazilian rice production. The average production in Southern Brazil is 5,2 tons per ha, with yields of 10 tons per ha being

  15. Influence of landscape composition and diversity on contaminant flux in terrestrial food webs: A case study of trace metal transfer to European blackbirds Turdus merula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fritsch, C.; Coeurdassier, M.; Faivre, B.; Baurand, P.E.; Giraudoux, P.; Brink, van den N.W.; Scheifler, R.

    2012-01-01

    Although understanding the influence of the spatial arrangement of habitats and interacting communities on the processes of pollutant flux and impacts is critical for exposure and risk assessment, to date few studies have been devoted to this emergent topic. We tested the hypothesis that landscape

  16. Environmental Assessment for the Expansion of Permitted Land and Operations at the 9940 Complex and Thunder Range at Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis American Kestrel Falco sparverius American Pipit Anthus rubescens American Robin Turdus migratorius Ash-throated...Name Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii Loggerhead Shrike Lanius... Carduelis pinus Pinyon Jay Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus Plumbeous Vireo Vireo plumbeus Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus Red-tailed Hawk Buteo

  17. Browse Title Index

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    : the flightless Aldabra Rail Dryolimnas (cuvieri) aldabranus as an ... Determinants of distribution, abundance and reproductive success of the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) in southern Tunisian oases, Abstract.

  18. Determinants of distribution, abundance and reproductive success ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... while local vegetation structure determines the abundance of locally established populations. The abundance of trees affects nest site availability and breeding success, based on observations at two oases. Blackbird nests were usually situated on pomegranate trees and olive trees. The Common Blackbird is a successful ...

  19. Biological Survey, Buffalo River and Outer Harbor of Buffalo, New York. Volume II. Data Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-06-01

    phoeniceus Red-winged blackbird 26 Passer domsticus House sparrow I Sturnus vulgaris Starling 7 Larus delawarensis Ring-billed gull 90 Carduelis tristis...teal 10 Agelaius phoeniceus Red-winged blackbird 15 Melospiza melodia Song sparrow 4 Larus arqentatus Herring gull 6 Carduelis tristis American

  20. The Idaho cobalt belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookstrom, Arthur A.

    2013-01-01

    The Idaho cobalt belt (ICB) is a northwest-trending belt of cobalt (Co) +/- copper (Cu)-bearing deposits and prospects in the Salmon River Mountains of east-central Idaho, U.S.A. The ICB is about 55 km long and 10 km long in its central part, which contains multiple strata-bound ore zones in the Blackbird mine area. The Black Pine and Iron Creek Co-Cu prospects are southeast of Blackbird, and the Tinkers Pride, Bonanza Copper, Elk Creek, and Salmon Canyon Copper prospects are northwest of Blackbird.

  1. Morfologia, taxonomia, filogenia, anatomia foliar e titoquímica de espécies do gênero Hyptis Jacq. (Labiatae) ocorrentes em em Goiás e Tocantins

    OpenAIRE

    FERREIRA, Heleno Dias

    2010-01-01

    O gênero Hyptis, com 280 espécies, pertence à família Labiatae, subfamília Nepetoideae, tribo Ocimae e subtribo Hyptidinae. O gênero Hyptis foi dividido em 27 seções, sendo que 13 seções (Apodotes, Cephalohyptis, Cyanocephalus, Cyrta, Eriosphaeria, Pachyphyllae, Gymneia, Induratae, Mesosphaeria, Polydesmia, Pusilae, Trichosphaeria e Xylodontes) ocorrem em Goiás/Tocantins. Para coleta do material botânico, destinado aos estudos morfológicos, taxonômicos, anatômicos, fitoquímicos, distribuiç...

  2. Final Environmental Assessment: Proposed Laser-Firing Tank Range and Artillery Maneuver Area Arnold Air Force Base Tullahoma Tennessee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    Sciurus niger), and eastern cottontail rabbit (Syvilagus floridanus). Raptors on the site include Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii), red-tailed... vulgaris ), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), northern cardinal

  3. Avian eggshell pigments are not consistently correlated with colour measurements or egg constituents in two Turdus thrushes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cassey, P.; Mikšík, Ivan; Portugal, S. J.; Maurer, G.; Ewen, J.G.; Zarate, E.; Sewell, M.A.; Karadas, F.; Grim, T.; Hauber, M. E.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 43, č. 6 (2012), s. 503-512 ISSN 0908-8857 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : eggshell * pigment * colour * thrush * blackbird Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.020, year: 2012

  4. Reconciling sensory cues and varied consequences of avian repellents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Scott J; Provenza, Frederick D

    2011-02-01

    We learned previously that red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) use affective processes to shift flavor preference, and cognitive associations (colors) to avoid food, subsequent to avoidance conditioning. We conducted three experiments with captive red-winged blackbirds to reconcile varied consequences of treated food with conditioned sensory cues. In Experiment 1, we compared food avoidance conditioned with lithium chloride (LiCl) or naloxone hydrochloride (NHCl) to evaluate cue-consequence specificity. All blackbirds conditioned with LiCl (gastrointestinal toxin) avoided the color (red) and flavor (NaCl) of food experienced during conditioning; birds conditioned with NHCl (opioid antagonist) avoided only the color (not the flavor) of food subsequent to conditioning. In Experiment 2, we conditioned experimentally naïve blackbirds using free choice of colored (red) and flavored (NaCl) food paired with an anthraquinone- (postingestive, cathartic purgative), methiocarb- (postingestive, cholinesterase inhibitor), or methyl anthranilate-based repellent (preingestive, trigeminal irritant). Birds conditioned with the postingestive repellents avoided the color and flavor of foods experienced during conditioning; methyl anthranilate conditioned only color (not flavor) avoidance. In Experiment 3, we used a third group of blackbirds to evaluate effects of novel comparison cues (blue, citric acid) subsequent to conditioning with red and NaCl paired with anthraquinone or methiocarb. Birds conditioned with the postingestive repellents did not avoid conditioned color or flavor cues when novel comparison cues were presented during the test. Thus, blackbirds cognitively associate pre- and postingestive consequences with visual cues, and reliably integrate visual and gustatory experience with postingestive consequences to procure nutrients and avoid toxins. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Estimating Bird / Aircraft Collision Probabilities and Risk Utilizing Spatial Poisson Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-10

    16 Coyote 15 17 6 15 20 American Kestrel 16 10 16 16 14 Shorebirds 17 19 14 17 12 Crows - Ravens 18 16 15 18 12 Blackbirds - Starl ing 19 18 18 19 9...Vultures 63 Geese 52 Cranes 48 Osprey 50 Pel icans 44 Ducks 37 Hawks 25 Eagles 31 Rock Dove 24 Gul ls 22 Herons 22 Mourning Dove 17 Owls 16 American Kestrel ...3.6 141 0 American Kestrel 0 0 3.4 141 0 Shorebirds 0 0 3.2 141 0 Crows - Ravens 0 0 3 141 0 Blackbirds - Starling 0 0 2.8 141 0 Sparrows 0 0 2.6 141 0

  6. Recovery of a mining-damaged stream ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mebane, Christopher A.; Eakins, Robert J.; Fraser, Brian G.; Adams, William J.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a 30+ year record of changes in benthic macroinvertebrate communities and fish populations associated with improving water quality in mining-influenced streams. Panther Creek, a tributary to the Salmon River in central Idaho, USA suffered intensive damage from mining and milling operations at the Blackbird Mine that released copper (Cu), arsenic (As), and cobalt (Co) into tributaries. From the 1960s through the 1980s, no fish and few aquatic invertebrates could be found in 40 km of mine-affected reaches of Panther Creek downstream of the metals contaminated tributaries, Blackbird and Big Deer Creeks.

  7. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  8. City of Freeport, Florida, State Road 20 Water Main Installation, Final Environmental Assessment, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    canadensis Flatwoods Ecological Association Longleaf Pine Pinus palustris Wood Duck Aix sponsa Runner Oak Quercus pumila Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius...Elanoides forficatus Swallow-tailed Kite - - Eudocimus albus White Ibis LS - Falco sparverius paulus Southeastern American Kestrel LT - Haematopus

  9. Interstitial Area Final Range Environmental Assessment, Revision 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    Duck Aix sponsa Runner Oak Quercus pumila Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoenicius Saw Palmetto Serona repens Cottonmouth Agkistridon piscivorus...Charadrius wilsonia Wilson’s Plover - - Egretta caerulea Little Blue Heron LS - Egretta thula Snowy Egret LS - Elanoides forficatus Swallow-tailed Kite

  10. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Initial Defensive Operations Capability (IDOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-08-28

    deer. Birds such as ring-billed, Heerman’s, and glaucous-winged gulls, as well as the western wood-pewee, rhinoceros auklet, red-winged blackbird...of North Alabama Years of Experience: 10 Rebecca J. White , Environmental Specialist, EDAW, Inc. B.S., 2000, Civil/Environmental Engineer

  11. The seroprevalence of avipoxvirus and its association with avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) infection in introduced passerine birds in the southern regions of the North Island of New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, H J; Banda, M; Alley, M R; Howe, L; Gartrell, B D

    2013-03-01

    Blood samples were collected from 65 free-ranging birds from six species in the southern North Island of New Zealand. Sera from the birds were tested for the presence of avipoxvirus (APV) antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and blood cells from 55 birds were also tested for Plasmodium spp. by PCR. Forty-five birds (69.2%) tested seropositive to APV. Song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) presented the highest seroprevalence at 100% (4/4), followed by Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula) (96.86%, 31/32), chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) (54.55%, 6/11), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (25%, 3/12), greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) (25%, 1/4), and European goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) (0%, 0/2). Plasmodium spp. DNA was detected in 15/55 birds (27.3%), including 11 Eurasian blackbirds, one song thrush, and three starlings. Eight Eurasian blackbird isolates (73%) grouped within the subgenus Novyella. Two Eurasian blackbird isolates and the song thrush isolate clustered within a different group with previously reported lineages LINN1 and AFTRU5. In addition, all three starling isolates clustered within the well-characterized lineage Plasmodium (Huffia) elongatum GRW06. All Plasmodium-positive Eurasian blackbirds and the song thrush were seropositive to APV, whereas only 67% of Plasmodium-positive starlings showed evidence of previous exposure to APV. A significant relationship between birds seropositive to APV and birds infected by Plasmodium spp. was observed (chi2 = 5.69, df = 1, P = 0.0086). To the authors' knowledge this is the first report describing the seroprevalence of APV and its association with Plasmodium spp. infection in introduced bird species in New Zealand.

  12. Migration confers winter survival benefits in a partially migratory songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zúñiga, Daniel; Gager, Yann; Kokko, Hanna; Fudickar, Adam Michael; Schmidt, Andreas; Naef-Daenzer, Beat; Wikelski, Martin

    2017-01-01

    To evolve and to be maintained, seasonal migration, despite its risks, has to yield fitness benefits compared with year-round residency. Empirical data supporting this prediction have remained elusive in the bird literature. To test fitness related benefits of migration, we studied a partial migratory population of European blackbirds (Turdus merula) over 7 years. Using a combination of capture-mark-recapture and radio telemetry, we compared survival probabilities between migrants and residents estimated by multi-event survival models, showing that migrant blackbirds had 16% higher probability to survive the winter compared to residents. A subsequent modelling exercise revealed that residents should have 61.25% higher breeding success than migrants, to outweigh the survival costs of residency. Our results support theoretical models that migration should confer survival benefits to evolve, and thus provide empirical evidence to understand the evolution and maintenance of migration. PMID:29157357

  13. The flight apparatus of migratory and sedentary individuals of a partially migratory songbird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fudickar, Adam M; Partecke, Jesko

    2012-01-01

    Variations in the geometry of the external flight apparatus of birds are beneficial for different behaviors. Long-distance flight is less costly with more pointed wings and shorter tails; however these traits decrease maneuverability at low speeds. Selection has led to interspecific differences in these and other flight apparatuses in relation to migration distance. If these principles are general, how are the external flight apparatus within a partially migratory bird species shaped in which individuals either migrate or stay at their breeding grounds? We resolved this question by comparing the wing pointedness and tail length (relative to wing length) of migrant and resident European blackbirds (Turdus merula) breeding in the same population. We predicted that migrant blackbirds would have more pointed wings and shorter tails than residents. Contrary to our predictions, there were no differences between migrants and residents in either measure. Our results indicate that morphological differences between migrants and residents in this partially migratory population may be constrained.

  14. The Pharmacology of p-Aminopropiophenone in the Detoxification of Cyanide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    administration or its use as a murder weapon. Cyanogenic glycosides can be found in a wide variety of foods and natural products including clover, almonds, lima...79 Starling P.o. >316 79 Red-winged blackbird p.o. 133 (ND) 79 Black-billed magpie P.o. 178 (100-316) 79 Mouse, male i.v. 145 (82-217) 80 Mouse

  15. Final Environmental Assessment: Demolition of Barracks (Building T-2) at Ipswich Antenna Test Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    flow is east towards Clark Pond. 3.9. Floodplains According to FEMA, the subject site is not located within the 100-year flood zone or within a...Bombycilla cedrorum), yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), black capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus), red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus...vegetated state. In addition to Building T-2 (Barracks), the following structures are located on the property:  North Hill Area – East Side (Main Area

  16. Extrapair paternity and the opportunity for sexual selection in long-distant migratory passerines

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Albrecht, Tomáš; Schnitzer, J.; Kreisinger, J.; Exnerová, A.; Bryja, Josef; Munclinger, Pavel

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 2 (2007), s. 477-486 ISSN 1045-2249 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/06/0851; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519; CEZ:AV0Z50450515 Keywords : comparative analysis * mate choice * red-winged blackbirds Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.018, year: 2007 http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/18/2/477

  17. Aquatic Plant Control Research Program. Large-Scale Operations Management Test of Use of the White Amur for Control of Problem Aquatic Plants. Report 5. Synthesis Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-06-01

    were the green tree frog , Florida cricket frog , pennisula cooter, and southern leopard frog , which comprised 22.0, 11.4, 7.5, and 4.1 percent of the... frog HYLIDAE Acris gryllus Florida cricket frog Hyla cinerea Green treefrog Hyla femoralis Pinewoods treefrog Hyla squirella Squirel treefrog REPTILIA...American coot, Florida gallinule, herring gull, mallard duck, least tern, tree swallow, red-winged blackbird, and boat-tailed grackle. Each of these

  18. Effect of salt on the response of birds to sucrose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, J.G.; Maller, O.

