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Sample records for songbird nest survival

  1. Contrasting nest survival patterns for ducks and songbirds in northern mixed-grass prairie

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    Grant, Todd; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.

    2017-01-01

    Management actions intended to protect or improve habitat for ducks may benefit grassland-nesting passerines, but scant information is available to explore this assumption. During 1998–2003, we examined nest survival of ducks and songbirds to determine whether effects of prescribed fire and other habitat features (e.g., shrub cover and distance to habitat edges) were similar for ducks and passerines breeding in North Dakota. We used the logistic-exposure method to estimate survival of duck and songbird nests (n = 3,171). We used an information-theoretic approach to identify factors that most influenced nest survival. Patterns of nest survival were markedly different between taxonomic groups. For ducks, nest survival was greater during the first postfire nesting season (daily survival rate [DSR] = 0.957, 85% CI = 0.951–0.963), relative to later postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.946, 85% CI = 0.942–0.950). Furthermore duck nest survival and nest densities were inversely related. Duck nest survival also was greater as shrub cover decreased and as distance from cropland and wetland edges increased. Passerines had lower nest survival during the first postfire nesting season (DSR = 0.934, 85% CI = 0.924–0.944), when densities also were low compared to subsequent postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.947, 85% CI = 0.944–0.950). Parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) reduced passerine nest survival and this effect was more pronounced during the first postfire nesting season compared to subsequent nesting seasons. Passerine nest survival was greater as shrub cover decreased and perhaps for more concealed nests. Duck and songbird nest survival rates were not correlated during this study and for associated studies that examined additional variables using the same dataset, suggesting that different mechanisms influenced their survival. Based on our results, ducks should not be considered direct surrogates for passerines

  2. Do ducks and songbirds initiate more nests when the probability of survival is greater?

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    Grant, Todd A.; Shaffer, Terry L.

    2015-01-01

    Nesting chronology in grassland birds can vary by species, locality, and year. The date a nest is initiated can influence the subsequent probability of its survival in some grassland bird species. Because predation is the most significant cause of nest loss in grassland birds, we examined the relation between timing of nesting and nest survival. Periods of high nest survival that correspond with the peak of nesting activity might reflect long-term adaptations to specific predation pressures commonly recurring during certain periods of the nesting cycle. We evaluated this theory by comparing timing of nesting with date-specific nest survival rates for several duck and passerine species breeding in north-central North Dakota during 1998–2003. Nest survival decreased seasonally with date for five of the seven species we studied. We found little evidence to support consistent relations between timing of nesting, the number of nest initiations, and nest survival for any species we studied, suggesting that factors other than nest predation may better explain nesting chronology for these species. The apparent mismatch between date-specific patterns of nest survival and nest initiation underscores uncertainty about the process of avian nest site selection driven mainly by predation. Although timing of nesting differed among species, the general nesting period was fairly predictable across all years of study, suggesting the potential for research activities or management actions to be timed to take advantage of known periods when nests are active (or inactive). However, our results do not support the notion that biologists can take advantage of periods when many nests are active and survival is also high.

  3. Nest mortality of sagebrush songbirds due to a severe hailstorm

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    Hightower, Jessica N.; Carlisle, Jason D.; Chalfoun, Anna D.

    2018-01-01

    Demographic assessments of nesting birds typically focus on failures due to nest predation or brood parasitism. Extreme weather events such as hailstorms, however, can also destroy eggs and injure or kill juvenile and adult birds at the nest. We documented the effects of a severe hailstorm on 3 species of sagebrush-associated songbirds: Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri), and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), nesting at eight 24 ha study plots in central Wyoming, USA. Across all plots, 17% of 128 nests failed due to the hailstorm; however, all failed nests were located at a subset of study plots (n = 3) where the hailstorm was most intense, and 45% of all nests failures on those plots were due to hail. Mortality rates varied by species, nest architecture, and nest placement. Nests with more robust architecture and those sited more deeply under the shrub canopy were more likely to survive the hailstorm, suggesting that natural history traits may modulate mortality risk due to hailstorms. While sporadic in nature, hailstorms may represent a significant source of nest failure to songbirds in certain locations, especially with increasing storm frequency and severity forecasted in some regions with ongoing climate change.

  4. Retirement investment theory explains patterns in songbird nest-site choice

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    Streby, Henry M.; Refsnider, Jeanine M.; Peterson, Sean M.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    When opposing evolutionary selection pressures act on a behavioural trait, the result is often stabilizing selection for an intermediate optimal phenotype, with deviations from the predicted optimum attributed to tracking a moving target, development of behavioural syndromes or shifts in riskiness over an individual's lifetime. We investigated nest-site choice by female golden-winged warblers, and the selection pressures acting on that choice by two fitness components, nest success and fledgling survival. We observed strong and consistent opposing selection pressures on nest-site choice for maximizing these two fitness components, and an abrupt, within-season switch in the fitness component birds prioritize via nest-site choice, dependent on the time remaining for additional nesting attempts. We found that females consistently deviated from the predicted optimal behaviour when choosing nest sites because they can make multiple attempts at one fitness component, nest success, but only one attempt at the subsequent component, fledgling survival. Our results demonstrate a unique natural strategy for balancing opposing selection pressures to maximize total fitness. This time-dependent switch from high to low risk tolerance in nest-site choice maximizes songbird fitness in the same way a well-timed switch in human investor risk tolerance can maximize one's nest egg at retirement. Our results also provide strong evidence for the adaptive nature of songbird nest-site choice, which we suggest has been elusive primarily due to a lack of consideration for fledgling survival.

  5. Common, but Commonly Overlooked: Red-bellied Woodpeckers as Songbird Nest Predators

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    Kirsten R. Hazler; Dawn E.W. Drumtra; Matthew R. Marshall; Robert J. Cooper; Paul B. Hamel

    2004-01-01

    Woodpeckers in North America are not widely recognized as nest predators. In this paper, we describe several eyewitness accounts of songbird nest predation by Red-bellied Woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus), document evidence that songbirds recognize woodpeckers as nest predators, and show that our observations are consistent with previously published...

  6. ENSO, nest predation risk, food abundance, and male status fail to explain annual variations in the apparent survival rate of a migratory songbird.

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    Alizée Vernouillet

    Full Text Available Adult mortality can be a major driver of population decline in species whose productivity is relatively low. Yet, little is known about the factors influencing adult survival rates in migratory bird species, nor do we know much about the longer-term effects of habitat disturbance on the fitness of individuals. The Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla is one of the vertebrate species most sensitive to forest management, yet it is still common and widespread. We monitored the fate of 330 colour-banded Ovenbird males in four pairs of 25-ha plots during 9 successive breeding seasons. One plot of each pair was treated through selection harvesting (30-40% basal area removed during the first winter. We tested the following hypotheses: (1 higher physiological costs in harvested plots as a result of lower food abundance will reduce apparent survival rate (ASR relative to controls; (2 lower ASR following years with low nest survival and higher probability of renesting; (3 fluctuations in ASR reflecting El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO; and (4 higher ASR in returning males than in recruits (unbanded immigrants owing to greater site familiarity in the former. We tested the relative importance of these hypotheses, or combinations thereof, by generating 23 models explaining variation in ASR. The year-dependent model received the most support, showing a 41% decrease in ASR from 2007 to 2014. The important year-to-year variation we observed in ASR (Σw(i = 0.99 was not explained by variation in nest predation risk nor by ENSO. There was also little evidence for an effect of selection harvesting on ASR of Ovenbird males, despite a slight reduction in lifespan relative to males from control plots (2.7 vs 2.9 years. An avenue worth exploring to explain this intriguing pattern would be to determine whether conditions at migratory stopover sites or in the wintering area of our focal population have gradually worsened over the past decade.

  7. Redefining reproductive success in songbirds: Moving beyond the nest success paradigm

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    Streby, Henry M.; Refsnider, Jeanine M.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    One of the most commonly estimated parameters in studies of songbird ecology is reproductive success, as a measure of either individual fitness or population productivity. Traditionally, the “success” in reproductive success refers to whether, or how many, nestlings leave nests. Here, we advocate that “reproductive success” in songbirds be redefined as full-season productivity, or the number of young raised to independence from adult care in a breeding season. A growing body of evidence demonstrates interdependence between nest success and fledgling survival, and emphasizes that data from either life stage alone can produce misleading measures of individual fitness and population productivity. Nest success, therefore, is an insufficient measure of reproductive success, and songbird ecology needs to progress beyond this long-standing paradigm. Full-season productivity, an evolutionarily rational measure of reproductive success, provides the framework for appropriately addressing unresolved questions about the adaptive significance of many breeding behaviors and within which effective breeding-grounds conservation and management can be designed.

  8. The nest predator assemblage for songbirds in Mono Lake basin riparian habitats

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    Quresh S. Latif; Sacha K. Heath; Grant Ballard

    2012-01-01

    Because nest predation strongly limits avian fitness, ornithologists identify nest predators to inform ecological research and conservation. During 2002–2008, we used both video-monitoring of natural nests and direct observations of predation to identify nest predators of open-cup nesting riparian songbirds along tributaries of Mono Lake, California. Video cameras at...

  9. The effects of force-fledging and premature fledging on the survival of nestling songbirds

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    Streby, Henry M.; Peterson, Sean M.; Lehman, Justin A.; Kramer, Gunnar R.; Iknayan, Kelly J.; Andersen, David E.

    2013-01-01

    Despite the broad consensus that force-fledging of nestling songbirds lowers their probability of survival and therefore should be generally avoided by researchers, that presumption has not been tested. We used radiotelemetry to monitor the survival of fledglings of OvenbirdsSeiurus aurocapilla and Golden-winged Warblers Vermivora chrysoptera that we unintentionally force-fledged (i.e. nestlings left the nest in response to our research activities at typical fledging age), that fledged prematurely (i.e. nestlings left the nest earlier than typical fledging age), and that fledged independently of our activities. Force-fledged Ovenbirds experienced significantly higher survival than those that fledged independent of our activities, and prematurely fledged Ovenbirds had a similarly high survival to those that force-fledged at typical fledging age. We observed a similar, though not statistically significant, pattern in Golden-winged Warbler fledgling survival. Our results suggest that investigator-induced force-fledging of nestlings, even when deemed premature, does not necessarily result in reduced fledgling survival in these species. Instead, our results suggest that a propensity or ability to fledge in response to disturbance may be a predictor of a higher probability of fledgling survival.

  10. Effects of parents and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) on nest predation risk for a songbird

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    Quresh S. Latif; Sacha K. Heath; John T. Rotenberry

    2012-01-01

    Nest predation limits avian fitness, so ornithologists study nest predation, but they often only document patterns of predation rates without substantively investigating underlying mechanisms. Parental behavior and predator ecology are two fundamental drivers of predation rates and patterns, but the role of parents is less certain, particularly for songbirds. Previous...

  11. Food provisioning and parental status in songbirds: can occupancy models be used to estimate nesting performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aude Catherine Corbani

    Full Text Available Indirect methods to estimate parental status, such as the observation of parental provisioning, have been problematic due to potential biases associated with imperfect detection. We developed a method to evaluate parental status based on a novel combination of parental provisioning observations and hierarchical modeling. In the summers of 2009 to 2011, we surveyed 393 sites, each on three to four consecutive days at Forêt Montmorency, Québec, Canada. We assessed parental status of 2331 adult songbirds based on parental food provisioning. To account for imperfect detection of parental status, we applied MacKenzie et al.'s (2002 two-state hierarchical model to obtain unbiased estimates of the proportion of sites with successfully nesting birds, and the proportion of adults with offspring. To obtain an independent evaluation of detection probability, we monitored 16 active nests in 2010 and conducted parental provisioning observations away from them. The probability of detecting food provisioning was 0.31 when using nest monitoring, a value within the 0.11 to 0.38 range that was estimated by two-state models. The proportion of adults or sites with broods approached 0.90 and varied depending on date during the sampling season and year, exemplifying the role of eastern boreal forests as highly productive nesting grounds for songbirds. This study offers a simple and effective sampling design for studying avian reproductive performance that could be implemented in national surveys such as breeding bird atlases.

  12. Species-specific variation in nesting and postfledging resource selection for two forest breeding migrant songbirds.

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    Julianna M A Jenkins

    Full Text Available Habitat selection is a fundamental component of community ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary biology and can be especially important to species with complex annual habitat requirements, such as migratory birds. Resource preferences on the breeding grounds may change during the postfledging period for migrant songbirds, however, the degree to which selection changes, timing of change, and whether all or only a few species alter their resource use is unclear. We compared resource selection for nest sites and resource selection by postfledging juvenile ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla and Acadian flycatchers (Empidonax virescens followed with radio telemetry in Missouri mature forest fragments from 2012-2015. We used Bayesian discrete choice modeling to evaluate support for local vegetation characteristics on the probability of selection for nest sites and locations utilized by different ages of postfledging juveniles. Patterns of resource selection variation were species-specific. Resource selection models indicated that Acadian flycatcher habitat selection criteria were similar for nesting and dependent postfledging juveniles and selection criteria diverged when juveniles became independent from adults. After independence, flycatcher resource selection was more associated with understory foliage density. Ovenbirds differed in selection criteria between the nesting and postfledging periods. Fledgling ovenbirds selected areas with higher densities of understory structure compared to nest sites, and the effect of foliage density on selection increased as juveniles aged and gained independence. The differences observed between two sympatric forest nesting species, in both the timing and degree of change in resource selection criteria over the course of the breeding season, illustrates the importance of considering species-specific traits and postfledging requirements when developing conservation efforts, especially when foraging guilds or

  13. Differences in predators of artificial and real songbirds nests: Evidence of bias in artificial nest studies

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    Frank R. Thompson; Dirk E. Burhans

    2004-01-01

    In the past two decades, many researchers have used artificial nest to measure relative rates of nest predation. Recent comparisons show that real and artificial nests may not be depredated at the same rate, but no one has examined the mechanisms underlying these patterns. We determined differences in predator-specific predation rates of real and artificial nests. we...

  14. Landscape forest cover and edge effects on songbird nest predation vary by nest predator

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    W. Andrew Cox; Frank R. III Thompson; John. Faaborg

    2012-01-01

    Rates of nest predation for birds vary between and within species across multiple spatial scales, but we have a poor understanding of which predators drive such patterns. We video-monitored nests and identified predators at 120 nests of the Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) and the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) at eight...

  15. Local density regulates migratory songbird reproductive success through effects on double-brooding and nest predation.

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    Woodworth, Bradley K; Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Newman, Amy E M; Norris, D Ryan

    2017-08-01

    Knowledge of the density-dependent processes that regulate animal populations is key to understanding, predicting, and conserving populations. In migratory birds, density-dependence is most often studied during the breeding season, yet we still lack a robust understanding of the reproductive traits through which density influences individual reproductive success. We used 27-yr of detailed, individual-level productivity data from an island-breeding population of Savannah sparrows Passerculus sandwichensis to evaluate effects of local and total annual population density on female reproductive success. Local density (number of neighbors within 50 m of a female's nest) had stronger effects on the number of young fledged than did total annual population density. Females nesting in areas of high local density were more likely to suffer nest predation and less likely to initiate and fledge a second clutch, which led to fewer young fledged in a season. Fledging fewer young subsequently decreased the likelihood of a female recruiting offspring into the breeding population in a subsequent year. Collectively, these results provide insight into the scale and reproductive mechanisms mediating density-dependent reproductive success and fitness in songbirds. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Power lines, roads, and avian nest survival: effects on predator identity and predation intensity.

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    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2014-05-01

    1 Anthropogenic alteration of landscapes can affect avian nest success by influencing the abundance, distribution, and behavior of predators. Understanding avian nest predation risk necessitates understanding how landscapes affect predator distribution and behavior. 2 From a sample of 463 nests of 17 songbird species, we evaluated how landscape features (distance to forest edge, unpaved roads, and power lines) influenced daily nest survival. We also used video cameras to identify nest predators at 137 nest predation events and evaluated how landscape features influenced predator identity. Finally, we determined the abundance and distribution of several of the principal predators using surveys and radiotelemetry. 3 Distance to power lines was the best predictor of predator identity: predation by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), corvids (Corvus sp. and Cyanocitta cristata), racers (Coluber constrictor), and coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum) increased with proximity to power lines, whereas predation by rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) and raptors decreased. In some cases, predator density may reliably indicate nest predation risk because racers, corvids, and cowbirds frequently used power line right-of-ways. 4 Of five bird species with enough nests to analyze individually, daily nest survival of only indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) decreased with proximity to power lines, despite predation by most predators at our site being positively associated with power lines. For all nesting species combined, distance to unpaved road was the model that most influenced daily nest survival. This pattern is likely a consequence of rat snakes, the locally dominant nest predator (28% of predation events), rarely using power lines and associated areas. Instead, rat snakes were frequently associated with road edges, indicating that not all edges are functionally similar. 5 Our results suggest that interactions between predators and landscape features are likely to be specific to

  17. Effects of parents and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) on nest predation risk for a songbird

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    Latif, Quresh S; Heath, Sacha K; Rotenberry, John T

    2012-01-01

    Nest predation limits avian fitness, so ornithologists study nest predation, but they often only document patterns of predation rates without substantively investigating underlying mechanisms. Parental behavior and predator ecology are two fundamental drivers of predation rates and patterns, but the role of parents is less certain, particularly for songbirds. Previous work reproduced microhabitat-predation patterns experienced by Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia) in the Mono Lake basin at experimental nests without parents, suggesting that these patterns were driven by predator ecology rather than predator interactions with parents. In this study, we further explored effects of post-initiation parental behavior (nest defense and attendance) on predation risk by comparing natural versus experimental patterns related to territory density, seasonal timing of nest initiation, and nest age. Rates of parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) were high in this system (49% nests parasitized), so we also examined parasitism-predation relationships. Natural nest predation rates (NPR) correlated negatively with breeding territory density and nonlinearly (U-shaped relationship) with nest-initiation timing, but experimental nests recorded no such patterns. After adjusting natural-nest data to control for these differences from experimental nests other than the presence of parents (e.g., defining nest failure similarly and excluding nestling-period data), we obtained similar results. Thus, parents were necessary to produce observed patterns. Lower natural NPR compared with experimental NPR suggested that parents reduced predation rates via nest defense, so this parental behavior or its consequences were likely correlated with density or seasonal timing. In contrast, daily predation rates decreased with nest age for both nest types, indicating this pattern did not involve parents. Parasitized nests suffered higher rates of partial predation but lower rates of

  18. Variability in nest survival rates and implications to nesting studies

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    Klett, A.T.; Johnson, D.H.

    1982-01-01

    We used four reasonably large samples (83-213) of Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Blue-winged Teal (A. discors) nests on an interstate highway right-of-way in southcentral North Dakota to evaluate potential biases in hatch-rate estimates. Twelve consecutive, weekly searches for nests were conducted with a cable-chain drag in 1976 and 1977. Nests were revisited at weekly intervals. Four methods were used to estimate hatch rates for the four data sets: the Traditional Method, the Mayfield Method, and two modifications of the Mayfield Method that are sometimes appropriate when daily mortality rates of nests are not constant. Hatch rates and the average age of nests at discovery declined as the interval between searches decreased, suggesting that mortality rates were not constant in our samples. An analysis of variance indicated that daily mortality rates varied with the age of nests in all four samples. Mortality was generally highest during the early laying period, moderately high during the late laying period, and lowest during incubation. We speculate that this relationship of mortality to nest age might be due to the presence of hens at nests or to differences in the vulnerability of nest sites to predation. A modification of the Mayfield Method that accounts for age-related variation in nest mortality was most appropriate for our samples. We suggest methods for conducting nesting studies and estimating nest success for species possessing similar nesting habits.

  19. Species-specific variation in nesting and postfledging resource selection for two forest breeding migrant songbirds

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    Julianna M. A. Jenkins; Frank R. Thompson; John Faaborg; Andrew J. Kroll

    2017-01-01

    Habitat selection is a fundamental component of community ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary biology and can be especially important to species with complex annual habitat requirements, such as migratory birds. Resource preferences on the breeding grounds may change during the postfledging period for migrant songbirds, however, the degree to which selection...

  20. Modeling nest survival of cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging

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    Vicki Saab; Robin E. Russell; Jay Rotella; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2011-01-01

    Salvage logging practices in recently burned forests often have direct effects on species associated with dead trees, particularly cavity-nesting birds. As such, evaluation of postfire management practices on nest survival rates of cavity nesters is necessary for determining conservation strategies. We monitored 1,797 nests of 6 cavity-nesting bird species: Lewis'...

  1. Energy development and avian nest survival in Wyoming, USA: A test of a common disturbance index

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    Hethcoat, Matthew G.; Chalfoun, Anna D.

    2015-01-01

    Global energy demands continue to result in new and emerging sources of anthropogenic disturbance to populations and systems. Here, we assessed the influence of natural gas development on a critical component of fitness (nest survival) for Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri), sagebrush sparrow (Artemisiospiza nevadensis), and sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), three species of sagebrush-obligate songbirds that are of conservation concern, and assessed the efficacy of a commonly used index of oil and gas development intensity (well density) for estimating habitat transformation and predicting species’ responses. During 2008–2009 and 2011–2012 we monitored 926 nests within two natural gas fields in western Wyoming, USA. We calculated landscape metrics (habitat loss, amount of edge, patch shape complexity, and mean patch size) to identify the aspect of landscape transformation most captured by well density. Well density was most positively associated with the amount of sagebrush habitat loss within 1 square kilometer. Nest survival was relatively invariant with respect to well density for all three species. In contrast, nest survival rates of all three species generally decreased with surrounding habitat loss due to energy development. Thus, although well density and habitat loss were strongly correlated, well density resulted in overly conservative estimates of nest survival probability. Our results emphasize the importance of careful evaluation of the appropriateness of particular indices for quantifying the effects of human-induced habitat change. For managers concerned about the effects of natural gas development or similar forms of human land use to co-occurring breeding birds, we recommend minimizing the amount of associated habitat conversion.

  2. Interactive effects between nest microclimate and nest vegetation structure confirm microclimate thresholds for Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival

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    Grisham, Blake A.; Godar, Alixandra J.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) spans 4 unique ecoregions along 2 distinct environmental gradients. The Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion of the Southern High Plains of New Mexico and Texas is environmentally isolated, warmer, and more arid than the Short-Grass, Sand Sagebrush, and Mixed-Grass Prairie ecoregions in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the northeast panhandle of Texas. Weather is known to influence Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion; regional variation may also influence nest microclimate and, ultimately, survival during incubation. To address this question, we placed data loggers adjacent to nests during incubation to quantify temperature and humidity distribution functions in 3 ecoregions. We developed a suite of a priori nest survival models that incorporated derived microclimate parameters and visual obstruction as covariates in Program MARK. We monitored 49 nests in Mixed-Grass, 22 nests in Sand Shinnery Oak, and 30 nests in Short-Grass ecoregions from 2010 to 2014. Our findings indicated that (1) the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion was hotter and drier during incubation than the Mixed- and Short-Grass ecoregions; (2) nest microclimate varied among years within ecoregions; (3) visual obstruction was positively associated with nest survival; but (4) daily nest survival probability decreased by 10% every half-hour when temperature was greater than 34°C and vapor pressure deficit was less than −23 mmHg during the day (about 0600–2100 hours). Our major finding confirmed microclimate thresholds for nest survival under natural conditions across the species' distribution, although Lesser Prairie-Chickens are more likely to experience microclimate conditions that result in nest failures in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion. The species would benefit from identification of thermal landscapes and management actions that promote cooler, more humid nest microclimates.

  3. Nest survival modelling using a multi-species approach in forests managed for timber and biofuel feedstock

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    Loman, Zachary G.; Monroe, Adrian; Riffell, Samuel K.; Miller, Darren A.; Vilella, Francisco; Wheat, Bradley R.; Rush, Scott A.; Martin, James A.

    2018-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) intercropping is a novel forest management practice for biomass production intended to generate cellulosic feedstocks within intensively managed loblolly pine‐dominated landscapes. These pine plantations are important for early‐successional bird species, as short rotation times continually maintain early‐successional habitat. We tested the efficacy of using community models compared to individual surrogate species models in understanding influences on nest survival. We analysed nest data to test for differences in habitat use for 14 bird species in plots managed for switchgrass intercropping and controls within loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations in Mississippi, USA.We adapted hierarchical models using hyper‐parameters to incorporate information from both common and rare species to understand community‐level nest survival. This approach incorporates rare species that are often discarded due to low sample sizes, but can inform community‐level demographic parameter estimates. We illustrate use of this approach in generating both species‐level and community‐wide estimates of daily survival rates for songbird nests. We were able to include rare species with low sample size (minimum n = 5) to inform a hyper‐prior, allowing us to estimate effects of covariates on daily survival at the community level, then compare this with a single‐species approach using surrogate species. Using single‐species models, we were unable to generate estimates below a sample size of 21 nests per species.Community model species‐level survival and parameter estimates were similar to those generated by five single‐species models, with improved precision in community model parameters.Covariates of nest placement indicated that switchgrass at the nest site (<4 m) reduced daily nest survival, although intercropping at the forest stand level increased daily nest survival.Synthesis and applications. Community models represent a viable

  4. Effect of nest characteristics on thermal properties, clutch size, and reproductive performance for an open-cup nesting songbird

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    Michael E. Akresh; Daniel R. Ardia; David I. King

    2017-01-01

    Maintaining avian eggs and young at optimum temperatures for development can increase hatching success and nestling condition, but this maintenance requires parental energetic demands. Bird nests, which often provide a structure to safely hold the eggs and nestlings and protect them from predators, can additionally be designed to help maintain eggs' optimum...

  5. Annual survival of Florida nesting loggerheads

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    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — 30 PAT tags were deployed on nesting loggerhead turtles at Juno Beach, FL in June 2012. There have been three premature pop-offs, one of which appeared to be a...

  6. Nesting success and survival rates of suburban Olive Thrushes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Reproductive rate, clutch size, nesting success and survival rate of dependent fledglings were estimated from breeding records in the Eastern Cape. These data were used to estimate survival rate of independent fledglings. The estimated adult survival rate in this region was high and the clutch size was small, compared to ...

  7. Effects of timber harvests on invertebrate biomass and avian nest success

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    Jeffrey P. Duguay; Petra Bohall Wood; Gary W. Miller

    2000-01-01

    Concerns over declining songbird populations have led to investigations of effects of various timber management practices on breeding songbirds. We assessed the influence of 2 types of practices, two-age and clearcutting, on invertebrate biomass and avian daily nest survival in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia during summers of 1995 and 1996. We also...

  8. Juvenile survival in a neotropical migratory songbird is lower than expected.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew I McKim-Louder

    Full Text Available Attempts to estimate and identify factors influencing first-year survival in passerines, survival between fledging and the first reproductive attempt (i.e. juvenile survival, have largely been confounded by natal dispersal, particularly in long-distance migratory passerines. We studied Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea breeding in nest boxes to estimate first-year survival while accounting for biases related to dispersal that are common in mark-recapture studies. The natal dispersal distribution (median = 1420 m; n = 429 and a distance-dependent recruitment rate, which controls for effects of study site configuration, both indicated a pattern of short-distance natal dispersal. This pattern was consistent with results of a systematic survey for birds returning outside the nest box study sites (up to 30 km in all directions within a majority (81% of total available bottomland forest habitat, further suggesting that permanent emigration outside of the study system was rare. We used multistate mark-recapture modeling to estimate first-year survival and incorporated factors thought to influence survival while accounting for the potential confounding effects of dispersal on recapture probabilities for warblers that fledged during 2004-2009 (n = 6093. Overall, the average first-year survival for warblers reared without cowbird nestmates was 0.11 (95% CI = 0.09-0.13, decreased with fledging date (0.22 early to 0.03 late and averaged 40% lower for warblers reared with a brood parasite nestmate. First-year survival was less than half of the rate thought to represent population replacement in migratory passerines (∼0.30. This very low rate suggests that surviving the first year of life for many Neotropical migratory species is even more difficult than previously thought, forcing us to rethink estimates used in population models.

  9. Crop type influences edge effects on the reproduction of songbirds in sagebrush habitat near agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elly C. Knight

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Extensive fragmentation of the sagebrush shrubsteppe of western North America could be contributing to observed population declines of songbirds in sagebrush habitat. We examined whether habitat fragmentation impacts the reproduction of songbirds in sagebrush edge habitat near agriculture, and if potential impacts vary depending on the adjacent crop type. Specifically, we evaluated whether nest abundance and nest survival varied between orchard edge habitat, vineyard edge habitat, and interior habitat. We then examined whether the local nest predator community and vegetation could explain the differences detected. We detected fewer nests in edge than interior habitat. Nest abundance per songbird was also lower in edge than interior habitat, although only adjacent to vineyards. Nest predation was more frequent in orchard edge habitat than vineyard edge or interior habitat. Predators identified with nest cameras were primarily snakes, however, reduced nest survival in orchard edge habitat was not explained by differences in the abundance of snakes or any other predator species identified. Information theoretic analysis of daily survival rates showed that greater study plot shrub cover and lower grass height at nests were partially responsible for the lower rate of predation-specific daily nest survival rate (PDSR observed in orchard edge habitat, but additional factors are likely important. Results of this study suggest that different crop types have different edge effects on songbirds nesting in sagebrush shrubsteppe, and that these reproductive edge effects may contribute to observed declines of these species. Habitat managers should avoid the creation of new orchard-sagebrush habitat edges to avoid further impacts on already declining songbird populations.

  10. Canada goose nest survival at rural wetlands in north-central Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ness, Brenna N.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    The last comprehensive nest survival study of the breeding giant Canada goose (Branta canadensis maxima) population in Iowa, USA, was conducted >30 years ago during a period of population recovery, during which available nesting habitat consisted primarily of artificial nest structures. Currently, Iowa's resident goose population is stable and nests in a variety of habitats. We analyzed the effects of available habitat on nest survival and how nest survival rates compared with those of the expanding goose population studied previously to better understand how to maintain a sustainable Canada goose population in Iowa. We documented Canada goose nest survival at rural wetland sites in north-central Iowa. We monitored 121 nests in 2013 and 149 nests in 2014 at 5 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) with various nesting habitats, including islands, muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) houses, and elevated nest structures. We estimated daily nest-survival rate using the nest survival model in Program MARK. Survival was influenced by year, site, stage, presence of a camera, nest age, and an interaction between nest age and stage. Nest success rates for the 28-day incubation period by site and year combination ranged from 0.10 to 0.84. Nest survival was greatest at sites with nest structures (β = 17.34). Nest survival was negatively affected by lowered water levels at Rice Lake WMA (2013 β = −0.77, nest age β = −0.07). Timing of water-level drawdowns for shallow lake restorations may influence nest survival rates.

  11. Camouflage predicts survival in ground-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troscianko, Jolyon; Wilson-Aggarwal, Jared; Stevens, Martin; Spottiswoode, Claire N

    2016-01-29

    Evading detection by predators is crucial for survival. Camouflage is therefore a widespread adaptation, but despite substantial research effort our understanding of different camouflage strategies has relied predominantly on artificial systems and on experiments disregarding how camouflage is perceived by predators. Here we show for the first time in a natural system, that survival probability of wild animals is directly related to their level of camouflage as perceived by the visual systems of their main predators. Ground-nesting plovers and coursers flee as threats approach, and their clutches were more likely to survive when their egg contrast matched their surrounds. In nightjars - which remain motionless as threats approach - clutch survival depended on plumage pattern matching between the incubating bird and its surrounds. Our findings highlight the importance of pattern and luminance based camouflage properties, and the effectiveness of modern techniques in capturing the adaptive properties of visual phenotypes.