    1973-01-01

    The preference of male red-winged blackbirds for solutions of sucrose and sucrose with 0.03 M sodium chloride was tested, using a two-bottle choice test. Preliminary experiments demonstrated that the birds were indifferent to 0.03 M NaCl in water. Both control and experimental animals exhibited indifference to the solutions at the lowest concentration and aversion at the highest. The data suggest that the added sodium chloride makes the sucrose stimulus more discriminable.

  19. Usutu virus, Austria and Hungary, 2010–2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakonyi, Tamás; Erdélyi, Károly; Brunthaler, René; Dán, Ádám; Weissenböck, Herbert; Nowotny, Norbert

    2017-01-01

    Usutu virus (USUV, Flaviviridae) was first reported in Europe in Austria in 2001, where it caused wild bird (mainly blackbird) mortality until 2005. Since 2006 no further USUV cases were diagnosed in the country. However, the virus emerged in other European countries (Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic) between 2005 and 2011. In 2016, widespread USUV-associated wild bird mortality was observed in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. In this study, we report the results of passive monitoring for USUV in Austria and Hungary between 2010 and 2016. In Hungary, USUV caused sporadic cases of wild bird mortality between 2010 and 2015 (altogether 18 diagnosed cases), whereas in summer and autumn 2016 the number of cases considerably increased to 12 (ten blackbirds, one Eurasian jay and one starling). In Austria, USUV was identified in two blackbirds in 2016. Phylogenetic analyses of coding-complete genomes and partial regions of the NS5 protein gene revealed that USUVs from Hungary between 2010 and 2015 are closely related to the virus that emerged in Austria in 2001 and in Hungary in 2005, while one Hungarian sequence from 2015 and all sequences from Hungary and Austria from 2016 clustered together with USUV sequences reported from Italy between 2009 and 2010. The results of the study indicate continuous USUV circulation in the region and exchange of USUV strains between Italy, Austria and Hungary. PMID:29018253

  20. Usutu virus, Austria and Hungary, 2010-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakonyi, Tamás; Erdélyi, Károly; Brunthaler, René; Dán, Ádám; Weissenböck, Herbert; Nowotny, Norbert

    2017-10-11

    Usutu virus (USUV, Flaviviridae) was first reported in Europe in Austria in 2001, where it caused wild bird (mainly blackbird) mortality until 2005. Since 2006 no further USUV cases were diagnosed in the country. However, the virus emerged in other European countries (Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic) between 2005 and 2011. In 2016, widespread USUV-associated wild bird mortality was observed in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. In this study, we report the results of passive monitoring for USUV in Austria and Hungary between 2010 and 2016. In Hungary, USUV caused sporadic cases of wild bird mortality between 2010 and 2015 (altogether 18 diagnosed cases), whereas in summer and autumn 2016 the number of cases considerably increased to 12 (ten blackbirds, one Eurasian jay and one starling). In Austria, USUV was identified in two blackbirds in 2016. Phylogenetic analyses of coding-complete genomes and partial regions of the NS5 protein gene revealed that USUVs from Hungary between 2010 and 2015 are closely related to the virus that emerged in Austria in 2001 and in Hungary in 2005, while one Hungarian sequence from 2015 and all sequences from Hungary and Austria from 2016 clustered together with USUV sequences reported from Italy between 2009 and 2010. The results of the study indicate continuous USUV circulation in the region and exchange of USUV strains between Italy, Austria and Hungary.Emerging Microbes &Infections (2017) 6, e85; doi:10.1038/emi.2017.72; published online 11 October 2017.

  1. Animal tracking meets migration genomics: transcriptomic analysis of a partially migratory bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchini, Paolo; Irisarri, Iker; Fudickar, Adam; Schmidt, Andreas; Meyer, Axel; Wikelski, Martin; Partecke, Jesko

    2017-06-01

    Seasonal migration is a widespread phenomenon, which is found in many different lineages of animals. This spectacular behaviour allows animals to avoid seasonally adverse environmental conditions to exploit more favourable habitats. Migration has been intensively studied in birds, which display astonishing variation in migration strategies, thus providing a powerful system for studying the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape migratory behaviour. Despite intensive research, the genetic basis of migration remains largely unknown. Here, we used state-of-the-art radio-tracking technology to characterize the migratory behaviour of a partially migratory population of European blackbirds (Turdus merula) in southern Germany. We compared gene expression of resident and migrant individuals using high-throughput transcriptomics in blood samples. Analyses of sequence variation revealed a nonsignificant genetic structure between blackbirds differing by their migratory phenotype. We detected only four differentially expressed genes between migrants and residents, which might be associated with hyperphagia, moulting and enhanced DNA replication and transcription. The most pronounced changes in gene expression occurred between migratory birds depending on when, in relation to their date of departure, blood was collected. Overall, the differentially expressed genes detected in this analysis may play crucial roles in determining the decision to migrate, or in controlling the physiological processes required for the onset of migration. These results provide new insights into, and testable hypotheses for, the molecular mechanisms controlling the migratory phenotype and its underlying physiological mechanisms in blackbirds and other migratory bird species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Enhanced innate immune responses in a brood parasitic cowbird species: degranulation and oxidative burst

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D. Caldwell; Summers, Scott G.; Genovese, Kenneth J.; He, Haiqi; Kogut, Michael H.

    2013-01-01

    We examined the relative effectiveness of two innate immune responses in two species of New World blackbirds (Passeriformes, Icteridae) that differ in resistance to West Nile virus (WNV). We measured degranulation and oxidative burst, two fundamental components of phagocytosis, and we predicted that the functional effectiveness of these innate immune responses would correspond to the species' relative resistance to WNV. The brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), an obligate brood parasite, had previously shown greater resistance to infection with WNV, lower viremia and faster recovery when infected, and lower subsequent antibody titers than the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), a close relative that is not a brood parasite. We found that cowbird leukocytes were significantly more functionally efficient than those of the blackbird leukocytes and 50% more effective at killing the challenge bacteria. These results suggest that further examination of innate immunity in the cowbird may provide insight into adaptations that underlie its greater resistance to WNV. These results support an eco-immunological interpretation that species like the cowbird, which inhabit ecological niches with heightened exposure to parasites, experience evolutionary selection for more effective immune responses.

  3. The influence of local- and landscape-level factors on wetland breeding birds in the Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Shaffer, Jill A.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2017-08-17

    We examined the relationship between local- (wetland) and landscape-level factors and breeding bird abundances on 1,190 depressional wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota during the breeding seasons in 1995–97. The surveyed wetlands were selected from five wetland classes (alkali, permanent, semipermanent, seasonal, or temporary), two wetland types (natural or restored), and two landowner groups (private or Federal). We recorded 133 species of birds in the surveyed wetlands during the 3 years. We analyzed the nine most common (or focal) species (that is, species that were present in 25 percent or more of the 1,190 wetlands): the Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), American Coot (Fulica americana), Gadwall (Anas strepera), Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), and Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). Our results emphasize the ecological value of all wetland classes, natural and restored wetlands, and publicly and privately owned wetlands in this region, including wetlands that are generally smaller and shallower (that is, temporary and seasonal wetlands) and thus most vulnerable to drainage. Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Common Yellowthroat, and Red-winged Blackbird had higher abundances on Federal than on private wetlands. Abundances differed among wetland classes for seven of the nine focal species: Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, American Coot, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird. American Coot had higher abundances on restored wetlands than on natural wetlands overall, and Gadwall and Common Yellowthroat had higher abundances on private restored wetlands than on private natural wetlands. The Common Yellowthroat was the only species that had higher abundances on restored private wetlands than on

  4. Metallogeny of Mesoproterozoic Sedimentary Rocks in Idaho and Montana - Studies by the Mineral Resources Program, U.S. Geological Survey, 2004-2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, J. Michael

    2007-01-01

    Preface By J.Michael O'Neill The major emphasis of this project was to extend and refine the known Mesoproterozoic geologic and metallogenic framework of the region along and adjacent to the Idaho-Montana boundary north of the Snake River Plain. The Mesoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks in this part of east-central Idaho host important Cu-Co-Au stratabound mineral resources as well as younger, epigenetic hydrothermal, sulfide base-metal mineral deposits. Two tasks of this study were to more accurately understand and portray the character and origin of cobalt-copper-gold deposits that compose the Idaho cobalt belt and specifically to analyze ore mineralogy and metallogenesis within the Blackbird mining district in the central part of the belt. Inasmuch as the cobalt belt is confined to the Mesoproterozoic Lemhi Group strata of east-central Idaho, geologic investigations were also undertaken to determine the relationship between strata of the Lemhi Group and the more extensive, noncobalt-bearing, Belt-Purcell Supergroup strata to the north and northwest. Abrupt lateral differences in the character and thickness of stratigraphic units in the Mesoproterozoic Lemhi Basin may indicate differential sedimentation in contemporaneous fault-bounded subbasins. It is suggested that northeast-trending basement faults of the Great Falls tectonic zone controlled development of the subbasins. O'Neill and others (chapter A, this volume) document a second major basement fault in this area, the newly recognized northwest-striking Great Divide megashear, a zone 1-2 km wide of left-lateral strike-slip faults active during Mesoproterozoic sedimentation and bounding the Cu-Co belt on the northwest. The megashear is a crustal-scale tectonic feature that separates Lemhi Group strata from roughly coeval Belt-Purcell strata to the north and northwest in Montana and northern Idaho. The results of numerous geologic investigations of the Cu- and Co-bearing Mesoproterozoic rocks of east

  5. Distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in birds of prey from Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naert, C; Van Peteghem, C; Kupper, J; Jenni, L; Naegeli, H

    2007-06-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and the structurally related polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been associated with chronic neurotoxicity involving reduced motor activity and impaired attentiveness. Such neurobehavioral effects indicate that the central nervous system may represent an important target organ for the action of these persistent contaminants in wildlife. As a consequence, the brain of different terrestrial and aquatic birds collected in Switzerland was analysed for PCBs and PBDEs. In parallel, the same contaminants were examined in the accompanying adipose tissue. After clean-up by means of glass columns containing acidified silica, deactivated alumina and anhydrous sodium sulphate, the samples were analysed by high resolution gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HRGC-MS/MS). Median PCB concentrations in the brain (sum of PCB 28, PCB 52, PCB 101, PCB 118, PCB 138, PCB 153 and PCB 180) ranged between 13 ng g(-1) wet weight (ww) in blackbirds (Turdus merula) and 428 ng g(-1) ww in sparrow hawks (Accipiter nisus). Median PBDE concentrations in the brain (sum of BDE 28, BDE 47, BDE 99, BDE 100, BDE 153, BDE 154 and BDE 183) ranged from below the decision limit in buzzards (Buteo buteo) and blackbirds, to 14 ng g(-1) ww in sparrow hawks. After correction for the respective lipid content, higher PCB or PBDE concentrations in brain compared to adipose tissue, were found in three sparrow hawks, four buzzards and in all investigated blackbirds. These results suggest that a deficit in the neuroprotective function of the blood-brain barrier may cause unexpected levels of PCBs and PBDEs in the central nervous system.

  6. Parasitic Cowbirds have increased immunity to West Nile and other mosquitoborne encephalitis viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisen, W.K.; Hahn, D.C.

    2006-01-01

    The rapid geographic spread of West Nile Virus [WNV, Flaviviridae, Flavivirus] across the United States has stimulated interest in comparative host infection studies of avian species to delineate competent reservoir hosts critical for viral amplification. Striking taxonomic differences in avian susceptibility have been noted, offering the opportunity to strategically select species on the basis of life history traits to examine aspects of pathogen virulence or host immunity. We hypothesized that avian brood parasites would show increased resistance to pathogens compared to related taxa, because they have been exposed in their evolutionary history to a wide array of infectious organisms from their different parenting species. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a generalist brood parasite that parasitizes 200+ North American species. Elevated exposure to other species? parasites may have created an unusual degree of pathogen resistance. We compared the relative susceptibility of adult cowbirds to three closely-related non-parasitic species, Red-winged blackbirds, Tricolored blackbirds and Brewer?s blackbirds, to invading NY99 strain of WNV that is highly virulent for many passeriform birds. Previously we had experimentally infected these species with two North American mosquitoborne encephalitis viruses, western equine encephalomyelitis virus [WEEV, Togaviridae, Alphavirus] and St. Louis encephalitis virus [SLEV, Flaviviridae, Flavivirus]. Our results showed that cowbirds exhibited significantly lower viremia responses against all three viruses as well as after co-infection with both WEEV and WNV than did the three related, non-parasitic species. These data supported our hypothesis and indicated that cowbirds were more resistant to infection to both native and introduced viruses.

  7. Simulation of climate-change scenarios to explain Usutu-virus dynamics in Austria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugger, Katharina; Rubel, Franz

    2009-01-01

    The emergence and spread of infectious diseases in mid-latitudes, so far mainly observed in the tropics, considerably increase under the current situation of climate change. A recent example is the Usutu virus (USUV) outbreak in Austria. USUV is closely related to the West Nile virus in the U.S. and caused mass mortalities mainly of blackbirds (Turdus merula). The USUV flavivirus persists in a natural transmission cycle between vectors (mosquitoes) and host reservoirs (birds) and leads - once endemic in a population - to periodic outbreaks. In an epidemic model to explain the USUV dynamics in Austria 2001-2005, USUV dynamics were mainly determined by an interaction of bird immunity and environmental temperature. To investigate future scenarios, we entered temperature predictions from five global climate models into the USUV model and also considered four different climate-warming scenarios defined by the I ntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC (20 different model-scenario combinations). We downscaled the 20 time series of predicted temperatures (through the year 2100) to represent the region around Vienna. Our simulations predict that USUV will persist in the host population after the epidemic peak observed in 2003. USUV-specific annual blackbird-mortality time series predict that the outbreak frequency increases successively from the beginning to the end of the century. Simulations of worst-case scenarios result in an endemic equilibrium with a decline of the blackbird population of about 24%. Additionally we calculated the annually averaged basic reproduction number for the period 1901-2100. The latter depict that undetected major outbreaks before 2000 were unlikely, whereas it is likely that the USUV becomes endemic after 2040.

  8. Body size changes in passerine birds introduced to New Zealand from the UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Blackburn

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available One feature of global geographic variation in avian body sizes is that they are larger on isolated islands than on continental regions. Therefore, this study aims to assess whether there have been changes in body size following successful establishment for seven passerine bird species (blackbird Turdus merula, song thrush T. philomelos, house sparrow Passer domesticus, chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, greenfinch Chloris chloris, goldfinch Carduelis carduelis, yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella introduced from the continental islands of the UK to the more isolated oceanic landmass of New Zealand in the middle of the nineteenth century. Measures of tarsus length were taken from individuals from contemporary UK and New Zealand populations of these species, and from historical specimens collected around the time that individuals were translocated from the UK to New Zealand. Analysis of Variance was used to test for size differences between contemporary UK and New Zealand populations, and between historical UK and contemporary UK and New Zealand populations. Historical UK populations have longer tarsi, on average, than 12 (7 UK and 5 New Zealand of the 14 contemporary populations. Significant decreases in tarsus length relative to the historical populations have occurred in the UK for blackbird, chaffinch and greenfinch, and in the New Zealand blackbird population. Contemporary New Zealand house sparrows have significantly longer tarsi, on average, than both historical and contemporary UK populations. Exposure to novel environments may be expected to lead to changes in the morphology and other traits of exotic species, but changes have also occurred in the native range. In fact, contrary to expectations, the most common differences we found were between contemporary and historical UK populations. Consideration of contemporary populations alone would underestimate the true scale of morphological change in these species over time, which may be due to

  9. Guild structure of a riparian avifauna relative to seasonal cattle grazing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knopf, F.L.; Sedgwick, J.A.; Cannon, R. W.

    1988-01-01

    Knopf et al. found that summer cattle grazing has an adverse effect on the presence of certain willow-dependent songbirds. Pastures that have historical summer grazing no longer have the Willow flycatcher, Lincoln's sparrow and the White-crowned sparrow present. Yet in these same areas, birds like the American Robin, Brown-headed cowbird and the Red-winged blackbird have increased in density. One possible answer for the decrease in some songbirds is the fact that the main focus of the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge is on waterfowl habitat, which requires large amounts of open space (opposite of desirable songbird habitat).

  10. American River Watershed Investigation, California, Feasibility Report. Part 1. Main Report. Part 2. Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

    muskrat, beaver, deer, and river otters. Bird species include herons, wood duck, black-shouldered kite , and tri-colored blackbird. Additionally, the...shoulders (for runners ). A yellow centerline stripe would be provided. Where levee top widths or major obstructions such as large trees would not...Dtatyrhchos S S S F/B KiLLdeer* Charadrius vociferus S S F/B Turkey Vutture* Cathartes aura M 0 0 F/B Btack-shoutdered Kite * Etanus caeruteus S 0 0 F/B

  11. Food-chain analysis (lead and cadmium) in free-living animal populations in the Saar area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, P.

    1983-02-01

    The populations and substrates involved in food webs are integrators of the burdening of areas and ecosystems. After several years of experiences my study group started continuous populations and residue analyses in Saarland (Aromatics, Heavy metals). It was shown that with the knowledge of the ecological variables, the analyses of soil types, of earth-worms (Lumbricidae), ground beetles (Carabidae), blackbirds (Turdus meruala), honey-bees (Apis mellifica), goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes) carried out at the same site yielded expecially useful area-related results. Heavy metal concentration (Pb, Cd) in leaves of Populus nigra, Physa acuta, Erprobdella octoculata, Asellus aquaticus, earthworms, Carabids, goshawks and foxes are presented.

  12. Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement. Appendices. Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-08-01

    winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) FAMILY: Fringillidae 3 American goldfinch ( Carduelis tristis) Lesser goldfinch ( Carduelis psaltria) Purple finch...Probable S(most dates). PINE SISKIN Carduelis pinus Date A B C D E F G H II1 2 Restricted to mixed pine/riparian 1 2 habitats, or eucalyptus, near the 2 4...river mouth. Factor: 1 - 2 4 BREEDING: Possible Birds/mi. 1 1 3 LESSER GOLDFINCH Carduelis psaltria Date A B C D E F G H I 1 4 2 11 14 24 12 15 8

  13. Acute oral toxicities of wildland fire control chemicals to birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, N.B.; Spann, J.W.; Hill, E.F.

    2009-01-01

    Wildland fire control chemicals are released into the environment by aerial and ground applications to manage rangeland, grassland, and forest fires. Acute oral 24 h median lethal dosages (LD50) for three fire retardants (Fire-Trol GTS-R?, Phos-Chek D-75F?, and Fire-Trol LCG-R?) and two Class A fire suppressant foams (Silv-Ex? and Phos-Chek WD881?) were estimated for northern bobwhites, Colinus virginianus, American kestrels, Falco sparverius, and red-winged blackbirds, Agelaius phoeniceus. The LD50s of all chemicals for the bobwhites and red-winged blackbirds and for kestrels dosed with Phos-Chek WD881? and Silv-Ex? were above the predetermined 2000 mg chemical/kg body mass regulatory limit criteria for acute oral toxicity. The LD50s were not quantifiable for kestrels dosed with Fire-Trol GTS-R?, Phos-Chek D-75F?, and Fire-Trol LCG-R? because of the number of birds which regurgitated the dosage. These chemicals appear to be of comparatively low order of acute oral toxicity to the avian species tested.

  14. Artificial light at night advances avian reproductive physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominoni, Davide; Quetting, Michael; Partecke, Jesko

    2013-01-01

    Artificial light at night is a rapidly increasing phenomenon and it is presumed to have global implications. Light at night has been associated with health problems in humans as a consequence of altered biological rhythms. Effects on wild animals have been less investigated, but light at night has often been assumed to affect seasonal cycles of urban dwellers. Using light loggers attached to free-living European blackbirds (Turdus merula), we first measured light intensity at night which forest and city birds are subjected to in the wild. Then we used these measurements to test for the effect of light at night on timing of reproductive physiology. Captive city and forest blackbirds were exposed to either dark nights or very low light intensities at night (0.3 lux). Birds exposed to light at night developed their reproductive system up to one month earlier, and also moulted earlier, than birds kept under dark nights. Furthermore, city birds responded differently than forest individuals to the light at night treatment, suggesting that urbanization can alter the physiological phenotype of songbirds. Our results emphasize the impact of human-induced lighting on the ecology of millions of animals living in cities and call for an understanding of the fitness consequences of light pollution. PMID:23407836

  15. Bird song and anthropogenic noise: vocal constraints may explain why birds sing higher-frequency songs in cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Erwin; Pieretti, Nadia; Zollinger, Sue Anne; Geberzahn, Nicole; Partecke, Jesko; Miranda, Ana Catarina; Brumm, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    When animals live in cities, they have to adjust their behaviour and life histories to novel environments. Noise pollution puts a severe constraint on vocal communication by interfering with the detection of acoustic signals. Recent studies show that city birds sing higher-frequency songs than their conspecifics in non-urban habitats. This has been interpreted as an adaptation to counteract masking by traffic noise. However, this notion is debated, for the observed frequency shifts seem to be less efficient at mitigating noise than singing louder, and it has been suggested that city birds might use particularly high-frequency song elements because they can be produced at higher amplitudes. Here, we present the first phonetogram for a songbird, which shows that frequency and amplitude are strongly positively correlated in the common blackbird (Turdus merula), a successful urban colonizer. Moreover, city blackbirds preferentially sang higher-frequency elements that can be produced at higher intensities and, at the same time, happen to be less masked in low-frequency traffic noise. PMID:23303546

  16. No evidence of current sexual selection on sexually dimorphic traits in a bird with high variance in mating success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westneat, David F

    2006-06-01

    Sexual dimorphism, particularly in ornamental traits, is likely to have arisen by sexual selection. Most empirical and theoretical studies of sexual dimorphism assume that ongoing sexual selection also maintains the dimorphism. Over four seasons, I measured the sexual selection acting on three sexually dimorphic attributes (epaulet size, body size, and the blackness of the body plumage) of male red-winged blackbirds and found no consistent directional or stabilizing selection on any of them. Correlational selection was also negligible. I used path analysis to explore potential relationships in more detail but found no direct or indirect effects of male traits on either within- or extrapair success. Males who were resident on the marsh for more years had higher within-pair success, primarily because they spent more of the season on their territory. Experimental manipulations of epaulet size and color and the extent of nonblack feathers in the black body plumage had no detectable effect on the number of within-pair mates, paternity, or the number of extrapair offspring sired in nearby territories. These results combine with data from other studies of red-winged blackbirds to suggest that, despite high variation in male mating success and hence a strong opportunity for sexual selection, several morphological attributes that differ between the sexes and vary among males are not under current sexual selection. The possible explanations for why add complexity to our understanding of how sexual selection operates.

  17. Bird song and anthropogenic noise: vocal constraints may explain why birds sing higher-frequency songs in cities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Erwin; Pieretti, Nadia; Zollinger, Sue Anne; Geberzahn, Nicole; Partecke, Jesko; Miranda, Ana Catarina; Brumm, Henrik

    2013-03-07

    When animals live in cities, they have to adjust their behaviour and life histories to novel environments. Noise pollution puts a severe constraint on vocal communication by interfering with the detection of acoustic signals. Recent studies show that city birds sing higher-frequency songs than their conspecifics in non-urban habitats. This has been interpreted as an adaptation to counteract masking by traffic noise. However, this notion is debated, for the observed frequency shifts seem to be less efficient at mitigating noise than singing louder, and it has been suggested that city birds might use particularly high-frequency song elements because they can be produced at higher amplitudes. Here, we present the first phonetogram for a songbird, which shows that frequency and amplitude are strongly positively correlated in the common blackbird (Turdus merula), a successful urban colonizer. Moreover, city blackbirds preferentially sang higher-frequency elements that can be produced at higher intensities and, at the same time, happen to be less masked in low-frequency traffic noise.

  18. Parathion poisoning of Mississippi kites in Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franson, J. Christian

    1994-01-01

    Parathion(phosphorothioic acid O, O-diethyl O-[4-nitrophenyl] ester) is a broad spectrum organophosphorus insecticide, used on a variety of crops and occasionally for mosquito control, and is highly toxic to birds (Smith 1987). Intentional poisoning with parathion is reported to have killed more than 8000 red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in two separate instances (Stone et al. 1984). Use of parathion on wheat fields has resulted in the mortality of about 1600 Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and other waterfowl in one instance (White et al. 1982) and about 200 Canada geese in another (Flickinger et al. 1991). More than 200 laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) died near cotton fields treated with parathion (White et al. 1979). Secondary poisoning of raptors resulting from the consumption of prey exposed to parathion, has been reported experimentally and in the field. Stone et al. (1984) found two dead red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), a Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) and an American kestrel (Falco sparverius) that had fed on blackbirds killed by parathion. One of four American kestrels died after being fed cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) that had been exposed to 10ppm parathion for 96 hr (Fleming et al. 1982). The Mississippi kite (Ictinia mississippensis) is highly insectivorous (Brown and Amadon 1968) and is thus subject to secondary poisoning resulting from consumption of insects exposed to pesticides. I report here an instance of secondary parathion poisoning in wild Mississippi kites.

  19. The flight apparatus of migratory and sedentary individuals of a partially migratory songbird species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M Fudickar

    Full Text Available Variations in the geometry of the external flight apparatus of birds are beneficial for different behaviors. Long-distance flight is less costly with more pointed wings and shorter tails; however these traits decrease maneuverability at low speeds. Selection has led to interspecific differences in these and other flight apparatuses in relation to migration distance. If these principles are general, how are the external flight apparatus within a partially migratory bird species shaped in which individuals either migrate or stay at their breeding grounds? We resolved this question by comparing the wing pointedness and tail length (relative to wing length of migrant and resident European blackbirds (Turdus merula breeding in the same population. We predicted that migrant blackbirds would have more pointed wings and shorter tails than residents. Contrary to our predictions, there were no differences between migrants and residents in either measure. Our results indicate that morphological differences between migrants and residents in this partially migratory population may be constrained.

  20. Understanding West Nile virus ecology in Europe: Culex pipiens host feeding preference in a hotspot of virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzoli, Annapaola; Bolzoni, Luca; Chadwick, Elizabeth A; Capelli, Gioia; Montarsi, Fabrizio; Grisenti, Michela; de la Puente, Josue Martínez; Muñoz, Joaquin; Figuerola, Jordi; Soriguer, Ramon; Anfora, Gianfranco; Di Luca, Marco; Rosà, Roberto

    2015-04-09

    Understanding wildlife disease ecology is becoming an urgent need due to the continuous emergence and spread of several wildlife zoonotic diseases. West Nile Virus (WNV) is the most widespread arthropod-borne virus in the world, and in recent decades there has been an increase both in geographic range, and in the frequency of symptomatic infections in humans and wildlife. The principal vector for WNV in Europe is the common house Culex pipiens mosquito, which feeds on a wide variety of vertebrate host species. Variation in mosquito feeding preference has been described as one of the most influential parameters driving intensity and timing of WNV infection in the United States, but feeding preferences for this species have been little studied in Europe. Here, we estimated feeding preference for wild Cx. pipiens in northern Italy, using molecular analysis to identify the origin of blood meals, and avian census to control host abundance variations. Additionally, we used host bird odour extracts to test experimentally mosquito preferences in the absence of environmental variations. For the first time, we demonstrate a clear feeding preference for the common blackbird (Turdus merula), both for wild collected specimens and in the lab, suggesting a potential important role for this species in the WNV epidemiology in Europe. A seasonal decrease in abundance of blackbirds is associated with increased feeding on Eurasian magpies (Pica pica), and this may be linked to seasonal emergence of WNV in humans. Feeding preferences on blackbirds are more marked in rural areas, while preference for magpies is higher in peridomestic areas. Other species, such as the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) appear to be selected by mosquitoes opportunistically in relation to its abundance. Our findings provide new insights into the ecology of Cx. pipiens in Europe and may give useful indications in terms of implementing targeted WNV surveillance plans. However, a clearer understanding of

  1. Sulfur, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen isotope geochemistry of the Idaho cobalt belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Craig A.; Bookstrom, Arthur A.; Slack, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Cobalt-copper ± gold deposits of the Idaho cobalt belt, including the deposits of the Blackbird district, have been analyzed for their sulfur, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen isotope compositions to improve the understanding of ore formation. Previous genetic hypotheses have ranged widely, linking the ores to the sedimentary or diagenetic history of the host Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks, to Mesoproterozoic or Cretaceous magmatism, or to metamorphic shearing. The δ34S values are nearly uniform throughout the Blackbird dis- trict, with a mean value for cobaltite (CoAsS, the main cobalt mineral) of 8.0 ± 0.4‰ (n = 19). The data suggest that (1) sulfur was derived at least partly from sedimentary sources, (2) redox reactions involving sulfur were probably unimportant for ore deposition, and (3) the sulfur was probably transported to sites of ore for- mation as H2S. Hydrogen and oxygen isotope compositions of the ore-forming fluid, which are calculated from analyses of biotite-rich wall rocks and tourmaline, do not uniquely identify the source of the fluid; plausible sources include formation waters, metamorphic waters, and mixtures of magmatic and isotopically heavy meteoric waters. The calculated compositions are a poor match for the modified seawaters that form vol- canogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits. Carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of siderite, a mineral that is widespread, although sparse, at Blackbird, suggest formation from mixtures of sedimentary organic carbon and magmatic-metamorphic carbon. The isotopic compositions of calcite in alkaline dike rocks of uncertain age are consistent with a magmatic origin. Several lines of evidence suggest that siderite postdated the emplacement of cobalt and copper, so its significance for the ore-forming event is uncertain. From the stable isotope perspective, the mineral deposits of the Idaho cobalt belt contrast with typical VMS and sedimentary exhalative deposits. They show characteristics of deposit