  12. Survival during the Breeding Season: Nest Stage, Parental Sex, and Season Advancement Affect Reed Warbler Survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaja Wierucka

    Full Text Available Avian annual survival has received much attention, yet little is known about seasonal patterns in survival, especially of migratory passerines. In order to evaluate survival rates and timing of mortality within the breeding season of adult reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus, mark-recapture data were collected in southwest Poland, between 2006 and 2012. A total of 612 individuals (304 females and 308 males were monitored throughout the entire breeding season, and their capture-recapture histories were used to model survival rates. Males showed higher survival during the breeding season (0.985, 95% CI: 0.941-0.996 than females (0.869, 95% CI: 0.727-0.937. Survival rates of females declined with the progression of the breeding season (from May to August, while males showed constant survival during this period. We also found a clear pattern within the female (but not male nesting cycle: survival was significantly lower during the laying, incubation, and nestling periods (0.934, 95% CI: 0.898-0.958, when birds spent much time on the nest, compared to the nest building and fledgling periods (1.000, 95% CI: 1.00-1.000, when we did not record any female mortality. These data (coupled with some direct evidence, like bird corpses or blood remains found next to/on the nest may suggest that the main cause of adult mortality was on-nest predation. The calculated survival rates for both sexes during the breeding season were high compared to annual rates reported for this species, suggesting that a majority of mortality occurs at other times of the year, during migration or wintering. These results have implications for understanding survival variation within the reproductive period as well as general trends of avian mortality.

  13. Habitat fragmentation reduces nest survival in an Afrotropical bird community in a biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newmark, William D; Stanley, Thomas R

    2011-07-12

    Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.

  14. Nesting ecology and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens on the Southern High Plains of Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Boal, Clint W.; Boydston, Kathy K.

    2014-01-01

    The decline in population and range of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) throughout the central and southern Great Plains has raised concerns considering their candidate status under the United States Endangered Species Act. Baseline ecological data for lesser prairie-chickens are limited, especially for the shinnery oak-grassland communities of Texas. This information is imperative because lesser prairie-chickens in shinnery oak grasslands occur at the extreme southwestern edge of their distribution. This geographic region is characterized by hot, arid climates, less fragmentation, and less anthropogenic development than within the remaining core distribution of the species. Thus, large expanses of open rangeland with less anthropogenic development and a climate that is classified as extreme for ground nesting birds may subsequently influence nest ecology, nest survival, and nest site selection differently compared to the rest of the distribution of the species. We investigated the nesting ecology of 50 radio-tagged lesser prairie-chicken hens from 2008 to 2011 in the shinnery oak-grassland communities in west Texas and found a substantial amount of inter-annual variation in incubation start date and percent of females incubating nests. Prairie-chickens were less likely to nest near unimproved roads and utility poles and in areas with more bare ground and litter. In contrast, hens selected areas dominated by grasses and shrubs and close to stock tanks to nest. Candidate models including visual obstruction best explained daily nest survival; a 5% increase in visual obstruction improved nest survival probability by 10%. The model-averaged probability of a nest surviving the incubation period was 0.43 (SE = 0.006; 95% CI: 0.23, 0.56). Our findings indicate that lesser prairie-chicken reproduction during our study period was dynamic and was correlated with seasonal weather patterns that ultimately promoted greater grass growth earlier in the

  15. Contrasting patterns of nest survival and postfledging survival in ovenbirds and Acadian flycatchers in Missouri forest fragments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julianna M. A. Jenkins; Frank R. Thompson; John Faaborg

    2016-01-01

    We can improve our ability to assess population viability and forecast population growth under different scenarios by understanding factors that limit population parameters in each stage of the annual cycle. Postfledging mortality rates may be as variable as nest survival across regions and fragmentation gradients, although factors that negatively impact nest survival...

  16. Parents or predators: Examining intraseasonal variation in nest survival for migratory passerine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin Hirsch-Jacobson; W. Andrew Cox; Emily E. Tewes; Frank R., III Thompson; John. Faaborg

    2012-01-01

    For birds, risk of nest predation can vary within a breeding season, but few data exist that explain why such variation occurs. We investigated intraseasonal variation of nest survival of the Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) in Midwestern forests and tested whether four of the adults' reproductive strategies (clutch size, nest...

  17. Arctic foxes, lemmings, and canada goose nest survival at cape Churchill, Manitoba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, M.E.; Andersen, D.E.

    2011-01-01

    We examined factors influencing Canada Goose (Branta canadensis interior) annual nest success, including the relative abundance of collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx richardsoni), arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) den occupancy, nest density, and spring phenology using data collected during annual Canada Goose breeding area surveys at Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Nest density and arctic fox den occupancy strongly influenced Canada Goose nest success. High nest density resulted in higher nest success and high den occupancy reduced nest success. Nest success was not influenced by lemming abundance in the current or previous year as predicted by the "bird-lemming" hypothesis. Reducing arctic fox abundance through targeted management increased nest survival of Canada Geese; a result that further emphasizes the importance of arctic fox as nest predators in this system. The spatial distribution of nest predators, at least for dispersed-nesting geese, may be most important for nest survival, regardless of the abundance of small mammals in the local ecosystem. Further understanding of the factors influencing the magnitude and variance in arctic fox abundance in this region, and the spatial scale at which these factors are realized, is necessary to fully explain predator-prey-alternative prey dynamics in this system. ?? 2011 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  18. Influence of human development and predators on nest survival of tundra birds, Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebezeit, J R; Kendall, S J; Brown, S; Johnson, C B; Martin, P; McDonald, T L; Payer, D C; Rea, C L; Streever, B; Wildman, A M; Zack, S

    2009-09-01

    Nest predation may influence population dynamics of birds on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska, USA. Anthropogenic development on the ACP is increasing, which may attract nest predators by providing artificial sources of food, perches, den sites, and nest sites. Enhanced populations or concentrations of human-subsidized predators may reduce nest survival for tundra-nesting birds. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that nest survival decreases in proximity to human infrastructure. We monitored 1257 nests of 13 shorebird species and 619 nests of four passerine species at seven sites on the ACP from 2002 to 2005. Study sites were chosen to represent a range of distances to infrastructure from 100 m to 80 km. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to evaluate the effects of background (i.e., natural) factors and infrastructure on nest survival. We documented high spatial and temporal variability in nest survival, and site and year were both included in the best background model. We did not detect an effect of human infrastructure on nest survival for shorebirds as a group. In contrast, we found evidence that risk of predation for passerine nests increased within 5 km of infrastructure. This finding provides quantitative evidence of a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for breeding passerines on the ACP. A posteriori finer-scale analyses (within oil field sites and individual species) suggested that Red and Red-necked Phalaropes combined (Phalaropus fulicarius, P. lobatus) had lower productivity closer to infrastructure and in areas with higher abundance of subsidized predators. However, we did not detect such a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for Semipalmated and Pectoral Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla, C. melanotos), the two most abundant shorebirds. High variability in environmental conditions, nest survival, and predator numbers between sites and years may have contributed to these inconsistent results

  19. Nest survival of American Coots relative to grazing, burning, and water depths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment) on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana) nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  20. Nest Survival of American Coots Relative to Grazing, Burning, and Water Depths

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane E. Austin

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  1. Influence of nest box environment on kit survival

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, V.H.; Malmkvist, Jens

    2012-01-01

    females divided into 4 groups, non-pregnant females (NON), pregnant females with access to one resource of nest building material (RES-1), pregnant females with access to three resources (RES-3), and pregnant females with access to one resource but which were moved into a climate-controlled facility...... died from day 1-7, and only ~5% in RES-3. The risk of dying was approx. 4 times higher for a kit live-born into the one resource environment. RES-3 females were building better nests and stayed in the nest box longer around parturition than RES-1, which could explain the higher mortality in this group...

  2. Habitat edges have weak effects on duck nest survival at local spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raquel, Amelia J; Ringelman, Kevin M.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eadie, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Edge effects on nesting success have been documented in breeding birds in a variety of contexts, but there is still uncertainty in how edge type and spatial scale determine the magnitude and detectability of edge effects. Habitat edges are often viewed as predator corridors that surround or penetrate core habitat and increase the risk of predation for nearby nests. We studied the effects of three different types of potential predator corridors (main perimeter roads, field boundaries, and ATV trails within fields) on waterfowl nest survival in California. We measured the distance from duck nests to the nearest edge of each type, and used distance as a covariate in a logistic exposure analysis of nest survival. We found only weak evidence for edge effects due to predation. The best supported model of nest survival included all three distance categories, and while all coefficient estimates were positive (indicating that survival increased with distance from edge), 85% coefficient confidence intervals approached or bounded zero indicating an overall weak effect of habitat edges on nest success. We suggest that given the configuration of edges at our site, there may be few areas far enough from hard edges to be considered ‘core’ habitat, making edge effects on nest survival particularly difficult to detect.

  3. Nest survival is influenced by parental behaviour and heterospecifics in a mixed-species colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brussee, Brianne E.; Coates, Peter S.; Hothem, Roger L.; Howe, Kristy; Casazza, Michael L.; Eadie, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of avian nest success often focus on examining influences of variation in environmental and seasonal factors. However, in-depth evaluations can also incorporate variation in individual incubation behaviour to further advance our understanding of avian reproductive ecology. We examined these relationships in colonially nesting Black-crowned Night-Herons Nycticorax nycticorax using intensive video-monitoring methods to quantify incubation behaviours. We modelled nest survival as a function of both extrinsic factors and incubation behaviours over a 3-year period (2010–12) on Alcatraz Island, USA. Model-averaged parameter estimates indicated that nest survival increased as a function of greater incubation constancy (% of time spent incubating eggs within a 24-h period), and average daily precipitation throughout the nesting stage. Common Ravens Corvus corax are the only known nest predator of Night-Herons on Alcatraz Island, as on many other coastal Pacific islands. We also investigated the effects of heterospecific nesting of California Gulls Larus californicus and Western Gulls Larus occidentalis in a mixed-species colony with Night-Herons, based on nesting proximity data collected over a 2-year period (2011–12). This second analysis indicated that, in addition to incubation behaviours, nesting heterospecifics are an important factor for explaining variation in Night-Heron nest survival. However, contrary to our original expectation, we found that Night-Herons experienced increased nest survival with increasing distance from gull colony boundaries. These results may apply to other areas with multiple colonial nesting species and similar predator communities and climatic patterns.

  4. Daily survival rate and habitat characteristics of nests of Wilson's Plover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinsser, Elizabeth; Sanders, Felicia J.; Gerard, Patrick D.; Jodice, Patrick G.R.

    2017-01-01

    We assessed habitat characteristics and measured daily survival rate of 72 nests of Charadrius wilsonia (Wilson's Plover) during 2012 and 2013 on South Island and Sand Island on the central coast of South Carolina. At both study areas, nest sites were located at slightly higher elevations (i.e., small platforms of sand) relative to randomly selected nearby unused sites, and nests at each study area also appeared to be situated to enhance crypsis and/or vigilance. Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests ranged from 0.969 to 0.988 among study sites and years, and the probability of nest survival ranged from 0.405 to 0.764. Flooding and predation were the most common causes of nest failure at both sites. At South Island, DSR was most strongly related to maximum tide height, which suggests that flooding and overwash may be common causes of nest loss for Wilson's Plovers at these study sites. The difference in model results between the 2 nearby study sites may be partially due to more-frequent flooding at Sand Island because of some underlying yet unmeasured physiographic feature. Remaining data gaps for the species include regional assessments of nest and chick survival and habitat requirements during chick rearing.

  5. Nest-site selection and nest survival of Lewis's woodpecker in aspen riparian woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen R. Newlon; Victoria A. Saab

    2011-01-01

    Riparian woodlands of aspen (Populus tremuloides) provide valuable breeding habitat for several cavity-nesting birds. Although anecdotal information for this habitat is available for Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), no study has previously examined the importance of aspen woodlands to this species' breeding biology. From 2002 to 2004, we monitored 76...

  6. Habitat suitability and nest survival of white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests of Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Saab, Victoria A.; Frenzel, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated habitat suitability and nest survival of breeding white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides albolarvatus) in unburned forests of central Oregon, USA. Daily nest-survival rate was positively related to maximum daily temperature during the nest interval and to density of large-diameter trees surrounding the nest tree. We developed a niche-based habitat suitability model (partitioned Mahalanobis distance) for nesting white-headed woodpeckers using remotely sensed data. Along with low elevation, high density of large trees, and low slope, our habitat suitability model suggested that interspersion–juxtaposition of low- and high-canopy cover ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) patches was important for nest-site suitability. Cross-validation suggested the model performed adequately for management planning at a scale >1 ha. Evaluation of mapped habitat suitability index (HSI) suggested that the maximum predictive gain (HSI = 0.36), where the number of nest locations are maximized in the smallest proportion of the modeled landscape, provided an objective initial threshold for identification of suitable habitat. However, managers can choose the threshold HSI most appropriate for their purposes (e.g., locating regions of low–moderate suitability that have potential for habitat restoration). Consequently, our habitat suitability model may be useful for managing dry coniferous forests for white-headed woodpeckers in central Oregon; however, model validation is necessary before our model could be applied to other locations.

  7. Drought and Cooler Temperatures Are Associated with Higher Nest Survival in Mountain Plovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria J. Dreitz

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Native grasslands have been altered to a greater extent than any other biome in North America. The habitats and resources needed to support breeding performance of grassland birds endemic to prairie ecosystems are currently threatened by land management practices and impending climate change. Climate models for the Great Plains prairie region predict a future of hotter and drier summers with strong multiyear droughts and more frequent and severe precipitation events. We examined how fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado influenced nest survival of an avian species that has experienced recent population declines, the Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus. Nest survival averaged 27.2% over a 7-yr period (n = 936 nests and declined as the breeding season progressed. Nest survival was favored by dry conditions and cooler temperatures. Projected changes in regional precipitation patterns will likely influence nest survival, with positive influences of predicted declines in summer rainfall yet negative effects of more intense rain events. The interplay of climate change and land use practices within prairie ecosystems may result in Mountain Plovers shifting their distribution, changing local abundance, and adjusting fecundity to adapt to their changing environment.

  8. Sparrow nest survival in relation to prescribed fire and woody plant invasion in a northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Robert K.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Grant, Todd A.; Derrig, James L.; Rubin, Cory S.; Kerns, Courtney K.

    2017-01-01

    Prescribed fire is used to reverse invasion by woody vegetation on grasslands, but managers often are uncertain whether influences of shrub and tree reduction outweigh potential effects of fire on nest survival of grassland birds. During the 2001–2003 breeding seasons, we examined relationships of prescribed fire and woody vegetation to nest survival of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) and Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) in mixed-grass prairie at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern North Dakota, USA. We assessed relationships of nest survival to 1) recent fire history, in terms of number of breeding seasons (2, 3, or 4–5) since the last prescribed fire, and 2) prevalence of trees and tall (>1.5 m) shrubs in the landscape and of low (≤1.5 m) shrubs within 5 m of nests. Nest survival of both species exhibited distinct patterns related to age of the nest and day of year, but bore no relationship to fire history. Survival of clay-colored sparrow nests declined as the amount of trees and tall shrubs within 100 m increased, but we found no relationship to suggest nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) as an underlying mechanism. We found little evidence linking nest survival of Savannah sparrow to woody vegetation. Our results suggest that fire can be used to restore northern mixed-grass prairies without adversely affecting nest survival of ≥2 widespread passerine species. Survival of nests of clay-colored sparrow may increase when tall woody cover is reduced by fire. Our data lend support to the use of fire for reducing scattered patches of tall woody cover to enhance survival of nests of ≥1 grassland bird species in northern mixed-grass prairies, but further study is needed that incorporates experimental approaches and assessments of shorter term effects of fire on survival of nests of grassland passerines.

  9. Black-chinned hummingbird nest-site selection and nest survival in response to fuel reduction in a southwestern riparian forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Max Smith; Deborah M. Finch; David L. Hawksworth

    2009-01-01

    Despite widespread efforts to avert wildfire by reducing the density of flammable vegetation, little is known about the effects of this practice on the reproductive biology of forest birds. We examined nest-site selection and nest survival of the Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) in New Mexico riparian forests treated or not for fuel...

  10. Daily nest survival rates of Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus): assessing local- and landscape-scale drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Thomas R.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Joanne Saher,; Theresa Childers,

    2015-01-01

    The Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is a species of conservation concern and is a candidate for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act because of substantial declines in populations from historic levels. It is thought that loss, fragmentation, and deterioration of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitat have contributed to the decline and isolation of this species into seven geographically distinct subpopulations. Nest survival is known to be a primary driver of demography of Greater Sage-Grouse (C. urophasianus), but no unbiased estimates of daily nest survival rates (hereafter nest survival) exist for Gunnison Sage-Grouse or published studies identifying factors that influence nest survival. We estimated nest survival of Gunnison Sage-Grouse for the western portion of Colorado's Gunnison Basin subpopulation, and assessed the effects and relative importance of local- and landscape-scale habitat characteristics on nest survival. Our top performing model was one that allowed variation in nest survival among areas, suggesting a larger landscape-area effect. Overall nest success during a 38-day nesting period (egg-laying plus incubation) was 50% (daily survival rate; SE  =  0.982 [0.003]), which is higher than previous estimates for Gunnison Sage-Grouse and generally higher than published for the closely related Greater Sage-Grouse. We did not find strong evidence that local-scale habitat variables were better predictors of nest survival than landscape-scale predictors, nor did we find strong evidence that any of the habitat variables we measured were good predictors of nest survival. Nest success of Gunnison Sage-Grouse in the western portion of the Gunnison Basin was higher than previously believed.

  11. Factors affecting golden-cheeked warbler nest survival in urban and rural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenifer L. Reidy; Frank R. Thompson; Rebecca G. Peak

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated hypotheses concerning temporal, landscape, and habitat effects on nest survival of golden-cheeked warblers (Dendroica chrysoparia) in an urban and a rural landscape during the breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006 in central Texas, USA. We found support for temporal effects of year and cubic effect of date and included them in candidate...

  12. Greater sage-grouse apparent nest productivity and chick survival in Carbon County, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie A. Schreiber; Christopher P. Hansen; Mark A. Rumble; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Frank R. Thompson; R. Scott Gamo; Jon W. Kehmeier; Nate Wojik

    2016-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus populations across North America have been declining due to degradation and fragmentation of sagebrush habitat. As part of a study quantifying greater sage-grouse demographics prior to construction of a wind energy facility, we estimated apparent net nest productivity and survival rate of chicks associated with...

  13. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, David J.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of recently declining mountain plover populations, but these management approaches can be controversial. We estimated habitat-specific mountain plover densities and nest survival rates on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and burns in the shortgrass steppe of northeastern Colorado. Mountain plover densities were similar on prairie dog colonies (5.9 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.7–7.4) and sites burned during the preceding dormant season (6.7 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.6–9.6), whereas the 29-day nest survival rate was greater on prairie dog colonies (0.81 in 2011 and 0.39 in 2012) compared to the burned sites (0.64 in 2011 and 0.17 in 2012). Reduced nest survival in 2012 compared to 2011 was associated with higher maximum daily temperatures in 2012, consistent with a previous weather-based model of mountain plover nest survival in the southern Great Plains. Measurements of mountain plover density relative to time since disturbance showed that removal of prairie dog disturbance by sylvatic plague reduced mountain plover density by 70% relative to active prairie dog colonies after 1 year. Plover densities declined at a similar rate (by 78%) at burned sites between the first and second post-burn growing season. Results indicate that black-tailed prairie dog colonies are a particularly important nesting habitat for mountain plovers in the southern Great Plains. In addition, findings suggest that prescribed burning can be a valuable means to create nesting habitat in landscapes where other types of disturbances (such as prairie dog colonies) are limited in distribution and size. 

  14. Non-target effects on songbirds from habitat manipulation for Greater Sage-Grouse: Implications for the umbrella species concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Jason D.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Smith, Kurt T.; Beck, Jeffery L.

    2018-01-01

    The “umbrella species” concept is a conservation strategy in which creating and managing reserve areas to meet the needs of one species is thought to benefit other species indirectly. Broad-scale habitat protections on behalf of an umbrella species are assumed to benefit co-occurring taxa, but targeted management actions to improve local habitat suitability for the umbrella species may produce unintended effects on other species. Our objective was to quantify the effects of a common habitat treatment (mowing of big sagebrush [Artemisia tridentata]) intended to benefit a high-profile umbrella species (Greater Sage-Grouse [Centrocercus urophasianus]) on 3 sympatric songbird species of concern. We used a before–after control-impact experimental design spanning 3 yr in Wyoming, USA, to quantify the effect of mowing on the abundance, nest-site selection, nestling condition, and nest survival of 2 sagebrush-obligate songbirds (Brewer's Sparrow [Spizella breweri] and Sage Thrasher [Oreoscoptes montanus]) and one open-habitat generalist songbird (Vesper Sparrow [Pooecetes gramineus]). Mowing was associated with lower abundance of Brewer's Sparrows and Sage Thrashers but higher abundance of Vesper Sparrows. We found no Brewer's Sparrows or Sage Thrashers nesting in the mowed footprint posttreatment, which suggests complete loss of nesting habitat for these species. Mowing was associated with higher nestling condition and nest survival for Vesper Sparrows but not for the sagebrush-obligate species. Management prescriptions that remove woody biomass within a mosaic of intact habitat may be tolerated by sagebrush-obligate songbirds but are likely more beneficial for open-habitat generalist species. By definition, umbrella species conservation entails habitat protections at broad spatial scales. We caution that habitat manipulations to benefit Greater Sage-Grouse could negatively affect nontarget species of conservation concern if implemented across large spatial extents.

  15. Effects of neonicotinoid imidacloprid exposure on bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) queen survival and nest initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2018-02-08

    Neonicotinoids are highly toxic to insects and may systemically translocate to nectar and pollen of plants where foraging bees may become exposed. Exposure to neonicotinoids can induce detrimental sublethal effects on individual and colonies of bees and may have long-term impacts, such as impaired foraging, reduced longevity, and reduced brood care or production. Less well-studied are the potential effects on queen bumble bees that may become exposed while foraging in the spring during colony initiation. This study assessed queen survival and nest founding in caged bumble bees [Bombus impatiens (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Apidae)] after chronic (18-d) dietary exposure of imidacloprid in syrup (1, 5, 10, and 25 ppb) and pollen (0.3, 1.7, 3.3, and 8.3 ppb), paired respectively. Here we show some mortality in queens exposed at all doses even as low as 1 ppb, and, compared with untreated queens, significantly reduced survival of treated queens at the two highest doses. Queens that survived initial imidacloprid exposure commenced nest initiation; however, they exhibited dose-dependent delay in egg-laying and emergence of worker brood. Furthermore, imidacloprid treatment affected other parameters such as nest and queen weight. This study is the first to show direct impacts of imidacloprid at field-relevant levels on individual B. impatiens queen survival and nest founding, indicating that bumble bee queens are particularly sensitive to neonicotinoids when directly exposed. This study also helps focus pesticide risk mitigation efforts and highlights the importance of reducing exposure rates in the early spring when bumble bee queens, and other wild bees are foraging and initiating nests. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. An evaluation and comparison of conservation guidelines for an at-risk migratory songbird

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darin J. McNeil

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available For at-risk wildlife species, it is important to consider conservation within the process of adaptive management. Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera are Neotropical migratory songbirds that are experiencing long-term population declines due in part to the loss of early-successional nesting habitat. Recently-developed Golden-winged Warbler habitat management guidelines are being implemented by USDA: Natural Resource Conservation Service (2014 and its partners through the Working Lands For Wildlife (WLFW program. During 2012–2014, we studied the nesting ecology of Golden-winged Warblers in managed habitats of the eastern US that conformed to WLFW conservation practices. We evaluated five NRCS “management scenarios” with respect to nesting success and attainment of recommended nest site vegetation conditions outlined in the Golden-winged Warbler breeding habitat guidelines. Using estimates of territory density, pairing rate, nest survival, and clutch size, we also estimated fledgling productivity (number of fledglings/ha for each management scenario. In general, Golden-winged Warbler nest survival declined as each breeding season advanced, but nest survival was similar across management scenarios. Within each management scenario, vegetation variables had little influence on nest survival. Still, percent Rubus cover and density of >2 m tall shrubs were relevant in some management scenarios. All five management scenarios rarely attained recommended levels of nest site vegetation conditions for Golden-winged, yet nest survival was high. Fledgling productivity estimates for each management scenario ranged from 2.1 to 8.6 fledglings/10 hectares. Our results indicate that targeted habitat management for Golden-winged Warblers using a variety of management techniques on private lands has the capability to yield high nest survival and fledgling productivity, and thus have the potential to contribute to the species recovery.

  17. Population trends and survival of nesting green sea turtles Chelonia mydas on Aves Island, Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Cruz, Marco A.; Lampo, Margarita; Peñaloza, Claudia L.; Kendall, William L.; Solé, Genaro; Rodriguez-Clark, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term demographic data are valuable for assessing the effect of anthropogenic impacts on endangered species and evaluating recovery programs. Using a 2-state open robust design model, we analyzed mark-recapture data from green turtles Chelonia mydas sighted between 1979 and 2009 on Aves Island, Venezuela, a rookery heavily impacted by human activities before it was declared a wildlife refuge in 1972. Based on the encounter histories of 7689 nesting females, we estimated the abundance, annual survival, and remigration intervals for this population. Female survival varied from 0.14-0.91, with a mean of 0.79, which is low compared to survival of other populations from the Caribbean (mean = 0.84) and Australia (mean = 0.95), even though we partially corrected for tag loss, which is known to negatively bias survival estimates. This supports prior suggestions that Caribbean populations in general, and the Aves Island population in particular, may be more strongly impacted than populations elsewhere. It is likely that nesters from this rookery are extracted while foraging in remote feeding grounds where hunting still occurs. Despite its relatively low survival, the nesting population at Aves Island increased during the past 30 years from approx. 500 to >1000 nesting females in 2009. Thus, this population, like others in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, seems to be slowly recovering following protective management. Although these findings support the importance of long-term conservation programs aimed at protecting nesting grounds, they also highlight the need to extend management actions to foraging grounds where human activities may still impact green turtle populations.

  18. Sharp-Tailed Grouse Nest Survival and Nest Predator Habitat Use in North Dakota's Bakken Oil Field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Burr

    Full Text Available Recent advancements in extraction technologies have resulted in rapid increases of gas and oil development across the United States and specifically in western North Dakota. This expansion of energy development has unknown influences on local wildlife populations and the ecological interactions within and among species. Our objectives for this study were to evaluate nest success and nest predator dynamics of sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus in two study sites that represented areas of high and low energy development intensities in North Dakota. During the summers of 2012 and 2013, we monitored 163 grouse nests using radio telemetry. Of these, 90 nests also were monitored using miniature cameras to accurately determine nest fates and identify nest predators. We simultaneously conducted predator surveys using camera scent stations and occupancy modeling to estimate nest predator occurrence at each site. American badgers (Taxidea taxus and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis were the primary nest predators, accounting for 56.7% of all video recorded nest depredations. Nests in our high intensity gas and oil area were 1.95 times more likely to succeed compared to our minimal intensity area. Camera monitored nests were 2.03 times more likely to succeed than non-camera monitored nests. Occupancy of mammalian nest predators was 6.9 times more likely in our study area of minimal gas and oil intensity compared to the high intensity area. Although only a correlative study, our results suggest energy development may alter the predator community, thereby increasing nest success for sharp-tailed grouse in areas of intense development, while adjacent areas may have increased predator occurrence and reduced nest success. Our study illustrates the potential influences of energy development on the nest predator-prey dynamics of sharp-tailed grouse in western North Dakota and the complexity of evaluating such impacts on wildlife.

  19. Daily survival rates for nests of Black Skimmers from a core breeding area of the Southeastern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Gillian L.; Sanders, Felicia J.; Gerard, Patrick D.; Jodice, Patrick G.R.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the reproductive success of Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) throughout the southeastern USA where availability of undisturbed beaches for nesting is limited. Daily survival rates (DSR) of nests were examined at three nesting sites in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (CRNWR), South Carolina, USA, 2009–2010. The percent of successful nests (n  =  346 nests) ranged from 42–69% among colony sites when data were pooled across both years. The DSR of nests was primarily related to colony site, predation risk, height of high tide, and clutch size. Predation and overwash were the principal causes of identifiable nest loss, each accounting for ∼33% of nest failures during the two study years. Because of the challenges of resighting skimmer chicks, we were not able to measure chick survival effectively and therefore accurate measures of productivity remain elusive. High variability in nest success among sites within close proximity to each other (stressors such as tropical storms or food availability. Although time-intensive techniques to control predators do exist, management options to limit flooding and overwash are far more limited. Conservation of Black Skimmers in the southeastern USA would benefit from coordinated, multi-state efforts to measure nest and chick survival.

  20. Patch size and edge proximity are useful predictors of brood parasitism but not nest survival of grassland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Thomas J; Chiavacci, Scott J; Ward, Michael P

    2013-06-01

    Declines of migratory birds have led to increased focus on causative factors for these declines, including the potential adverse effects of habitat fragmentation on reproductive success. Although numerous studies have addressed how proximity to a habitat edge, patch size, or landscape context influence nest survival or brood parasitism, many have failed to find the purported effects. Furthermore, many have sought to generalize patterns across large geographic areas and habitats. Here, we examined evidence for effects of edge proximity, patch size, and landscape context on nest survival and brood parasitism of grassland birds, a group of conservation concern. The only consistent effect was a positive association between edge proximity and brood parasitism. We examined effects of patch size on nest survival (37 studies) and brood parasitism (30 studies) representing 170 and 97 different estimates, respectively, with a total sample size of > 14000 nests spanning eastern North America. Nest survival weakly increased with patch size in the Great Plains, but not in the Midwestern or Eastern United States, and brood parasitism was inversely related to patch size and consistently greater in the Great Plains. The consistency in brood parasitism relative to nest survival patterns is likely due to parasitism being caused by one species, while nest survival is driven by a diverse and variable suite of nest predators. Often, studies assume that predators responsible for nest predation, the main driver of nest success, either are the same or exhibit the same behaviors across large geographic areas. These results suggest that a better mechanistic understanding of nest predation is needed to provide meaningful conservation recommendations for improving grassland bird productivity, and that the use of general recommendations across large geographic areas should only be undertaken when sufficient data are available from all regions.

  1. Nest survival of piping plovers at a dynamic reservoir indicates an ecological trap for a threatened population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Stucker, Jennifer H.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    In the past 60 years, reservoirs have reshaped riverine ecosystems and transformed breeding habitats used by the threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plover). Currently, 29% of the Northern Great Plains plover population nests at reservoirs that might function as ecological traps because reservoirs have more diverse habitat features and greater dynamics in water levels than habitats historically used by breeding plovers. We examined factors influencing daily survival rates (DSR) of 346 plover nests at Lake Sakakawea (SAK; reservoir) during 2006–2009 by evaluating multiple a priori models, and we used our best model to hindcast nest success of plovers during 1985–2009. Our observed and hindcast estimates of nest success were low compared to published estimates. Previous findings indicate that plovers prefer nest sites that are low relative to water level. We found that elevation of nests above the water level had a strong positive correlation with DSR because water levels of SAK typically increased throughout the nesting period. Habitat characteristics on the reservoir differ from those that shaped nest-site selection for plovers. Accordingly, extraordinary nest loss occurs there in many years, largely due to inundation of nests, and based on low fledging rates those losses were not compensated by potential changes in chick survival. Therefore, our example supports the concept of ecological traps in birds because it addresses quantitative assessments of habitat preference and productivity over 25 years (since species listing) and affects a large portion of the population.