  2. Strata-bound Fe-Co-Cu-Au-Bi-Y-REE deposits of the Idaho Cobalt Belt: Multistage hydrothermal mineralization in a magmatic-related iron oxide copper-gold system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slack, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Mineralogical and geochemical studies of strata-bound Fe-Co-Cu-Au-Bi-Y-rare-earth element (REE) deposits of the Idaho cobalt belt in east-central Idaho provide evidence of multistage epigenetic mineralization by magmatic-hydrothermal processes in an iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) system. Deposits of the Idaho cobalt belt comprise three types: (1) strata-bound sulfide lenses in the Blackbird district, which are cobaltite and, less commonly, chalcopyrite rich with locally abundant gold, native bismuth, bismuthinite, xenotime, allanite, monazite, and the Be-rich silicate gadolinite-(Y), with sparse uraninite, stannite, and Bi tellurides, in a gangue of quartz, chlorite, biotite, muscovite, garnet, tourmaline, chloritoid, and/or siderite, with locally abundant fluorapatite or magnetite; (2) discordant tourmalinized breccias in the Blackbird district that in places have concentrations of cobaltite, chalcopyrite, gold, and xenotime; and (3) strata-bound magnetite-rich lenses in the Iron Creek area, which contain cobaltiferous pyrite and locally sparse chalcopyrite or xenotime. Most sulfide-rich deposits in the Blackbird district are enclosed by strata-bound lenses composed mainly of Cl-rich Fe biotite; some deposits have quartz-rich envelopes.Whole-rock analyses of 48 Co- and/or Cu-rich samples show high concentrations of Au (up to 26.8 ppm), Bi (up to 9.16 wt %), Y (up to 0.83 wt %), ∑REEs (up to 2.56 wt %), Ni (up to 6,780 ppm), and Be (up to 1,180 ppm), with locally elevated U (up to 124 ppm) and Sn (up to 133 ppm); Zn and Pb contents are uniformly low (≤821 and ≤61 ppm, respectively). Varimax factor analysis of bulk compositions of these samples reveals geochemically distinct element groupings that reflect statistical associations of monazite, allanite, and xenotime; biotite and gold; detrital minerals; chalcopyrite and sparse stannite; quartz; and cobaltite with sparse selenides and tellurides. Significantly, Cu is statistically separate from Co and As

  3. Epidemic Spread of Usutu Virus in Southwest Germany in 2011 to 2013 and Monitoring of Wild Birds for Usutu and West Nile Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Ute; Jöst, Hanna; Müller, Kerstin; Fischer, Dominik; Rinder, Monika; Tietze, Dieter Thomas; Danner, Klaus-Jürgen; Becker, Norbert; Skuballa, Jasmin; Hamann, Hans-Peter; Bosch, Stefan; Fast, Christine; Eiden, Martin; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Groschup, Martin H

    2015-08-01

    Mosquito-borne viruses are becoming an increasing threat for Europe. One of these viruses is Usutu virus (USUV), a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the Japanese encephalitis virus group within the family Flaviviridae. Since the occurrence of USUV among wild birds in June, 2011, infected Blackbirds (Turdus merula) have frequently been found dead in southwest Germany, cumulating in a massive die-off. Moreover, other bird species (Strigiformes) in this region have been affected. In a first study, 209 of over 600 dead birds (wild birds and birds kept in aviaries) collected from 2011 to 2013 carried USUV, more than 88% of them Blackbirds. USUV had already been detected in 2010, one year before the epizooty, in a mosquito-based surveillance program in Germany. The main epidemic area of the USUV outbreak in wild birds in southwest Germany has been similar for the last three years. In a second study during 2011 to 2013, 902 live migratory and resident birds (representing 87 bird species belonging to 14 bird orders) from four different sampling sites were bled and tested serologically and by qPCR for West Nile virus (WNV) and USUV infections. No USUV or WNV genomes were detected. Some migratory birds (mainly long-distance migrants and some partial migrants) carried neutralizing antibodies against WNV as discriminated by USUV and WNV cross-neutralization tests. Only few resident birds showed relevant USUV-specific neutralizing antibodies. The occurrence of USUV in the Upper Rhine valley area of southwest Germany is a proof of principle for the incursion and spread of other arthropod-borne (arbo)-viruses along these routes. Therefore, monitoring studies in birds and mosquitoes for the presence of arboviruses in these areas are indispensable.

  4. Recovery of a mining-damaged stream ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher A. Mebane

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This paper presents a 30+ year record of changes in benthic macroinvertebrate communities and fish populations associated with improving water quality in mining-influenced streams. Panther Creek, a tributary to the Salmon River in central Idaho, USA suffered intensive damage from mining and milling operations at the Blackbird Mine that released copper (Cu, arsenic (As, and cobalt (Co into tributaries. From the 1960s through the 1980s, no fish and few aquatic invertebrates could be found in 40 km of mine-affected reaches of Panther Creek downstream of the metals contaminated tributaries, Blackbird and Big Deer Creeks. Efforts to restore water quality began in 1995, and by 2002 Cu levels had been reduced by about 90%, with incremental declines since. Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss were early colonizers, quickly expanding their range as areas became habitable when Cu concentrations dropped below about 3X the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s biotic ligand model (BLM based chronic aquatic life criterion. Anadromous Chinook Salmon (O. tshawytscha and steelhead (O. mykiss have also reoccupied Panther Creek. Full recovery of salmonid populations occurred within about 12-years after the onset of restoration efforts and about 4-years after the Cu chronic criteria had mostly been met, with recovery interpreted as similarity in densities, biomass, year class strength, and condition factors between reference sites and mining-influenced sites. Shorthead Sculpin (Cottus confusus were slower than salmonids to disperse and colonize. While benthic macroinvertebrate biomass has increased, species richness has plateaued at about 70 to 90% of reference despite the Cu criterion having been met for several years. Different invertebrate taxa had distinctly different recovery trajectories. Among the slowest taxa to recover were Ephemerella, Cinygmula and Rhithrogena mayflies, Enchytraeidae oligochaetes, and Heterlimnius aquatic beetles. Potential

  5. Community ecology of helminth parasitism in an insular passerine avifauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, C L; Crites, J L

    1976-02-01

    Three hundred and thirty specimens of 7 species of passerine birds from South Bass Island, Ottawa County, Ohio, were examined for helminth parasites. The total number of helminth specimens collected was 4,333. Forty-one helminth taxa were identified. Ten species of helminths were identified as having foci of infection on the island. An index of association for these 10 species is presented. The low association revealed between helminth species utilizing common species of intermediate hosts indicated that a single intermediate host specimen is likely to harbor infective stages of only one species of parasitic helminth. An index of similarity is presented to express the species importance relationships of the helminth faunas of the 7 species of birds: red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata), brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), house sparrows (Passer domesticus), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), and robins (Turdus migratorius). The results reveal that competition between these avian species for invertebrate food resources helps to maximize the transmission of those helminth populations which utilize these same invertebrates as intermediate hosts. The aggregation of birds into mixed feeding flocks insures a heavy loading of the feeding grounds with agents infective for the invertebrate populations.

  6. Sources of blood meals of sylvatic Triatoma guasayana near Zurima, Bolivia, assayed with qPCR and 12S cloning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Lucero

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study we compared the utility of two molecular biology techniques, cloning of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA gene and hydrolysis probe-based qPCR, to identify blood meal sources of sylvatic Chagas disease insect vectors collected with live-bait mouse traps (also known as Noireau traps. Fourteen T. guasayana were collected from six georeferenced trap locations in the Andean highlands of the department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia.We detected four blood meals sources with the cloning assay: seven samples were positive for human (Homo sapiens, five for chicken (Gallus gallus and unicolored blackbird (Agelasticus cyanopus, and one for opossum (Monodelphis domestica. Using the qPCR assay we detected chicken (13 vectors, and human (14 vectors blood meals as well as an additional blood meal source, Canis sp. (4 vectors.We show that cloning of 12S PCR products, which avoids bias associated with developing primers based on a priori knowledge, detected blood meal sources not previously considered and that species-specific qPCR is more sensitive. All samples identified as positive for a specific blood meal source by the cloning assay were also positive by qPCR. However, not all samples positive by qPCR were positive by cloning. We show the power of combining the cloning assay with the highly sensitive hydrolysis probe-based qPCR assay provides a more complete picture of blood meal sources for insect disease vectors.

  7. Rethinking our assumptions about the evolution of bird song and other sexually dimorphic signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Jordan Price

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Bird song is often cited as a classic example of a sexually-selected ornament, in part because historically it has been considered a primarily male trait. Recent evidence that females also sing in many songbird species and that sexual dimorphism in song is often the result of losses in females rather than gains in males therefore appears to challenge our understanding of the evolution of bird song through sexual selection. Here I propose that these new findings do not necessarily contradict previous research, but rather they disagree with some of our assumptions about the evolution of sexual dimorphisms in general and female song in particular. These include misconceptions that current patterns of elaboration and diversity in each sex reflect past rates of change and that levels of sexual dimorphism necessarily reflect levels of sexual selection. Using New World blackbirds (Icteridae as an example, I critically evaluate these past assumptions in light of new phylogenetic evidence. Understanding the mechanisms underlying such sexually dimorphic traits requires a clear understanding of their evolutionary histories. Only then can we begin to ask the right questions.

  8. Transport of Ixodid ticks and tick-borne pathogens by migratory birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar eHasle

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Birds, particularly passerines, can be parasitized by Ixodid ticks, which may be infected with tick-borne pathogens, like Borrelia spp., Babesia spp., Anaplasma, Rickettsia/Coxiella, and tick-borne encephalitis virus. The prevalence of ticks on birds varies over years, season, locality and different bird species. The prevalence of ticks on different species depends mainly on the degree of feeding on the ground. In Europe, the Turdus spp., especially the blackbird, Turdus merula, appears to be most important for harboring ticks. Birds can easily cross barriers, like fences, mountains, glaciers, desserts and oceans, which would stop mammals, and they can move much faster than the wingless hosts. Birds can potentially transport tick-borne pathogens by transporting infected ticks, by being infected with tick-borne pathogens and transmit the pathogens to the ticks, and possibly act as hosts for transfer of pathogens between ticks through co-feeding. Knowledge of the bird migration routes and of the spatial distribution of tick species and tick-borne pathogens is crucial for understanding the possible impact of birds as spreaders of ticks and tick-borne pathogens. Successful colonization of new tick species or introduction of new tick-borne pathogens will depend on suitable climate, vegetation and hosts. Although it has never been demonstrated that a new tick species, or a new tick pathogen, actually has been established in a new locality after being seeded there by birds, evidence strongly suggests that this could occur.

  9. Climate and waterfowl populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diamond, A.W.; Brace, R.K.

    1991-01-01

    Climate affects waterfowl populations through a variety of pathways, categorized as direct impacts (physiological effects on the bird itself), and indirect, acting through the bird's habitats and changes in land use practices. Graphs are presented of wetland use by Prairie ducks, duck use by pothole size and class, duck use by wetland type, wetland use by grebes, numbers of nongame birds, wetland use by shorebirds and wetland use by blackbirds. Wetlands are classified according to the following scheme: ephemeral and temporary, which are shallow and are first to thaw in the spring; seasonal, which become available later in the year and last longer; semipermanent wetlands, which hold water well into late summer; permanent wetlands, which are relatively less productive than other types, and which are mainly used as staging habitat for fall migration; and alkali wetlands, which are relatively little used. The types of wetland available to waterfowl and other migratory birds are as important as numbers and total area. In general, smaller wetlands are more important than larger, more permanent water bodies. Small, impermanent wetlands are more vulnerable to climatic warming and drying, and species such as waterfowl and migratory birds in general are at great risk from further drying of the hydrological regime of the Prairies and Great Plains. 12 refs., 9 figs

  10. Now you see it, now you don't: flushing hosts prior to experimentation can predict their responses to brood parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Daniel; Samaš, Peter; Heryán, Josef; Hauber, Mark E; Grim, Tomáš

    2015-03-12

    Brood parasitic birds lay their eggs in other birds' nests, leaving hosts to raise their offspring. To understand parasite-host coevolutionary arms races, many studies have examined host responses to experimentally introduced eggs. However, attending parents often need to be flushed from their nests to add experimental eggs. If these birds witness parasitism events, they may recognize and reject foreign eggs more readily than parents who did not. We found that, after being flushed, female blackbirds, Turdus merula, remained close to their nests. Flushed females were more likely to eject foreign eggs and did so more quickly than females that were not flushed during experimentation. In contrast, flushing did not predict responses and latency to responses to parasitism by song thrush, Turdus philomelos, which flew farther from their nests and likely did not witness experimental parasitism. When statistically considering flushing, previously published conclusions regarding both species' response to experimental parasitism did not change. Nevertheless, we recommend that researchers record and statistically control for whether hosts were flushed prior to experimental parasitism. Our results have broad implications because more vigilant and/or bolder parents can gain more information about parasitism events and therefore have better chances of successfully defending against brood parasitism.

  11. Avian response to bottomland hardwood reforestation: the first 10 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twedt, D.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Henne-Kerr, J.L.; Grosshuesch, D.A.

    2002-01-01

    Bttomland hardwood forests were planted on agricultural fields in Mississippi and Louisiana using either predominantly Quercus species (oaks) or Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). We assessed avian colonization of these reforested sites between 2 and 10 years after planting. Rapid vertical growth of cottonwoods (circa 2 - 3 m / yr) resulted in sites with forest structure that supported greater species richness of breeding birds, increased Shannon diversity indices, and supported greater territory densities than on sites planted with slower-growing oak species. Grassland birds (Spiza americana [Dickcissel], and Sturnella magna [Eastern Meadowlark]) were indicative of species breeding on oak-dominated reforestation # 10 years old. Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird) and Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite) characterized cottonwood reforestation # 4 years old, whereas 14 species of shrub-scrub birds (e.g., Passerina cyanea [Indigo Bunting]) and early-successional forest birds (e.g., Vireo gilvus [Warbling Vireo]) typified cottonwood reforestation 5 to 9 years after planting. Rates of daily nest survival did not differ between reforestation strategies. Nest parasitism increased markedly in older cottonwood stands, but was overwhelmed by predation as a cause of nest failure. Based on Partners in Flight prioritization scores and territory densities, the value of cottonwood reforestation for avian conservation was significantly greater than that of oak reforestation during their first 10 years. Because of benefits conferred on breeding birds, we recommend reforestation of bottomland hardwoods include a high proportion of fast-growing, early successional species such as cottonwood.

  12. Shiny cowbird parasitism in two avian communities in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, J.W.

    1985-01-01

    The shiny cowbird (M. bonariensis), a brood parasite, has recently expanded its range from South America to Puerto Rico via the Lesser Antilles. This species is a host generalist and, on reaching Puerto Rico, encounteed avian species with no history of social parasitism. In mangrove habitat study areas, 42% of the resident non-raptorial land bird species were parasitized. Some species were heavily parasitized; e.g., yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), 76% of nests parasitized black-whiskered vireo (Vireo altiloquus), 82%, Puerto Rican flycatcher (Myiarchus antillarum), 85%, yellow-shouldered blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus), 95%, troupial (Icterus icterus), 100%, black-cowled oriole (I. dominicensis), 100%. Others suffered low rates of parasitism (2-17% of nests examined); e.g., gray kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis), red-legged thrush (Turdus plumbeus), bronze mannikin (Lonchura cucullata), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), greater antillean grackle (Quiscalus niger). Cowbird parasitism affected hosts by depressing nest success an average of 41% below non-parasitized nests and reducing host productivity. Parasitized host nests hatched 12% fewer eggs an fledged 67% fewer of their own chicks than non-parasitized pairs.

  13. Gnezdilke Parka Škocjanske jame (Kras, JZ Slovenija/ The breeding birds of Škocjan Caves Park (Kras, SW Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Figelj Jernej

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study done in 2011 and 2012 was to identify the number of breeding bird species, to provide population estimates as well as to evaluate the conservational importance of Škocjan Caves Park for birds. Common bird species were surveyed using the territory mapping method. Rare species and nocturnally active species were surveyed using species-specific methods: observation, the playback method and the line transect method. 81 species were registered, 49 of which bred within the boundaries of the Park. The most abundant breeding species were Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (260-320 breeding pairs, Robin Erithacus rubecula (250-310 breeding pairs, Blackbird Turdus merula (230-280 breeding pairs, Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (230-280 breeding pairs and Marsh Tit Poecile palustris (200-240 breeding pairs. Qualifying species for the Special Protected Area (SPA Kras (SI5000023 also bred within the Park: Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, Scops Owl Otus scops and Woodlark Lululla arborea. Eagle Owl Bubo bubo was also registered, but breeding attempts during the study period were unsuccessful due to the negative influence of several factors. One of the largest colonies of Alpine Swifts Apus melba, a rare and localized species in Slovenia, is also of conservation concern.

  14. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.

    2015-05-01

    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  15. Molecular approaches for blood meal analysis and species identification of mosquitoes (Insecta: Diptera: Culicidae) in rural locations in southern England, United Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Triana, Luis Miguel; Brugman, Victor Albert; Prosser, Sean Williams John; Weland, Chris; Nikolova, Nadya; Thorne, Leigh; Marco, Mar Fernández DE; Fooks, Anthony Richard; Johnson, Nicholas

    2017-04-03

    Thirty-four species of Culicidae are present in the UK, of which 15 have been implicated as potential vectors of arthropod-borne viruses such as West Nile virus. Identification of mosquito feeding preferences is paramount to the understanding of vector-host-pathogen interactions which, in turn, would assist in the control of disease outbreaks. Results are presented on the application of DNA barcoding for vertebrate species identification in blood-fed female mosquitoes in rural locations. Blood-fed females (n = 134) were collected in southern England from rural sites and identified based on morphological criteria. Blood meals from 59 specimens (44%) were identified as feeding on eight hosts: European rabbit, cow, human, barn swallow, dog, great tit, magpie and blackbird. Analysis of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I mtDNA barcoding region and the internal transcribed spacer 2 rDNA region of the specimens morphologically identified as Anopheles maculipennis s.l. revealed the presence of An. atroparvus and An. messeae. A similar analysis of specimens morphologically identified as Culex pipiens/Cx. torrentium showed all specimens to be Cx. pipiens (typical form). This study demonstrates the importance of using molecular techniques to support species-level identification in blood-fed mosquitoes to maximize the information obtained in studies investigating host feeding patterns.

  16. DWARFS GOBBLING DWARFS: A STELLAR TIDAL STREAM AROUND NGC 4449 AND HIERARCHICAL GALAXY FORMATION ON SMALL SCALES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martinez-Delgado, David; Rix, Hans-Walter; Maccio, Andrea V. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomy, Heidelberg (Germany); Romanowsky, Aaron J.; Arnold, Jacob A.; Brodie, Jean P. [UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Jay Gabany, R. [Black Bird Observatory, Mayhill, New Mexico (United States); Annibali, Francesca [Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, INAF, Via Ranzani 1, I-40127 Bologna (Italy); Fliri, Juergen [LERMA, CNRS UMR 8112, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Avenue de l' Observatoire, F-75014 Paris (France); Zibetti, Stefano [Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute-University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Van der Marel, Roeland P.; Aloisi, Alessandra [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Chonis, Taylor S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, Texas (United States); Carballo-Bello, Julio A. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife (Spain); Gallego-Laborda, J. [Fosca Nit Observatory, Montsec Astronomical Park, Ager (Spain); Merrifield, Michael R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD (United Kingdom)

    2012-04-01

    A candidate diffuse stellar substructure was previously reported in the halo of the nearby dwarf starburst galaxy NGC 4449 by Karachentsev et al. We map and analyze this feature using a unique combination of deep integrated-light images from the BlackBird 0.5 m telescope, and high-resolution wide-field images from the 8 m Subaru Telescope, which resolve the nebulosity into a stream of red giant branch stars, and confirm its physical association with NGC 4449. The properties of the stream imply a massive dwarf spheroidal progenitor, which after complete disruption will deposit an amount of stellar mass that is comparable to the existing stellar halo of the main galaxy. The stellar mass ratio between the two galaxies is {approx}1:50, while the indirectly measured dynamical mass ratio, when including dark matter, may be {approx}1:10-1:5. This system may thus represent a 'stealth' merger, where an infalling satellite galaxy is nearly undetectable by conventional means, yet has a substantial dynamical influence on its host galaxy. This singular discovery also suggests that satellite accretion can play a significant role in building up the stellar halos of low-mass galaxies, and possibly in triggering their starbursts.

  17. Ventilation patterns of the songbird lung/air sac system during different behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackelprang, Rebecca; Goller, Franz

    2013-10-01

    Unidirectional, continuous airflow through the avian lung is achieved through an elaborate air sac system with a sequential, posterior to anterior ventilation pattern. This classical model was established through various approaches spanning passively ventilated systems to mass spectrometry analysis of tracer gas flow into various air sacs during spontaneous breathing in restrained ducks. Information on flow patterns in other bird taxa is missing, and these techniques do not permit direct tests of whether the basic flow pattern can change during different behaviors. Here we use thermistors implanted into various locations of the respiratory system to detect small pulses of tracer gas (helium) to reconstruct airflow patterns in quietly breathing and behaving (calling, wing flapping) songbirds (zebra finch and yellow-headed blackbird). The results illustrate that the basic pattern of airflow in these two species is largely consistent with the model. However, two notable differences emerged. First, some tracer gas arrived in the anterior set of air sacs during the inspiration during which it was inhaled, suggesting a more rapid throughput through the lung than previously assumed. Second, differences in ventilation between the two anterior air sacs emerged during calling and wing flapping, indicating that adjustments in the flow pattern occur during dynamic behaviors. It is unclear whether this modulation in ventilation pattern is passive or active. This technique for studying ventilation patterns during dynamic behaviors proves useful for establishing detailed timing of airflow and modulation of ventilation in the avian respiratory system.

  18. Birds and anthropogenic noise: are urban songs adaptive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Erwin; Brumm, Henrik

    2010-10-01

    In cities with intense low-frequency traffic noise, birds have been observed to sing louder and at a higher pitch. Several studies argue that higher song pitch is an adaptation to reduce masking from noise, and it has even been suggested that the song divergence between urban and nonurban songs might lead to reproductive isolation. Here we present models of signal transmission to compare the benefits of raised song amplitude and song pitch in terms of sound transmission. We chose two bird species that sing with higher pitch in urban areas, the great tit (Parus major) and the blackbird (Turdus merula). For both species, we calculated communication distances in response to different levels of urban noise and in their natural forest habitats. We found that an increase in vocal pitch increased communication distance only marginally. In contrast, vocal amplitude adjustments had a strong and significantly larger effect. Our results indicate that frequency changes of urban songs are not very effective in mitigating masking from traffic noise. Increased song pitch might not be an adaptation to reduce signal masking but a physiological side effect of singing at high amplitudes or an epiphenomenon of urbanization that is not related to signal transmission.

  19. Sources of Blood Meals of Sylvatic Triatoma guasayana near Zurima, Bolivia, Assayed with qPCR and 12S Cloning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucero, David E.; Ribera, Wilma; Pizarro, Juan Carlos; Plaza, Carlos; Gordon, Levi W.; Peña, Reynaldo; Morrissey, Leslie A.; Rizzo, Donna M.; Stevens, Lori

    2014-01-01

    Background In this study we compared the utility of two molecular biology techniques, cloning of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA gene and hydrolysis probe-based qPCR, to identify blood meal sources of sylvatic Chagas disease insect vectors collected with live-bait mouse traps (also known as Noireau traps). Fourteen T. guasayana were collected from six georeferenced trap locations in the Andean highlands of the department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Methodology/Principal Findings We detected four blood meals sources with the cloning assay: seven samples were positive for human (Homo sapiens), five for chicken (Gallus gallus) and unicolored blackbird (Agelasticus cyanopus), and one for opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Using the qPCR assay we detected chicken (13 vectors), and human (14 vectors) blood meals as well as an additional blood meal source, Canis sp. (4 vectors). Conclusions/Significance We show that cloning of 12S PCR products, which avoids bias associated with developing primers based on a priori knowledge, detected blood meal sources not previously considered and that species-specific qPCR is more sensitive. All samples identified as positive for a specific blood meal source by the cloning assay were also positive by qPCR. However, not all samples positive by qPCR were positive by cloning. We show the power of combining the cloning assay with the highly sensitive hydrolysis probe-based qPCR assay provides a more complete picture of blood meal sources for insect disease vectors. PMID:25474154

  20. Plastic Free Belize: People, Plastic, and Pollution in a developing Caribbean nation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett-Martin, P. A.; Longobardi, P.

    2016-02-01

    The accumulation of non-organic debris from humans is a growing environmental concern in coastal Belize. This study used a variety of methods to inventory and categorize debris types, to assess the spatial distribution of debris and used GIS to catalog and analyze data. Marine debris included glass, metal, styrofoam, fishing debris, and plastics. Plastics were the most abundant marine debris observed, and are a common pollutant in the marine ecosystem throughout Belize. The study also used ethnographic techniques engaging members of three coastal communities to assess practices for managing the debris. In 2015, we worked with over 146 individuals in different capacities in the communities of Belize City, Blackbird Caye, and Caye Caulker to determine their involvement and activities with marine debris. The participatory observation process discovered a network of individuals who are committed to managing and reducing waste, especially plastic pollution. This research establishes a baseline framework for participatory monitoring and adaptive governance for addressing coastal marine debris issues at varying scales: individuals, communities, NGOs, and government. These data allow for use of critical cartographic representations that will be beneficial to coastal communities of Belize for awareness and governance purposes related to future management of marine debris issues.

  1. Monocrotophos and dicrotophos residues in birds as a result of misuse of organophosphates in Matagorda county Texas USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flickinger, Edward L.; White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Lamont, T.G.

    1984-01-01

    About 1100 birds of 12 spp. [Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), mourning dove (Zenaida macrours), Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), blue-winged teal (Anas discors), mottled duck (Anas fulvigula), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), redhead (Aythya americana) and ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres)] died from organophosphate poisoning in Matagorda County on the Texas Gulf Coast in March and May 1982. Birds died from feeding on rice seed that was illegally treated with dicrotophos or monocrotophos and placed near rice fields as bait to attract and kill birds. Brain acetylcholinesterase inhibition of affected birds averaged 87% (range 82-89%), and contents of gastrointestinal tracts contained residues of dicrotophos (5.6-14 ppm) or monocrotophos (2.1-13 ppm). Rice seed collected at mortality sites contained 210 ppm dicrotophos or 950 ppm monocrotophos. Mortality from dicrotophos poisoning continued for almost 3 wk. The practice of illegally treating rice seed with either of the 2 organophosphates appears to be infrequent but widespread at present.

  2. Azodrin® poisoning of waterfowl in rice fields in Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Kolbe, E.J.; Ferguson, W.H.

    1983-01-01

    During the period 2-4 April 1981 about 100 birds, mostly ducks and geese, were found dead and dying in a rice field near Sweet Lake, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Fresh specimens were collected to determine the cause of mortality. Birds were placed individually in polyethylene freezer bags, tagged, and frozen soon after collection. Four snow geese (Chen caerulescens), two blue-winged teal (Anas discors), one green-winged teal (Anas crecca), and one mottled duck (Anas fulvigula) were shipped to the National Wildlife Health Laboratory (NWHL), Madison, Wisconsin, for necropsy and pathological examination. Ten snow geese, 10 blue-winged teal, three green-winged teal, three great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus), and eight red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were transported to the Gulf Coast Field Station, Victoria, Texas, for brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity determinations and preparation for chemical residue analysis. Additionally, apparently healthy specimens of the affected species were collected near Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Victoria, Texas, to serve as controls in the analyses.