  2. Declining Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater populations are associated with landscape-specific reductions in brood parasitism and increases in songbird productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Andrew Cox

    Full Text Available Many songbird species have experienced significant population declines, partly because of brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater, which is positively associated with increasing landscape forest cover in the midwestern United States. However, cowbirds are also experiencing long-term population declines, which should reduce parasitism pressure and thus increase productivity of host species. We used 20 years of nest monitoring data from five sites in Missouri across a gradient of landscape forest cover to assess temporal trends in the rate and intensity of brood parasitism for Acadian Flycatchers (Empidonax virescens, Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea, and Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis. We evaluated whether there were concomitant changes in fledging brood size, nest survival, a combination of the two metrics (i.e., host young produced per nest attempt, and whether such changes were more substantial with decreasing landscape forest cover. Parasitism rates and intensities declined substantially during 1991-2010. Fledging brood size and nest survival rates were positively associated with landscape forest cover, confirming the fragmentation hypothesis for Midwest forest birds. Declining parasitism rates were associated with increased fledging brood sizes, with more pronounced increases as landscape forest cover decreased. Nest survival increased insubstantially across time during laying and incubation, but not during the nestling stage. The best predictor of nest survival was parasitism status, with parasitized nests surviving at lower rates than unparasitized nests. Overall, productivity increased during 1991-2010, with more pronounced increases associated with lower levels of landscape forest cover. The negative effects of cowbirds on nest survival in addition to fledging brood size in less forested landscapes suggest that cowbirds may be a primary cause of forest fragmentation effects on songbird productivity in the

  3. Lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection, microclimate, and nest survival in association with vegetation response to a grassland restoration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boal, Clint W.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Dixon, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Climate models predict that the region of the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) will experience increased maximum and minimum temperatures, reduced frequency but greater intensity of precipitation events, and earlier springs. These climate changes along with different landscape management techniques may influence the persistence of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act and a priority species under the GPLCC, in positive or negative ways. The objectives of this study were to conduct (1) a literature review of lesser prairie-chicken nesting phenology and ecology, (2) an analysis of thermal aspects of lesser prairie-chicken nest microclimate data, and (3) an analysis of nest site selection, nest survival, and vegetation response to 10 years of tebuthiuron and/or grazing treatments. We found few reports in the literature containing useful data on the nesting phenology of lesser prairie-chickens; therefore, managers must rely on short-term observations and measurements of parameters that provide some predictive insight into climate impacts on nesting ecology. Our field studies showed that prairie-chickens on nests were able to maintain relatively consistent average nest temperature of 31 °C and nest humidities of 56.8 percent whereas average external temperatures (20.3–35.0 °C) and humidities (35.2–74.9 percent) varied widely throughout the 24 hour (hr) cycle. Grazing and herbicide treatments within our experimental areas were designed to be less intensive than in common practice. We determined nest locations by radio-tagging hen lesser prairie-chickens captured at leks, which are display grounds at which male lesser prairie-chickens aggregate and attempt to attract a female for mating. Because nest locations selected by hen lesser prairie-chicken are strongly associated with the lek at which they were captured, we assessed nesting habitat use on the basis of hens

  4. Annual survival estimation of migratory songbirds confounded by incomplete breeding site-fidelity: study designs that may help

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marshall, M. R.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Many species of bird exhibit varying degrees of site–fidelity to the previous year’s territory or breeding area, a phenomenon we refer to as incomplete breeding site–fidelity. If the territory they occupy is located beyond the bounds of the study area or search area (i.e., they have emigrated from the study area, the bird will go undetected and is therefore indistinguishable from dead individuals in capture–mark–recapture studies. Differential emigration rates confound inferences regarding differences in survival between sexes and among species if apparent survival rates are used as estimates of true survival. Moreover, the bias introduced by using apparent survival rates for true survival rates can have profound effects on the predictions of population persistence through time, source/sink dynamics, and other aspects of life–history theory. We investigated four study design and analysis approaches that result in apparent survival estimates that are closer to true survival estimates. Our motivation for this research stemmed from a multi–year capture–recapture study of Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea on multiple study plots within a larger landscape of suitable breeding habitat where substantial inter–annual movements of marked individuals among neighboring study plots was documented. We wished to quantify the effects of this type of movement on annual survival estimation. The first two study designs we investigated involved marking birds in a core area and resighting them in the core as well as an area surrounding the core. For the first of these two designs, we demonstrated that as the resighting area surrounding the core gets progressively larger, and more “emigrants” are resighted, apparent survival estimates begin to approximate true survival rates (bias < 0.01. However, given observed inter–annual movements of birds, it is likely to be logistically impractical to resight birds on sufficiently large

  5. Modeling nest-survival data: a comparison of recently developed methods that can be implemented in MARK and SAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rotella, J. J.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Estimating nest success and evaluating factors potentially related to the survival rates of nests are key aspects of many studies of avian populations. A strong interest in nest success has led to a rich literature detailing a variety of estimation methods for this vital rate. In recent years, modeling approaches have undergone especially rapid development. Despite these advances, most researchers still employ Mayfield’s ad-hoc method (Mayfield, 1961 or, in some cases, the maximum-likelihood estimator of Johnson (1979 and Bart & Robson (1982. Such methods permit analyses of stratified data but do not allow for more complex and realistic models of nest survival rate that include covariates that vary by individual, nest age, time, etc. and that may be continuous or categorical. Methods that allow researchers to rigorously assess the importance of a variety of biological factors that might affect nest survival rates can now be readily implemented in Program MARK and in SAS’s Proc GENMOD and Proc NLMIXED. Accordingly, use of Mayfield’s estimator without first evaluating the need for more complex models of nest survival rate cannot be justified. With the goal of increasing the use of more flexible methods, we first describe the likelihood used for these models and then consider the question of what the effective sample size is for computation of AICc. Next, we consider the advantages and disadvantages of these different programs in terms of ease of data input and model construction; utility/flexibility of generated estimates and predictions; ease of model selection; and ability to estimate variance components. An example data set is then analyzed using both MARK and SAS to demonstrate implementation of the methods with various models that contain nest-, group- (or block-, and time-specific covariates. Finally, we discuss improvements that would, if they became available, promote a better general understanding of nest survival rates.

  6. Comparative reproductive biology of sympatric species: Nest and chick survival of American avocets and black-necked stilts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Takekawa, John Y.; Hartman, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying differences in reproductive success rates of closely related and sympatrically breeding species can be useful for understanding limitations to population growth. We simultaneously examined the reproductive ecology of American avocets Recurvirostra americana and black-necked stilts Himantopus mexicanus using 1274 monitored nests and 240 radio-marked chicks in San Francisco Bay, California. Although there were 1.8 times more avocet nests than stilt nests, stilts nonetheless fledged 3.3 times more chicks. Greater production by stilts than avocets was the result of greater chick survival from hatching to fledging (avocet: 6%; stilt: 40%), and not because of differences in clutch size (avocet: 3.84; stilt: 3.77), nest survival (avocet: 44%; stilt: 35%), or egg hatching success (avocet: 90%; stilt: 92%). We reviewed the literature and confirmed that nest survival and hatching success are generally similar when avocets and stilts breed sympatrically. In addition to species, chick survival was strongly influenced by age, site, and year. In particular, daily survival rates increased rapidly with chick age, with 70% of mortalities occurring ≤ 1 week after hatch. California gulls Larus californicus caused 55% of avocet, but only 15% of stilt, chick deaths. Differential use of micro-habitats likely reduced stilt chick’s vulnerability to gull predation, particularly during the first week after hatch, because stilts nested in vegetation 2.7 times more often than avocets and vegetation height was 65% taller at stilt nests compared with avocet nests. Our results demonstrate that two co-occurring and closely related species with similar life history strategies can differ markedly in reproductive success, and simultaneous studies of such species can identify differences that limit productivity.

  7. Nest-location and nest-survival of black-chinned hummingbirds in New Mexico: A comparison between rivers with differing levels of regulation and invasion of nonnative plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Max Smith; Deborah M. Finch; Scott H. Stoleson

    2014-01-01

    We compared plants used as sites for nests and survival of nests of black-chinned hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri) along two rivers in New Mexico. Along the free-flowing Gila River which was dominated by native plants, most nests were constructed in boxelder (Acer negundo). Along the flow-restricted Middle Rio Grande which was dominated by nonnative plants, most...

  8. Nest Success and Cause-Specific Nest Failure of Grassland Passerines Breeding in Prairie Grazed by Livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    This manuscript describes two years of field research on ground-nesting songbird species at Zumwalt Prairie Reserve, northeastern Oregon, USA. Cattle-grazing has long been suspected in declines of ground-nesting songbirds in grazed grassland, primarily due to increased trampling...

  9. Extreme climatic events constrain space use and survival of a ground-nesting bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, Evan P; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Davis, Craig A; Dahlgren, David K; Orange, Jeremy P

    2017-05-01

    Two fundamental issues in ecology are understanding what influences the distribution and abundance of organisms through space and time. While it is well established that broad-scale patterns of abiotic and biotic conditions affect organisms' distributions and population fluctuations, discrete events may be important drivers of space use, survival, and persistence. These discrete extreme climatic events can constrain populations and space use at fine scales beyond that which is typically measured in ecological studies. Recently, a growing body of literature has identified thermal stress as a potential mechanism in determining space use and survival. We sought to determine how ambient temperature at fine temporal scales affected survival and space use for a ground-nesting quail species (Colinus virginianus; northern bobwhite). We modeled space use across an ambient temperature gradient (ranging from -20 to 38 °C) through a maxent algorithm. We also used Andersen-Gill proportional hazard models to assess the influence of ambient temperature-related variables on survival through time. Estimated available useable space ranged from 18.6% to 57.1% of the landscape depending on ambient temperature. The lowest and highest ambient temperature categories (35 °C, respectively) were associated with the least amount of estimated useable space (18.6% and 24.6%, respectively). Range overlap analysis indicated dissimilarity in areas where Colinus virginianus were restricted during times of thermal extremes (range overlap = 0.38). This suggests that habitat under a given condition is not necessarily a habitat under alternative conditions. Further, we found survival was most influenced by weekly minimum ambient temperatures. Our results demonstrate that ecological constraints can occur along a thermal gradient and that understanding the effects of these discrete events and how they change over time may be more important to conservation of organisms than are average and broad

  10. Seasonal productivity and nest survival of Golden-cheeked Warblers vary with forest type and edge density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca G. Peak; Frank R., III Thompson

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the demography and habitat requirements of the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) is needed for its recovery, including measures of productivity instead of reproductive indices. We report on breeding phenology and demography, calculate model-based estimates of nest survival and seasonal productivity and evaluate...

  11. Firewalls in bee nests-survival value of propolis walls of wild Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tribe, Geoff; Tautz, Jürgen; Sternberg, Karin; Cullinan, Jenny

    2017-04-01

    The Cape bee is endemic to the winter rainfall region of South Africa where fires are an integral part of the ecology of the fynbos (heathland) vegetation. Of the 37 wild nests in pristine Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos in the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park that have been analyzed so far, only 22 could be accessed sufficiently to determine the existence of a propolis wall of which 68% had propolis walls which entirely enclosed their openings. The analysis of the 37 wild nests revealed that 78% occurred under boulders or in clefts within rocks, 11% in the ground, 8% in tree cavities, and 3% within shrubs. The analysis of 17 of these nests following a fire within the park revealed that the propolis walls materially protected the nests and retarded the fire with all the colonies surviving. The bees responded to the smoke by imbibing honey and retreating to the furthest recess of their nest cavity. The bees were required to utilize this honey for about 3 weeks after which fire-loving plants appeared and began flowering. Considerable resources were utilized in the construction of the propolis walls, which ranged in thickness from 1.5 to 40 mm (mean 5 mm). Its physical environment determines the nesting behavior of the Cape bee. The prolific use of propolis serves to insulate the nest from extremes of temperature and humidity, restricts entry, camouflages the nest, and acts as an effective fire barrier protecting nests established mostly under rocks in vegetation subjected to periodic fires.

  12. Do digestive contents confound body mass as a measure of relative condition in nestling songbirds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streby, Henry M.; Peterson, Sean M.; Lehman, Justin A.; Kramer, Gunnar R.; Vernasco, Ben J.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    Relative nestling condition, typically measured as nestling mass or as an index including nestling mass, is commonly purported to correlate with fledgling songbird survival. However, most studies directly investigating fledgling survival have found no such relationship. We weighed feces and stomach contents of nestling golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) to investigate the potential contribution of variation in digestive contents to differences in nestling mass. We estimated that the mass of a seventh-day (near fledging) nestling golden-winged warbler varies by 0.65 g (approx. 9% of mean nestling mass) depending on the contents of the nestling's digestive system at the time of weighing, and that digestive contents are dissimilar among nestlings at any moment the brood is removed from the nest for weighing. Our conservative estimate of within-individual variation in digestive contents equals 72% and 24% of the mean within-brood and population-wide range in nestling mass, respectively. Based on our results, a substantive but typically unknown amount of the variation in body mass among nestlings is confounded by differences in digestive contents. We conclude that short-term variation in digestive contents likely precludes the use of body mass, and therefore any mass-dependent index, as a measure of relative nestling condition or as a predictor of survival in golden-winged warblers and likely in many other songbirds of similar size.

  13. Survival and growth of parasitic Maculinea alcon caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in nests of three Myrmica ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, D. R.; Als, Thomas Damm; Boomsma, J. J.

    2011-01-01

    The Alcon blue butterfly (Maculinea alcon) parasitizes the nests of several Myrmica ant species. In Denmark, it uses M. rubra and M. ruginodis, but never M. scabrinodis. To further examine the basis of this specificity and local co-adaptation between host and parasite, the pattern of growth...... and survival of newly-adopted caterpillars of M. alcon in Myrmica subcolonies was examined in the laboratory. M. alcon caterpillars were collected from three populations differing in their host use, and reared in laboratory nests of all three ant species collected from each M. alcon population. While...... there were differences in the pattern of growth of caterpillars from different populations during the first few months after adoption, which depended on host ant species and the site from which the ants were collected, there was no evidence of major differences in final size achieved. Survival was, however...

  14. Early life events carry over to influence pre-migratory condition in a free-living songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg W Mitchell

    Full Text Available Conditions experienced during development can have long-term consequences for individual success. In migratory songbirds, the proximate mechanisms linking early life events and survival are not well understood because tracking individuals across stages of the annual cycle can be extremely challenging. In this paper, we first use a 13 year dataset to demonstrate a positive relationship between 1(st year survival and nestling mass in migratory Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis. We also use a brood manipulation experiment to show that nestlings from smaller broods have higher mass in the nest relative to individuals from larger broods. Having established these relationships, we then use three years of field data involving multiple captures of individuals throughout the pre-migratory period and a multi-level path model to examine the hypothesis that conditions during development limit survival during migration by affecting an individual's ability to accumulate sufficient lean tissue and fat mass prior to migration. We found a positive relationship between fat mass during the pre-migratory period (Sept-Oct and nestling mass and a negative indirect relationship between pre-migratory fat mass and fledging date. Our results provide the first evidence that conditions during development limit survival during migration through their effect on fat stores. These results are particularly important given recent evidence showing that body condition of songbirds at fledging is affected by climate change and anthropogenic changes to landscape structure.

  15. Enclosed nests may provide greater thermal than nest predation benefits compared with open nests across latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Boyce, Andy J.; Fierro-Calderon, Karolina; Mitchell, Adam E.; Armstad, Connor E.; Mouton, James C.; Bin Soudi, Evertius E.

    2017-01-01

    Nest structure is thought to provide benefits that have fitness consequences for several taxa. Traditionally, reduced nest predation has been considered the primary benefit underlying evolution of nest structure, whereas thermal benefits have been considered a secondary or even non-existent factor. Yet, the relative roles of these factors on nest structures remain largely unexplored.Enclosed nests have a constructed or natural roof connected to sides that allow a restricted opening or tube entrance that provides cover in all directions except the entrance, whereas open nests are cups or platforms that are open above. We show that construction of enclosed nests is more common among songbirds (Passeriformes) in tropical and southern hemisphere regions than in north temperate regions. This geographic pattern may reflect selection from predation risk, under long-standing assumptions that nest predation rates are higher in southern regions and that enclosed nests reduce predation risk compared with open cup nests. We therefore compared nest predation rates between enclosed vs. open nests in 114 songbird species that do not nest in tree holes among five communities of coexisting birds, and for 205 non-hole-nesting species from the literature, across northern temperate, tropical, and southern hemisphere regions.Among coexisting species, enclosed nests had lower nest predation rates than open nests in two south temperate sites, but not in either of two tropical sites or a north temperate site. Nest predation did not differ between nest types at any latitude based on literature data. Among 319 species from both our field studies and the literature, enclosed nests did not show consistent benefits of reduced predation and, in fact, predation was not consistently higher in the tropics, contrary to long-standing perspectives.Thermal benefits of enclosed nests were indicated based on three indirect results. First, species that built enclosed nests were smaller than species using

  16. How Honey Bee Colonies Survive in the Wild: Testing the Importance of Small Nests and Frequent Swarming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Carter Loftus

    Full Text Available The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, and the viruses that it transmits, kill the colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera kept by beekeepers unless the bees are treated with miticides. Nevertheless, there exist populations of wild colonies of European honey bees that are persisting without being treated with miticides. We hypothesized that the persistence of these wild colonies is due in part to their habits of nesting in small cavities and swarming frequently. We tested this hypothesis by establishing two groups of colonies living either in small hives (42 L without swarm-control treatments or in large hives (up to 168 L with swarm-control treatments. We followed the colonies for two years and compared the two groups with respect to swarming frequency, Varroa infesttion rate, disease incidence, and colony survival. Colonies in small hives swarmed more often, had lower Varroa infestation rates, had less disease, and had higher survival compared to colonies in large hives. These results indicate that the smaller nest cavities and more frequent swarming of wild colonies contribute to their persistence without mite treatments.

  17. How Honey Bee Colonies Survive in the Wild: Testing the Importance of Small Nests and Frequent Swarming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loftus, J. Carter; Smith, Michael L.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, and the viruses that it transmits, kill the colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) kept by beekeepers unless the bees are treated with miticides. Nevertheless, there exist populations of wild colonies of European honey bees that are persisting without being treated with miticides. We hypothesized that the persistence of these wild colonies is due in part to their habits of nesting in small cavities and swarming frequently. We tested this hypothesis by establishing two groups of colonies living either in small hives (42 L) without swarm-control treatments or in large hives (up to 168 L) with swarm-control treatments. We followed the colonies for two years and compared the two groups with respect to swarming frequency, Varroa infesttion rate, disease incidence, and colony survival. Colonies in small hives swarmed more often, had lower Varroa infestation rates, had less disease, and had higher survival compared to colonies in large hives. These results indicate that the smaller nest cavities and more frequent swarming of wild colonies contribute to their persistence without mite treatments. PMID:26968000

  18. The importance of microclimate variation in determining size, growth and survival of avian offspring: experimental evidence from a cavity nesting passerine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Russell D; Lawrie, Cheyenne C; O'Brien, Erin L

    2005-07-01

    Organisms are expected to balance energy allocation in such a way that fitness is maximized. While much research has focussed on allocation strategies of reproducing parents, in particular birds, relatively little attention has been paid to how nestlings allocate energy while in the nest. Nestling birds are faced with a trade-off between devoting energy to growth or to thermoregulation, and in altricial species it is likely that the thermal environment of the nest site influences the nature of this trade-off. Here, we experimentally investigate how altering the microclimate of nests affects the growth, size and survival, as well as cell-mediated immune (CMI) response, of nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) in a temperate environment. We place air-activated heating pads in nests of swallows when young were between 4 days and 16 days of age, and compared performance of offspring to control nests. Our manipulation raised temperatures of heated nests by approximately 5 degrees C compared to control nests. Offspring in heated nests had enhanced survival while in the nest, and we also found that they were heavier and had longer ninth primary feathers at 16 days of age. In addition, heating nest boxes resulted in significantly faster growth of primaries, and there was a trend for growth rates of mass to also be higher in heated nests. There were no significant differences between heated and control nests in growth rate or size of tarsus at age 16 days, and we speculate that this lack of response to elevated nest temperatures may be due to growth of skeletal structures being limited by other factors such as calcium availability. We also found no difference between heated and control nests in CMI response. Nonetheless, our results show overall that increasing temperatures of nests has significant benefits that enhance the fitness of offspring. As provisioning rates to offspring did not differ between heated and control nests, we suspect that the beneficial effects

  19. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  20. Using survival analysis of artificial and Real Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri) nests to model site level and nest site factors associated with nest success in the South Okanagan region of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pam Krannitz Kym Welstead

    2005-01-01

    Predation is the predominant cause of nest failure for the Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri), a provincially red-listed shrub-steppe species that has experienced significant declines throughout most of its range. We monitored Brewer’s Sparrow nests and conducted an artificial nest experiment, in the South Okanagan Valley,...

  1. Do Predation Rates on Artificial Nests Accurately Reflect Predation Rates on Natural Bird Nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf; Curtice R. Griffin; Thomas J. Maier

    1999-01-01

    Artificial nests are widely used in avian field studies. However, it is unclear how well predation rates on artificial nests reflect predation rates on natural nests. Therefore, we compared survival rates of artificial nests (unused natural nests baited with House Sparrow eggs) with survival rates of active bird nests in the same habitat at the same sites. Survival...

  2. Songbirds and Birds of Prey, Unit 6, Colorado Division of Wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, Jon K.; Smith, Dwight R.

    This booklet on songbirds and birds of prey is part of a series developed to encourage youth to pursue environmental projects. The manual explains bird anatomy and physiology, bird watching, types of feeders and shelter, and bird identification. Descriptions of feeding, hunting, and nesting habits are given for many species of birds. Also,…

  3. Landscape and regional context differentially affect nest parasitism and nest predation for Wood Thrush in central Virginia, USA (Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many empirical studies have shown that forest-breeding songbirds suffer greater rates of nest predation and nest parasitism in smaller forest patches and in fragmented landscapes. To compare the performance of different metrics of spatial habitat configuration resulting from defo...

  4. Long distance migratory songbirds respond to extremes in arctic seasonality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, N.; Asmus, A.; Chmura, H.; Krause, J.; Perez, J. H.; Sweet, S. K.; Gough, L.; Wingfield, J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic regions are warming rapidly, with extreme weather events increasing in frequency, duration and intensity, as in other regions. Many studies have focused on how shifting seasonality in environmental conditions affect the phenology and productivity of vegetation, while far fewer have examined how arctic fauna responds. We studied two species of long-distance migratory songbirds, Lapland longspurs, Calcarius lapponicus, and White-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, across seven consecutive breeding seasons in northern Alaskan tundra. We aimed to understand how spring environmental conditions affected breeding cycle phenology, food availability, body condition, stress physiology, and ultimately, reproductive success. Spring temperatures, precipitation, storm frequency, and snow-free dates differed significantly among years, with 2013 characterized by unusually late snow cover, and 2015 and 2016 characterized by unusually early snow-free dates and several late spring snowstorms. In response, we found that relative to other study years, there was a significant delay in breeding cycle phenology for both study species in 2013, while breeding cycle phenology was significantly earlier in 2015 only. For both species, we also found significant variation among years in: the seasonal patterns of arthropod availability during the nesting stage; body condition, and; stress physiology. Finally, we found significant variation in reproductive success of both species across years, and that daily survival rates were decreased by snow storm events. Our findings suggest that arctic-breeding passerine communities may be able to adjust phenology to unpredictable shifts in the timing of spring, but extreme conditions during the incubation and nestling stages are detrimental to reproductive success.

  5. Effects of shallow natural gas well structures and associated roads on grassland songbird reproductive success in Alberta, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Yoo

    Full Text Available Grassland songbird populations across North America have experienced dramatic population declines due to habitat loss and degradation. In Canada, energy development continues to fragment and disturb prairie habitat, but effects of oil and gas development on reproductive success of songbirds in North American mixed-grass prairies remains largely unknown. From 2010-2012, in southeastern Alberta, Canada, we monitored 257 nests of two ground-nesting grassland songbird species, Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis and chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus. Nest locations varied with proximity to and density of conventional shallow gas well structures and associated roads in forty-two 258-ha mixed-grass prairie sites. We estimated the probabilities of nest success and clutch size relative to gas well structures and roads. There was little effect of distance to or density of gas well structure on nest success; however, Savannah sparrow experienced lower nest success near roads. Clutch sizes were lower near gas well structures and cattle water sources. Minimizing habitat disturbance surrounding gas well structures, and reducing abundance of roads and trails, would help minimize impacts on reproductive success for some grassland songbirds.

  6. Density dependence and phenological mismatch: consequences for growth and survival of sub-arctic nesting Canada Geese

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodney W. Brook

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The extent to which species are plastic in the timing of their reproductive events relative to phenology suggests how climate change might affect their demography. An ecological mismatch between the timing of hatch for avian species and the peak availability in quality and quantity of forage for rapidly growing offspring might ultimately affect recruitment to the breeding population unless individuals can adjust the timing of breeding to adapt to changing phenology. We evaluated effects of goose density, hatch timing relative to forage plant phenology, and weather indices on annual growth of pre-fledging Canada geese (Branta canadensis from 1993-2010 at Akimiski Island, Nunavut. We found effects of both density and hatch timing relative to forage plant phenology; the earlier that eggs hatched relative to forage plant phenology, the larger the mean gosling size near fledging. Goslings were smallest in years when hatch was latest relative to forage plant phenology, and when local abundance of breeding adults was highest. We found no evidence for a trend in relative hatch timing, but it was apparent that in early springs, Canada geese tended to hatch later relative to vegetation phenology, suggesting that geese were not always able to adjust the timing of nesting as rapidly as vegetation phenology was advanced. Analyses using forage biomass information revealed a positive relationship between gosling size and per capita biomass availability, suggesting a causal mechanism for the density effect. The effects of weather parameters explained additional variation in mean annual gosling size, although total June and July rainfall had a small additive effect on gosling size. Modelling of annual first-year survival probability using mean annual gosling size as an annual covariate revealed a positive relationship, suggesting that reduced gosling growth negatively impacts recruitment.

  7. Density dependence and phenological mismatch: consequences for growth and survival of sub-arctic nesting Canada Geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, Rodney W.; Leafloor, James O.; Douglas, David C.; Abraham, Kenneth F.

    2015-01-01

    The extent to which species are plastic in the timing of their reproductive events relative to phenology suggests how change might affect their demography. An ecological mismatch between the timing of hatch for avian species and the peak availability in quality and quantity of forage for rapidly growing offspring might ultimately affect recruitment to the breeding population unless individuals can adjust the timing of breeding to adapt to changing phenology. We evaluated effects of goose density, hatch timing relative to forage plant phenology, and weather indices on annual growth of pre-fledging Canada geese (Branta canadensis) from 1993-2010 at Akimiski Island, Nunavut. We found effects of both density and hatch timing relative to forage plant phenology; the earlier that eggs hatched relative to forage plant phenology, the larger the mean gosling size near fledging. Goslings were smallest in years when hatch was latest relative to forage plant phenology, and when local abundance of breeding adults was highest. We found no evidence for a trend in relative hatch timing, but it was apparent that in early springs, Canada geese tended to hatch later relative to vegetation phenology, suggesting that geese were not always able to adjust the timing of nesting as rapidly as vegetation phenology was advanced. Analyses using forage biomass information revealed a positive relationship between gosling size and per capita biomass availability, suggesting a causal mechanism for the density effect. The effects of weather parameters explained additional variation in mean annual gosling size, although total June and July rainfall had a small additive effect on gosling size. Modelling of annual first year survival probability using mean annual gosling size as an annual covariate revealed a positive relationship, suggesting that reduced gosling growth negatively impacts recruitment.

  8. A conceptual framework for clutch size evolution in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2014-01-01

    Causes of evolved differences in clutch size among songbird species remain debated. I propose a new conceptual framework that integrates aspects of traditional life history theory, while including novel elements, to explain evolution of clutch size among songbirds. I review evidence that selection by nest predation on length of time that offspring develop in the nest creates a gradient in offspring characteristics at nest-leaving (fledging), including flight mobility, spatial dispersion, and self-feeding rate. I postulate that this gradient has consequences for offspring mortality rates and parental energy expenditure per offspring. These consequences then determine how reproductive effort is partitioned among offspring, while reproductive effort evolves from age-specific mortality effects. Using data from a long-term site in Arizona, as well as from the literature, I provide support for hypothesized relationships. Nestling development period consistently explains fledgling mortality, energy expenditure per offspring, and clutch size while accounting for reproductive effort (i.e., total energy expenditure) to thereby support the framework. Tests in this paper are not definitive, but they document previously unrecognized relationships and address diverse traits (developmental strategies, parental care strategies, energy requirements per offspring, evolution of reproductive effort, clutch size) that justify further investigations of hypotheses proposed here.

  9. The genome of a songbird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warren, Wesley C.; Clayton, David F.; Ellegren, Hans

    2010-01-01

    The zebra finch is an important model organism in several fields with unique relevance to human neuroscience. Like other songbirds, the zebra finch communicates through learned vocalizations, an ability otherwise documented only in humans and a few other animals and lacking in the chickenthe only...

  10. The influence of nest-site characteristics on the nesting success of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Choice of nest site has important consequences for nest survival. We examined nest-site characteristics relative to nest success in Karoo Prinias breeding in coastal dwarf shrubland, where high nest predation is the main cause of nest failure. Initially, we compared nests that failed during the building, laying, incubation and ...

  11. Fledgling survival increases with development time and adult survival across north and south temperate zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Penn; Martin, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Slow life histories are characterized by high adult survival and few offspring, which are thought to allow increased investment per offspring to increase juvenile survival. Consistent with this pattern, south temperate zone birds are commonly longer-lived and have fewer young than north temperate zone species. However, comparative analyses of juvenile survival, including during the first few weeks of the post-fledging period when most juvenile mortality occurs, are largely lacking. We combined our measurements of fledgling survival for eight passerines in South Africa with estimates from published studies of 57 north and south temperate zone songbird species to test three predictions: (1) fledgling survival increases with length of development time in the nest; (2) fledgling survival increases with adult survival and reduced brood size controlled for development time; and (3) south temperate zone species, with their higher adult survival and smaller brood sizes, exhibit higher fledgling survival than north temperate zone species controlled for development time. We found that fledgling survival was higher among south temperate zone species and generally increased with development time and adult survival within and between latitudinal regions. Clutch size did not explain additional variation, but was confounded with adult survival. Given the importance of age-specific mortality to life history evolution, understanding the causes of these geographical patterns of mortality is important.

  12. Ratios of colony mass to thermal conductance of tree and man-made nest enclosures of Apis mellifera: implications for survival, clustering, humidity regulation and Varroa destructor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Derek

    2016-05-01

    In the absence of human intervention, the honeybee ( Apis mellifera L.) usually constructs its nest in a tree within a tall, narrow, thick-walled cavity high above the ground (the enclosure); however, most research and apiculture is conducted in the thin-walled, squat wooden enclosures we know as hives. This experimental research, using various hives and thermal models of trees, has found that the heat transfer rate is approximately four to seven times greater in the hives in common use, compared to a typical tree enclosure in winter configuration. This gives a ratio of colony mass to lumped enclosure thermal conductance (MCR) of less than 0.8 kgW-1 K for wooden hives and greater than 5 kgW-1 K for tree enclosures. This result for tree enclosures implies higher levels of humidity in the nest, increased survival of smaller colonies and lower Varroa destructor breeding success. Many honeybee behaviours previously thought to be intrinsic may only be a coping mechanism for human intervention; for example, at an MCR of above 2 kgW-1 K, clustering in a tree enclosure may be an optional, rare, heat conservation behaviour for established colonies, rather than the compulsory, frequent, life-saving behaviour that is in the hives in common use. The implied improved survival in hives with thermal properties of tree nests may help to solve some of the problems honeybees are currently facing in apiculture.

  13. Relationship between survival rate of avian artificial nests and forest vegetation structure along a tropical altitudinal gradient on Mount Cameroon

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Djomo Nana, E.; Sedláček, O.; Doležal, Jiří; Dančák, Martin; Altman, Jan; Svoboda, M.; Majeský, L.; Hořák, D.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 6 (2015), s. 758-764 ISSN 0006-3606 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1617 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : artificial nest s * vegetation parameters * West-Central Africa Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.944, year: 2015

  14. Effects of loose housing and the provision of alternative nesting material on peri-partum sow behaviour and piglet survival

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, J.E.; Raats-van den Boogaard, A.M.E.; Hoofs, A.I.J.; Soede, N.M.