  3. A study of the ciliar tracheal epithelium on passerine birds and small mammals subjected to air pollution: ultrastructural study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorriz, A.; Llacuna, S.; Durfort, M.; Nadal, J. (University of Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain). Faculty of Biology)

    1994-07-01

    A study was made of the ciliar tracheal epithelium on passerine birds and small mammals subjected to NO[sub x], SO[sub 2] emissions and particulates from a coal-fired power plant. The results were compared to those of a non-polluted area, very similar in vegetation, relief, and climatology. The authors studied Carduelis carduelis (goldfinch), Emberiza cia (rock bunting), Parus major (great tit), Turdus merual (blackbird), and Apodemus sylvaticus (wood mouse). All animals were captured in the wild. Also used were goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) captured in the wild and mice (Mus musculus) from the laboratory. These species were placed in protected cages near the source of pollution for 5 and 12 months. The images of the tracheal epithelium surface and the observation of tracheal sections at transmission and scanning electron microscopy showed a variation in the percentage of ciliated and non-ciliated cells, and a variation in the organization, orientation, and morphology of the cilia in animals from the polluted zone.

  4. Sources of blood meals of sylvatic Triatoma guasayana near Zurima, Bolivia, assayed with qPCR and 12S cloning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucero, David E; Ribera, Wilma; Pizarro, Juan Carlos; Plaza, Carlos; Gordon, Levi W; Peña, Reynaldo; Morrissey, Leslie A; Rizzo, Donna M; Stevens, Lori

    2014-12-01

    In this study we compared the utility of two molecular biology techniques, cloning of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA gene and hydrolysis probe-based qPCR, to identify blood meal sources of sylvatic Chagas disease insect vectors collected with live-bait mouse traps (also known as Noireau traps). Fourteen T. guasayana were collected from six georeferenced trap locations in the Andean highlands of the department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. We detected four blood meals sources with the cloning assay: seven samples were positive for human (Homo sapiens), five for chicken (Gallus gallus) and unicolored blackbird (Agelasticus cyanopus), and one for opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Using the qPCR assay we detected chicken (13 vectors), and human (14 vectors) blood meals as well as an additional blood meal source, Canis sp. (4 vectors). We show that cloning of 12S PCR products, which avoids bias associated with developing primers based on a priori knowledge, detected blood meal sources not previously considered and that species-specific qPCR is more sensitive. All samples identified as positive for a specific blood meal source by the cloning assay were also positive by qPCR. However, not all samples positive by qPCR were positive by cloning. We show the power of combining the cloning assay with the highly sensitive hydrolysis probe-based qPCR assay provides a more complete picture of blood meal sources for insect disease vectors.

  5. Re-Os systematics and geochemistry of cobaltite (CoAsS) in the Idaho cobalt belt, Belt-Purcell Basin, USA: Evidence for middle Mesoproterozoic sediment-hosted Co-Cu sulfide mineralization with Grenvillian and Cretaceous remobilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saintilan, N.J.; Creaser, R.A.; Bookstrom, Arthur A.

    2017-01-01

    We report the first study of the Re-Os systematics of cobaltite (CoAsS) using disseminated grains and massive sulfides from samples of two breccia-type and two stratabound deposits in the Co-Cu-Au Idaho cobalt belt (ICB), Lemhi subbasin to the Belt-Purcell Basin, Idaho, USA. Using a 185Re + 190Os spike solution, magnetic and non-magnetic fractions of cobaltite mineral separates give reproducible Re-Os analytical data for aliquot sizes of 150 to 200 mg. Cobaltite from the ICB has highly radiogenic 187Os/188Os ratios (17–45) and high 187Re/188Os ratios (600–1800) but low Re and total Os contents (ca. 0.4–4 ppb and 14–64 ppt, respectively). Containing 30 to 74% radiogenic 187Os, cobaltite from the ICB is amenable to Re-Os age determination using the isochron regression approach.Re-Os data for disseminated cobaltite mineralization in a quartz-tourmaline breccia from the Haynes-Stellite deposit yield a Model 1 isochron age of 1349 ± 76 Ma (2σ, n = 4, mean squared weighted deviation MSWD = 2.1, initial 187Os/188Os ratio = 4.7 ± 2.2). This middle Mesoproterozoic age is preserved despite a possible metamorphic overprint or a pulse of metamorphic-hydrothermal remobilization of pre-existing cobaltite that formed along fold cleavages during the ca. 1190–1006 Ma Grenvillian orogeny. This phase of remobilization is tentatively identified by a Model 3 isochron age of 1132 ± 240 Ma (2σ, n = 7, MSWD = 9.3, initial 187Os/188Os ratio of 9.0 ± 2.9) for cobaltite in the quartz-tourmaline breccia from the Idaho zone in the Blackbird mine.All Mesoproterozoic cobaltite mineralization in the district was affected by greenschist- to lower amphibolite-facies (garnet zone) metamorphism during the Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous Cordilleran orogeny. However, the fine- to coarse-grained massive cobaltite mineralization from the shear zone-hosted Chicago zone, Blackbird mine, is the only studied deposit that has severely disturbed Re

  6. Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater, parasitism and abundance in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, L.D.; Johnson, D.H.

    2007-01-01

    The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) reaches its highest abundance in the northern Great Plains, but much of our understanding of cowbird ecology and host-parasite interactions comes from areas outside of this region. We examine cowbird brood parasitism and densities during two studies of breeding birds in the northern Great Plains during 1990-2006. We found 2649 active nests of 75 species, including 746 nonpasserine nests and 1902 passerine nests. Overall, parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds. Although the overall frequency of cowbird parasitism in passerine nests in these two studies is considered moderate, the frequency of multiple parasitism among parasitized nests was heavy (nearly 50%). The mean number of cowbird eggs per parasitized passerine nest was 1.9 ?? 1.2 (SD; range = 1-8 cowbird eggs). The parasitism rates were 9.5% for passerines that typically nest in habitats characterized by woody vegetation, 16.4% for grassland-nesting passerines, 4.7% for passerines known to consistently eject cowbird eggs, and 28.2% for passerines that usually accept cowbird eggs. The Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) was the most commonly parasitized species (43.1 % parasitism, 49.6% multiple parasitism, 71.2% of all cases of parasitism). Passerine nests found within areas of higher female cowbird abundance experienced higher frequencies of cowbird parasitism than those found in areas of lower female cowbird abundance. Densities of female cowbirds were positively related to densities and richness of other birds in the breeding bird community.

  7. Natural selection of the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) in Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvi, S.I.; Tarr, C.L.; Mcintosh, C.E.; Atkinson, C.T.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    The native Hawaiian honeycreepers represent a classic example of adaptive radiation and speciation, but currently face one the highest extinction rates in the world. Although multiple factors have likely influenced the fate of Hawaiian birds, the relatively recent introduction of avian malaria is thought to be a major factor limiting honeycreeper distribution and abundance. We have initiated genetic analyses of class II ?? chain Mhc genes in four species of honeycreepers using methods that eliminate the possibility of sequencing mosaic variants formed by cloning heteroduplexed polymerase chain reaction products. Phylogenetic analyses group the honeycreeper Mhc sequences into two distinct clusters. Variation within one cluster is high, with dN > d S and levels of diversity similar to other studies of Mhc (B system) genes in birds. The second cluster is nearly invariant and includes sequences from honeycreepers (Fringillidae), a sparrow (Emberizidae) and a blackbird (Emberizidae). This highly conserved cluster appears reminiscent of the independently segregating Rfp-Y system of genes defined in chickens. The notion that balancing selection operates at the Mhc in the honeycreepers is supported by transpecies polymorphism and strikingly high dN/dS ratios at codons putatively involved in peptide interaction. Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences were invariant in the i'iwi, but were highly variable in the 'amakihi. By contrast, levels of variability of class II ?? chain Mhc sequence codons that are hypothesized to be directly involved in peptide interactions appear comparable between i'iwi and 'amakihi. In the i'iwi, natural selection may have maintained variation within the Mhc, even in the face of what appears to a genetic bottleneck.

  8. Aves de três remanescentes florestais do norte do Estado do Paraná, sul do Brasil, com sugestões para a conservação e manejo Birds from three forest remnants in the North of Paraná State, South of Brazil, with suggestions for conservation and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Ricardo Bornschein

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available One hundred eighty species in a preliminary inventory were identified. From these, 166 were in an area of 832.5 ha (Mata São Francisco State Park, 84 in another of 9.7 ha (Manoel Júlio de Almeida Municipal Forest and 99 in the third remnant, briefly sampled, of 218 ha (Mata São Paulo. Comparing these numbers to inventories of nearby sites was considered that the larger area is poor in number of bird species, and believe this to be mainly due to the high degree of environmental degradation. Was considered that the smaller area is rich in birds, but its proximity (375 meters to the third remnant certainly exeits strong influence. This paper presents the list of birds by site and with their relative frequency of occurrence. A new record for Paraná (Scarlet-headed Blackbird Amblyramphus holosericeus, two new ones for the interior of the state (Uniform Crake Amaurolimnas concolor and Yellow-lored Tody-flycatcher Todirostrum poliocephalum and several other important records are commented (e.g. Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata, Vinaceous Parrot Amazona vinacea, and Black-banded Owl Ciccaba huhula. Locally extinct species are discussed (e.g. Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja, as well as the ones that colonized landscapes created by men (e.g. pastures, agricultural areas. When discussing Atlantic Forest endemism, some species were shown not to be endemic to this biome. Because the north of Paraná is almost totally deforested, the presence of the forest remnants by itself conter them great importance for conservation, besides the existence of species endemic to the Atlantic Forest and considered to be under the threat of extinction. Conservation and management measures are also proposed.

  9. State of the Art in Beta Titanium Alloys for Airframe Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, James D.; Briggs, Robert D.; Boyer, Rodney R.; Tamirisakandala, Sesh; Russo, Patrick; Shchetnikov, Nikolay; Fanning, John C.

    2015-06-01

    Beta titanium alloys were recognized as a distinct materials class in the 1950s, and following the introduction of Ti-13V-11Cr-3Al in the early 1960s, intensive research occurred for decades thereafter. By the 1980s, dozens of compositions had been explored and sufficient work had been accomplished to warrant the first major conference in 1983. Metallurgists of the time recognized beta alloys as highly versatile and capable of remarkable property development at much lower component weights than steels, coupled with excellent corrosion resistance. Although alloys such as Ti-15V-3Al-3Sn-3Cr, Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al and Ti-3AI-8V-6Cr-4Mo-4Zr (Beta C) were commercialized into well-known airframe systems by the 1980s, Ti-13V-11Cr-3Al was largely discarded following extensive employment on the SR-71 Blackbird. The 1990s saw the implementation of specialty beta alloys such as Beta 21S and Alloy C, in large part for their chemical and oxidation resistance. It was also predicted that by the 1990s, cost would be the major limitation on expansion into new applications. This turned out to be true and is part of the reason for some stagnation in commercialization of new such compositions over the past two decades, despite a good understanding of the relationships among chemistry, processing, and performance and some very attractive offerings. Since then, only a single additional metastable beta alloy, Ti-5Al-5V-5Mo-3Cr-0.5Fe, has been commercialized in aerospace, although low volumes of other chemistries have found a place in the biomedical implant market. This article examines the evolution of this important class of materials and the current status in airframe applications. It speculates on challenges for expanding their use.

  10. Obligate brood parasites show more functionally effective innate immune responses: an eco-immunological hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D. Caldwell; Summers, Scott G.; Genovese, Kenneth J.; He, Haiqi; Kogut, Michael H.

    2013-01-01

    Immune adaptations of obligate brood parasites attracted interest when three New World cowbird species (Passeriformes, Icteridae, genus Molothrus) proved unusually resistant to West Nile virus. We have used cowbirds as models to investigate the eco-immunological hypothesis that species in parasite-rich environments characteristically have enhanced immunity as a life history adaptation. As part of an ongoing program to understand the cowbird immune system, in this study we measured degranulation and oxidative burst, two fundamental responses of the innate immune system. Innate immunity provides non-specific, fast-acting defenses against a variety of invading pathogens, and we hypothesized that innate immunity experiences particularly strong selection in cowbirds, because their life history strategy exposes them to diverse novel and unpredictable parasites. We compared the relative effectiveness of degranulation and oxidative burst responses in two cowbird species and one related, non-parasitic species. Both innate immune defenses were significantly more functionally efficient in the two parasitic cowbird species than in the non-parasitic red-winged blackbird (Icteridae, Agelaius phoeniceus). Additionally, both immune defenses were more functionally efficient in the brown-headed cowbird (M. ater), an extreme host-generalist brood parasite, than in the bronzed cowbird (M. aeneus), a moderate host-specialist with lower exposure to other species and their parasites. Thus the relative effectiveness of these two innate immune responses corresponds to the diversity of parasites in the niche of each species and to their relative resistance to WNV. This study is the first use of these two specialized assays in a comparative immunology study of wild avian species.

  11. Frequency of zoonotic bacteria among illegally traded wild birds in Rio de Janeiro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Carlos Alexandre Rey; Pereira, Ingrid Annes; Reis, Eliane Moura Falavina Dos; Rodrigues, Dália Dos Prazeres; Siciliano, Salvatore

    The illegal wildlife trade may increase the risk of infectious disease transmission, and it may not only cause disease outbreaks in humans but also threaten livestock, native wild populations, and ecosystems' health. Bird species may act as carriers in the transmission of enteric pathogens. However, epidemiological studies on zoonotic bacteria in wild birds are rare in Brazil. From March 2011 to March 2012, we investigated the frequency of Enterobacteriaceae in cloacal swab samples from 109 birds of the passerine and Psittacidae families. These birds were recovered from illegal trade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and sent to a rehabilitation center. Gram-negative bacteria were isolated from 86 wild birds (78.9%). A mean (±SD) of 1.68 (±1.30) different bacterial species were isolated per bird, with a maximum of five bacterial species from three bird species. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Escherichia coli, followed by Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae and other enteric bacteria. Salmonella ser. Typhimurium was isolated from a Temminck's seedeater (Sporophila falcirostris), and two Salmonella ser. Panama were isolated from two specimens of chestnut-capped blackbird (Chrysomus ruficapillus). Of the 70 selected bacterial isolates, 60 exhibited antibiotic resistance. The resistance patterns varied from one to nine of the antibiotics tested. Resistance to ceftiofur was the most prevalent, followed by ampicillin and ceftriaxone. The dissemination potential of resistant strains in situations typically seen in the management of captive birds may become a problem for the conservation of natural bird populations and for public health. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  12. Frequency of zoonotic bacteria among illegally traded wild birds in Rio de Janeiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alexandre Rey Matias

    Full Text Available Abstract The illegal wildlife trade may increase the risk of infectious disease transmission, and it may not only cause disease outbreaks in humans but also threaten livestock, native wild populations, and ecosystems' health. Bird species may act as carriers in the transmission of enteric pathogens. However, epidemiological studies on zoonotic bacteria in wild birds are rare in Brazil. From March 2011 to March 2012, we investigated the frequency of Enterobacteriaceae in cloacal swab samples from 109 birds of the passerine and Psittacidae families. These birds were recovered from illegal trade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and sent to a rehabilitation center. Gram-negative bacteria were isolated from 86 wild birds (78.9%. A mean (±SD of 1.68 (±1.30 different bacterial species were isolated per bird, with a maximum of five bacterial species from three bird species. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Escherichia coli, followed by Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae and other enteric bacteria. Salmonella ser. Typhimurium was isolated from a Temminck's seedeater (Sporophila falcirostris, and two Salmonella ser. Panama were isolated from two specimens of chestnut-capped blackbird (Chrysomus ruficapillus. Of the 70 selected bacterial isolates, 60 exhibited antibiotic resistance. The resistance patterns varied from one to nine of the antibiotics tested. Resistance to ceftiofur was the most prevalent, followed by ampicillin and ceftriaxone. The dissemination potential of resistant strains in situations typically seen in the management of captive birds may become a problem for the conservation of natural bird populations and for public health.