    2018-01-01

    Sows are strongly motivated to perform nestbuilding behaviour before parturition. This behaviour is often restricted in commercial systems due to confinement of the sow and lack of suitable nesting material to be used on slatted floors. This study aimed to investigate effects of loose vs. crated

  15. Females increase reproductive investment in response to helper-mediated improvements in allo-feeding, nest survival, nestling provisioning and post-fledging survival in the Karoo scrub-robin Cercotrichas coryphaeus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, P.; Andrew, Taylor W.; du Plessis, Morné A.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    In many cooperatively-breeding species, the presence of one or more helpers improves the reproductive performance of the breeding pair receiving help. Helper contributions can take many different forms, including allo-feeding, offspring provisioning, and offspring guarding or defence. Yet, most studies have focussed on single forms of helper contribution, particularly offspring provisioning, and few have evaluated the relative importance of a broader range of helper contributions to group reproductive performance. We examined helper contributions to multiple components of breeding performance in the Karoo scrub-robin Cercotrichas coryphaeus, a facultative cooperative breeder. We also tested a prediction of increased female investment in reproduction when helpers improve conditions for rearing young. Helpers assisted the breeding male in allo-feeding the incubating female, increasing allo-feeding rates. Greater allo-feeding correlated with greater female nest attentiveness during incubation. Nest predation was substantially lower among pairs breeding with a helper, resulting in a 74% increase in the probability of nest survival. Helper contributions to offspring provisioning increased nestling feeding rates, resulting in a reduced incidence of nestling starvation and increased nestling mass. Nestling mass had a strong, positive effect on post-fledging survival. Controlling for female age and habitat effects, annual production of fledged young was 130% greater among pairs breeding with a helper, and was influenced most strongly by helper correlates with nest survival, despite important helper effects on offspring provisioning. Females breeding with a helper increased clutch size, supporting the prediction of increased female investment in reproduction in response to helper benefits. ?? 2009 J. Avian Biol.

  16. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat in Nevada and California—Spatial variation in selection and survival patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Dudko, Jonathan E.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Espinosa, Shawn P.; Casazza, Michael L.; Delehanty, David J.

    2017-08-10

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereinafter, "sage-grouse") are highly dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) dominated vegetation communities for food and cover from predators. Although this species requires the presence of sagebrush shrubs in the overstory, it also inhabits a broad geographic distribution with significant gradients in precipitation and temperature that drive variation in sagebrush ecosystem structure and concomitant shrub understory conditions. Variability in understory conditions across the species’ range may be responsible for the sometimes contradictory findings in the scientific literature describing sage-grouse habitat use and selection during important life history stages, such as nesting. To help understand the importance of this variability and to help guide management actions, we evaluated the nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat factors that influence selection and survival patterns in the Great Basin using a large dataset of microhabitat characteristics from study areas spanning northern Nevada and a portion of northeastern California from 2009 to 2016. The spatial and temporal coverage of the dataset provided a powerful opportunity to evaluate microhabitat factors important to sage-grouse reproduction, while also considering habitat variation associated with different climatic conditions and areas affected by wildfire. The summary statistics for numerous microhabitat factors, and the strength of their association with sage-grouse habitat selection and survival, are provided in this report to support decisions by land managers, policy-makers, and others with the best-available science in a timely manner.

  17. Effect of landscape matrix type on nesting ecology of the Northern Cardinal

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.A. Sargent; J.C. Kilgo; B.R. Chapman; K.V. Miller

    2015-01-01

    Spatial distribution of forests relative to other habitats in a landscape may influence nest success of songbirds. For example, nest predation in mature forests increases as the percentage of clear-cut land in the surrounding matrix increases (Yahner and Scott 1988). Blake and Karr (1987) noted that birds breeding in forest fragments may incorporate adjacent habitats,...

  18. Survival in soil and detection of co-transformed Trichoderma harzianum by nested PCR Sobrevivência em solo e detecção de co-transformantes de Trichoderma harzianum por PCR "nested"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Roberto Queiroz

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluate the survival of two Trichoderma harzianum co-transformants, TE 10 and TE 41, carrying genes for green fluorescent protein (egfp and for resistance to benomyl, during four weeks in a contained soil microcosm. Selective culture media were used to detect viable fungal material, whose identity was confirmed by the observation of the fluorescent phenotype by direct epifluorence microscopy. PCR using two nested primer pairs specific to the egfp gene was also used to detect the transformed fungi. Although it was not possible to reliably detect the egfp gene directly from soil extracts, an enrichment step involving selective culture of soil samples in liquid medium prior to DNA extraction enabled the consistent detection of the T. harzianum co-transformants by nested PCR for the duration of the incubation period.O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar a sobrevivência de dois co-transformantes de Trichoderma harzianum, TE 10 e TE 41, expressando o gene da proteína de fluorescência verde (egfp e resistência a benomil, por um período de quatro semanas em microcosmo de solo, sob condições controladas. Foi utilizado um meio seletivo para detecção de material fúngico viável, o qual foi confirmado por observação quanto ao fenótipo de fluorescência em microscópio de epifluorescência direta. O fungo transformado foi detectado por PCR "nested", utilizando-se dois pares de primers específicos para o gene egfp. Foram utilizados meios líquidos enriquecidos no cultivo de amostras de solo, permitindo uma detecção consistente de co-transformantes de T. harzianum, uma vez que não foi possível a detecção do gene egfp por PCR de amostras de DNA extraídas diretamente de solo.

  19. Survival analysis of clinical mastitis data using a nested frailty Cox model fit as a mixed-effects Poisson model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elghafghuf, Adel; Dufour, Simon; Reyher, Kristen; Dohoo, Ian; Stryhn, Henrik

    2014-12-01

    Mastitis is a complex disease affecting dairy cows and is considered to be the most costly disease of dairy herds. The hazard of mastitis is a function of many factors, both managerial and environmental, making its control a difficult issue to milk producers. Observational studies of clinical mastitis (CM) often generate datasets with a number of characteristics which influence the analysis of those data: the outcome of interest may be the time to occurrence of a case of mastitis, predictors may change over time (time-dependent predictors), the effects of factors may change over time (time-dependent effects), there are usually multiple hierarchical levels, and datasets may be very large. Analysis of such data often requires expansion of the data into the counting-process format - leading to larger datasets - thus complicating the analysis and requiring excessive computing time. In this study, a nested frailty Cox model with time-dependent predictors and effects was applied to Canadian Bovine Mastitis Research Network data in which 10,831 lactations of 8035 cows from 69 herds were followed through lactation until the first occurrence of CM. The model was fit to the data as a Poisson model with nested normally distributed random effects at the cow and herd levels. Risk factors associated with the hazard of CM during the lactation were identified, such as parity, calving season, herd somatic cell score, pasture access, fore-stripping, and proportion of treated cases of CM in a herd. The analysis showed that most of the predictors had a strong effect early in lactation and also demonstrated substantial variation in the baseline hazard among cows and between herds. A small simulation study for a setting similar to the real data was conducted to evaluate the Poisson maximum likelihood estimation approach with both Gaussian quadrature method and Laplace approximation. Further, the performance of the two methods was compared with the performance of a widely used estimation

  20. Response to nestling throat ligatures by three songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, G.L.; Conway, C.J.; Kirkpatrick, C.; Laroche, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    We attempted to collect diet samples using throat ligatures from nestlings of three songbird species in a riparian woodland in southeastern Arizona from May to August 2009. We had success with Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia), observed adult Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) reclaim food from nestlings, and discontinued the use of throat ligatures when we observed an adult Abert's Towhee (Pipilo aberti) remove two, 34-day-old ligatured nestlings from its nest. Previous studies have reported problems (e.g., aggression toward nestlings by adults) with throat ligatures, but we are the first to document removal (and subsequent nestling mortality) in response to this technique. We urge investigators to exercise caution when using throat ligatures on species for which evidence of the safety and efficacy of this method are lacking, especially when nestlings are small in size relative to adults. ?? 2010 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  1. Influence of olfactory and visual cover on nest site selection and nest success for grassland-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Dillon T; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Loss, Scott R

    2017-08-01

    Habitat selection by animals is influenced by and mitigates the effects of predation and environmental extremes. For birds, nest site selection is crucial to offspring production because nests are exposed to extreme weather and predation pressure. Predators that forage using olfaction often dominate nest predator communities; therefore, factors that influence olfactory detection (e.g., airflow and weather variables, including turbulence and moisture) should influence nest site selection and survival. However, few studies have assessed the importance of olfactory cover for habitat selection and survival. We assessed whether ground-nesting birds select nest sites based on visual and/or olfactory cover. Additionally, we assessed the importance of visual cover and airflow and weather variables associated with olfactory cover in influencing nest survival. In managed grasslands in Oklahoma, USA, we monitored nests of Northern Bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ), Eastern Meadowlark ( Sturnella magna ), and Grasshopper Sparrow ( Ammodramus savannarum ) during 2015 and 2016. To assess nest site selection, we compared cover variables between nests and random points. To assess factors influencing nest survival, we used visual cover and olfactory-related measurements (i.e., airflow and weather variables) to model daily nest survival. For nest site selection, nest sites had greater overhead visual cover than random points, but no other significant differences were found. Weather variables hypothesized to influence olfactory detection, specifically precipitation and relative humidity, were the best predictors of and were positively related to daily nest survival. Selection for overhead cover likely contributed to mitigation of thermal extremes and possibly reduced detectability of nests. For daily nest survival, we hypothesize that major nest predators focused on prey other than the monitored species' nests during high moisture conditions, thus increasing nest survival on these

  2. The effect of mercury on baseline corticosterone in a breeding songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddux, Sarah L; Cristol, Daniel A; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Bradley, Eric L

    2015-02-01

    Although songbirds accumulate mercury at rates equivalent to better-studied aquatic avian species, effects of mercury bioaccumulation in songbirds remain understudied. Little is known about the effects of mercury on endocrine physiology, but recent evidence indicates that mercury may disrupt the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Both field-based correlational studies and a recent dosing experiment suggest that mercury exposure alters levels of the primary avian stress hormone, CORT. We sampled zebra finches that had been dosed with 0, 0.5, or 1.0 ppm dietary methylmercury for baseline CORT twice; once during pairing and once after successfully fledging young. Circulating levels of CORT were not significantly affected by mercury exposure. However, our findings indicate potentially important differences in CORT responses between the sexes when exposed to environmentally relevant doses of mercury across the nesting cycle.

  3. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Biddle

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process.

  4. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process. PMID:28265501

  5. Construction patterns of birds' nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddle, Lucia; Goodman, Adrian M; Deeming, D Charles

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch ( Pyrrhula pyrrhula ) nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a "twig" nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process.

  6. Auditory-vocal mirroring in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory-vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory-vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory-vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain.

  7. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory–vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory–vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory–vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain. PMID:24778375

  8. Organochlorine exposures influence on breast cancer risk and survival according to estrogen receptor status: a Danish cohort-nested case-control study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Høyer, Annette P; Jørgensen, Torben; Rank, Fritz; Grandjean, Philippe

    2001-01-01

    The relationship between breast cancer and organochlorine exposure is controversial and complex. As estrogen receptor positive and negative breast cancer may represent different entities of the disease, this study was undertaken to evaluate organochlorines influence on breast cancer risk and survival according to receptor status. The background material stems from the Copenhagen City Heart Study (Denmark 1976-78). The breast cancer risk was investigated in a cohort nested case-control design including 161 cases and twice as many breast cancer free controls. The cases served as a cohort in the survival analysis. Serum organochlorine concentrations were determined by gaschromotography. The observed increased breast cancer risk associated with exposure to dieldrin derived from women who developed an estrogen receptor negative (ERN) tumor (Odds ratio [OR] I vs. IV quartile, 7.6, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4-46.1, p-value for linear trend 0.01). Tumors in women with the highest dieldrin serum level were larger and more often spread at the time of diagnosis than ERP tumors. The risk of dying was for the remaining evaluated compounds higher among patients with ERP breast cancer when compared to those with ERN. In the highest quartile of polychlorinated biphenyls (ΣPCB) it was more than 2-fold increased (Relative risk [RR] I vs. IV quartile, 2.5, 95% CI 1.1-5.7), but no dose-response relation was apparent. The results do not suggest that exposure to potential estrogenic organochlorines leads to development of an ERP breast cancer. A possible adverse effect on prognosis of hormone-responsive breast cancers needs to be clarified

  9. Feather growth influences blood mercury level of young songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condon, Anne M; Cristol, Daniel A

    2009-02-01

    Dynamics of mercury in feathers and blood of free-living songbirds is poorly understood. Nestling eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) living along the mercury-contaminated South River (Virginia, USA) had blood mercury levels an order of magnitude lower than their parents (nestling: 0.09 +/- 0.06 mg/kg [mean +/- standard deviation], n = 156; adult: 1.21 +/- 0.57 mg/kg, n = 86). To test whether this low blood mercury was the result of mercury sequestration in rapidly growing feathers, we repeatedly sampled free-living juveniles throughout the period of feather growth and molt. Mean blood mercury concentrations increased to 0.52 +/- 0.36 mg/kg (n = 44) after the completion of feather growth. Some individuals had reached adult blood mercury levels within three months of leaving the nest, but levels dropped to 0.20 +/- 0.09 mg/kg (n = 11) once the autumn molt had begun. Most studies of mercury contamination in juvenile birds have focused on recently hatched young with thousands of rapidly growing feathers. However, the highest risk period for mercury intoxication in young birds may be during the vulnerable period after fledging, when feathers no longer serve as a buffer against dietary mercury. We found that nestling blood mercury levels were not indicative of the extent of contamination because a large portion of the ingested mercury ended up in feathers. The present study demonstrates unequivocally that in songbirds blood mercury level is influenced strongly by the growth and molt of feathers.

  10. Do artificial nests simulate nest success of greater sage-grouse?

    OpenAIRE

    Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Conover, Michael R.; Mabray, Scott T.

    2013-01-01

    Artificial nests have been used to study factors affecting nest success because researchers can manipulate them more than natural bird nests. Many researchers have questioned the validity of generalizing the results from artificial nests onto naturally occurring nests. Other studies have assessed the validity of artificial nest studies by simultaneously comparing overall depredation or daily survival rates, depredation timing, predator species, or habitat characteristics of artificial and nat...

  11. Female in-nest chatter song increases predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleindorfer, Sonia; Evans, Christine; Mahr, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    Female song is an ancestral trait in songbirds, yet extant females generally sing less than males. Here, we examine sex differences in the predation cost of singing behaviour. The superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) is a Southern Hemisphere songbird; males and females provision the brood and produce solo song year-round. Both sexes had higher song rate during the fertile period and lower song rate during incubation and chick feeding. Females were more likely than males to sing close to or inside the nest. For this reason, female but not male song rate predicted egg and nestling predation. This study identifies a high fitness cost of song when a parent bird attends offspring inside a nest and explains gender differences in singing when there are gender differences in parental care. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. Triangular Nests!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, R. I.

    2002-01-01

    Shows how integer-sided triangles can be nested, each nest having a single enclosing isosceles triangle. Brings to light what can be seen as a relatively simple generalization of Pythagoras' theorem, a result that should be readily accessible to many secondary school pupils. (Author/KHR)

  13. Nested Cohort - R software package

    Science.gov (United States)

    NestedCohort is an R software package for fitting Kaplan-Meier and Cox Models to estimate standardized survival and attributable risks for studies where covariates of interest are observed on only a sample of the cohort.

  14. Hawaii ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for seabird nesting colonies in coastal Hawaii. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  15. Maryland ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for raptors in Maryland. Vector points in this data set represent bird nesting sites. Species-specific...

  16. Louisiana ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for seabird and wading bird nesting colonies in coastal Louisiana. Vector points in this data set represent...

  17. Breeding phenology of birds: mechanisms underlying seasonal declines in the risk of nest predation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathi L Borgmann

    Full Text Available Seasonal declines in avian clutch size are well documented, but seasonal variation in other reproductive parameters has received less attention. For example, the probability of complete brood mortality typically explains much of the variation in reproductive success and often varies seasonally, but we know little about the underlying cause of that variation. This oversight is surprising given that nest predation influences many other life-history traits and varies throughout the breeding season in many songbirds. To determine the underlying causes of observed seasonal decreases in risk of nest predation, we modeled nest predation of Dusky Flycatchers (Empidonax oberholseri in northern California as a function of foliage phenology, energetic demand, developmental stage, conspecific nest density, food availability for nest predators, and nest predator abundance. Seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was not associated with seasonal changes in energetic demand, conspecific nest density, or predator abundance. Instead, seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was associated with foliage density (early, but not late, in the breeding season and seasonal changes in food available to nest predators. Supplemental food provided to nest predators resulted in a numerical response by nest predators, increasing the risk of nest predation at nests that were near supplemental feeders. Our results suggest that seasonal changes in foliage density and factors associated with changes in food availability for nest predators are important drivers of temporal patterns in risk of avian nest predation.

  18. Breeding phenology of birds: mechanisms underlying seasonal declines in the risk of nest predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgmann, Kathi L; Conway, Courtney J; Morrison, Michael L

    2013-01-01

    Seasonal declines in avian clutch size are well documented, but seasonal variation in other reproductive parameters has received less attention. For example, the probability of complete brood mortality typically explains much of the variation in reproductive success and often varies seasonally, but we know little about the underlying cause of that variation. This oversight is surprising given that nest predation influences many other life-history traits and varies throughout the breeding season in many songbirds. To determine the underlying causes of observed seasonal decreases in risk of nest predation, we modeled nest predation of Dusky Flycatchers (Empidonax oberholseri) in northern California as a function of foliage phenology, energetic demand, developmental stage, conspecific nest density, food availability for nest predators, and nest predator abundance. Seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was not associated with seasonal changes in energetic demand, conspecific nest density, or predator abundance. Instead, seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was associated with foliage density (early, but not late, in the breeding season) and seasonal changes in food available to nest predators. Supplemental food provided to nest predators resulted in a numerical response by nest predators, increasing the risk of nest predation at nests that were near supplemental feeders. Our results suggest that seasonal changes in foliage density and factors associated with changes in food availability for nest predators are important drivers of temporal patterns in risk of avian nest predation.

  19. Are olfactory cues involved in nest recognition in two social species of estrildid finches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Reliably recognizing their own nest provides parents with a necessary skill to invest time and resources efficiently in raising their offspring and thereby maximising their own reproductive success. Studies investigating nest recognition in adult birds have focused mainly on visual cues of the nest or the nest site and acoustic cues of the nestlings. To determine whether adult songbirds also use olfaction for nest recognition, we investigated the use of olfactory nest cues for two estrildid finch species, zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica during the nestling and fledgling phase of their offspring. We found similar behavioural responses to nest odours in both songbird species. Females preferred the odour of their own nest over a control and avoided the foreign conspecific nest scent over a control during the nestling phase of their offspring, but when given the own odour and the foreign conspecific odour simultaneously we did not find a preference for the own nest odour. Males of both species did not show any preferences at all. The behavioural reaction to any nest odour decreased after fledging of the offspring. Our results show that only females show a behavioural response to olfactory nest cues, indicating that the use of olfactory cues for nest recognition seems to be sex-specific and dependent on the developmental stage of the offspring. Although estrildid finches are known to use visual and acoustic cues for nest recognition, the similar behavioural pattern of both species indicates that at least females gain additional information by olfactory nest cues during the nestling phase of their offspring. Thus olfactory cues might be important in general, even in situations in which visual and acoustic cues are known to be sufficient.

  20. Lead concentrations and reproductive success in European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within highway roadside verges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grue, C.E.; Hoffman, D.J.; Beyer, W.N.; Franson, L.P.

    1986-01-01

    In 1981, the authors studied lead concentrations and reproductive success in free-living European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within the verges of two Maryland highways with different traffic volumes, Route 197(average daily traffic volume[ADT] = 10,800 vehicles) and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (ADT=52,500 vehicles) and a nearby control area. Concentrations (mg kg-1 dry weight) of lead in the ingesta (84-94 mg kg-1), carcasses (4.0-9.6 mg kg-1)and feathers (6.8-52 mg kg-1) of Parkway nestlings and adults were 3 to 13 times those found in starlings from the control area, whereas lead concentrations in the ingesta and tissues of starlings from the verge of Route 197 were similar to those of controls. Activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in red blood cells (RBCs) of adult and nestling starlings from the Parkway was depressed from 43 to 60% compared to controls. RBC ALAD activity in adults from nests along Route 197 was similar to that of adult starlings from the control area, but that of their young was depressed 17%. Haemoglobin concentrations (-16%) and haematocrits (-10%) in Parkway nestlings were depressed compared with those of nestlings from the other two study areas, whereas those of adults were not affected. Clutch size, number of young hatched and the number of young in nests 1 to 3 days before fledging were similar among sites, as were body weights of adults and prefledging weights of their young. However, brain weights of Parkway nestlings were lower (P < 0.05) than those of nestlings from the other study areas. Results suggests that lead within verges of major highways probably does not pose a serious hazard to adult ground-foraging songbirds. However, the effects of lead-induced reductions in haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, RBC ALAD activity and brain weight on the postfledging survival of their young are not known.

  1. Factors affecting nesting success in the Great-crested Grebe ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The overall nesting success was 70.4% (N = 209), with nest failure caused mainly by predation (65%) and flooding (23%). Breeding outcome was significantly and positively related to nest size, with bigger nests conferring better survival to eggs and young probably through affording better protection during spells of adverse ...

  2. Survival, safety, and prognostic factors for outcome with Regorafenib in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer refractory to standard therapies: results from a multicenter study (REBACCA) nested within a compassionate use program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adenis, Antoine; Fouchardiere, Christelle de la; Paule, Bernard; Burtin, Pascal; Tougeron, David; Wallet, Jennifer; Dourthe, Louis-Marie; Etienne, Pierre-Luc; Mineur, Laurent; Clisant, Stéphanie; Phelip, Jean-Marc; Kramar, Andrew; Andre, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Randomized trials have shown a survival benefit for regorafenib over placebo in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that progressed after standard therapies. We evaluated survival and safety outcomes in patients treated with regorafenib in a real-life setting. REBECCA is a cohort study nested within a compassionate use program designed to evaluate survival, safety, and potential prognostic factors for outcome associated with regorafenib in patients with mCRC refractory to standard therapies. Treatment effects according to various patient and tumour characteristics were evaluated using univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models. Of 1178 patients in the compassionate use program, 654 were in the full analysis set. Median follow-up was 16.5 months. Median survival was 5.6 months. The 12-month survival rate was 22 %. Survival was independently and unfavourably affected by the following variables: poor performance status, short time from initial diagnosis of metastases to the start of regorafenib, low initial regorafenib dose, >3 metastatic sites, presence of liver metastases, and KRAS mutations. We identified prognostic groups of patients with low, intermediate, and high risk of death, with a median survival of 9.2, 5.2, and 2.5 months, respectively. Five-hundred-twenty-four patients (80 %) experienced at least one regorafenib-related adverse event, most commonly, fatigue, hand-foot skin reaction, diarrhea, anorexia, arterial hypertension, and mucositis. The safety and efficacy profile of regorafenib in REBECCA are similar to those in randomized trials. Our prognostic model identified subgroups of mCRC patients who derived a minimal and maximum benefit from regorafenib. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02310477

  3. Linking snake behavior to nest predation in a Midwestern bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weatherhead, Patrick J; Carfagno, Gerardo L F; Sperry, Jinelle H; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Robinson, Scott K

    2010-01-01

    Nest predators can adversely affect the viability of songbird populations, and their impact is exacerbated in fragmented habitats. Despite substantial research on this predator-prey interaction, however, almost all of the focus has been on the birds rather than their nest predators, thereby limiting our understanding of the factors that bring predators and nests into contact. We used radiotelemetry to document the activity of two snake species (rat snakes, Elaphe obsoleta; racers, Coluber constrictor) known to prey on nests in Midwestern bird communities and simultaneously monitored 300 songbird nests and tested the hypothesis that predation risk should increase for nests when snakes were more active and in edge habitat preferred by both snake species. Predation risk increased when rat snakes were more active, for all nests combined and for two of the six bird species for which we had sufficient nests to allow separate analyses. This result is consistent with rat snakes being more important nest predators than racers. We found no evidence, however, that nests closer to forest edges were at greater risk. These results are generally consistent with the one previous study that investigated rat snakes and nest predation simultaneously. The seemingly paradoxical failure to find higher predation risk in the snakes' preferred habitat (i.e., edge) might be explained by the snakes using edges at least in part for non-foraging activities. We propose that higher nest predation in fragmented habitats (at least that attributable to snakes) results indirectly from edges promoting larger snake populations, rather than from edges directly increasing the risk of nest predation by snakes. If so, the notion of edges per se functioning as ecological "traps" merits further study.

  4. Parental investment decisions in response to ambient nest-predation risk versus actual predation on the prior nest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalfoun, A.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that parents should invest less in dependent offspring with lower reproductive value, such as those with a high risk of predation. Moreover, high predation risk can favor reduced parental activity when such activity attracts nest predators. Yet, the ability of parents to assess ambient nest-predation risk and respond adaptively remains unclear, especially where nest-predator assemblages are diverse and potentially difficult to assess. We tested whether variation in parental investment by a multi-brooded songbird (Brewer's Sparrow, Spizella breweri) in an environment (sagebrush steppe) with diverse predators was predicted by ambient nest-predation risk or direct experience with nest predation. Variation among eight sites in ambient nest-predation risk, assayed by daily probabilities of nest predation, was largely uncorrelated across four years. In this system risk may therefore be unpredictable, and aspects of parental investment (clutch size, egg mass, incubation rhythms, nestling-feeding rates) were not related to ambient risk. Moreover, investment at first nests that were successful did not differ from that at nests that were depredated, suggesting parents could not assess and respond to territorylevel nest-predation risk. However, parents whose nests were depredated reduced clutch sizes and activity at nests attempted later in the season by increasing the length of incubation shifts (on-bouts) and recesses (off-bouts) and decreasing trips to feed nestlings. In this unpredictable environment parent birds may therefore lack sufficient cues of ambient risk on which to base their investment decisions and instead rely on direct experience with nest predation to inform at least some of their decisions. ?? 2010 The Cooper Ornithological Society.

  5. Transoceanic migration by a 12 g songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLuca, William V; Woodworth, Bradley K; Rimmer, Christopher C; Marra, Peter P; Taylor, Philip D; McFarland, Kent P; Mackenzie, Stuart A; Norris, D Ryan

    2015-04-01

    Many fundamental aspects of migration remain a mystery, largely due to our inability to follow small animals over vast spatial areas. For more than 50 years, it has been hypothesized that, during autumn migration, blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata) depart northeastern North America and undertake a non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean to either the Greater Antilles or the northeastern coast of South America. Using miniaturized light-level geolocators, we provide the first irrefutable evidence that the blackpoll warbler, a 12 g boreal forest songbird, completes an autumn transoceanic migration ranging from 2270 to 2770 km (mean ± s.d.: 2540 ± 257) and requiring up to 3 days (62 h ± 10) of non-stop flight. This is one of the longest non-stop overwater flights recorded for a songbird and confirms what has long been believed to be one of the most extraordinary migratory feats on the planet. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Massive nest-box supplementation boosts fecundity, survival and even immigration without altering mating and reproductive behaviour in a rapidly recovered bird population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Berthier

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration measures may result in artificially high breeding density, for instance when nest-boxes saturate the environment, which can negatively impact species' demography. Potential risks include changes in mating and reproductive behaviour such as increased extra-pair paternity, conspecific brood parasitism, and polygyny. Under particular cicumstances, these mechanisms may disrupt reproduction, with populations dragged into an extinction vortex. With the use of nuclear microsatellite markers, we investigated the occurrence of these potentially negative effects in a recovered population of a rare secondary cavity-nesting farmland bird of Central Europe, the hoopoe (Upupa epops. High intensity farming in the study area has resulted in a total eradication of cavity trees, depriving hoopoes from breeding sites. An intensive nest-box campaign rectified this problem, resulting in a spectacular population recovery within a few years only. There was some concern, however, that the new, high artificially-induced breeding density might alter hoopoe mating and reproductive behaviour. As the species underwent a serious demographic bottleneck in the 1970-1990s, we also used the microsatellite markers to reconstitute the demo-genetic history of the population, looking in particular for signs of genetic erosion. We found i a low occurrence of extra-pair paternity, polygyny and conspecific brood parasitism, ii a high level of neutral genetic diversity (mean number of alleles and expected heterozygosity per locus: 13.8 and 83%, respectively and, iii evidence for genetic connectivity through recent immigration of individuals from well differentiated populations. The recent increase in breeding density did thus not induce so far any noticeable detrimental changes in mating and reproductive behaviour. The demographic bottleneck undergone by the population in the 1970s-1990s was furthermore not accompanied by any significant drop in neutral genetic

  7. Massive nest-box supplementation boosts fecundity, survival and even immigration without altering mating and reproductive behaviour in a rapidly recovered bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthier, Karine; Leippert, Fabio; Fumagalli, Luca; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2012-01-01

    Habitat restoration measures may result in artificially high breeding density, for instance when nest-boxes saturate the environment, which can negatively impact species' demography. Potential risks include changes in mating and reproductive behaviour such as increased extra-pair paternity, conspecific brood parasitism, and polygyny. Under particular cicumstances, these mechanisms may disrupt reproduction, with populations dragged into an extinction vortex. With the use of nuclear microsatellite markers, we investigated the occurrence of these potentially negative effects in a recovered population of a rare secondary cavity-nesting farmland bird of Central Europe, the hoopoe (Upupa epops). High intensity farming in the study area has resulted in a total eradication of cavity trees, depriving hoopoes from breeding sites. An intensive nest-box campaign rectified this problem, resulting in a spectacular population recovery within a few years only. There was some concern, however, that the new, high artificially-induced breeding density might alter hoopoe mating and reproductive behaviour. As the species underwent a serious demographic bottleneck in the 1970-1990s, we also used the microsatellite markers to reconstitute the demo-genetic history of the population, looking in particular for signs of genetic erosion. We found i) a low occurrence of extra-pair paternity, polygyny and conspecific brood parasitism, ii) a high level of neutral genetic diversity (mean number of alleles and expected heterozygosity per locus: 13.8 and 83%, respectively) and, iii) evidence for genetic connectivity through recent immigration of individuals from well differentiated populations. The recent increase in breeding density did thus not induce so far any noticeable detrimental changes in mating and reproductive behaviour. The demographic bottleneck undergone by the population in the 1970s-1990s was furthermore not accompanied by any significant drop in neutral genetic diversity. Finally

  8. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollander, Franck A; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio) that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments.

  9. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franck A Hollander

    Full Text Available In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments.

  10. Predation-related costs and benefits of conspecific attraction in songbirds--an agent-based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymkowiak, Jakub; Kuczyński, Lechosław

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect) or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution). Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds' aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction for

  11. Predation-related costs and benefits of conspecific attraction in songbirds--an agent-based approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakub Szymkowiak

    Full Text Available Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution. Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds' aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific

  12. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants

    OpenAIRE

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-01-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypi...