  13. Seasonal changes in colour: a comparison of structural, melanin- and carotenoid-based plumage colours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaspar Delhey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plumage coloration is important for bird communication, most notably in sexual signalling. Colour is often considered a good quality indicator, and the expression of exaggerated colours may depend on individual condition during moult. After moult, plumage coloration has been deemed fixed due to the fact that feathers are dead structures. Still, many plumage colours change after moult, although whether this affects signalling has not been sufficiently assessed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied changes in coloration after moult in four passerine birds (robin, Erithacus rubecula; blackbird, Turdus merula; blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus; and great tit, Parus major displaying various coloration types (melanin-, carotenoid-based and structural. Birds were caught regularly during three years to measure plumage reflectance. We used models of avian colour vision to derive two variables, one describing chromatic and the other achromatic variation over the year that can be compared in magnitude among different colour types. All studied plumage patches but one (yellow breast of the blue tit showed significant chromatic changes over the year, although these were smaller than for a typical dynamic trait (bill colour. Overall, structural colours showed a reduction in relative reflectance at shorter wavelengths, carotenoid-based colours the opposite pattern, while no general pattern was found for melanin-based colours. Achromatic changes were also common, but there were no consistent patterns of change for the different types of colours. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Changes of plumage coloration independent of moult are probably widespread; they should be perceivable by birds and have the potential to affect colour signalling.

  14. Estimating the Effects of Habitat and Biological Interactions in an Avian Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M Dorazio

    Full Text Available We used repeated sightings of individual birds encountered in community-level surveys to investigate the relative roles of habitat and biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of each species. To analyze these data, we developed a multispecies N-mixture model that allowed estimation of both positive and negative correlations between abundances of different species while also estimating the effects of habitat and the effects of errors in detection of each species. Using a combination of single- and multispecies N-mixture modeling, we examined for each species whether our measures of habitat were sufficient to account for the variation in encounter histories of individual birds or whether other habitat variables or interactions with other species needed to be considered. In the community that we studied, habitat appeared to be more influential than biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of most avian species. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that abundances of forest specialists are negatively affected by forest fragmentation. Our results also suggest that many species were associated with particular types of vegetation as measured by structural attributes of the forests. The abundances of 6 of the 73 species observed in our study were strongly correlated. These species included large birds (American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus that forage on the ground in open habitats and small birds (Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus, House Wren (Troglodytes aedon, Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina, and Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor that are associated with dense shrub cover. Species abundances were positively correlated within each size group and negatively correlated between groups. Except for the American Crow, which preys on eggs and nestlings of small song birds, none of the other 5 species is known to display direct interactions, so we

  15. Supplementary Feeding, Plumage Documentation and Early Season Prey of Peregrine Falcons at the New Mexico Alpha Eyrie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ponton, David A. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-03-20

    A review of what is known about avian physiology and the biological effects of DDE suggests that some benefit to peregrine falcon egg condition could be attained by artificially feeding DDE free prey to the female from the time of her arrival on the nesting grounds until completion of egg laying; the magnitude of potential benefit is unknown. Sporadic efforts in the past demonstrated the need for precision methods of prey delivery. Two methods were developed and tried; providing dead prey items by dropping them in a day perch, and delivery of live prey by remotely controlled release from compartments positioned at the top of the cliff occupied by the falcons. Maintaining quail in the day perch for 21 days resulted in at least one and probably two meals for the female peregrine. Of 16 live birds released (mostly pigeons) 13 were pursued and three caught. Blinding the pigeons with tape proved to be necessary to enable capture. Also, some reluctance of the male peregrine to attack pigeons was observed, and problems with equipment, visibility, and the proximity of the falcons to the release box were encountered. Manpower was the most significant resource requirement. Baiting of great-horned owls, possibly leading to owl attack on the falcons, is judged to be the largest detrimental effect of supplemental feeding. It is recommended that supplemental feeding be reserved for falcons or eyries where complete reproductive failure is expected. Plumage documentation photography was successfully conducted by a remotely controlled camera as an aid to identification of individual falcons. American robin, red-winged blackbird, starling, white-throated swift, bluebird, and mourning dove were among natural prey consumed by the peregrines before completion of egg laying. All activities in close proximity to the cliff were conducted at night to preclude direct disturbance of the falcons.

  16. Development and Production of Array Barrier Detectors at SCD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klipstein, P. C.; Avnon, E.; Benny, Y.; Berkowicz, E.; Cohen, Y.; Dobromislin, R.; Fraenkel, R.; Gershon, G.; Glozman, A.; Hojman, E.; Ilan, E.; Karni, Y.; Klin, O.; Kodriano, Y.; Krasovitsky, L.; Langof, L.; Lukomsky, I.; Nevo, I.; Nitzani, M.; Pivnik, I.; Rappaport, N.; Rosenberg, O.; Shtrichman, I.; Shkedy, L.; Snapi, N.; Talmor, R.; Tessler, R.; Weiss, E.; Tuito, A.

    2017-09-01

    XB n or XB p barrier detectors exhibit diffusion-limited dark currents comparable with mercury cadmium telluride Rule-07 and high quantum efficiencies. In 2011, SemiConductor Devices (SCD) introduced "HOT Pelican D", a 640 × 512/15- μm pitch InAsSb/AlSbAs XB n mid-wave infrared (MWIR) detector with a 4.2- μm cut-off and an operating temperature of ˜150 K. Its low power (˜3 W), high pixel operability (>99.5%) and long mean time to failure make HOT Pelican D a highly reliable integrated detector-cooler product with a low size, weight and power. More recently, "HOT Hercules" was launched with a 1280 × 1024/15- μm format and similar advantages. A 3-megapixel, 10- μm pitch version ("HOT Blackbird") is currently completing development. For long-wave infrared applications, SCD's 640 × 512/15- μm pitch "Pelican-D LW" XB p type II superlattice (T2SL) detector has a ˜9.3- μm cut-off wavelength. The detector contains InAs/GaSb and InAs/AlSb T2SLs, and is fabricated into focal plane array (FPA) detectors using standard production processes including hybridization to a digital silicon read-out integrated circuit (ROIC), glue underfill and substrate thinning. The ROIC has been designed so that the complete detector closely follows the interfaces of SCD's MWIR Pelican-D detector family. The Pelican-D LW FPA has a quantum efficiency of ˜50%, and operates at 77 K with a pixel operability of >99% and noise equivalent temperature difference of 13 mK at 30 Hz and F/2.7.

  17. Estimating the effects of habitat and biological interactions in an avian community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorazio, Robert M.; Connor, Edward F.; Askins, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    We used repeated sightings of individual birds encountered in community-level surveys to investigate the relative roles of habitat and biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of each species. To analyze these data, we developed a multispecies N-mixture model that allowed estimation of both positive and negative correlations between abundances of different species while also estimating the effects of habitat and the effects of errors in detection of each species. Using a combination of single- and multispecies N-mixture modeling, we examined for each species whether our measures of habitat were sufficient to account for the variation in encounter histories of individual birds or whether other habitat variables or interactions with other species needed to be considered. In the community that we studied, habitat appeared to be more influential than biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of most avian species. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that abundances of forest specialists are negatively affected by forest fragmentation. Our results also suggest that many species were associated with particular types of vegetation as measured by structural attributes of the forests. The abundances of 6 of the 73 species observed in our study were strongly correlated. These species included large birds (American Crow and Red-winged Blackbird) that forage on the ground in open habitats and small birds (Red-eyed Vireo, House Wren, Hooded Warbler, and Prairie Warbler) that are associated with dense shrub cover. Species abundances were positively correlated within each size group and negatively correlated between groups. Except for the American Crow, which preys on eggs and nestlings of small song birds, none of the other 5 species is known to display direct interactions, so we suspect that the correlations may have been associated with species-specific responses to habitat components not adequately measured by

  18. Habitat edge, land management, and rates of brood parasitism in tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Michael A; Shochat, Eyal; Reinking, Dan L; Wolfe, Donald H; Sherrod, Steve K

    2006-04-01

    Bird populations in North America's grasslands have declined sharply in recent decades. These declines are traceable, in large part, to habitat loss, but management of tallgrass prairie also has an impact. An indirect source of decline potentially associated with management is brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which has had substantial negative impacts on many passerine hosts. Using a novel application of regression trees, we analyzed an extensive five-year set of nest data to test how management of tallgrass prairie affected rates of brood parasitism. We examined seven landscape features that may have been associated with parasitism: presence of edge, burning, or grazing, and distance of the nest from woody vegetation, water, roads, or fences. All five grassland passerines that we included in the analyses exhibited evidence of an edge effect: the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). The edge was represented by narrow strips of woody vegetation occurring along roadsides cut through tallgrass prairie. The sparrows avoided nesting along these woody edges, whereas the other three species experienced significantly higher (1.9-5.3x) rates of parasitism along edges than in prairie. The edge effect could be related directly to increase in parasitism rate with decreased distance from woody vegetation. After accounting for edge effect in these three species, we found evidence for significantly higher (2.5-10.5x) rates of parasitism in grazed plots, particularly those burned in spring to increase forage, than in undisturbed prairie. Regression tree analysis proved to be an important tool for hierarchically parsing various landscape features that affect parasitism rates. We conclude that, on the Great Plains, rates of brood parasitism are strongly associated with relatively recent road cuts

  19. Spectroscopic Measurement Techniques for Aerospace Flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danehy, Paul M.; Bathel, Brett F.; Johansen, Craig T.; Cutler, Andrew D.; Hurley, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    The conditions that characterize aerospace flows are so varied, that a single diagnostic technique is not sufficient for its measurement. Fluid dynamists use knowledge of similarity to help categorize and focus on different flow conditions. For example, the Reynolds number represents the ratio of inertial to viscous forces in a flow. When the velocity scales, length scales, and gas density are large and the magnitude of the molecular viscosity is low, the Reynolds number becomes large. This corresponds to large scale vehicles (e.g Airbus A380), fast moving objects (e.g. artillery projectiles), vehicles in dense fluids (e.g. submarine in water), or flows with low dynamic viscosity (e.g. skydiver in air). In each of these cases, the inertial forces dominate viscous forces, and unsteady turbulent fluctuations in the flow variables are observed. In contrast, flows with small length scales (e.g. dispersion of micro-particles in a solid rocket nozzle), slow moving objects (e.g. micro aerial vehicles), flows with low density gases (e.g. atmospheric re-entry), or fluids with a large magnitude of viscosity (e.g. engine coolant flow), all have low Reynolds numbers. In these cases, viscous forces become very important and often the flows can be steady and laminar. The Mach number, which is the ratio of the velocity to the speed of sound in the medium, also helps to differentiate types of flows. At very low Mach numbers, acoustic waves travel much faster than the object, and the flow can be assumed to be incompressible (e.g. Cessna 172 aircraft). As the object speed approaches the speed of sound, the gas density can become variable (e.g. flow over wing of Learjet 85). When the object speed is higher than the speed of sound (Ma > 1), the presences of shock waves and other gas dynamic features can become important to the vehicle performance (e.g. SR-71 Blackbird). In the hypersonic flow regime (Ma > 5), large changes in temperature begin to affect flow properties, causing real

  20. A PETAL OF THE SUNFLOWER: PHOTOMETRY OF THE STELLAR TIDAL STREAM IN THE HALO OF MESSIER 63 (NGC 5055)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chonis, Taylor S.; Martínez-Delgado, David; Gabany, R. Jay; Majewski, Steven R.; Hill, Gary J.; Gralak, Ray; Trujillo, Ignacio

    2011-01-01

    We present deep surface photometry of a very faint, giant arc-loop feature in the halo of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 5055 (M63) that is consistent with being a part of a stellar stream resulting from the disruption of a dwarf satellite galaxy. This faint feature was first detected in early photographic studies by van der Kruit; more recently, in the study of Martínez-Delgado and as presented in this work, from the loop has been realized to be the result of a recent minor merger through evidence obtained by wide-field, deep images taken with a telescope of only 0.16 m aperture. The stellar stream is clearly confirmed in additional deep images taken with the 0.5 m telescope of the BlackBird Remote Observatory and the 0.8 m telescope of the McDonald Observatory. This low surface brightness (μ R ≈ 26 mag arcsec –2 ) arc-like structure around the disk of the galaxy extends 14.'0 (∼29 kpc projected) from its center, with a projected width of 1.'6 (∼3.3 kpc). The stream's morphology is consistent with that of the visible part of a giant, 'great-circle' type stellar stream originating from the recent accretion of a ∼10 8 M ☉ dwarf satellite in the last few Gyr. The progenitor satellite's current position and final fate are not conclusive from our data. The color of the stream's stars is consistent with dwarfs in the Local Group and is similar to the outer faint regions of M63's disk and stellar halo. From our photometric study, we detect other low surface brightness 'plumes'; some of these may be extended spiral features related to the galaxy's complex spiral structure, and others may be tidal debris associated with the disruption of the galaxy's outer stellar disk as a result of the accretion event. We are able to differentiate between features related to the tidal stream and faint, blue extended features in the outskirts of the galaxy's disk previously detected by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite. With its highly warped H I gaseous disk (∼20

  1. Lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic levels in eggs, feathers, and tissues of Canada geese of the New Jersey Meadowlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsipoura, Nellie [New Jersey Audubon Society, 11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924 (United States); Burger, Joanna, E-mail: burger@biology.rutgers.edu [Division of Life Sciences, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8082 (United States); Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Newhouse, Michael [NJ Meadowlands Commission, One DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 (United States); Jeitner, Christian [Division of Life Sciences, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8082 (United States); Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Gochfeld, Michael [Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Environmental and Occupational Medicine. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 170 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Mizrahi, David [New Jersey Audubon Society, 11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924 (United States)

    2011-08-15

    The New Jersey Meadowlands are located within the heavily urbanized New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary and have been subject to contamination due to effluent and runoff from industry, traffic, and homes along the Hackensack River and nearby waterways. These extensive wetlands, though heavily impacted by development and pollution, support a wide array of bird and other wildlife species. Persistent contaminants may pose threats to birds in these habitats, affecting reproduction, egg hatchability, nestling survival, and neurobehavioral development. Metals of concern in the Meadowlands include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. These metals were analyzed in eggs, feathers, muscle, and liver of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) breeding in four wetland sites. We sampled geese collected during control culling (n=26) and collected eggs from goose nests (n=34). Levels of arsenic were below the minimum quantification level (MQL) in most samples, and cadmium and mercury were low in all tissues sampled. Chromium levels were high in feather samples. Mercury levels in eggs of Canada geese, an almost exclusively herbivorous species, were lower (mean {+-}SE 4.29{+-}0.30 {mu}g/g wet weight) than in eggs of omnivorous mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and insectivorous red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) from the Meadowlands, consistent with trophic level differences. However, lead levels were higher in the goose eggs (161{+-}36.7 ng/g) than in the other species. Geese also had higher levels of lead in feathers (1910{+-}386 ng/g) than those seen in Meadowlands passerines. By contrast, muscle and liver lead levels were within the range reported in waterfowl elsewhere, possibly a reflection of metal sequestration in eggs and feathers. Elevated lead levels may be the result of sediment ingestion or ingestion of lead shot and sinkers. Finally, lead levels in goose liver (249{+-}44.7 ng/g) and eggs (161{+-}36.7 ng/g) may pose a

  2. Cobalt—Styles of deposits and the search for primary deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitzman, Murray W.; Bookstrom, Arthur A.; Slack, John F.; Zientek, Michael L.

    2017-11-30

    Cobalt (Co) is a potentially critical mineral. The vast majority of cobalt is a byproduct of copper and (or) nickel production. Cobalt is increasingly used in magnets and rechargeable batteries. More than 50 percent of primary cobalt production is from the Central African Copperbelt. The Central African Copperbelt is the only sedimentary rock-hosted stratiform copper district that contains significant cobalt. Its presence may indicate significant mafic-ultramafic rocks in the local basement. The balance of primary cobalt production is from magmatic nickel-copper and nickel laterite deposits. Cobalt is present in several carbonate-hosted lead-zinc and copper districts. It is also variably present in Besshi-type volcanogenic massive sulfide and siliciclastic sedimentary rock-hosted deposits in back arc and rift environments associated with mafic-ultramafic rocks. Metasedimentary cobalt-copper-gold deposits (such as Blackbird, Idaho), iron oxide-copper-gold deposits, and the five-element vein deposits (such as Cobalt, Ontario) contain different amounts of cobalt. None of these deposit types show direct links to mafic-ultramafic rocks; the deposits may result from crustal-scale hydrothermal systems capable of leaching and transporting cobalt from great depths. Hydrothermal deposits associated with ultramafic rocks, typified by the Bou Azzer district of Morocco, represent another type of primary cobalt deposit.In the United States, exploration for cobalt deposits may focus on magmatic nickel-copper deposits in the Archean and Proterozoic rocks of the Midwest and the east coast (Pennsylvania) and younger mafic rocks in southeastern and southern Alaska; also, possibly basement rocks in southeastern Missouri. Other potential exploration targets include—The Belt-Purcell basin of British Columbia (Canada), Idaho, Montana, and Washington for different styles of sedimentary rock-hosted cobalt deposits;Besshi-type VMS deposits, such as the Greens Creek (Alaska) deposit and

  3. Singing from North to South: Latitudinal variation in timing of dawn singing under natural and artificial light conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, Arnaud; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-10-01

    Animals breeding at northern latitudes experience drastic changes in daily light conditions during the breeding season with decreasing periods of darkness, whereas those living at lower latitudes are exposed to naturally dark nights throughout the year. Nowadays, many animals are also exposed to artificial night lighting (often referred to as light pollution). Animals strongly rely on variation in light levels to time their daily and seasonal behaviour. Previous work on passerine birds showed that artificial night lighting leads to earlier onset of dawn song. However, these studies were carried out at intermediate latitudes with more limited seasonal changes in daylength, and we still lack an understanding of the impact of artificial night lighting in relation to variation in natural light conditions. We investigated the influence of natural and artificial light conditions on the timing of dawn singing in five common songbird species in each of three regions in Europe that differed in natural variation in daylength (northern Finland, 65°N; southern Germany, 48°N; southern Spain, 37°N). In each region, we selected five peri-urban forest sites with and five without street lighting, and we recorded dawn singing at the beginning of the local breeding season. Our results show that the earliest natural singers, that is, European robins (Erithacus rubecula) and common blackbirds (Turdus merula), started dawn singing earlier along with the natural increase in night brightness in Finland, with no additional effects of artificial night lighting. In contrast, the later singers, such as, great tits (Parus major), blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs), showed similar onsets of dawn song relative to sunrise across the season and similar effects of artificial night lighting at all latitudes. Artificial night lighting affected great tits, blue tits and chaffinches even in northern Finland where nights became very bright. Proximate factors such as

  4. Lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic levels in eggs, feathers, and tissues of Canada geese of the New Jersey Meadowlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsipoura, Nellie; Burger, Joanna; Newhouse, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Gochfeld, Michael; Mizrahi, David

    2011-08-01

    The New Jersey Meadowlands are located within the heavily urbanized New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary and have been subject to contamination due to effluent and runoff from industry, traffic, and homes along the Hackensack River and nearby waterways. These extensive wetlands, though heavily impacted by development and pollution, support a wide array of bird and other wildlife species. Persistent contaminants may pose threats to birds in these habitats, affecting reproduction, egg hatchability, nestling survival, and neurobehavioral development. Metals of concern in the Meadowlands include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. These metals were analyzed in eggs, feathers, muscle, and liver of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) breeding in four wetland sites. We sampled geese collected during control culling (n=26) and collected eggs from goose nests (n=34). Levels of arsenic were below the minimum quantification level (MQL) in most samples, and cadmium and mercury were low in all tissues sampled. Chromium levels were high in feather samples. Mercury levels in eggs of Canada geese, an almost exclusively herbivorous species, were lower (mean ±SE 4.29±0.30μg/g wet weight) than in eggs of omnivorous mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and insectivorous red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) from the Meadowlands, consistent with trophic level differences. However, lead levels were higher in the goose eggs (161±36.7ng/g) than in the other species. Geese also had higher levels of lead in feathers (1910±386ng/g) than those seen in Meadowlands passerines. By contrast, muscle and liver lead levels were within the range reported in waterfowl elsewhere, possibly a reflection of metal sequestration in eggs and feathers. Elevated lead levels may be the result of sediment ingestion or ingestion of lead shot and sinkers. Finally, lead levels in goose liver (249±44.7ng/g) and eggs (161±36.7ng/g) may pose a risk if consumed

  5. The occurrence and significance of polychlorinated biphenyls in the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dustman, E.H.; Stickel, L.F.; Blus, L.J.; Reichel, W.L.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.

    1971-01-01

    SUMMARY: Polychlorinated biphenyls constitute a group of chlorine-bearing compounds of industrial origin that have permeated the natural environment throughout the world. Their chemical structure resembles that of some of the organochlorine pesticides. They are troublesome interferences in gas chromatographic analysis of these pesticides. Although methods have been developed to overcome analytical problems, measurements of quantity still are only approximate. Special studies in the United States, Netherlands, and Great Britain have traced PCB's to industrial effluent, but other possible sources have not been followed. Their use in paints, cartons, and insulating fluids suggests that environmental pollution may be from many different sources. PCB's are present in fish and wildlife in many countries of the world. Quantities are higher in animals living near industrial areas. PCB's build up in biological food chains with increases of tens to thousands of times from lower to higher organisms. Experimental studies have shown that PCB's have a toxicity to mallards, pheasants, bobwhite quail, coturnix quail, red-winged blackbirds, starlings, cowbirds, and grackles that is of the same order as the toxicity of DDE to these species. Overt signs of poisoning also are similar to those caused by compounds of the DDT group. Toxic effects of DDE and Aroclor 1254 to coturnix chicks were additive, but not synergistic. PCB's containing higher percentages of chlorine are more toxic to birds than those containing lower percentages. PCB's of foreign manufacture contained contaminants to an extent that greatly increased their toxicity Aroclor 1242. Statistical evaluations of the role that different chemicals may play in thinning of eggshells of brown pelicans show that DDE residues correlate better with shell thinning than do residues of dieldrin or PCB's. Studies of the effects of PCB's in the environment are as yet insufficient for well-rounded conclusions. The evidence available

  6. Biological data on PCBs in animals other than man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stickel, L.F.

    1972-01-01

    SUMMARY: Polychlorinated biphenyls have become ubiquitous in the world ecosystem in quantities similar to those of DDE. Experimental studies have shown that PCBs have a toxicity to mallards, pheasants, bobwhite quail, coturnix quail, red-winged blackbirds, starlings, cowbirds, and grackles that is of the same order as the toxicity of DDE to these species. Overt signs of poisoning also are similar to those caused by compounds of the DDT group. Toxic effects of DDE and Aroclor 1254 to coturnix chicks were additive, but not synergistic. PCBs containing higher percentages of chlorine are more toxic to birds than those containing lower percentages. PCBs of foreign manufacture contained contaminants to an extent that greatly increased their toxicity. Residues of PCBs in the brains of birds killed by these compounds measure in the hundreds of parts per million. PCBs may have contributed to mortality of some birds in the field. Toxicity to insects of PCBs of different degrees of chlorination is the reverse of the pattern in birds: the lower chlorinations are more toxic to insects. PCBs enhanced the toxicity of dieldrin and DDT to insects. Shrimp are very sensitive to PCBs and most will die as a result of 20-day exposure to a concentration of 5 ppb. PCBs also inhibit shell growth of oysters. Crabs are less sensitive; all accumulate residues to many times the concentrations in the water, and a test with crabs showed that they lost the residues very slowly. Growth of certain species of marine diatoms was experimentally inhibited by PCBs, but algae were not affected. The small marine crustacean, Gammarus, is sensitive to PCBs in concentrations of thousandths to tenths of a part per billion. Exposure to 5 ppb of Aroclor 1254 caused mortality of two species of fish in 14-45 days. Onset of death was delayed and was accompanied by fungus-like lesions. Rainbow trout were quickly killed by terphenyls at 10 ppb under normal oxygen conditions and at 2 ppb with reduced oxygen

  7. Ore genesis constraints on the Idaho Cobalt Belt from fluid inclusion gas, noble gas isotope, and ion ratio analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofstra, Albert H.; Landis, Gary P.

    2012-01-01

    The Idaho cobalt belt is a 60-km-long alignment of deposits composed of cobaltite, Co pyrite, chalcopyrite, and gold with anomalous Nb, Y, Be, and rare-earth elements (REEs) in a quartz-biotite-tourmaline gangue hosted in Mesoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Lemhi Group. It is the largest cobalt resource in the United States with historic production from the Blackbird Mine. All of the deposits were deformed and metamorphosed to upper greenschist-lower amphibolite grade in the Cretaceous. They occur near a 1377 Ma anorogenic bimodal plutonic complex. The enhanced solubility of Fe, Co, Cu, and Au as chloride complexes together with gangue biotite rich in Fe and Cl and gangue quartz containing hypersaline inclusions allows that hot saline fluids were involved. The isotopes of B in gangue tourmaline are suggestive of a marine source, whereas those of Pb in ore suggest a U ± Th-enriched source. The ore and gangue minerals in this belt may have trapped components in fluid inclusions that are distinct from those in post-ore minerals and metamorphic minerals. Such components can potentially be identified and distinguished by their relative abundances in contrasting samples. Therefore, we obtained samples of Co and Cu sulfides, gangue quartz, biotite, and tourmaline and post-ore quartz veins as well as Cretaceous metamorphic garnet and determined the gas, noble gas isotope, and ion ratios of fluid inclusion extracts by mass spectrometry and ion chromatography. The most abundant gases present in extracts from each sample type are biased toward the gas-rich population of inclusions trapped during maximum burial and metamorphism. All have CO2/CH4 and N2/Ar ratios of evolved crustal fluids, and many yield a range of H2-CH4-CO2-H2S equilibration temperatures consistent with the metamorphic grade. Cretaceous garnet and post-ore minerals have high RH and RS values suggestive of reduced sulfidic conditions. Most extracts have anomalous 4He produced by decay of U and Th and

  8. Discovery of Nearest Known Brown Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    Surveys (SSS) optical photographic plates (I-band, centred at wavelength 0.7 µm) on which this very high proper motion object was discovered. The lower image is the 'Quicklook atlas' infrared image (Ks-band, 2.1 µm) from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Epsilon Indi B is much brighter in the near-infrared than at optical wavelengths, indicating that it is a very cool object. Both images cover roughly 7 x 5 arcmin. Imagine you are a professional ornithologist, recently returned home from an expedition to the jungles of South America, where you spent long weeks using your high-powered telephoto lenses searching for rare species of birds. Relaxing, you take a couple of wide-angle snapshots of the blooming flowers in your back garden, undistracted by the common blackbird flying across your viewfinder. Only later, when carefully comparing those snaps, you notice something tiny and unusually coloured, flittering close behind the blackbird: you've discovered an exotic, rare bird, right there at home. In much the same way, a team of astronomers [2] has just found one of the closest neighbours to the Sun, an exotic 'failed star' known as a 'brown dwarf', moving rapidly across the sky in the southern constellation Indus (The Indian). Interestingly, at a time when telescopes are growing larger and are equipped with ever more sophisticated electronic detectors, there is still much to be learned by combining old photographic plates with this modern technology. Photographic plates taken by wide-field ("Schmidt") telescopes over the past decades have been given a new lease on life through being digitised by automated measuring machines, allowing computers to trawl effectively through huge and invaluable data archives that are by far not yet fully exploited [3]. For the Southern Sky, the Institute for Astronomy in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) has recently released scans made by the SuperCOSMOS machine of plates spanning several decades in three optical passbands. These data are