  13. Artificial light at night affects sleep behaviour differently in two closely related songbird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiachen; Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2017-12-01

    Artificial light at night (ALAN) or light pollution is an increasing and worldwide problem. There is growing concern that because of the disruption of natural light cycles, ALAN may pose serious risks for wildlife. While ALAN has been shown to affect many aspects of animal behaviour and physiology, few studies have experimentally studied whether individuals of different species in the wild respond differently to ALAN. Here, we investigated the effect of ALAN on sleep behaviour in two closely related songbird species inhabiting the same study area and roosting/breeding in similar nest boxes. We experimentally exposed free-living great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) to artificial light inside their nest boxes and observed changes in their sleep behaviour compared to the previous night when the nest boxes were dark. In line with previous studies, sleep behaviour of both species did not differ under dark conditions. ALAN disrupted sleep in both great and blue tits. However, compared to blue tits, great tits showed more pronounced effects and more aspects of sleep were affected. Light exposed great tits entered the nest boxes and fell asleep later, woke up and exited the nest boxes earlier, and the total sleep amount and sleep percentage were reduced. By contrast, these changes in sleep behaviour were not found in light exposed blue tits. Our field experiment, using exactly the same light manipulation in both species, provides direct evidence that two closely related species respond differently to ALAN, while their sleep behaviour under dark conditions was similar. Our research suggests that findings for one species cannot necessarily be generalised to other species, even closely-related species. Furthermore, species-specific effects could have implications for community dynamics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Patterns of care and survival after a cancer of unknown primary (CUP) diagnosis: A population-based nested cohort study in Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Andrea L; Pearson, Sallie-Anne; Dobbins, Timothy A; Er, Chuang C; Ward, Robyn L; Vajdic, Claire M

    2015-08-01

    Little is known about patterns of care after a cancer of unknown primary (CUP) diagnosis. We performed a retrospective cohort study to describe and compare the treatment, health service use and survival of patients with CUP and metastatic cancer of known primary among 143,956 Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients, 2004-2007. We randomly matched clients with CUP (C809; n=252) with clients with a first diagnosis of metastatic solid cancer of known primary (n=980). We ascertained health services from the month of diagnosis up to 2 months post-diagnosis for consultations, hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and up to 1 year for treatment. We compared cancer treatments using conditional logistic regression; consultation rates using negative binomial regression; and survival using stratified Cox regression. 30% of CUP patients and 70% of patients with known primary received cancer treatment and the median survival was 37 days and 310 days respectively. CUP patients received fewer cancer medicines (odds ratio (OR)=0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33-0.89) and less cancer-related surgery (OR=0.25, 95% CI 0.15-0.41); males with CUP received more radiation therapy (OR=2.88, 95% CI 1.69-4.91). CUP patients had more primary care consultations (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=1.25, 95% CI 1.11-1.41), emergency department visits (IRR=1.86, 95% CI 1.50-2.31) and hospitalizations (IRR=1.18, 95% CI 1.03-1.35), and a higher risk of death within 30 days (hazard ratio=3.30, 95% CI 1.69-6.44). Patients with CUP receive less treatment but use more health services, which may reflect underlying patient and disease characteristics. Copyright © 2015 Commonwealth of Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Neuroinflammation induces glial aromatase expression in the uninjured songbird brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saldanha Colin J

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estrogens from peripheral sources as well as central aromatization are neuroprotective in the vertebrate brain. Under normal conditions, aromatase is only expressed in neurons, however following anoxic/ischemic or mechanical brain injury; aromatase is also found in astroglia. This increased glial aromatization and the consequent estrogen synthesis is neuroprotective and may promote neuronal survival and repair. While the effects of estradiol on neuroprotection are well studied, what induces glial aromatase expression remains unknown. Methods Adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata were given a penetrating injury to the entopallium. At several timepoints later, expression of aromatase, IL-1β-like, and IL-6-like were examined using immunohisotchemistry. A second set of zebra birds were exposed to phytohemagglutinin (PHA, an inflammatory agent, directly on the dorsal surface of the telencephalon without creating a penetrating injury. Expression of aromatase, IL-1β-like, and IL-6-like were examined using both quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to examine mRNA expression and immunohistochemistry to determine cellular expression. Statistical significance was determined using t-test or one-way analysis of variance followed by the Tukey Kramers post hoc test. Results Following injury in the zebra finch brain, cytokine expression occurs prior to aromatase expression. This temporal pattern suggests that cytokines may induce aromatase expression in the damaged zebra finch brain. Furthermore, evoking a neuroinflammatory response characterized by an increase in cytokine expression in the uninjured brain is sufficient to induce glial aromatase expression. Conclusions These studies are among the first to examine a neuroinflammatory response in the songbird brain following mechanical brain injury and to describe a novel neuroimmune signal to initiate aromatase expression in glia.

  16. Maternal transfer of mercury to songbird eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T; Hartman, C Alex; Herzog, Mark P

    2017-11-01

    We evaluated the maternal transfer of mercury to eggs in songbirds, determined whether this relationship differed between songbird species, and developed equations for predicting mercury concentrations in eggs from maternal blood. We sampled blood and feathers from 44 house wren (Troglodytes aedon) and 34 tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) mothers and collected their full clutches (n = 476 eggs) within 3 days of clutch completion. Additionally, we sampled blood and feathers from 53 tree swallow mothers and randomly collected one egg from their clutches (n = 53 eggs) during mid to late incubation (6-10 days incubated) to evaluate whether the relationship varied with the timing of sampling the mother's blood. Mercury concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with mercury concentrations in maternal blood sampled at (1) the time of clutch completion for both house wrens (R 2  = 0.97) and tree swallows (R 2  = 0.97) and (2) during mid to late incubation for tree swallows (R 2  = 0.71). The relationship between mercury concentrations in eggs and maternal blood did not differ with the stage of incubation when maternal blood was sampled. Importantly, the proportion of mercury transferred from mothers to their eggs decreased substantially with increasing blood mercury concentrations in tree swallows, but increased slightly with increasing blood mercury concentrations in house wrens. Additionally, the proportion of mercury transferred to eggs at the same maternal blood mercury concentration differed between species. Specifically, tree swallow mothers transferred 17%-107% more mercury to their eggs than house wren mothers over the observed mercury concentrations in maternal blood (0.15-1.92 μg/g ww). In contrast, mercury concentrations in eggs were not correlated with those in maternal feathers and, likewise, mercury concentrations in maternal blood were not correlated with those in feathers (all R 2  mercury concentrations from maternal blood to eggs

  17. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird

    OpenAIRE

    Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius ...

  18. Nest densities of cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging and time since wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria A. Saab; Robin E. Russell; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2007-01-01

    We monitored the nest densities and nest survival of seven cavity-nesting bird species, including four open-space foragers (American Kestrel [Falco sparverius], Lewis's Woodpecker [Melanerpes lewis], Western Bluebird [Sialia mexicana], and Mountain Bluebird [S. currucoides]) and three wood...

  19. Tissue Mercury Concentrations and Survival of Tree Swallow Embryos, Nestlings and Young Adult Females on a Contaminated Site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Capwell E; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-10-01

    Tree swallows nesting on mercury-contaminated sites along the South River in Virginia, USA were monitored for reproductive success. The bodies of nestlings found deceased in their nest boxes were collected, along with blood and feather samples from the adult parents and surviving siblings. We also measured hatching and fledging success of the clutches and the annual recapture rate of adults. We found that the body feathers of deceased nestlings contained significantly higher concentrations of mercury (12.89 ± 8.42 μg/g, n = 15) than those of nestlings that survived to fledge (7.41 ± 4.79 μg/g, n = 15). However, mothers of more successful clutches (>75 % hatching) did not differ in mercury concentrations from females with less successful clutches (<50 % hatching). Additionally, adult females breeding for the first time that returned to breed the following year did not differ in blood mercury from females of the same age that bred once but never returned. Our results suggest that mercury had its greatest effect on these songbirds during the nestling stage, whereas for embryos or first-time breeding females, other factors likely played larger roles in mortality.

  20. Demographic response of Louisiana Waterthrush, a stream obligate songbird of conservation concern, to shale gas development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frantz, Mack W.; Wood, Petra B.; Sheehan, James; George, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Shale gas development continues to outpace the implementation of best management practices for wildlife affected by development. We examined demographic responses of the Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) to shale gas development during 2009–2011 and 2013–2015 in a predominantly forested landscape in West Virginia, USA. Forest cover across the study area decreased from 95% in 2008 to 91% in 2015, while the area affected by shale gas development increased from 0.4% to 3.9%. We quantified nest survival and productivity, a source–sink threshold, riparian habitat quality, territory density, and territory length by monitoring 58.1 km of forested headwater streams (n = 14 streams). Across years, we saw annual variability in nest survival, with a general declining trend over time. Of 11 a priori models tested to explain nest survival (n = 280 nests), 4 models that included temporal, habitat, and shale gas covariates were supported, and 2 of these models accounted for most of the variation in daily nest survival rate. After accounting for temporal effects (rainfall, nest age, and time within season), shale gas development had negative effects on nest survival. Population-level nest productivity declined and individual productivity was lower in areas disturbed by shale gas development than in undisturbed areas, and a source–sink threshold suggested that disturbed areas were more at risk of being sink habitat. Riparian habitat quality scores, as measured by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency index and a waterthrush-specific habitat suitability index, differed by year and were negatively related to the amount of each territory disturbed by shale gas development. Territory density was not related to the amount of shale gas disturbance, but decreased over time as territory lengths increased. Overall, our results suggest a decline in waterthrush site quality as shale gas development increases, despite relatively small site-wide forest loss.

  1. Neural mechanisms of sequence generation in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langford, Bruce

    Animal models in research are useful for studying more complex behavior. For example, motor sequence generation of actions requiring good muscle coordination such as writing with a pen, playing an instrument, or speaking, may involve the interaction of many areas in the brain, each a complex system in itself; thus it can be difficult to determine causal relationships between neural behavior and the behavior being studied. Birdsong, however, provides an excellent model behavior for motor sequence learning, memory, and generation. The song consists of learned sequences of notes that are spectrographically stereotyped over multiple renditions of the song, similar to syllables in human speech. The main areas of the songbird brain involve in singing are known, however, the mechanisms by which these systems store and produce song are not well understood. We used a custom built, head-mounted, miniature motorized microdrive to chronically record the neural firing patterns of identified neurons in HVC, a pre-motor cortical nucleus which has been shown to be important in song timing. These were done in Bengalese finch which generate a song made up of stereotyped notes but variable note sequences. We observed song related bursting in neurons projecting to Area X, a homologue to basal ganglia, and tonic firing in HVC interneurons. Interneuron had firing rate patterns that were consistent over multiple renditions of the same note sequence. We also designed and built a light-weight, low-powered wireless programmable neural stimulator using Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol. It was able to generate perturbations in the song when current pulses were administered to RA, which projects to the brainstem nucleus responsible for syringeal muscle control.

  2. Hurricane disturbance benefits nesting American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Theodore R.; Schulte, Shiloh A.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are under increasing pressure from human activity, introduced species, sea level rise, and storm activity. Hurricanes are a powerful destructive force, but can also renew coastal habitats. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel altered the barrier islands of North Carolina, flattening dunes and creating sand flats. American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) are large shorebirds that inhabit the coastal zone throughout the year. Alternative survival models were evaluated for 699 American Oystercatcher nests on North Core Banks and South Core Banks, North Carolina, USA, from 1999–2007. Nest survival on North Core Banks increased from 0.170 (SE = 0.002) to 0.772 (SE = 0.090) after the hurricane, with a carry-over effect lasting 2 years. A simple year effects model described nest survival on South Core Banks. Habitat had no effect on survival except when the overall rate of nest survival was at intermediate levels (0.300–0.600), when nests on open flats survived at a higher rate (0.600; SE = 0.112) than nests in dune habitat (0.243; SE = 0.094). Predator activity declined on North Core Banks after the hurricane and corresponded with an increase in nest survival. Periodic years with elevated nest survival may offset low annual productivity and contribute to the stability of American Oystercatcher populations.

  3. Sandhill crane abundance and nesting ecology at Grays Lake, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, J.E.; Henry, A.R.; Ball, I.J.

    2007-01-01

    We examined population size and factors influencing nest survival of greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) at Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho, USA, during 1997-2000. Average local population of cranes from late April to early May, 1998-2000, was 735 cranes, 34% higher than that reported for May 1970-1971. We estimated 228 (SE = 30) nests in the basin core (excluding renests), 14% higher than a 1971 estimate. Apparent nest success in our study (x?? = 60%, n = 519 nests) was lower than reported for Grays Lake 30-50 years earlier. Daily survival rates (DSRs) of all nests averaged 0.9707 (41.2%). The best model explaining nest survival included year and water depth and their interaction. Nest survival was highest (DSR = 0.9827) in 1998 compared with other years (0.9698-0.9707). Nest survival changed little relative to water depth in 1998, when flooding was extensive and alternative prey (microtines) irrupted, but declined markedly with lower water levels in 2000, the driest year studied. Hypotheses relating nest survival to vegetation height, land use (idle, summer grazing, fall grazing), and date were not supported. In a before-after-control-impact design using 12 experimental fields, nest survival differed among years but not among management treatments (idle, fall graze, fall burn, and summer-graze-idle rotation), nor was there an interaction between year and treatments. However, DSRs in fall-burn fields declined from 0.9781 in 1997-1998 to 0.9503 in 1999-2000 (posttreatment). Changes in the predator community have likely contributed to declines in nest success since the 1950s and 1970s. Our results did not support earlier concerns about effects of habitat management practices on crane productivity. Nest survival could best be enhanced by managing spring water levels. Managers should continue censuses during late April to evaluate long-term relationships to habitat conditions and management.

  4. European hotspots as evidenced by the Palearctic distribution of songbirds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sluys, R.; Aliabadian, M.; Roselaar, C.S.; Zachos, F.E.; Habel, J.C.

    2011-01-01

    A database has been created of digitized equal area distribution maps of 2,401 phylogenetic species of songbirds endemic to the Palearctic Region. Geographic distribution of species richness delineated several hotspot regions in the Palearctic, mostly located in mountainous areas. The index of

  5. Management implications of cowbird parasitism on neotropical migrant songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott K. Robinson; Joseph A. Grzybowski; Stephen I. Rothstein; Margaret C. Brittingham; Lisa J. Petit; Frank R. Thompson

    1993-01-01

    Populations of brood parasitic Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molofhrus afer) have increased to the point where they pose a potential threat to populations of many neotropical migrant songbirds. Because cowbirds mostly feed in short grass (e.g., pastures and lawns) or on bare ground (e.g., row crops), they benefit directly from human activities. Cowbirds...

  6. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; van de Kamp, Ferdinand C; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2015-01-01

    There are striking behavioural and neural parallels between the acquisition of speech in humans and song learning in songbirds. In humans, language-related brain activation is mostly lateralised to the left hemisphere. During language acquisition in humans, brain hemispheric lateralisation develops

  7. Effect of Slave Raiding of Polyergus samurai on Nest Persistency of Its Host, Formica (Serviformica) japonica

    OpenAIRE

    Hasegawa, Eisuke; Yamaguchi, Takeshi

    1997-01-01

    The effect of slave raiding of Polyergus samurai on nest persistency of its host, Formica (Serviformica) japonica was investigated. Nest persistence rate after the raiding season was not different between raided and unraided nests. Many raided nests stopped aboveground activities for 2-3 weeks after a raiding but surviving workers maintained underground nest structure. These observations suggest that it is required to reconsider the previous interpretation that the raided nests died out from ...

  8. Copper accumulation by stickleback nests containing spiggin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, G L L; Martins, C M G; Barber, I

    2016-07-01

    The three-spined stickleback is a ubiquitous fish of marine, brackish and freshwater ecosystems across the Northern hemisphere that presents intermediate sensitivity to copper. Male sticklebacks display a range of elaborate reproductive behaviours that include nest construction. To build the nests, each male binds nesting material together using an endogenous glycoprotein nesting glue, known as 'spiggin'. Spiggin is a cysteine-rich protein and, therefore, potentially binds heavy metals present in the environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of stickleback nests to accumulate copper from environmental sources. Newly built nests, constructed by male fish from polyester threads in laboratory aquaria, were immersed in copper solutions ranging in concentration from 21.1-626.6 μg Cu L(-1). Bundles of polyester threads from aquaria without male fish were also immersed in the same copper solutions. After immersion, nests presented higher amounts of copper than the thread bundles, indicating a higher capacity of nests to bind this metal. A significant, positive correlation between the concentration of copper in the exposure solution and in the exposed nests was identified, but there was no such relationship for thread bundles. Since both spiggin synthesis and male courtship behaviour are under the control of circulating androgens, we predicted that males with high courtship scores would produce and secrete high levels of the spiggin protein. In the present study, nests built by high courtship score males accumulated more copper than those built by low courtship score males. Considering the potential of spiggin to bind metals, the positive relationship between fish courtship and spiggin secretion seems to explain the higher amount of copper on the nests from the fish showing high behaviour scores. Further work is now needed to determine the consequences of the copper binding potential of spiggin in stickleback nests for the health and survival of

  9. Tectonic collision and uplift of Wallacea triggered the global songbird radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyle, Robert G.; Oliveros, Carl H.; Andersen, Michael J.; Hosner, Peter A.; Benz, Brett W.; Manthey, Joseph D.; Travers, Scott L.; Brown, Rafe M.; Faircloth, Brant C.

    2016-08-01

    Songbirds (oscine passerines) are the most species-rich and cosmopolitan bird group, comprising almost half of global avian diversity. Songbirds originated in Australia, but the evolutionary trajectory from a single species in an isolated continent to worldwide proliferation is poorly understood. Here, we combine the first comprehensive genome-scale DNA sequence data set for songbirds, fossil-based time calibrations, and geologically informed biogeographic reconstructions to provide a well-supported evolutionary hypothesis for the group. We show that songbird diversification began in the Oligocene, but accelerated in the early Miocene, at approximately half the age of most previous estimates. This burst of diversification occurred coincident with extensive island formation in Wallacea, which provided the first dispersal corridor out of Australia, and resulted in independent waves of songbird expansion through Asia to the rest of the globe. Our results reconcile songbird evolution with Earth history and link a major radiation of terrestrial biodiversity to early diversification within an isolated Australian continent.

  10. Multi-Generational Kinship, Multiple Mating, and Flexible Modes of Parental Care in a Breeding Population of the Veery (Catharus fuscescens, a Trans-Hemispheric Migratory Songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R Halley

    Full Text Available We discovered variable modes of parental care in a breeding population of color-banded Veeries (Catharus fuscescens, a Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, long thought to be socially monogamous, and performed a multi-locus DNA microsatellite analysis to estimate parentage and kinship in a sample of 37 adults and 21 offspring. We detected multiple mating in both sexes, and four modes of parental care that varied in frequency within and between years including multiple male feeders at some nests, and males attending multiple nests in the same season, each with a different female. Unlike other polygynandrous systems, genetic evidence indicates that multi-generational patterns of kinship occur among adult Veeries at our study site, and this was corroborated by the capture of an adult male in 2013 that had been banded as a nestling in 2011 at a nest attended by multiple male feeders. All genotyped adults (n = 37 were related to at least one other bird in the sample at the cousin level or greater (r ≥ 0.125, and 81% were related to at least one other bird at the half-sibling level or greater (r ≥ 0.25, range 0.25-0.60. Although our sample size is small, it appears that the kin structure is maintained by natal philopatry in both sexes, and that Veeries avoid mating with close genetic kin. At nests where all adult feeders were genotyped (n = 9, the male(s were unrelated to the female (mean r = -0.11 ± 0.15, whereas genetic data suggest close kinship (r = 0.254 between two male co-feeders at the nests of two females in 2011, and among three of four females that were mated to the same polygynous male in 2012. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of polygynandry occurring among multiple generations of close genetic kin on the breeding ground of a Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird.

  11. Does removal of mammalian predators significantly affect success of simulated nests in linear habitats? Case study on American mink Mustela vison \\& Predation on simulated duck nests in relation to nest density and habitat type

    OpenAIRE

    PADYŠÁKOVÁ, Eliška

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is made up of two studies dealing with predation of waterfowl nests. in the first study, we determined wheather removal of introduced predator Mustela vison affected nest survival of simulated duck nests in linear habitat. In the second study, we tested two hypothesis: 1)predation depends on density of waterfowl nests, 2)mammals are main predators in forest habitat and birds mainly depredate nests deployed in open land.

  12. Cavity Nesting Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgil E. Scott; Keith E. Evans; David R. Patton; Charles P. Stone

    1977-01-01

    Many species of cavity-nesting birds have declined because of habitat reduction. In the eastern United States, where primeval forests are gone, purple martins depend almost entirely on man-made nesting structures (Allen and Nice 1952). The hole-nesting population of peregrine falcons disappeared with the felling of the giant trees upon which they depended (Hickey and...

  13. Columbia River ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for bird nesting sites in the Columbia River area. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  14. Body temperature changes during simulated bacterial infection in a songbird: fever at night and hypothermia during the day.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sköld-Chiriac, Sandra; Nord, Andreas; Tobler, Michael; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2015-09-01

    Although fever (a closely regulated increase in body temperature in response to infection) typically is beneficial, it is energetically costly and may induce detrimentally high body temperatures. This can increase the susceptibility to energetic bottlenecks and risks of overheating in some organisms. Accordingly, it could be particularly interesting to study fever in small birds, which have comparatively high metabolic rates and high, variable body temperatures. We therefore investigated two aspects of fever and other sickness behaviours (circadian variation, dose dependence) in a small songbird, the zebra finch. We injected lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at the beginning of either the day or the night, and subsequently monitored body temperature, body mass change and food intake for the duration of the response. We found pronounced circadian variation in the body temperature response to LPS injection, manifested by (dose-dependent) hypothermia during the day but fever at night. This resulted in body temperature during the peak response being relatively similar during the day and night. Day-to-night differences might be explained in the context of circadian variation in body temperature: songbirds have a high daytime body temperature that is augmented by substantial heat production peaks during activity. This might require a trade-off between the benefit of fever and the risk of overheating. In contrast, at night, when body temperature is typically lower and less variable, fever can be used to mitigate infection. We suggest that the change in body temperature during infection in small songbirds is context dependent and regulated to promote survival according to individual demands at the time of infection. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Population specific migration patterns of an European-Afrotropical songbird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Lykke; Tøttrup, Anders P.; Thorup, Kasper

    Every year, billions of songbirds migrate thousands of kilometres between the European and African continent. The fascinating behaviour of migration that we are witnessing today is assumed to have evolved through a series of dispersal events from Africa into Europe since the last glaciation period....... Recent technological advances are currently enabling us to track yet smaller songbirds throughout their migration cycle providing valuable insight into the life cycle of individual birds. However, direct tracking of migratory birds has so far mainly been conducted on single populations and our...... understanding of entire species migration systems is thus still limited. In this project we analyse the spatio-temporal migration schedule of Red-backed Shrikes, Lanius collurio, using tracking data from individuals originating from geographically distinct breeding populations (Scandinavia, the Netherlands...

  16. Song learning and cognitive ability are not consistently related in a songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Rindy C; Searcy, William A; Peters, Susan; Hughes, Melissa; DuBois, Adrienne L; Nowicki, Stephen

    2017-03-01

    Learned aspects of song have been hypothesized to signal cognitive ability in songbirds. We tested this hypothesis in hand-reared song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) that were tutored with playback of adult songs during the critical period for song learning. The songs developed by the 19 male subjects were compared to the model songs to produce two measures of song learning: the proportion of notes copied from models and the average spectrogram cross-correlation between copied notes and model notes. Song repertoire size, which reflects song complexity, was also measured. At 1 year of age, subjects were given a battery of five cognitive tests that measured speed of learning in the context of a novel foraging task, color association, color reversal, detour-reaching, and spatial learning. Bivariate correlations between the three song measures and the five cognitive measures revealed no significant associations. As in other studies of avian cognition, different cognitive measures were for the most part not correlated with each other, and this result remained true when 22 hand-reared female song sparrows were added to the analysis. General linear mixed models controlling for effects of neophobia and nest of origin indicated that all three song measures were associated with better performance on color reversal and spatial learning but were associated with worse performance on novel foraging and detour-reaching. Overall, the results do not support the hypothesis that learned aspects of song signal cognitive ability.

  17. Concealed by darkness: interactions between predatory bats and nocturnally migrating songbirds illuminated by DNA sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, Carlos; Popa-Lisseanu, Ana G; Pastor-Beviá, David; García-Mudarra, Juan L; Juste, Javier

    2016-10-01

    Recently, several species of aerial-hawking bats have been found to prey on migrating songbirds, but details on this behaviour and its relevance for bird migration are still unclear. We sequenced avian DNA in feather-containing scats of the bird-feeding bat Nyctalus lasiopterus from Spain collected during bird migration seasons. We found very high prey diversity, with 31 bird species from eight families of Passeriformes, almost all of which were nocturnally flying sub-Saharan migrants. Moreover, species using tree hollows or nest boxes in the study area during migration periods were not present in the bats' diet, indicating that birds are solely captured on the wing during night-time passage. Additional to a generalist feeding strategy, we found that bats selected medium-sized bird species, thereby assumingly optimizing their energetic cost-benefit balance and injury risk. Surprisingly, bats preyed upon birds half their own body mass. This shows that the 5% prey to predator body mass ratio traditionally assumed for aerial hunting bats does not apply to this hunting strategy or even underestimates these animals' behavioural and mechanical abilities. Considering the bats' generalist feeding strategy and their large prey size range, we suggest that nocturnal bat predation may have influenced the evolution of bird migration strategies and behaviour. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Grassland songbirds in a dynamic management landscape: Behavioral responses and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlut, N.G.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Buckley, N.J.

    2006-01-01

    In recent decades, earlier and more frequent harvests of agricultural grasslands have been implicated as a major cause of population declines in grassland songbirds. From 2002 to 2005, in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York, USA, we studied the reproductive success of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) and Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) on four grassland treatments: (1) early-hayed fields cut before 11 June and again in early- to mid-July; (2) middle-hayed fields cut once between 21 June and 10 July; (3) late-hayed fields cut after 1 August; and (4) rotationally grazed pastures. Both the number of fledglings per female per year and nest success (logistic-exposure method) varied among treatments and between species. Although birds initiated nests earlier on early-hayed fields compared to others, haying caused 99% of active Savannah Sparrow and 100% of active Bobolink nests to fail. Both the initial cutting date and time between cuttings influenced renesting behavior. After haying, Savannah Sparrows generally remained on early-hayed fields and immediately renested (clutch completion 15.6 ?? 1.28 days post-haying; all values are reported as mean ?? SE), while Bobolinks abandoned the fields for at least two weeks (mean clutch completion 33 ?? 0.82 days post-haying). While female Savannah Sparrows fledged more offspring per year (1.28 ?? 0.16) than female Bobolinks (0.05 ?? 0.05), reproductive success on early-hayed fields was low. The number of fledglings per female per year was greater on middle-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.47 ?? 0.42; Bobolinks, 2.22 ?? 0.26), and late-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.29 ?? 0.30; Bobolinks, 2.79 ?? 0.18). Reproductive success was moderate on rotationally grazed pastures, where female Savannah Sparrows and female Bobolinks produced 2.32 ?? 0.25 and 1.79 ?? 0.33 fledgling per year, respectively. We simultaneously conducted cutting surveys throughout the Champlain Valley and found that 3-8% of hayfield

  19. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson’s Hawks in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inselman, Will M.; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.; Grovenburg, Troy W.

    2015-01-01

    Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson’s hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson’s hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, S Dist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%–42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson’s hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson’s hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson’s hawks arriving to the breeding grounds. PMID:26327440

  20. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson's Hawks in the Northern Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inselman, Will M; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A; Jensen, Kent C; Grovenburg, Troy W

    2015-01-01

    Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson's hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson's hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, SDist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%-42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson's hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson's hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson's hawks arriving to the breeding grounds.

  1. Nested Potential Games

    OpenAIRE

    Hiroshi Uno

    2007-01-01

    This paper proposes a new class of potential games, the nested potential games, which generalize the potential games defined in Monderer and Shapley (1996), as well as the pseudo-potential games defined in Dubey et al. (2006). We show that each maximizer of a nested potential is a Nash equilibrium.

  2. Nest-site selection and nest success of an Arctic-breeding passerine, Smith's Longspur, in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Heather R.; Kendall, Steve J.; Powell, Abby

    2017-01-01

    Despite changes in shrub cover and weather patterns associated with climate change in the Arctic, little is known about the breeding requirements of most passerines tied to northern regions. We investigated the nesting biology and nest habitat characteristics of Smith's Longspurs (Calcarius pictus) in 2 study areas in the Brooks Range of Alaska, USA. First, we examined variation in nesting phenology in relation to local temperatures. We then characterized nesting habitat and analyzed nest-site selection for a subset of nests (n = 86) in comparison with paired random points. Finally, we estimated the daily survival rate of 257 nests found in 2007–2013 with respect to both habitat characteristics and weather variables. Nest initiation was delayed in years with snow events, heavy rain, and freezing temperatures early in the breeding season. Nests were typically found in open, low-shrub tundra, and never among tall shrubs (mean shrub height at nests = 26.8 ± 6.7 cm). We observed weak nest-site selection patterns. Considering the similarity between nest sites and paired random points, coupled with the unique social mating system of Smith's Longspurs, we suggest that habitat selection may occur at the neighborhood scale and not at the nest-site scale. The best approximating model explaining nest survival suggested a positive relationship with the numbers of days above 21°C that an individual nest experienced; there was little support for models containing habitat variables. The daily nest survival rate was high (0.972–0.982) compared with that of most passerines in forested or grassland habitats, but similar to that of passerines nesting on tundra. Considering their high nesting success and ability to delay nest initiation during inclement weather, Smith's Longspurs may be resilient to predicted changes in weather regimes on the breeding grounds. Thus, the greatest threat to breeding Smith's Longspurs associated with climate change may be the loss of low

  3. Facultative nest patch shifts in response to nest predation risk in the Brewer's sparrow: a "win-stay, lose-switch" strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anna D. Chalfoun; Thomas E. Martin

    2010-01-01

    Facultative shifts in nesting habitat selection in response to perceived predation risk may allow animals to increase the survival probability of sessile offspring. Previous studies on this behavioral strategy have primarily focused on single attributes, such as the distance moved or changes in nesting substrate. However, nest site choice often encompasses multiple...

  4. Nest site characteristics, nesting movements, and lack of long-term nest site fidelity in Agassiz's desert tortoises at a wind energy facility in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Agha, Mickey; Yackulic, Charles B.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Ennen, Joshua R.; Arundel, Terry R.; Austin, Meaghan

    2014-01-01

    Nest site selection has important consequences for maternal and offspring survival and fitness. Females of some species return to the same nesting areas year after year. We studied nest site characteristics, fidelity, and daily pre-nesting movements in a population of Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility in southern California during two field seasons separated by over a decade. No females returned to the same exact nest site within or between years but several nested in the same general area. However, distances between first and second clutches within a year (2000) were not significantly different from distances between nests among years (2000 and 2011) for a small sample of females, suggesting some degree of fidelity within their normal activity areas. Environmental attributes of nest sites did not differ significantly among females but did among years due largely to changes in perennial plant structure as a result of multiple fires. Daily pre-nesting distances moved by females decreased consistently from the time shelled eggs were first visible in X-radiographs until oviposition, again suggesting some degree of nest site selection. Tortoises appear to select nest sites that are within their long-term activity areas, inside the climate-moderated confines of one of their self-constructed burrows, and specifically, at a depth in the burrow that minimizes exposure of eggs and embryos to lethal incubation temperatures. Nesting in “climate-controlled” burrows and nest guarding by females relaxes some of the constraints that drive nest site selection in other oviparous species.

  5. Estimating raptor nesting success: old and new approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jessi L.; Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Bond, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Studies of nesting success can be valuable in assessing the status of raptor populations, but differing monitoring protocols can present unique challenges when comparing populations of different species across time or geographic areas. We used large datasets from long-term studies of 3 raptor species to compare estimates of apparent nest success (ANS, the ratio of successful to total number of nesting attempts), Mayfield nesting success, and the logistic-exposure model of nest survival. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus), and American kestrels (F. sparverius) differ in their breeding biology and the methods often used to monitor their reproduction. Mayfield and logistic-exposure models generated similar estimates of nesting success with similar levels of precision. Apparent nest success overestimated nesting success and was particularly sensitive to inclusion of nesting attempts discovered late in the nesting season. Thus, the ANS estimator is inappropriate when exact point estimates are required, especially when most raptor pairs cannot be located before or soon after laying eggs. However, ANS may be sufficient to assess long-term trends of species in which nesting attempts are highly detectable.

  6. Response of predators to Western Sandpiper nest exclosures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niehaus, Amanda C.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; McCaffery, Brian J.

    2004-01-01

    In 2001, predator exclosures were used to protect nests of the Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) in western Alaska. During the exclosure experiment, nest contents in exclosures had significantly higher daily survival rates than control nests, however, late in the study predators began to cue in on exclosures and predate the nest contents. An Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) dug under one exclosure and took the newly hatched chicks, and Long-tailed Jaegers (Stercorarius longicaudus) learned to associate exclosures with active nests and repeatedly visited them. The jaegers attempted to gain access to exclosed nests and pursued adult sandpipers as they emerged from the exclosures. The exclosures were removed to reduce potential mortality to adult and young sandpipers, but subsequently, post-exclosure nests had lower daily survival rates than controls during the same time period. Predation of post-exclosure eggs and chicks highlighted the lasting influence of the exclosure treatment on offspring survival because predators probably remembered nest locations. Researchers are urged to use caution when considering use of predator exclosures in areas where jaegers occur.

  7. Flown The Nest

    OpenAIRE

    Sebbane, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Lorsque le quotidien régional, The Champion, commence à publier Flown The Nest en 1972 sous forme d’épisodes, Bird’s Nest Soup est déjà en vente, et la troisième partie de l’autobiographie d’Hanna, Housekeeper At Large, est sous presse. L’édition de 2009 contient Flown The Nest et Housekeeper at Large. Dans Bird’s Nest Soup, Hanna Greally racontait les dix-huit années de sa vie passées au sein d’un hôpital psychiatrique. Les raisons pour lesquelles elle y avait été enfermée, à la demande de s...

  8. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; van de Kamp, Ferdinand C; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2015-03-12

    There are striking behavioural and neural parallels between the acquisition of speech in humans and song learning in songbirds. In humans, language-related brain activation is mostly lateralised to the left hemisphere. During language acquisition in humans, brain hemispheric lateralisation develops as language proficiency increases. Sleep is important for the formation of long-term memory, in humans as well as in other animals, including songbirds. Here, we measured neuronal activation (as the expression pattern of the immediate early gene ZENK) during sleep in juvenile zebra finch males that were still learning their songs from a tutor. We found that during sleep, there was learning-dependent lateralisation of spontaneous neuronal activation in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a secondary auditory brain region that is involved in tutor song memory, while there was right hemisphere dominance of neuronal activation in HVC (used as a proper name), a premotor nucleus that is involved in song production and sensorimotor learning. Specifically, in the NCM, birds that imitated their tutors well were left dominant, while poor imitators were right dominant, similar to language-proficiency related lateralisation in humans. Given the avian-human parallels, lateralised neural activation during sleep may also be important for speech and language acquisition in human infants.

  9. A mechanism for frequency modulation in songbirds shared with humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Ana; Margoliash, Daniel

    2013-07-03

    In most animals that vocalize, control of fundamental frequency is a key element for effective communication. In humans, subglottal pressure controls vocal intensity but also influences fundamental frequency during phonation. Given the underlying similarities in the biomechanical mechanisms of vocalization in humans and songbirds, songbirds offer an attractive opportunity to study frequency modulation by pressure. Here, we present a novel technique for dynamic control of subsyringeal pressure in zebra finches. By regulating the opening of a custom-built fast valve connected to the air sac system, we achieved partial or total silencing of specific syllables, and could modify syllabic acoustics through more complex manipulations of air sac pressure. We also observed that more nuanced pressure variations over a limited interval during production of a syllable concomitantly affected the frequency of that syllable segment. These results can be explained in terms of a mathematical model for phonation that incorporates a nonlinear description for the vocal source capable of generating the observed frequency modulations induced by pressure variations. We conclude that the observed interaction between pressure and frequency was a feature of the source, not a result of feedback control. Our results indicate that, beyond regulating phonation or its absence, regulation of pressure is important for control of fundamental frequencies of vocalizations. Thus, although there are separate brainstem pathways for syringeal and respiratory control of song production, both can affect airflow and frequency. We hypothesize that the control of pressure and frequency is combined holistically at higher levels of the vocalization pathways.

  10. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-06-14

    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning.

  11. Experimental temperature manipulations alter songbird autumnal nocturnal migratory restlessness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berchtold Adrienne

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Migrating birds may respond to a variety of environmental cues in order to time migration. During the migration season nocturnally migrating songbirds may migrate or stop-over at their current location, and when migrating they may vary the rate or distance of migration on any given night. It has long been known that a variety of weather-related factors including wind speed and direction, and temperature, are correlated with migration in free-living birds, however these variables are often correlated with each other. In this study we experimentally manipulated temperature to determine if it would directly modulate nocturnal migratory restlessness in songbirds. We experimentally manipulated temperature between 4, 14, and 24°C and monitored nocturnal migratory restlessness during autumn in white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis. White-throated sparrows are relatively shortdistance migrants with a prolonged autumnal migration, and we thus predicted they might be sensitive to weatherrelated cues when deciding whether to migrate or stopover. At warm temperatures (24°C none of the birds exhibited migratory restlessness. The probability of exhibiting migratory restlessness, and the intensity of this restlessness (number of infra-red beam breaks increased at cooler (14°C, 4°C temperatures. These data support the hypothesis that one of the many factors that birds use when making behavioural decisions during migration is temperature, and that birds can respond to temperature directly independently of other weather-related cues.

  12. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M. H.; van de Kamp, Ferdinand C.; Zandbergen, Matthijs A.; Bolhuis, Johan J.

    2015-01-01

    There are striking behavioural and neural parallels between the acquisition of speech in humans and song learning in songbirds. In humans, language-related brain activation is mostly lateralised to the left hemisphere. During language acquisition in humans, brain hemispheric lateralisation develops as language proficiency increases. Sleep is important for the formation of long-term memory, in humans as well as in other animals, including songbirds. Here, we measured neuronal activation (as the expression pattern of the immediate early gene ZENK) during sleep in juvenile zebra finch males that were still learning their songs from a tutor. We found that during sleep, there was learning-dependent lateralisation of spontaneous neuronal activation in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a secondary auditory brain region that is involved in tutor song memory, while there was right hemisphere dominance of neuronal activation in HVC (used as a proper name), a premotor nucleus that is involved in song production and sensorimotor learning. Specifically, in the NCM, birds that imitated their tutors well were left dominant, while poor imitators were right dominant, similar to language-proficiency related lateralisation in humans. Given the avian-human parallels, lateralised neural activation during sleep may also be important for speech and language acquisition in human infants. PMID:25761654

  13. How the songbird brain listens to its own songs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahnloser, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Songbirds are capable of vocal learning and communication and are ideally suited to the study of neural mechanisms of auditory feedback processing. When a songbird is deafened in the early sensorimotor phase after tutoring, it fails to imitate the song of its tutor and develops a highly aberrant song. It is also known that birds are capable of storing a long-term memory of tutor song and that they need intact auditory feedback to match their own vocalizations to the tutor's song. Based on these behavioral observations, we investigate feedback processing in single auditory forebrain neurons of juvenile zebra finches that are in a late developmental stage of song learning. We implant birds with miniature motorized microdrives that allow us to record the electrical activity of single neurons while birds are freely moving and singing in their cages. Occasionally, we deliver a brief sound through a loudspeaker to perturb the auditory feedback the bird experiences during singing. These acoustic perturbations of auditory feedback reveal complex sensitivity that cannot be predicted from passive playback responses. Some neurons are highly feedback sensitive in that they respond vigorously to song perturbations, but not to unperturbed songs or perturbed playback. These findings suggest that a computational function of forebrain auditory areas may be to detect errors between actual feedback and mirrored feedback deriving from an internal model of the bird's own song or that of its tutor.

  14. Nest Site Characteristics of Cavity Nesting Birds in Central Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery D. Brawn; Bernice Tannenbaum; Keith E. Evans

    1984-01-01

    Two study sites in central Missouri oak-hickory forests were searched for nest sites of cavity nesting birds. Researchers located and measured 133 nests of 11 species. Cavity nesting bird habitat selection is affected by both snag characteristics and vegetation structure.

  15. Lifespan analyses of forest raptor nests: patterns of creation, persistence and reuse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María V Jiménez-Franco

    Full Text Available Structural elements for breeding such as nests are key resources for the conservation of bird populations. This is especially true when structural elements require a specific and restricted habitat, or if the construction of nests is costly in time and energy. The availability of nesting-platforms is influenced by nest creation and persistence. In a Mediterranean forest in southeastern Spain, nesting-platforms are the only structural element for three forest-dwelling raptor species: booted eagle Aquila pennata, common buzzard Buteo buteo and northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis. From 1998 to 2013, we tracked the fate of 157 nesting-platforms built and reused by these species with the aim of determining the rates of creation and destruction of nesting-platforms, estimating nest persistence by applying two survival analyses, describing the pattern of nest reuse and testing the effects of nest use on breeding success. Nest creation and destruction rates were low (0.14 and 0.05, respectively. Using Kaplan Meier survival estimates and Cox proportional-hazards regression models we found that median nest longevity was 12 years and that this was not significantly affected by nest characteristics, nest-tree dimensions, nest-builder species, or frequency of use of the platform. We also estimated a transition matrix, considering the different stages of nest occupation (vacant or occupied by one of the focal species, to obtain the fundamental matrix and the average life expectancies of nests, which varied from 17.9 to 19.7 years. Eighty six percent of nests were used in at least one breeding attempt, 67.5% were reused and 17.8% were successively occupied by at least two of the study species. The frequency of nest use had no significant effects on the breeding success of any species. We conclude that nesting-platforms constitute an important resource for forest raptors and that their longevity is sufficiently high to allow their reuse in multiple breeding

  16. Lifespan Analyses of Forest Raptor Nests: Patterns of Creation, Persistence and Reuse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Franco, María V.; Martínez, José E.; Calvo, José F.

    2014-01-01

    Structural elements for breeding such as nests are key resources for the conservation of bird populations. This is especially true when structural elements require a specific and restricted habitat, or if the construction of nests is costly in time and energy. The availability of nesting-platforms is influenced by nest creation and persistence. In a Mediterranean forest in southeastern Spain, nesting-platforms are the only structural element for three forest-dwelling raptor species: booted eagle Aquila pennata, common buzzard Buteo buteo and northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis. From 1998 to 2013, we tracked the fate of 157 nesting-platforms built and reused by these species with the aim of determining the rates of creation and destruction of nesting-platforms, estimating nest persistence by applying two survival analyses, describing the pattern of nest reuse and testing the effects of nest use on breeding success. Nest creation and destruction rates were low (0.14 and 0.05, respectively). Using Kaplan Meier survival estimates and Cox proportional-hazards regression models we found that median nest longevity was 12 years and that this was not significantly affected by nest characteristics, nest-tree dimensions, nest-builder species, or frequency of use of the platform. We also estimated a transition matrix, considering the different stages of nest occupation (vacant or occupied by one of the focal species), to obtain the fundamental matrix and the average life expectancies of nests, which varied from 17.9 to 19.7 years. Eighty six percent of nests were used in at least one breeding attempt, 67.5% were reused and 17.8% were successively occupied by at least two of the study species. The frequency of nest use had no significant effects on the breeding success of any species. We conclude that nesting-platforms constitute an important resource for forest raptors and that their longevity is sufficiently high to allow their reuse in multiple breeding attempts. PMID

  17. Detection probabilities of woodpecker nests in mixed conifer forests in Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jay J. Rotella; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2009-01-01

    Accurate estimates of Black-backed (Picoides arcticus) and Hairy Woodpecker (P. villosus) nests and nest survival rates in post-fire landscapes provide land managers with information on the relative importance of burned forests to nesting woodpeckers. We conducted multiple-observer surveys in burned and unburned mixed coniferous forests in Oregon to identify important...

  18. Effects of nocturnal illumination on life-history decisions and fitness in two wild songbird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Maaike; Ouyang, Jenny Q; Da Silva, Arnaud; van Grunsven, Roy H A; Kempenaers, Bart; Visser, Marcel E; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2015-05-05

    The effects of artificial night lighting on animal behaviour and fitness are largely unknown. Most studies report short-term consequences in locations that are also exposed to other anthropogenic disturbance. We know little about how the effects of nocturnal illumination vary with different light colour compositions. This is increasingly relevant as the use of LED lights becomes more common, and LED light colour composition can be easily adjusted. We experimentally illuminated previously dark natural habitat with white, green and red light, and measured the effects on life-history decisions and fitness in two free-living songbird species, the great tit (Parus major) and pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) in two consecutive years. In 2013, but not in 2014, we found an effect of light treatment on lay date, and of the interaction of treatment and distance to the nearest lamp post on chick mass in great tits but not in pied flycatchers. We did not find an effect in either species of light treatment on breeding densities, clutch size, probability of brood failure, number of fledglings and adult survival. The finding that light colour may have differential effects opens up the possibility to mitigate negative ecological effects of nocturnal illumination by using different light spectra. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Consequences of elevating plasma testosterone in females of a socially monogamous songbird: evidence of constraints on male evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clotfelter, Ethan D; O'Neal, Dawn M; Gaudioso, Jacqueline M; Casto, Joseph M; Parker-Renga, Ian M; Snajdr, Eric A; Duffy, Deborah L; Nolan, Val; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2004-08-01

    To explore whether selection for testosterone-mediated traits in males might be constrained by costs of higher testosterone to females, we examined the effects of experimental elevation of plasma testosterone on physiological, reproductive, and behavioral parameters in a female songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis). We used subcutaneous implants to elevate testosterone (T) in captive and free-living female juncos. In captive birds, we measured the effects of high T on body mass, feather molt, and brood patch formation. In the field, we monitored its effects on the timing of egg laying, clutch size, egg size, egg steroid levels, incubation, and nest-defense behavior. Females implanted with testosterone (T-females) had significantly higher circulating levels of testosterone than did control females (C-females). Captive T-females had lower body mass, were less likely to develop brood patches, and delayed feather molt relative to C-females. Among free-living females, the interval between nest completion and appearance of the first egg was longer for T-females than for C-females and egg yolk concentrations of testosterone were higher, but there were no significant differences in estradiol levels, clutch size, or egg size. Incubation and nest defense behavior were also similar between T- and C-females. Our results suggest that selection on males for higher testosterone might initially lead to a correlated response in females producing changes in body mass and feather molt, both of which could be detrimental. Other possible female responses would be delayed onset of reproduction, which might reduce reproductive success, and higher yolk testosterone, which might have either positive or negative effects on offspring development. We found no reason to expect reduced parental behavior by females as a negative fitness consequence of selection for higher testosterone in males.

  20. Environmental effects of fenitrothion use in forestry: impacts on insect pollinators, songbirds & aquatic organisms

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ernst, W. R; Pearce, P. A; Pollock, T. L

    1989-01-01

    The Team focused on insect pollinators and pollination, forest songbirds, and aquatic organisms because of a judgement that most well documented negative effects of fenitrothion spraying are in those...

  1. Nested and Hierarchical Archimax copulas

    KAUST Repository

    Hofert, Marius; Huser, Raphaë l; Prasad, Avinash

    2017-01-01

    The class of Archimax copulas is generalized to nested and hierarchical Archimax copulas in several ways. First, nested extreme-value copulas or nested stable tail dependence functions are introduced to construct nested Archimax copulas based on a single frailty variable. Second, a hierarchical construction of d-norm generators is presented to construct hierarchical stable tail dependence functions and thus hierarchical extreme-value copulas. Moreover, one can, by itself or additionally, introduce nested frailties to extend Archimax copulas to nested Archimax copulas in a similar way as nested Archimedean copulas extend Archimedean copulas. Further results include a general formula for the density of Archimax copulas.

  2. Nested and Hierarchical Archimax copulas

    KAUST Repository

    Hofert, Marius

    2017-07-03

    The class of Archimax copulas is generalized to nested and hierarchical Archimax copulas in several ways. First, nested extreme-value copulas or nested stable tail dependence functions are introduced to construct nested Archimax copulas based on a single frailty variable. Second, a hierarchical construction of d-norm generators is presented to construct hierarchical stable tail dependence functions and thus hierarchical extreme-value copulas. Moreover, one can, by itself or additionally, introduce nested frailties to extend Archimax copulas to nested Archimax copulas in a similar way as nested Archimedean copulas extend Archimedean copulas. Further results include a general formula for the density of Archimax copulas.

  3. Superposition Enhanced Nested Sampling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Martiniani

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The theoretical analysis of many problems in physics, astronomy, and applied mathematics requires an efficient numerical exploration of multimodal parameter spaces that exhibit broken ergodicity. Monte Carlo methods are widely used to deal with these classes of problems, but such simulations suffer from a ubiquitous sampling problem: The probability of sampling a particular state is proportional to its entropic weight. Devising an algorithm capable of sampling efficiently the full phase space is a long-standing problem. Here, we report a new hybrid method for the exploration of multimodal parameter spaces exhibiting broken ergodicity. Superposition enhanced nested sampling combines the strengths of global optimization with the unbiased or athermal sampling of nested sampling, greatly enhancing its efficiency with no additional parameters. We report extensive tests of this new approach for atomic clusters that are known to have energy landscapes for which conventional sampling schemes suffer from broken ergodicity. We also introduce a novel parallelization algorithm for nested sampling.

  4. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butler, T.; Curtis, O.; Kim, E.; Roberts, S.; Stephenson, R.

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America Savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  5. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butler, T. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Curtis, O. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Kim, E. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Roberts, S. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Stephenson, R. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States)

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage-style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  6. Melatonin delays clutch initiation in a wild songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greives, Timothy J.; Kingma, Sjouke A.; Beltrami, Giulia; Hau, Michaela

    2012-01-01

    The hormone melatonin is known to play an important role in regulating many seasonal changes in physiology, morphology and behaviour. In birds, unlike in mammals, melatonin has thus far been thought to play little role in timing seasonal reproductive processes. This view is mainly derived from laboratory experiments on male birds. This study tests whether melatonin is capable of influencing the timing of clutch initiation in wild female songbirds. Free-living female great tits (Parus major) treated with melatonin-filled implants prior to the breeding season initiated their first clutch of the season significantly later than females carrying an empty implant. Melatonin treatment did not affect clutch size. Further, melatonin treatment did not delay the onset of daily activity in the wild nor adversely affect body mass in captivity compared with controls. These data suggest a previously unknown role for this hormone in regulating the timing of clutch initiation in the wild. PMID:22171024

  7. Genetic regulation of sex differences in songbirds and lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Juli

    2016-01-01

    Sex differences in the morphology of neural and peripheral structures related to reproduction often parallel the frequency of particular behaviours displayed by males and females. In a variety of model organisms, these sex differences are organized in development by gonadal steroids, which also act in adulthood to modulate behavioural expression and in some cases to generate parallel anatomical changes on a seasonal basis. Data collected from diverse species, however, suggest that changes in hormone availability are not sufficient to explain sex and seasonal differences in structure and function. This paper pulls together some of this literature from songbirds and lizards and considers the information in the broader context of taking a comparative approach to investigating genetic mechanisms associated with behavioural neuroendocrinology. PMID:26833833

  8. New perspectives on mechanisms of sound generation in songbirds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goller, Franz; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2002-01-01

    -tone mechanism similar to human phonation with the labia forming a pneumatic valve. The classical avian model proposed that vibrations of the thin medial tympaniform membranes are the primary sound generating mechanism. As a direct test of these two hypotheses we ablated the medial tympaniform membranes in two......The physical mechanisms of sound generation in the vocal organ, the syrinx, of songbirds have been investigated mostly with indirect methods. Recent direct endoscopic observation identified vibrations of the labia as the principal sound source. This model suggests sound generation in a pulse...... atmosphere) as well as direct (labial vibration during tonal sound) measurements of syringeal vibrations support a vibration-based soundgenerating mechanism even for tonal sounds....

  9. Living with aliens: effects of invasive shrub honeysuckles on avian nesting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason M Gleditsch

    Full Text Available Invasive species have come to the forefront of conservation biology as a major threat to native biodiversity. Habitats dominated by shrub honeysuckles (Lonicera spp. in the United States have been characterized as "ecological traps" by ecologists. Here we tested this hypothesis by investigating the effects of shrub honeysuckles on the nesting ecology of native birds in seven study sites in central Pennsylvania, USA. We examined how the abundance of shrub honeysuckles influenced the selection of nesting substrates and habitat for a community of common songbirds, and the parental-care behavior and nestling development of gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis. We found that birds had a strong bias towards nesting in honeysuckle shrubs, but not necessarily for nesting in honeysuckle-dominated habitats. Nest predation rates were affected by the density of nests in a habitat, but not by the overall abundance of honeysuckles in such habitats. Honeysuckle abundance in the habitat did show significant effects on some parental-care behavioral parameters: catbirds had higher nest visitation rates and shorter visit lengths in areas of high honeysuckle density. On average, Gray catbirds fed fruit 12%±0.31 s.e. of their nestling-feeding bouts, mostly fruits of shrub honeysuckles. Nestlings in sites with high honeysuckle density also showed higher mass:tarsus ratios, suggesting a good (possibly better physiological condition of catbird nestlings at the time of fledging. Our study shows that honeysuckle-dominated habitats could have equivocal effects on nesting parameters of common species of native birds. We advise more caution in the widespread denomination of novel plant communities with high densities of honeysuckle as "ecological traps" as effects can be null or positive on native birds in certain localities.

  10. The neural dynamics of song syntax in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Dezhe

    2010-03-01

    Songbird is ``the hydrogen atom'' of the neuroscience of complex, learned vocalizations such as human speech. Songs of Bengalese finch consist of sequences of syllables. While syllables are temporally stereotypical, syllable sequences can vary and follow complex, probabilistic syntactic rules, which are rudimentarily similar to grammars in human language. Songbird brain is accessible to experimental probes, and is understood well enough to construct biologically constrained, predictive computational models. In this talk, I will discuss the structure and dynamics of neural networks underlying the stereotypy of the birdsong syllables and the flexibility of syllable sequences. Recent experiments and computational models suggest that a syllable is encoded in a chain network of projection neurons in premotor nucleus HVC (proper name). Precisely timed spikes propagate along the chain, driving vocalization of the syllable through downstream nuclei. Through a computational model, I show that that variable syllable sequences can be generated through spike propagations in a network in HVC in which the syllable-encoding chain networks are connected into a branching chain pattern. The neurons mutually inhibit each other through the inhibitory HVC interneurons, and are driven by external inputs from nuclei upstream of HVC. At a branching point that connects the final group of a chain to the first groups of several chains, the spike activity selects one branch to continue the propagation. The selection is probabilistic, and is due to the winner-take-all mechanism mediated by the inhibition and noise. The model predicts that the syllable sequences statistically follow partially observable Markov models. Experimental results supporting this and other predictions of the model will be presented. We suggest that the syntax of birdsong syllable sequences is embedded in the connection patterns of HVC projection neurons.

  11. The importance of illumination in nest site choice and nest characteristics of cavity nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podkowa, Paweł; Surmacki, Adrian

    2017-05-02

    Light has a significant impact on many aspects of avian biology, physiology and behaviour. An increasing number of studies show that illumination may positively influences birds' offspring fitness by e.g. acceleration of embryo development, stimulation of skeleton growth or regulation of circadian rhythm. Because nest cavities have especially low illumination, suitable light levels may be especially important for species which nest there. We may therefore expect that birds breeding in relatively dim conditions should prefer brighter nest sites and/or evolve behavioral mechanisms to secure sufficient light levels in the nest. Using nest boxes with modified internal illumination, we experimentally tested whether light regime is a cue for nest site selection of secondary cavity-nesting species. Additionally, we investigated whether nest building strategies are tuned to internal illumination. Our results demonstrate that, nest boxes with elevated illumination were chosen twice as often as dark nest boxes. Moreover, birds built higher nests in dark nest boxes than birds in boxes with elevated illumination, which suggests a mechanism of compensating for low light conditions. Our results provide the first experimental support for the idea that nest site choice and nest building behaviour in cavity-nesting birds are influenced by ambient illumination.

  12. Experimental evidence for the interplay of exogenous and endogenous factors on the movement ecology of a migrating songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B Cohen

    Full Text Available Movement patterns during songbird migration remain poorly understood despite their expected fitness consequences in terms of survival, energetic condition and timing of migration that will carry over to subsequent phases of the annual cycle. We took an experimental approach to test hypotheses regarding the influence of habitat, energetic condition, time of season and sex on the hour-by-hour, local movement decisions of a songbird during spring stopover. To simulate arrival of nocturnal migrants at unfamiliar stopover sites, we translocated and continuously tracked migratory red-eyed vireos (Vireo olivaceus throughout spring stopover with and without energetic reserves that were released in two replicates of three forested habitat types. Migrants moved the most upon release, during which time they selected habitat characterized by greater food abundance and higher foraging attack rates. Presumably under pressure to replenish fuel stores necessary to continue migration in a timely fashion, migrants released in poorer energetic condition moved faster and further than migrants in better condition and the same pattern was true for migrants released late in spring relative to those released earlier. However, a migrant's energetic condition had less influence on their behavior when they were in poor quality habitat. Movement did not differ between sexes. Our study illustrates the importance of quickly finding suitable habitat at each stopover site, especially for energetically constrained migrants later in the season. If an initial period prior to foraging were necessary at each stop along a migrant's journey, non-foraging periods would cumulatively result in a significant energetic and time cost to migration. However, we suggest behavior during stopover is not solely a function of underlying resource distributions but is a complex response to a combination of endogenous and exogenous factors.

  13. Experimental evidence for the interplay of exogenous and endogenous factors on the movement ecology of a migrating songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Emily B; Moore, Frank R; Fischer, Richard A

    2012-01-01

    Movement patterns during songbird migration remain poorly understood despite their expected fitness consequences in terms of survival, energetic condition and timing of migration that will carry over to subsequent phases of the annual cycle. We took an experimental approach to test hypotheses regarding the influence of habitat, energetic condition, time of season and sex on the hour-by-hour, local movement decisions of a songbird during spring stopover. To simulate arrival of nocturnal migrants at unfamiliar stopover sites, we translocated and continuously tracked migratory red-eyed vireos (Vireo olivaceus) throughout spring stopover with and without energetic reserves that were released in two replicates of three forested habitat types. Migrants moved the most upon release, during which time they selected habitat characterized by greater food abundance and higher foraging attack rates. Presumably under pressure to replenish fuel stores necessary to continue migration in a timely fashion, migrants released in poorer energetic condition moved faster and further than migrants in better condition and the same pattern was true for migrants released late in spring relative to those released earlier. However, a migrant's energetic condition had less influence on their behavior when they were in poor quality habitat. Movement did not differ between sexes. Our study illustrates the importance of quickly finding suitable habitat at each stopover site, especially for energetically constrained migrants later in the season. If an initial period prior to foraging were necessary at each stop along a migrant's journey, non-foraging periods would cumulatively result in a significant energetic and time cost to migration. However, we suggest behavior during stopover is not solely a function of underlying resource distributions but is a complex response to a combination of endogenous and exogenous factors.

  14. Nest site selection by Kentish plover suggests a trade-off between nest-crypsis and predator detection strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Ángel Gómez-Serrano

    Full Text Available Predation is one of the main causes of adult mortality and breeding failure for ground-nesting birds. Micro-habitat structure around nests plays a critical role in minimizing predation risk. Plovers nest in sites with little vegetation cover to maximize the incubating adult visibility, but many studies suggest a trade-off between nest-crypsis and predator detection strategies. However, this trade-off has not been explored in detail because methods used so far do not allow estimating the visibility with regards to critical factors such as slope or plant permeability to vision. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Kentish plovers select exposed sites according to a predator detection strategy, and the hypothesis that more concealed nests survive longer according to a crypsis strategy. To this end, we obtained an accurate estimation of the incubating adult's field of vision through a custom built inverted periscope. Our results showed that plovers selected nest sites with higher visibility than control points randomly selected with regards to humans and dogs, although nests located in sites with higher vegetation cover survived longer. In addition, the flushing distance (i.e., the distance at which incubating adults leave the nest when they detect a potential predator decreased with vegetation cover. Consequently, the advantages of concealing the nest were limited by the ability to detect predators, thus indirectly supporting the existence of the trade-off between crypsis and predator detection. Finally, human disturbance also constrained nest choice, forcing plovers to move to inland sites that were less suitable because of higher vegetation cover, and modulated flushing behavior, since plovers that were habituated to humans left their nests closer to potential predators. This constraint on the width of suitable breeding habitat is particularly relevant for the conservation of Kentish Plover in sand beaches, especially under the current context of

  15. The cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus prefers larger nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrus, S

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm 3 , respectively) were located on each square meter of the experimental plot. One year later, shortly before the emergence of new sexuals, the nests were collected. In July 2012, colonies inhabited more frequently bigger nests. Among queenright colonies, the ones which inhabited bigger nests had more workers. However, there was no relationship between volume of nest and number of workers for queenless colonies. Queenright colonies from bigger nests produced more sexual individuals, but there was no correlation between number of workers and sex allocation ratio, or between volume of nest and sex allocation ratio. In a laboratory experiment where ant colonies were kept in 470 and 860 mm 3 nests, larger colonies allocated more energy to produce sexual individuals. The results of this study show the selectivity of T. crassispinus ants regarding the size of nest cavity, and that the nest volume has an impact on life history parameters.

  16. Feathering Your Nest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabors, Martha L.; Edwards, Linda Carol; Decker, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    The first-grade classroom was like a natural history museum. Bird nests of every shape and size lay on top of bookshelves that lined two walls. Methods students, who were visiting the classroom in preparation for the science lessons they would teach there, were immediately inspired by the collection. They used the collection as a springboard for…

  17. Fiber Tracking Cylinder Nesting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stredde, H.

    1999-01-01

    The fiber tracker consists of 8 concentric carbon fiber cylinders of varying diameters, from 399mm to 1032.2mm and two different lengths. 1.66 and 2.52 meters. Each completed cylinder is covered over the entire o.d. with scintillating fiber ribbons with a connector on each ribbon. These ribbons are axial (parallel to the beam line) at one end and stereo (at 3 deg. to the beam line) at the other. The ribbon connectors have dowel pins which are used to match with the connectors on the wave guide ribbons. These dowel pins are also used during the nesting operation, locating and positioning measurements. The nesting operation is the insertion of one cylinder into another, aligning them with one another and fastening them together into a homogeneous assembly. For ease of assembly. the nesting operation is accomplished working from largest diameter to smallest. Although the completed assembly of all 8 cylinders glued and bolted together is very stiff. individual cylinders are relatively flexible. Therefore. during this operation, No.8 must be supported in a manner which maintains its integrity and yet allows the insertion of No.7. This is accomplished by essentially building a set of dummy end plates which replicate a No.9 cylinder. These end plates are mounted on a wheeled cart that becomes the nesting cart. Provisions for a protective cover fastened to these rings has been made and will be incorporated in finished product. These covers can be easily removed for access to No.8 and/or the connection of No.8 to No.9. Another wheeled cart, transfer cart, is used to push a completed cylinder into the cylinder(s) already mounted in the nesting cart.

  18. Phenology largely explains taller grass at successful nests in greater sage-grouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph T; Tack, Jason D; Doherty, Kevin E; Allred, Brady W; Maestas, Jeremy D; Berkeley, Lorelle I; Dettenmaier, Seth J; Messmer, Terry A; Naugle, David E

    2018-01-01

    Much interest lies in the identification of manageable habitat variables that affect key vital rates for species of concern. For ground-nesting birds, vegetation surrounding the nest may play an important role in mediating nest success by providing concealment from predators. Height of grasses surrounding the nest is thought to be a driver of nest survival in greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ; sage-grouse), a species that has experienced widespread population declines throughout their range. However, a growing body of the literature has found that widely used field methods can produce misleading inference on the relationship between grass height and nest success. Specifically, it has been demonstrated that measuring concealment following nest fate (failure or hatch) introduces a temporal bias whereby successful nests are measured later in the season, on average, than failed nests. This sampling bias can produce inference suggesting a positive effect of grass height on nest survival, though the relationship arises due to the confounding effect of plant phenology, not an effect on predation risk. To test the generality of this finding for sage-grouse, we reanalyzed existing datasets comprising >800 sage-grouse nests from three independent studies across the range where there was a positive relationship found between grass height and nest survival, including two using methods now known to be biased. Correcting for phenology produced equivocal relationships between grass height and sage-grouse nest survival. Viewed in total, evidence for a ubiquitous biological effect of grass height on sage-grouse nest success across time and space is lacking. In light of these findings, a reevaluation of land management guidelines emphasizing specific grass height targets to promote nest success may be merited.

  19. Long-term lesser prairie-chicken nest ecology in response to grassland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, Sarah R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Boal, Clint W.; Patten, Michael; Wolfe, Don H.; Dixon, Charles; Cox, Robert D.; Heck, Willard R.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term population and range declines from habitat loss and fragmentation caused the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to be a species of concern throughout its range. Current lesser prairie-chicken range in New Mexico and Texas is partially restricted to sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii; hereafter shinnery oak) prairies, on which cattle grazing is the main socioeconomic driver for private landowners. Cattle producers within shinnery oak prairies often focus land management on shrub eradication using the herbicide tebuthiuron to promote grass production for forage; however, herbicide application alone, and in combination with grazing, may affect nest site selection and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens through the reduction of shinnery oak and native grasses. We used a controlled, paired, completely randomized design study to assess the influence of grazing and tebuthiuron application and their combined use on nest site selection and nest survival from 2001 to 2010 in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA at 2 spatial scales (i.e., treatment and microhabitat) in 4 treatments: tebuthiuron with grazing, tebuthiuron without grazing, no tebuthiuron with grazing, and a control of no tebuthiuron and no grazing. Grazing treatment was a short-duration system in which plots were grazed once during the dormant season and once during the growing season. Stocking rate was calculated each season based on measured forage production and applied to remove ≤25% of available herbaceous material per season. At the treatment scale, we compared nest site selection among treatments using 1-way χ2 tests and nest survival among treatments using a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK. At the microhabitat scale, we identified important habitat predictors of nest site selection and nest survival using logistic regression and a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK, respectively. Females typically used treatments as expected and

  20. The Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) nest as an incubation chamber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibuya, Felipe L S; Braga, Talita V; Roper, James J

    2015-01-01

    favoring survival of the adults and their foraging for, rather than incubating, their young. Counter intuitively, in the study area, where the Rufous Hornero is a recent arrival following deforestation, and where the climate is very different from where it evolved, there seems to be no clear thermal benefits for the birds from their energetically expensive mud nest. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Nested cellular automata

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quasthoff, U.

    1985-07-01

    Cellular automata by definition consist of a finite or infinite number of cells, say of unit length, with each cell having the same transition function. These cells are usually considered as the smallest elements and so the space filled with these cells becomes discrete. Nevertheless, large pictures created by such cellular automata look very fractal. So we try to replace each cell by a couple of smaller cells, which have the same transition functions as the large ones. There are automata where this replacement does not destroy the macroscopic structure. In these cases this nesting process can be iterated. The paper contains large classes of automata with the above properties. In the case of one dimensional automata with two states and next neighbour interaction and a nesting function of the same type a complete classification is given. (author)

  2. Songbirds as sentinels of mercury in terrestrial habitats of eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Adams, Evan M.; Cristol, Daniel A.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Edmonds, Samuel T.; Gray, Carrie E.; Hoskins, Bart; Lane, Oksana P.; Sauer, Amy; Tear, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for Hg across diverse habitats because they can be effectively sampled, have well-defined and small territories, and can integrate pollutant exposure over time and space. We analyzed blood total Hg concentrations from 8,446 individuals of 102 species of songbirds, sampled on their breeding territories across 161 sites in eastern North America [geometric mean Hg concentration = 0.25 μg/g wet weight (ww), range of the USEPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which will reduce Hg emissions from coal-fired power plants by over 90 %. Mixed-effects modeling indicated that habitat, foraging guild, and age were important predictors of blood Hg concentrations across species and sites. Blood Hg concentrations in adult invertebrate-eating songbirds were consistently higher in wetland habitats (freshwater or estuarine) than upland forests. Generally, adults exhibited higher blood Hg concentrations than juveniles within each habitat type. We used model results to examine species-specific differences in blood Hg concentrations during this time period, identifying potential Hg sentinels in each region and habitat type. Our results present the most comprehensive assessment of blood Hg concentrations in eastern songbirds to date, and thereby provide a valuable framework for designing and evaluating risk assessment schemes using sentinel songbird species in the time after implementation of the new atmospheric Hg standards.

  3. Why wasp foundresses change nests: relatedness, dominance, and nest quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perttu Seppä

    Full Text Available The costs and benefits of different social options are best understood when individuals can be followed as they make different choices, something that can be difficult in social insects. In this detailed study, we follow overwintered females of the social wasp Polistes carolina through different nesting strategies in a stratified habitat where nest site quality varies with proximity to a foraging area, and genetic relatedness among females is known. Females may initiate nests, join nests temporarily or permanently, or abandon nests. Females can become helpers or egglayers, effectively workers or queens. What they actually do can be predicted by a combination of ecological and relatedness factors. Advantages through increased lifetime success of individuals and nests drives foundresses of the social wasp Polistes from solitary to social nest founding. We studied reproductive options of spring foundresses of P. carolina by monitoring individually-marked wasps and assessing reproductive success of each foundress by using DNA microsatellites. We examined what behavioral decisions foundresses make after relaxing a strong ecological constraint, shortage of nesting sites. We also look at the reproductive consequences of different behaviors. As in other Polistes, the most successful strategy for a foundress was to initiate a nest as early as possible and then accept others as subordinates. A common feature for many P. carolina foundresses was, however, that they reassessed their reproductive options by actively monitoring other nests at the field site and sometimes moving permanently to new nests should that offer better (inclusive fitness prospects compared to their original nests. A clear motivation for moving to new nests was high genetic relatedness; by the end of the foundress period all females were on nests with full sisters.

  4. Why Wasp Foundresses Change Nests: Relatedness, Dominance, and Nest Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seppä, Perttu; Queller, David C.; Strassmann, Joan E.

    2012-01-01

    The costs and benefits of different social options are best understood when individuals can be followed as they make different choices, something that can be difficult in social insects. In this detailed study, we follow overwintered females of the social wasp Polistes carolina through different nesting strategies in a stratified habitat where nest site quality varies with proximity to a foraging area, and genetic relatedness among females is known. Females may initiate nests, join nests temporarily or permanently, or abandon nests. Females can become helpers or egglayers, effectively workers or queens. What they actually do can be predicted by a combination of ecological and relatedness factors. Advantages through increased lifetime success of individuals and nests drives foundresses of the social wasp Polistes from solitary to social nest founding. We studied reproductive options of spring foundresses of P. carolina by monitoring individually-marked wasps and assessing reproductive success of each foundress by using DNA microsatellites. We examined what behavioral decisions foundresses make after relaxing a strong ecological constraint, shortage of nesting sites. We also look at the reproductive consequences of different behaviors. As in other Polistes, the most successful strategy for a foundress was to initiate a nest as early as possible and then accept others as subordinates. A common feature for many P. carolina foundresses was, however, that they reassessed their reproductive options by actively monitoring other nests at the field site and sometimes moving permanently to new nests should that offer better (inclusive) fitness prospects compared to their original nests. A clear motivation for moving to new nests was high genetic relatedness; by the end of the foundress period all females were on nests with full sisters. PMID:23049791

  5. WDR1 Presence in the Songbird Basilar Papilla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Henry J.; Sanovich, Elena; Brittan-Powell, Elizabeth F.; Yan, Kai; Dooling, Robert J.

    2009-01-01

    WD40 repeat 1 protein (WDR1) was first reported in the acoustically injured chicken inner ear, and bioinformatics revealed that WDR1 has numerous WD40 repeats, important for protein-protein interactions. It has significant homology to actin interacting protein 1 (Aip1) in several lower species such as yeast, roundworm, fruitfly and frog. Several studies have shown that Aip1 binds cofilin/actin depolymerizing factor, and that these interactions are pivotal for actin disassembly via actin filament severing and actin monomer capping. However, the role of WDR1 in auditory function has yet to be determined. WDR1 is typically restricted to hair cells of the normal avian basilar papilla, but is redistributed towards supporting cells after acoustic overstimulation, suggesting that WDR1 may be involved in inner ear response to noise stress. One aim of the present study was to resolve the question as to whether stress factors, other than intense sound, could induce changes in WDR1 presence in the affected avian inner ear. Several techniques were used to assess WDR1 presence in the inner ears of songbird strains, including Belgian Waterslager (BW) canary, an avian strain with degenerative hearing loss thought to have a genetic basis. Reverse transcription, followed by polymerase chain reactions with WDR1-specific primers, confirmed WDR1 presence in the basilar papillae of adult BW, non-BW canaries, and zebra finches. Confocal microscopy examinations, following immunocytochemistry with anti-WDR1 antibody, localized WDR1 to the hair cell cytoplasm along the avian sensory epithelium. In addition, little, if any, staining by anti-WDR1 antibody was observed among supporting cells in the chicken or songbird ear. The present observations confirm and extend the early findings of WDR1 localization in hair cells, but not in supporting cells, in the normal avian basilar papilla. However, unlike supporting cells in the acoustically damaged chicken basilar papilla, the inner ear of the BW

  6. Sexual dimorphism in striatal dopaminergic responses promotes monogamy in social songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokarev, Kirill; Hyland Bruno, Julia; Ljubičić, Iva; Kothari, Paresh J; Helekar, Santosh A; Tchernichovski, Ofer; Voss, Henning U

    2017-08-11

    In many songbird species, males sing to attract females and repel rivals. How can gregarious, non-territorial songbirds such as zebra finches, where females have access to numerous males, sustain monogamy? We found that the dopaminergic reward circuitry of zebra finches can simultaneously promote social cohesion and breeding boundaries. Surprisingly, in unmated males but not in females, striatal dopamine neurotransmission was elevated after hearing songs. Behaviorally too, unmated males but not females persistently exchanged mild punishments in return for songs. Song reinforcement diminished when dopamine receptors were blocked. In females, we observed song reinforcement exclusively to the mate's song, although their striatal dopamine neurotransmission was only slightly elevated. These findings suggest that song-triggered dopaminergic activation serves a dual function in social songbirds: as low-threshold social reinforcement in males and as ultra-selective sexual reinforcement in females. Co-evolution of sexually dimorphic reinforcement systems can explain the coexistence of gregariousness and monogamy.

  7. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-05-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypic variation on three size measures of the bees (intertegular width, wing length, and mandible area) and two nest architecture measures (tunnel length and diameter) on bees using the native species Chusquea quila (Poaceae), and the alloctonous species Rubus ulmifolius (Rosaceae), in central Chile. Our results showed significant and positive linear selection gradients for tunnel length on both hosts, indicating that bees building long nests have more offspring. Bees with broader mandibles show greater fitness on C. quila but not on R. ulmifolius. Considering that C. quila represents a selective force on mandible area, we hypothesized a high adaptive value of this trait, resulting in higher fitness values when nesting on this host, despite its wood is denser and hence more difficult to be bored.

  8. Adaptive strategies in nocturnally migrating insects and songbirds: contrasting responses to wind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Jason W; Nilsson, Cecilia; Lim, Ka S; Bäckman, Johan; Reynolds, Don R; Alerstam, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Animals that use flight as their mode of transportation must cope with the fact that their migration and orientation performance is strongly affected by the flow of the medium they are moving in, that is by the winds. Different strategies can be used to mitigate the negative effects and benefit from the positive effects of a moving flow. The strategies an animal can use will be constrained by the relationship between the speed of the flow and the speed of the animal's own propulsion in relation to the surrounding air. Here we analyse entomological and ornithological radar data from north-western Europe to investigate how two different nocturnal migrant taxa, the noctuid moth Autographa gamma and songbirds, deal with wind by analysing variation in resulting flight directions in relation to the wind-dependent angle between the animal's heading and track direction. Our results, from fixed locations along the migratory journey, reveal different global strategies used by moths and songbirds during their migratory journeys. As expected, nocturnally migrating moths experienced a greater degree of wind drift than nocturnally migrating songbirds, but both groups were more affected by wind in autumn than in spring. The songbirds' strategies involve elements of both drift and compensation, providing some benefits from wind in combination with destination and time control. In contrast, moths expose themselves to a significantly higher degree of drift in order to obtain strong wind assistance, surpassing the songbirds in mean ground speed, at the cost of a comparatively lower spatiotemporal migratory precision. Moths and songbirds show contrasting but adaptive responses to migrating through a moving flow, which are fine-tuned to the respective flight capabilities of each group in relation to the wind currents they travel within. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  9. Interspecific social networks promote information transmission in wild songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farine, Damien R; Aplin, Lucy M; Sheldon, Ben C; Hoppitt, William

    2015-03-22

    Understanding the functional links between social structure and population processes is a central aim of evolutionary ecology. Multiple types of interactions can be represented by networks drawn for the same population, such as kinship, dominance or affiliative networks, but the relative importance of alternative networks in modulating population processes may not be clear. We illustrate this problem, and a solution, by developing a framework for testing the importance of different types of association in facilitating the transmission of information. We apply this framework to experimental data from wild songbirds that form mixed-species flocks, recording the arrival (patch discovery) of individuals to novel foraging sites. We tested whether intraspecific and interspecific social networks predicted the spread of information about novel food sites, and found that both contributed to transmission. The likelihood of acquiring information per unit of connection to knowledgeable individuals increased 22-fold for conspecifics, and 12-fold for heterospecifics. We also found that species varied in how much information they produced, suggesting that some species play a keystone role in winter foraging flocks. More generally, these analyses demonstrate that this method provides a powerful approach, using social networks to quantify the relative transmission rates across different social relationships.

  10. A comprehensive account of sound sequence imitation in the songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maren Westkott

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The amazing imitation capabilities of songbirds show that they can memorize sensory sequences and transform them into motor activities which in turn generate the original sound sequences. This suggests that the bird's brain can learn 1. to reliably reproduce spatio-temporal sensory representations and 2. to transform them into corresponding spatio-temporal motor activations by using an inverse mapping. Neither the synaptic mechanisms nor the network architecture enabling these two fundamental aspects of imitation learning are known. We propose an architecture of coupled neuronal modules that mimick areas in the song bird and show that a unique synaptic plasticity mechanism can serve to learn both, sensory sequences in a recurrent neuronal network, as well as an inverse model that transforms the sensory memories into the corresponding motor activations. The proposed membrane potential dependent learning rule together with the architecture that includes basic features of the bird's brain represents the first comprehensive account of bird imitation learning based on spiking neurons.

  11. Mitigation effectiveness for improving nesting success of greater sage-grouse influenced by energy development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirol, Christopher P.; Sutphin, Andrew L.; Bond, Laura S.; Fuller, Mark R.; Maechtle, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Sagebrush Artemisia spp. habitats being developed for oil and gas reserves are inhabited by sagebrush obligate species — including the greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus (sage-grouse) that is currently being considered for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Numerous studies suggest increasing oil and gas development may exacerbate species extinction risks. Therefore, there is a great need for effective on-site mitigation to reduce impacts to co-occurring wildlife such as sage-grouse. Nesting success is a primary factor in avian productivity and declines in nesting success are also thought to be an important contributor to population declines in sage-grouse. From 2008 to 2011 we monitored 296 nests of radio-marked female sage-grouse in a natural gas (NG) field in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA, and compared nest survival in mitigated and non-mitigated development areas and relatively unaltered areas to determine if specific mitigation practices were enhancing nest survival. Nest survival was highest in relatively unaltered habitats followed by mitigated, and then non-mitigated NG areas. Reservoirs used for holding NG discharge water had the greatest support as having a direct relationship to nest survival. Within a 5-km2 area surrounding a nest, the probability of nest failure increased by about 15% for every 1.5 km increase in reservoir water edge. Reducing reservoirs was a mitigation focus and sage-grouse nesting in mitigated areas were exposed to almost half of the amount of water edge compared to those in non-mitigated areas. Further, we found that an increase in sagebrush cover was positively related to nest survival. Consequently, mitigation efforts focused on reducing reservoir construction and reducing surface disturbance, especially when the surface disturbance results in sagebrush removal, are important to enhancing sage-grouse nesting success.

  12. Preference of rabbit does among different nest materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.P. Farkas

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Nest quality is important for the survival of new-born rabbits. Nesting material in rabbit farms generally consists of wood shavings, which is completely different from the dry grass used by the European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus. The aim of the experiments was to examine which nest materials are preferred by rabbit does when building their nest. In experiment 1, the choice of multiparous rabbit does (n=37 among nest boxes bedded with different nesting materials was monitored. In each pen (1.0×1.83 m 1 doe and 4 nest boxes (0.37×0.23×0.31 m with different nest materials (meadow hay [H], wheat straw [S], fine fibre material [Lignocel®, L] or wood shavings [W] were placed 3 days before the expected parturition (gestation length is about 31 d in the Pannon White breed. Some 48.6% of the does kindled in nest boxes that contained pure materials (L: 40.5%, S: 5.4%, H: 2.7%, and 51.3% of the does kindled in nest boxes where the nest materials of different nest boxes were mixed by the does (S with L: 21.5%, S with L and H: 5.4%, W with L: 8.1%, L with H and S: 5.4%. Does preferred kindling in the nest box bedded with L, and most of them refused the nest box with W. In experiment 2/a (n=32 does and 2/b (n=25 does, each pen (1×0.91 m was equipped with 3 and 2 hay racks and filled with H, S or L, and H or S, respectively. The experiments lasted from the 27th day of pregnancy until the day of parturition and 24-h video recordings (10 does/experiment were evaluated throughout the experiment. The events of carrying the nest materials from the hay racks were registered. In experiment 2/a, the frequency of nest material carrying was highest on the day of parturition. The preferred nest material was L (compared to H and S on each experimental day except day 30 of pregnancy. At the day of kindling, 87.5, 6.3 and 6.3% of the nests contained pure L, mixed L-H and L-S, respectively. In experiment 2/b, the frequency of nest material carrying (mostly S

  13. Intelligent nesting system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đuričić Zoran

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The economy of the process for the manufacture of parts from sheet metal plates depends on successful solution of the process of cutting various parts from sheet metal plates. Essentially, the problem is to arrange contours within a defined space so that they take up minimal surface. When taken in this way, the considered problem assumes a more general nature; it refers to the utilization of a flat surface, and it can represent a general principle of arranging 2D contours on a certain surface. The paper presents a conceptual solution and a prototypal intelligent nesting system for optimal cutting. The problem of nesting can generally be divided into two intellectual phases: recognition and classification of shapes, and arrangement of recognized shapes on a given surface. In solving these problems, methods of artificial intelligence are applied. In the paper, trained neural network is used for recognition of shapes; on the basis of raster record of a part's drawing, it recognizes the part's shape and which class it belongs to. By means of the expert system, based on rules defined on the basis of acquisition of knowledge from manufacturing sections, as well as on the basis of certain mathematical algorithms, parts are arranged on the arrangement surface. Both systems can also work independently, having been built on the modular principle. The system uses various product models as elements of integration for the entire system. .

  14. Neste plans three projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    Neste Chemicals (Helsinki) is discussing three joint ventures with local authorities in China, says Mikko Haapavaara, v.p./Asia. The projects should help the Finnish producer to increase sales in Asia by a considerable amount by 2000, he says. The plan involves production of polyethylene (PE), unsaturated polyester resins and PE compounding-all core operations. Sites have not been selected, but Shanghai is the favored location for the PE operations. The company is also looking at a site in the south, near Hong Kong, and at locations near Beijing. The PE plant would need to be near an ethylene unit, says Haapavaara. The PE resin plant would be designed to produce about 150,000 m.t./year and would cost about No. 150 million. A part of the output would need to be exported to take care of the financing, the company says. A feasibility study now under way with the potential Chinese partners should be completed by the end of March. The plant would use Neste's linear low-density PE process, proved in a world-scale plant at Beringen, Belgium. The compounding units would produce specialty PE material for the wire and cable and pipe industry. The company is a joint venture partner in a propane dehydrogenation/polypropylene (PP) plant and a minority partner in a Qualipoly, the 20,000 m.t./year unsaturated polyester resin producer

  15. PyNEST: a convenient interface to the NEST simulator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen M Eppler

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The neural simulation tool NEST (http://www.nest-initiative.org is a simulator for heterogeneous networks of point neurons or neurons with a small number of compartments. It aims at simulations of large neural systems with more than 10^4 neurons and 10^7 to 10^9 synapses. NEST is implemented in C++ and can be used on a large range of architectures from single-core laptops over multi-core desktop computers to super-computers with thousands of processor cores. Python (http://www.python.org is a modern programming language that has recently received considerable attention in Computational Neuroscience. Python is easy to learn and has many extension modules for scientific computing (e.g. http://www.scipy.org. In this contribution we describe PyNEST, the new user interface to NEST. PyNEST combines NEST’s efficient simulation kernel with the simplicity and flexibility of Python. Compared to NEST’s native simulation language SLI, PyNEST makes it easier to set up simulations, generate stimuli, and analyze simulation results. We describe how PyNEST connects NEST and Python and how it is implemented. With a number of examples, we illustrate how it is used.

  16. Nest site selection by Hypsiboas faber(Anura, Hylidae in Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André L. Luza

    2015-12-01

    condition for eggs and tadpole development. Nest architecture was not related to habitat characteristics, which may be determined by other factors, as nest checking by females before amplexus. Nest site selection should increase offspring survival as well the breeding success of Hypsiboas faber.

  17. Nest predation and reproductive traits in small passerines: a comparative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanes, Miguel; Suárez, Francisco

    Nest predation can be a decisive factor in the evolution of bird reproduction strategies. This paper compares several reproductive traits in small passerines on the Iberian Peninsula (n=31) with the probability of daily nest survival from predation. We consider the phylogenetic relationships between species by means of an analysis according to three models of evolutionary change: Brownian, punctuational and GRAFEN'S arbitrary. In this comparative evolutionary scenario, clutch size, egg volume and incubation period appear not to change in relation to nest predation, while the nestling phase duration is a positively-related parameter to daily nest survival from predation. These results are consistent for all models of evolutionary change. Thus, from the perspective of nest predation, the nestling period is the most important evolutionary parameter in small passerines. A hypothetical influence of nest predation on passerine clutch and egg size should only be regarded as an indirect factor, linked to the relationship between these parameters and the duration of the nestling period.

  18. Dynamics of habitat selection in birds: adaptive response to nest predation depends on multiple factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devries, J H; Clark, R G; Armstrong, L M

    2018-05-01

    According to theory, habitat selection by organisms should reflect underlying habitat-specific fitness consequences and, in birds, reproductive success has a strong impact on population growth in many species. Understanding processes affecting habitat selection also is critically important for guiding conservation initiatives. Northern pintails (Anas acuta) are migratory, temperate-nesting birds that breed in greatest concentrations in the prairies of North America and their population remains below conservation goals. Habitat loss and changing land use practices may have decoupled formerly reliable fitness cues with respect to nest habitat choices. We used data from 62 waterfowl nesting study sites across prairie Canada (1997-2009) to examine nest survival, a primary fitness metric, at multiple scales, in combination with estimates of habitat selection (i.e., nests versus random points), to test for evidence of adaptive habitat choices. We used the same habitat covariates in both analyses. Pintail nest survival varied with nest initiation date, nest habitat, pintail breeding pair density, landscape composition and annual moisture. Selection of nesting habitat reflected patterns in nest survival in some cases, indicating adaptive selection, but strength of habitat selection varied seasonally and depended on population density and landscape composition. Adaptive selection was most evident late in the breeding season, at low breeding densities and in cropland-dominated landscapes. Strikingly, at high breeding density, habitat choice appears to become maladaptive relative to nest predation. At larger spatial scales, the relative availability of habitats with low versus high nest survival, and changing land use practices, may limit the reproductive potential of pintails.

  19. Reproductive Consequences of Nest Site Use in Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska: Potential Lasting Effects of an Introduced Predator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brie A. Drummond

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined the reproductive consequences of differential nest site use in Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma furcata in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, where birds on islands where foxes were introduced nest in rocky substrate rather than in typical soil habitat. We investigated how physical and microclimatic nest site characteristics influenced storm-petrel breeding success 20 years after fox removal. We then examined whether those nest site characteristics that affected success were related to the amount of rock that composed the nest. In both years of our study, nest temperature had the strongest influence on chick survival and overall reproductive success, appearing in all the top models and alone explaining 14-35% of the variation in chick survival. The relationship between reproductive success and nest temperature was positive in both years, with higher survival in warmer nests. In turn, the best predictor of nest temperature was the amount of rock that composed the site. Rockier nests had colder average temperatures, which were driven by lower daily minimum temperatures, compared to nests with more soil. Thus, the rockiness of the nest site appeared to affect chick survival and overall reproductive success through its influence on nest temperature. This study suggests that the use of rocky nest sites, presumed to be a result of historic predation from introduced foxes, could decrease breeding success in this recovering population, and thus be a long-lasting effect of introduced predators.

  20. Pattern-Induced Covert Category Learning in Songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2015-07-20

    Language is uniquely human, but its acquisition may involve cognitive capacities shared with other species. During development, language experience alters speech sound (phoneme) categorization. Newborn infants distinguish the phonemes in all languages but by 10 months show adult-like greater sensitivity to native language phonemic contrasts than non-native contrasts. Distributional theories account for phonetic learning by positing that infants infer category boundaries from modal distributions of speech sounds along acoustic continua. For example, tokens of the sounds /b/ and /p/ cluster around different mean voice onset times. To disambiguate overlapping distributions, contextual theories propose that phonetic category learning is informed by higher-level patterns (e.g., words) in which phonemes normally occur. For example, the vowel sounds /Ι/ and /e/ can occupy similar perceptual spaces but can be distinguished in the context of "with" and "well." Both distributional and contextual cues appear to function in speech acquisition. Non-human species also benefit from distributional cues for category learning, but whether category learning benefits from contextual information in non-human animals is unknown. The use of higher-level patterns to guide lower-level category learning may reflect uniquely human capacities tied to language acquisition or more general learning abilities reflecting shared neurobiological mechanisms. Using songbirds, European starlings, we show that higher-level pattern learning covertly enhances categorization of the natural communication sounds. This observation mirrors the support for contextual theories of phonemic category learning in humans and demonstrates a general form of learning not unique to humans or language. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Using Artificial Nests to Study Nest Predation in Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belthoff, James R.

    2005-01-01

    A simple and effective field exercise that demonstrates factors affecting predation on bird nests is described. With instructor guidance, students in high school biology or college-level biology, ecology, animal behavior, wildlife management or ornithology laboratory courses can collaborate to design field experiments related to nest depredation.

  2. Molecular identification of fungal isolates and hatching success of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candan, Esra Deniz

    2018-02-26

    The aim of this study is to investigate the fungal diversity of green turtle nests and to examine phylogenetic relationships among these isolates. During the nesting season, samples of intra-nest sand and failed eggs were collected from 25% of the surviving nests in Sugözü Beaches, which are amongst the most important nesting beaches for endangered green turtles in the Mediterranean. Twenty-three fungi were identified by molecular techniques. Fungal isolates belonged to genera Aspergillus, Emericella, Rhizopus, Actinomucor and Apophysomyces with two undescribed species. Aspergillus variecolor, Aspergillus quadrilinieatus, Aspergillus tubingensis, Rhizopus oryzae, Actinomucor elegans and Apophysomyces variabilis were firstly detected in all sea turtle nests within this study. Our results demonstrate that 36.4% of the nests had fungal contamination. Also hatching success of the nests contaminated by fungi were significantly lower than the uncontaminated nests (P = 0.029). Also, this may represent a threat to marine turtles and a risk for the health of conservation workers. This study is the first molecular phylogenetic study associated with sea turtle nests in the eastern Mediterranean coast and contributes to the wider body of literature on fungal invasion of sea turtle nests with firstly isolated species. These findings are important for improving potential conservation measures for the nest sites.

  3. Songbirds as sentinels of mercury in terrestrial habitats of eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Adams, Evan M.; Cristol, Daniel A.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Edmonds, Samuel T.; Gray, Carrie E.; Hoskins, Bart; Lane, Oksana P.; Sauer, Amy; Tear, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for Hg across diverse habitats because they can be effectively sampled, have well-defined and small territories, and can integrate pollutant exposure over time and space. We analyzed blood total Hg concentrations from 8,446 individuals of 102 species of songbirds, sampled on their breeding territories across 161 sites in eastern North America [geometric mean Hg concentration = 0.25 μg/g wet weight (ww), range freshwater or estuarine) than upland forests. Generally, adults exhibited higher blood Hg concentrations than juveniles within each habitat type. We used model results to examine species-specific differences in blood Hg concentrations during this time period, identifying potential Hg sentinels in each region and habitat type. Our results present the most comprehensive assessment of blood Hg concentrations in eastern songbirds to date, and thereby provide a valuable framework for designing and evaluating risk assessment schemes using sentinel songbird species in the time after implementation of the new atmospheric Hg standards.

  4. Songbirds as Sentinels of Mercury in Terrestrial Foodwebs of Eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for mercury because they are relatively easy to sample, have well-defined and small territories, and integra...

  5. Relative influence of male and female care in determining nestling mass in a migratory songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk Stodola; Eric Linder; David A. Buehler; Kathlee Franzreb; Daniel Kim; Robert Cooper

    2010-01-01

    Biparental care is common in birds with the allocation of effort being highly variable between the sexes. In most songbird species, the female typically provides the most care in the breeding cycle with both parents providing care when provisioning young. Food provisioning should be directly related to offspring quality; however, the relative influence each parent has...

  6. Songbird Community Variation Among Five Levels of Overstory Retention in Northern Alabama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian A. Lesak; Yong Wang; Callie Jo Schweitzer

    2004-01-01

    We compared songbird communities among varying degrees of overstory tree retention in the oak-hickory forest of the southern Mid-Cumberland Plateau region. Three 20-ha complete block replicates of 5 experimental treatments (15 treatment units, 4 ha per unit) were used. The five treatments were operational shelterwood stands with target overstory retention levels of...

  7. Riparian Songbird Abundance a Decade after Cattle Removal on Hart Mountain and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan L. Earnst; Jennifer A. Ballard; David S. Dobkin

    2005-01-01

    Cattle were removed from the high desert riparian habitats of Hart Mountain and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuges in 1990. This study compares songbird abundance in 2000-2001 to that in 1991-1993 on 69 permanent plots. Of the 51 species for which detections were sufficient to calculate changes in abundance, 71 percent (36/51) exhibited a positive trend and 76 percent (...

  8. Observations of Cape Parrot, Poicephalus robustus, nesting in the wild

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Four eggs were laid in early-August and three chicks successfully raised. Incubation period was estimated at 30–32 days. Two nestlings fledged successfully and one (the youngest) was removed because it was injured in the nest and would not have survived. Fledging period was estimated at 80 days. Ostrich 2004, 75(3): ...

  9. Nesting ecology of Greater Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) in riparian and palustrine wetlands of eastern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWethy, D.B.; Austin, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    Little information exists on breeding Greater Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) in riparian wetlands of the Intermountain West. We examined the nesting ecology of Sandhill Cranes associated with riparian and palustrine wetlands in the Henry's Fork Watershed in eastern Idaho in 2003. We located 36 active crane nests, 19 in riparian wetlands and 17 in palustrine wetlands. Nesting sites were dominated by rushes (Juncus spp.), sedges (Carex spp.), Broad-leaved Cattail (Typha latifolia) and willow (Salix spp.), and adjacent foraging areas were primarily composed of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.),Rabbitbrush (Ericameria bloomeri) bunch grasses, upland forbs, Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) and cottonwood (Populus spp.). Mean water depth surrounding nests was 23 cm (SD = 22). A majority of nests (61%) were surrounded by vegetation between 3060 cm, 23% by vegetation 60 cm in height. We were able to determine the fate of 29 nests, of which 20 were successful (69%). Daily nest survival was 0.986 (95% LCI 0.963, UCI 0.995), equivalent to a Mayfield nest success of 0.654 (95% LCI 0.324, UCI 0.853). Model selection favored models with the covariates vegetation type, vegetation height, and water depth. Nest survival increased with increasing water depth surrounding nest sites. Mean water depth was higher around successful nests (30 cm, SD = 21) than unsuccessful nests (15 cm, SD 22). Further research is needed to evaluate the relative contribution of cranes nesting in palustrine and riparian wetlands distributed widely across the Intermountain West.

  10. INCREASING THE ACCURACY OF MAYFIELD ESTIMATES USING KNOWLEDGE OF NEST AGE

    Science.gov (United States)

    This presentation will focus on the error introduced in nest-survival modeling when nest-cycles are assumed to be of constant length. I will present the types of error that may occur, including biases resulting from incorrect estimates of expected values, as well as biases that o...

  11. Nesting characteristics of mourning doves in central New Mexico: Response to riparian forest change

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Max Smith; Deborah M. Finch; David L. Hawksworth

    2012-01-01

    Riparian forests of the American Southwest are especially prone to changes in composition and structure due to natural and anthropogenic factors. To determine how breeding mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) respond to these changes, we examined nest site use and nest survival in control plots, fuel reduction plots before and after mechanical thinning, and post-wildfire...

  12. Habitat structure and diversity influence the nesting success of an endangered large cavity-nesting bird, the Southern Ground-hornbill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Combrink

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3 km surrounding the nest site. Identifying which factors affect nesting success will allow for targeted management efforts to ensure the long-term survival of SGHs both within and outside of protected areas. Habitat structure and diversity of the vegetation surrounding the nest were the most influential factors on SGH nesting success. SGHs require open grassy areas for foraging and areas with large trees for nesting. Savanna habitat drivers such as elephants and fire should be managed to ensure that sufficient large trees are able to establish in the landscape and to control for bush encroachment. This is especially important in areas earmarked for SGH reintroductions. Nest sites of SGHs should be monitored to mitigate any structural changes in the habitat surrounding the nests. Nests should be modified or artificial nest sites provided, where nests have been damaged or lost, to ensure the continued presence of these birds in African savannas. Conservation implications: Habitat structure and diversity surrounding Southern Groundhornbill nests has a significant impact on their nesting success. This highlights the importance of monitoring vegetation change in savanna habitats where they occur. Management of savanna areas should take factors that influence bush encroachment, such as fire and elephants, into account to ensure the long-term persistence of these birds.

  13. Songbird - AN Innovative Uas Combining the Advantages of Fixed Wing and Multi Rotor Uas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thamm, F.-P.; Brieger, N.; Neitzke, K.-P.; Meyer, M.; Jansen, R.; Mönninghof, M.

    2015-08-01

    This paper describes a family of innovative fixed wing UAS with can vertical take off and land - the SONGBIRD family. With nominal payloads starting from 0.5 kg they can take off and land safely like a multi-rotor UAV, removing the need for an airstrip for the critical phases of operation. A specially designed flight controller allows stable flight at every point of the transition phase between VTOL and fixed wing mode. Because of this smooth process with a all time stable flight, very expensive payload like hyperspectral sensors or advanced optical cameras can be used. Due to their design all airplanes of the SONGBIRD family have excellent horizontal flight properties, a maximum speed of over 110 km/h, good gliding properties and long flight times of up to 1 h. Missions were flown in wind speeds up to 18 m/s. At every time of the flight it is possible to interrupt the mission and hover over a point of interest for detail investigations. The complete flight, including take-off and landing can be performed by autopilot. Designed for daily use in professional environments, SONGBIRDs are built out of glass-fibre and carbon composites for a long service life. For safe operations comprehensive security features are implemented, for example redundant flight controllers and sensors, advanced power management system and mature fail safe procedures. The aircraft can be dismantled into small parts for transportation. SONGBIRDS are available for different pay loads, from 500 g to 2 kg. The SONGBIRD family are interesting tools combining the advantages of multi-copter and fixed wing UAS.

  14. Jordan Isomorphisms on Nest Subalgebras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aili Yang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is devoted to the study of Jordan isomorphisms on nest subalgebras of factor von Neumann algebras. It is shown that every Jordan isomorphism ϕ between the two nest subalgebras algMβ and algMγ is either an isomorphism or an anti-isomorphism.

  15. Neste Corporation - a successful year

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ihamuotila, J.

    1991-01-01

    The past year proved a successful one for Neste Corporation. Profitability was good and operations were consistently developed. Neste is committed to giving high priority to productivity and know- how to ensure that this success continues into the future. Important developments affecting the structure of Neste Corporation during 1990 included the amalgamation of Neste's oil-related activities into a single division, the increasing concentration of Neste Chemicals, activities in Central and Southern Europe and a major strengthening of oil exploration and production operations. Neste Oil turned in a good result during 1990. Neste imported a total of 8.9 million tonnes of crude oil during 1990. Imports from the Soviet Union at 5.2 million tonnes, were over 2 million tonnes less than planned. Some 2.5 million tonnes were imported from the North Sea, and 1.2 million tonnes from the Middle East. The year was one of expansion, diversification, and solid profit for Neste Chemicals. Net sales grew by 18 % compared to 1989 and the division recorded a satisfactory performance. Petrochemicals and polyolefins production increased suhstantially as a result of plants completed, acquired, or leased during 1989. The gas division's net sales during 1990 were 46 % higher than during 1989. This growth largely resulted from an increase in the consumption of natural gas and an expansion in the volume of international IPG business. The division's profitability remained satisfactory

  16. The impact of increased food availability on reproduction in a long-distance migratory songbird: implications for environmental change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M Seward

    Full Text Available Many populations of migratory songbirds are declining or shifting in distribution. This is likely due to environmental changes that alter factors such as food availability that may have an impact on survival and/or breeding success. We tested the impact of experimentally supplemented food on the breeding success over three years of northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe, a species in decline over much of Europe. The number of offspring fledged over the season was higher for food-supplemented birds than for control birds. The mechanisms for this effect were that food supplementation advanced breeding date, which, together with increased resources, allowed further breeding attempts. While food supplementation did not increase the clutch size, hatching success or number of chicks fledged per breeding attempt, it did increase chick size in one year of the study. The increased breeding success was greater for males than females; males could attempt to rear simultaneous broods with multiple females as well as attempting second broods, whereas females could only increase their breeding effort via second broods. Multiple brooding is rare in the study population, but this study demonstrates the potential for changes in food availability to affect wheatear breeding productivity, primarily via phenotypic flexibility in the number of breeding attempts. Our results have implications for our understanding of how wheatears may respond to natural changes in food availability due to climate changes or changes in habitat management.

  17. The impact of increased food availability on reproduction in a long-distance migratory songbird: implications for environmental change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seward, Adam M; Beale, Colin M; Gilbert, Lucy; Jones, T Hefin; Thomas, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Many populations of migratory songbirds are declining or shifting in distribution. This is likely due to environmental changes that alter factors such as food availability that may have an impact on survival and/or breeding success. We tested the impact of experimentally supplemented food on the breeding success over three years of northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe), a species in decline over much of Europe. The number of offspring fledged over the season was higher for food-supplemented birds than for control birds. The mechanisms for this effect were that food supplementation advanced breeding date, which, together with increased resources, allowed further breeding attempts. While food supplementation did not increase the clutch size, hatching success or number of chicks fledged per breeding attempt, it did increase chick size in one year of the study. The increased breeding success was greater for males than females; males could attempt to rear simultaneous broods with multiple females as well as attempting second broods, whereas females could only increase their breeding effort via second broods. Multiple brooding is rare in the study population, but this study demonstrates the potential for changes in food availability to affect wheatear breeding productivity, primarily via phenotypic flexibility in the number of breeding attempts. Our results have implications for our understanding of how wheatears may respond to natural changes in food availability due to climate changes or changes in habitat management.

  18. Mourning Dove nesting habitat and nest success in Central Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drobney, R.D.; Schulz, J.H.; Sheriff, S.L.; Fuemmeler, W.J.

    1998-01-01

    Previous Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) nesting studies conducted in areas containing a mixture of edge and continuous habitats have focused on edge habitats. Consequently, little is known about the potential contribution of continuous habitats to dove production. In this study we evaluated the relative importance of these two extensive habitat types by monitoring the habitat use and nest success of 59 radio-marked doves during 1990-1991 in central Missouri. Of 83 nests initiated by our marked sample, most (81.9%) were located in edge habitats. Although continuous habitats were selected less as nest sites, the proportion of successful nests did not differ significantly from that in edge habitats. Our data indicate that continuous habitats should not be considered marginal nesting habitat. If the intensity of use and nest success that we observed are representative regionally or nationally, continuous habitats could contribute substantially to annual Mourning Dove production because of the high availability of these habitats throughout much of the Mourning Dove breeding range.

  19. The Nest Home

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickerill, Heath [Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO (United States)

    2016-07-11

    The purpose of the project was to build a competitive solar-powered house for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 held in Irvine, California. The house, named the Nest Home, was an innovative design that works with the environment to meet the needs of the occupants, identified as a growing family. Reused materials were instrumental in the design. Three refurbished shipping containers composed the primary structure of the house, creating an open floor plan that defies common architecture for container homes. The exterior siding was made of deconstructed shipping pallets collected locally. Other recycled products included carpet composed of discarded fishing nets, denim batting made of recycled blue jeans that outperform traditional fiberglass insulation in sound proofing and thermal resistance, and kitchen cabinets that were purchased used and refinished. Collectively these elements formed a well-balanced blend of modern design, comfort, and sustainability. The house was Missouri University of Science and Technology’s sixth entry in the DOE Solar Decathlon. Missouri S&T has been invited to compete in six of the seven decathlons held, more than any other university worldwide. The house was brought back to Rolla after the Decathlon in California where it has been placed in its permanent location on the S&T campus.

  20. Nesting ecology of Arctic loons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Margaret R.

    1979-01-01

    Arctic Loons were studied on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, from the time of their arrival in May to their departure in September, in 1974 and 1975. Pairs arrived on breeding ponds as soon as sufficient meltwater was available to allow their take-off and landing. Loons apparently do not initiate nests immediately after their arrival, even when nest-sites are available. Delayed egg-laying may be dependent on a period of yolk formation. Delaying yolk formation until after arrival on nest ponds is an adaptation by loons to the variable time suitable habitat becomes available for nesting. Predation of eggs by Glaucous Gulls, Long-tailed and Parasitic jaegers and foxes varied in relation to the location of the nest-site, and the availability of alternate prey. Hatching success was the lowest recorded for Arctic Loons (5%) in 1974, when eggs of both loons and Cackling Geese were taken in large numbers by predators. Hatching success increased to 32% in 1975 when an abundance of tundra voles was observed. No loon eggs hatched after the hatching of the Cackling Goose eggs when this alternate prey was no longer available. Nests destroyed by foxes were predominantly along shorelines, and those by gulls and jaegers were predominantly on islands. Nest-site selection by Arctic Loons may reflect an adaptive response to varying selective pressures by their predators.

  1. Bristol Bay, Alaska Subarea ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting seabirds (alcids, pelagic birds), gulls, terns, diving birds, and raptors in the Bristol Bay...

  2. Determinants of abundance and effects of blood-sucking flying insects in the nest of a hole-nesting bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomás, Gustavo; Merino, Santiago; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Moreno, Juan; Morales, Judith; Lobato, Elisa

    2008-05-01

    Compared to non-flying nest-dwelling ectoparasites, the biology of most species of flying ectoparasites and its potential impact on avian hosts is poorly known and rarely, if ever, reported. In this study we explore for the first time the factors that may affect biting midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) and black fly (Diptera: Simuliidae) abundances in the nest cavity of a bird, the hole-nesting blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, and report their effects on adults and nestlings during reproduction. The abundance of biting midges was positively associated with nest mass, parental provisioning effort and abundance of blowflies and black flies, while negatively associated with nestling condition. Furthermore, a medication treatment to reduce blood parasitaemias in adult birds revealed that biting midges were more abundant in nests of females whose blood parasitaemias were experimentally reduced. This finding would be in accordance with these insect vectors attacking preferentially uninfected or less infected hosts to increase their own survival. The abundance of black flies in the population was lower than that of biting midges and increased in nests with later hatching dates. No significant effect of black fly abundance on adult or nestling condition was detected. Blood-sucking flying insects may impose specific, particular selection pressures on their hosts and more research is needed to better understand these host-parasite associations.

  3. Tagging Piglets at the Farrowing Nest in the Wild: Some Preliminary Guidelines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BAUBET, Eric

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Neonate ungulate often show high rates of mortality due to predation, starvation, orexposure to bad weather, leading to losses frequently exceeding 50%. Wild boar piglets are known tosuffer from thermoregulation insufficiency, which probably explain the nest construction behaviour insows. We thus tried to develop a method for tagging piglets inside their farrowing (or birth nest toassess piglet survival from few days after their birth onwards. Sows fitted-out with VHF collars wereradio-tracked to determine parturition time, and to get a rough idea of the possible birth nest location.Then, with a handled antenna we approached on foot the birth nest, and piglets were caught, taggedand fitted-out with a backpack transmitter and released inside the nest. Temporal movements ofmother and litter association were monitored, as long as possible. Results on sow behaviour and tacticagainst human approach, piglets body mass, piglet reaction, and survival in their early lifetime weredescribed.

  4. Pre-nesting and nesting behavior of the Swainson's warbler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meanley, B.

    1969-01-01

    The Swainson?s Warbler is one of the least known of southern birds. Although fairly common in some parts of its summer range, observations of its breeding biology have been made by very few persons. The present study was conducted mostly at Macon, Georgia; Pendleton Ferry, Arkansas; and Dismal Swamp, Virginia....In central Georgia and east-central Arkansas, Swainson?s Warblers usually arrive on their territories during the first two weeks in April. Territories in several localities ranged in size from 0.3 to 4.8 acres. A color-marked Arkansas male occupied the same territory for at least four months. Hostile encounters between territorial male Swainson?s Warblers usually take place along the boundary of adjacent territories. Paired males were more aggressive than unpaired males. Toward the end of an encounter one of the two males would usually perform a display in which the wing and tail feathers were spread and the tail vibrated. Following boundary encounters males drifted back onto their territories and usually sang unbroken courses of songs for several minutes.....During pre-nesting at Macon, a mated pair spent the day mostly on the ground within 20 feet of each other, often foragin g 3 to 4 feet apart. What may have been a form of courtship display, in which the male flew from a perch down to the female and either pecked her rump or pounced on her, occurred about three times each hour throughout the day. During this period the male sang less than at other times during the breeding season.....First nests are usually built by the first week in May. Although other investigators reported finding nests of this species outside of the defended territory, all nests that I have found were within the territory. The large, bulky nest of this species usually is placed 2-6 feet above the ground. It is built by the female from materials gathered close to the nest site; and takes two or three days to complete.....Three and occasionally four white eggs are laid. The female

  5. Hierarchically nested river landform sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasternack, G. B.; Weber, M. D.; Brown, R. A.; Baig, D.

    2017-12-01

    River corridors exhibit landforms nested within landforms repeatedly down spatial scales. In this study we developed, tested, and implemented a new way to create river classifications by mapping domains of fluvial processes with respect to the hierarchical organization of topographic complexity that drives fluvial dynamism. We tested this approach on flow convergence routing, a morphodynamic mechanism with different states depending on the structure of nondimensional topographic variability. Five nondimensional landform types with unique functionality (nozzle, wide bar, normal channel, constricted pool, and oversized) represent this process at any flow. When this typology is nested at base flow, bankfull, and floodprone scales it creates a system with up to 125 functional types. This shows how a single mechanism produces complex dynamism via nesting. Given the classification, we answered nine specific scientific questions to investigate the abundance, sequencing, and hierarchical nesting of these new landform types using a 35-km gravel/cobble river segment of the Yuba River in California. The nested structure of flow convergence routing landforms found in this study revealed that bankfull landforms are nested within specific floodprone valley landform types, and these types control bankfull morphodynamics during moderate to large floods. As a result, this study calls into question the prevailing theory that the bankfull channel of a gravel/cobble river is controlled by in-channel, bankfull, and/or small flood flows. Such flows are too small to initiate widespread sediment transport in a gravel/cobble river with topographic complexity.

  6. Historical versus contemporary climate forcing on the annual nesting variability of loggerhead sea turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Arendt

    Full Text Available A recent analysis suggested that historical climate forcing on the oceanic habitat of neonate sea turtles explained two-thirds of interannual variability in contemporary loggerhead (Caretta caretta sea turtle nest counts in Florida, where nearly 90% of all nesting by this species in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean occurs. Here, we show that associations between annual nest counts and climate conditions decades prior to nest counts and those conditions one year prior to nest counts were not significantly different. Examination of annual nest count and climate data revealed that statistical artifacts influenced the reported 31-year lag association with nest counts. The projected importance of age 31 neophytes to annual nest counts between 2020 and 2043 was modeled using observed nest counts between 1989 and 2012. Assuming consistent survival rates among cohorts for a 5% population growth trajectory and that one third of the mature female population nests annually, the 41% decline in annual nest counts observed during 1998-2007 was not projected for 2029-2038. This finding suggests that annual nest count trends are more influenced by remigrants than neophytes. Projections under the 5% population growth scenario also suggest that the Peninsular Recovery Unit could attain the demographic recovery criteria of 106,100 annual nests by 2027 if nest counts in 2019 are at least comparable to 2012. Because the first year of life represents only 4% of the time elapsed through age 31, cumulative survival at sea across decades explains most cohort variability, and thus, remigrant population size. Pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, staggered implementation of protection measures for all loggerhead life stages has taken place since the 1970s. We suggest that the 1998-2007 nesting decline represented a lagged perturbation response to historical anthropogenic impacts, and that subsequent nest count increases since 2008 reflect a potential recovery response.

  7. Landscape-moderated bird nest predation in hedges and forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, Martin; Schlinkert, Hella; Holzschuh, Andrea; Fischer, Christina; Scherber, Christoph; Trnka, Alfréd; Tscharntke, Teja; Batáry, Péter

    2012-11-01

    Landscape-scale agricultural intensification has caused severe declines in biodiversity. Hedges and forest remnants may mitigate biodiversity loss by enhancing landscape heterogeneity and providing habitat to a wide range of species, including birds. However, nest predation, the major cause of reproductive failure of birds, has been shown to be higher in forest edges than in forest interiors. Little is known about how spatial arrangement (configuration) of hedges affects the avian nest predation. We performed an experiment with artificial ground and elevated nests (resembling yellowhammer and whitethroat nests) baited with quail and plasticine eggs. Nests were placed in three habitat types with different degrees of isolation from forests: forest edges, hedges connected to forests and hedges isolated from forests. Nest predation was highest in forest edges, lowest in hedges connected to forests and intermediate in isolated hedges. In the early breeding season, we found similar nest predation on ground and elevated nests, but in the late breeding season nest predation was higher on ground nests than on elevated nests. Small mammals were the main predators of ground nests and appeared to be responsible for the increase in predation from early to late breeding season, whereas the elevated nests were mainly depredated by small birds and small mammals. High predation pressure at forest edges was probably caused by both forest and open-landscape predators. The influence of forest predators may be lower at hedges, leading to lower predation pressure than in forest edges. Higher predation pressure in isolated than connected hedges might be an effect of concentration of predators in these isolated habitats. We conclude that landscape configuration of hedges is important in nest predation, with connected hedges allowing higher survival than isolated hedges and forest edges.

  8. Male songbirds provide indirect parental care by guarding females during incubation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedy, B.C.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    Across many taxa, guarding of fertile mates is a widespread tactic that enhances paternity assurance. However, guarding of mates can also occur during the nonfertile period, and the fitness benefits of this behavior are unclear. Male songbirds, for example, sometimes guard nonfertile females during foraging recesses from incubation. We hypothesized that guarding postreproductive mates may have important, but unrecognized, benefits by enhancing female foraging efficiency, thereby increasing time spent incubating eggs. We tested the hypothesis in 2 songbird species by examining female behavior during natural and experimentally induced absences of males. Male absence caused increased vigilance in foraging females that decreased their efficiency and resulted in less time spent incubating eggs. Male guarding of nonfertile females can thus provide a previously unrecognized form of indirect parental care.

  9. Area-specific migration and recruitment of new neurons in the adult songbird brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vellema, Michiel; Van der Linden, Annemie; Gahr, Manfred

    2010-01-01

    sensitive to plastic changes, such as nucleus higher vocal center (HVC) and area X, recruited similar numbers of new neurons as their surrounding brain tissues, employing no specific directional mechanisms. The distribution pattern in and around HVC could best be described by a random displacement model......Neuron recruitment has been implicated in morphological and functional plasticity in the adult brain. Whereas mammals restrict neuron recruitment specifically to two regions of known plasticity, the hippocampus and olfactory bulb, newborn neurons are found throughout the forebrain of adult...... songbirds. In order to study the area-specificity of the widespread proliferation and recruitment in the songbird brain, six adult male canaries received repetitive intraperitoneal injections of the mitotic marker BrdU (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine) and were sacrificed after 24 hours to study proliferation...

  10. Greater sage-grouse nest predators in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse, populations have declined across their range due to the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of habitat. Habitat alterations can lead not only to vegetative changes but also to shifts in animal behavior and predator composition that may influence population vital rates, such as nest success. For example, common ravens Corvus corax are sage-grouse nest predators, and common raven abundance is positively associated with human-caused habitat alterations. Because nest success is a central component to sage-grouse population persistence, research that identifies factors influencing nest success will better inform conservation efforts. We used videography to unequivocally identify sage-grouse nest predators within the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada, USA, from 2009 to 2011 and used maximum likelihood to calculate daily probability of nest survival. In the Virginia Mountains, fires, energy exploration, and other anthropogenic activities have altered historic sage-grouse habitat. We monitored 71 sage-grouse nests during the study, placing video cameras at 39 nests. Cumulative nest survival for all nests was 22.4% (95% CI, 13.0–33.4%), a survival rate that was significantly lower than other published results for sage-grouse in the Great Basin. Depredation was the primary cause for nest failure in our study (82.5%), and common ravens were the most frequent sage-grouse nest predator, accounting for 46.7% of nest depredations. We also successfully documented a suite of mammalian and reptilian species depredating sage-grouse nests, including some predators never previously confirmed in the literature to be sage-grouse nest predators (i.e., bobcats Lynx rufus and long-tailed weasels Mephitis frenata). Within the high elevation, disturbed habitat of the Virginia Mountains, low sage-grouse nest success may be limiting sage-grouse population growth. These results suggest that management actions that

  11. Advantages of comparative studies in songbirds to understand the neural basis of sensorimotor integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Karagh; James, Logan S; Sakata, Jon T; Prather, Jonathan F

    2017-08-01

    Sensorimotor integration is the process through which the nervous system creates a link between motor commands and associated sensory feedback. This process allows for the acquisition and refinement of many behaviors, including learned communication behaviors such as speech and birdsong. Consequently, it is important to understand fundamental mechanisms of sensorimotor integration, and comparative analyses of this process can provide vital insight. Songbirds offer a powerful comparative model system to study how the nervous system links motor and sensory information for learning and control. This is because the acquisition, maintenance, and control of birdsong critically depend on sensory feedback. Furthermore, there is an incredible diversity of song organizations across songbird species, ranging from songs with simple, stereotyped sequences to songs with complex sequencing of vocal gestures, as well as a wide diversity of song repertoire sizes. Despite this diversity, the neural circuitry for song learning, control, and maintenance remains highly similar across species. Here, we highlight the utility of songbirds for the analysis of sensorimotor integration and the insights about mechanisms of sensorimotor integration gained by comparing different songbird species. Key conclusions from this comparative analysis are that variation in song sequence complexity seems to covary with the strength of feedback signals in sensorimotor circuits and that sensorimotor circuits contain distinct representations of elements in the vocal repertoire, possibly enabling evolutionary variation in repertoire sizes. We conclude our review by highlighting important areas of research that could benefit from increased comparative focus, with particular emphasis on the integration of new technologies. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Concealed by darkness: interactions between predatory bats and nocturnally migrating songbirds illuminated by DNA sequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Ibáñez, Carlos; Popa-Lisseanu, Ana G.; Pastor-Beviá, David; García-Mudarra, Juan L.; Juste, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Recently, several species of aerial-hawking bats have been found to prey on migrating songbirds, but details on this behaviour and its relevance for bird migration are still unclear. We sequenced avian DNA in feather-containing scats of the bird-feeding bat Nyctalus lasiopterus from Spain collected during bird migration seasons. We found very high prey diversity, with 31 bird species from eight families of Passeriformes, almost all of which were nocturnally flying sub-Saharan migrants. Moreov...

  13. Comment on "No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    A recent article published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications by Hale et al. (2014) is entitled, “No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds.” The conclusion stated in that title, unfortunately, is based on inappropriate statistical analysis of data collected by the authors. In fact, their data provide evidence of potential displacement by wind turbines in 2 of the 3 species considered.

  14. Epidemiology of a Salmonella enterica subsp. Enterica serovar Typhimurium strain associated with a songbird outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blehert, David S.; Hernandez, Sonia M.; Keel, Kevin; Sanchez, Susan; Trees, Eija; ,

    2012-01-01

    Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is responsible for the majority of salmonellosis cases worldwide. This Salmonella serovar is also responsible for die-offs in songbird populations. In 2009, there was an S. Typhimurium epizootic reported in pine siskins in the eastern United States. At the time, there was also a human outbreak with this serovar that was associated with contaminated peanuts. As peanuts are also used in wild-bird food, it was hypothesized that the pine siskin epizootic was related to this human outbreak. A comparison of songbird and human S. Typhimurium pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns revealed that the epizootic was attributed not to the peanut-associated strain but, rather, to a songbird strain first characterized from an American goldfinch in 1998. This same S. Typhimurium strain (PFGE type A3) was also identified in the PulseNet USA database, accounting for 137 of 77,941 total S. Typhimurium PFGE entries. A second molecular typing method, multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA), confirmed that the same strain was responsible for the pine siskin epizootic in the eastern United States but was distinct from a genetically related strain isolated from pine siskins in Minnesota. The pine siskin A3 strain was first encountered in May 2008 in an American goldfinch and later in a northern cardinal at the start of the pine siskin epizootic. MLVA also confirmed the clonal nature of S. Typhimurium in songbirds and established that the pine siskin epizootic strain was unique to the finch family. For 2009, the distribution of PFGE type A3 in passerines and humans mirrored the highest population density of pine siskins for the East Coast.

  15. Dawn song in natural and artificial continuous day: Light pollution affects songbirds at high latitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derryberry, Elizabeth P

    2017-10-01

    In Focus: Da Silva, A., & Kempenaers, B. (2017). Singing from North to South: Latitudinal variation in timing of dawn singing under natural and artificial light conditions. Journal of Animal Ecology, 86, 1286-1297. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12739 Satellite images of the world at night show bright dots connected by glowing lines crisscrossing the globe. As these connect-the-dots become brighter and expand into more and more remote regions, much of the flora and fauna of the world are experiencing evolutionarily unprecedented levels of light at night. Light cues are essential to most physiological and behavioural processes, and so the need to measure the effects of light pollution on these processes is critical. In this issue, Da Silva and Kempenaers take on this task using an important reproductive behaviour in songbirds-dawn song. The geographic, temporal and taxonomic breadth of sampling in this study allows for a close examination of a potentially complex interaction between light pollution and natural variation in the behaviour of dawn singing across latitude, season and species. Their extensive dataset highlights complexity in how songbirds respond to light pollution. Although light pollution has a strong effect on the timing of dawn song, not all songbirds respond the same way to light pollution, and the effects of light pollution vary with changes in natural light levels. Early dawn singers show more flexibility in the timing of dawn song across the season and across latitudes than late dawn singers, and also appear less affected by light pollution at high latitudes than are late dawn singers. These findings suggest that not all songbirds are responding to artificial continuous daylight as they do to natural continuous daylight, highlighting the general need to measure the fitness effects of light pollution. © 2017 The Author. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  16. Mercury alters initiation and construction of nests by zebra finches, but not incubation or provisioning behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Hopkins, William A; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-11-01

    Mercury is an environmental contaminant that impairs avian reproduction, but the behavioral and physiological mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine whether lifetime dietary exposure to mercury (1.2 µg/g wet weight in food) impacted avian parental behaviors, and how this might influence reproductive success. To distinguish between the direct effects of mercury on parents and offspring, we created four treatment groups of captive-bred zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), with control and mercury-exposed adults raising cross-fostered control or mercury-exposed eggs (from maternal transfer). Control parents were 23% more likely to fledge young than parents exposed to mercury, regardless of egg exposure. Mercury-exposed parents were less likely to initiate nests than controls and spent less time constructing them. Nests of mercury-exposed pairs were lighter, possibly due to an impaired ability to bring nest material into the nestbox. However, nest temperature, incubation behavior, and provisioning rate did not differ between parental treatments. Unexposed control eggs tended to have shorter incubation periods and higher hatching success than mercury-exposed eggs, but there was no effect of parental exposure on these parameters. We accidentally discovered that parent finches transfer some of their body burden of mercury to nestlings during feeding through secretion in the crop. These results suggest that, in mercury-exposed songbirds, pre-laying parental behaviors, combined with direct exposure of embryos to mercury, likely contribute to reduced reproductive success and should be considered in future studies. Further research is warranted in field settings, where parents are exposed to greater environmental challenges and subtle behavioral differences might have more serious consequences than were observed in captivity.

  17. Convergent evolution of Hawaiian and Australo-Pacific honeyeaters from distant songbird ancestors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischer, Robert C; James, Helen F; Olson, Storrs L

    2008-12-23

    The Hawaiian "honeyeaters," five endemic species of recently extinct, nectar-feeding songbirds in the genera Moho and Chaetoptila, looked and acted like Australasian honeyeaters (Meliphagidae), and no taxonomist since their discovery on James Cook's third voyage has classified them as anything else. We obtained DNA sequences from museum specimens of Moho and Chaetoptila collected in Hawaii 115-158 years ago. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences supports monophyly of the two Hawaiian genera but, surprisingly, reveals that neither taxon is a meliphagid honeyeater, nor even in the same part of the songbird radiation as meliphagids. Instead, the Hawaiian species are divergent members of a passeridan group that includes deceptively dissimilar families of songbirds (Holarctic waxwings, neotropical silky flycatchers, and palm chats). Here we designate them as a new family, the Mohoidae. A nuclear-DNA rate calibration suggests that mohoids diverged from their closest living ancestor 14-17 mya, coincident with the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of a bird-pollinated plant lineage. Convergent evolution, the evolution of similar traits in distantly related taxa because of common selective pressures, is illustrated well by nectar-feeding birds, but the morphological, behavioral, and ecological similarity of the mohoids to the Australasian honeyeaters makes them a particularly striking example of the phenomenon.

  18. Inefficient co-feeding transmission of Borrelia afzelii in two common European songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heylen, Dieter J. A.; Sprong, Hein; Krawczyk, Aleksandra; Van Houtte, Natalie; Genné, Dolores; Gomez-Chamorro, Andrea; van Oers, Kees; Voordouw, Maarten J.

    2017-01-01

    The spirochete bacterium Borrelia afzelii is the most common cause of Lyme borreliosis in Europe. This tick-borne pathogen can establish systemic infections in rodents but not in birds. However, several field studies have recovered larval Ixodes ricinus ticks infected with B. afzelii from songbirds suggesting successful transmission of B. afzelii. We reviewed the literature to determine which songbird species were the most frequent carriers of B. afzelii-infected I. ricinus larvae and nymphs. We tested experimentally whether B. afzelii is capable of co-feeding transmission on two common European bird species, the blackbird (Turdus merula) and the great tit (Parus major). For each bird species, four naïve individuals were infested with B. afzelii-infected I. ricinus nymphal ticks and pathogen-free larval ticks. None of the co-feeding larvae tested positive for B. afzelii in blackbirds, but a low percentage of infected larvae (3.33%) was observed in great tits. Transstadial transmission of B. afzelii DNA from the engorged nymphs to the adult ticks was observed in both bird species. However, BSK culture found that these spirochetes were not viable. Our study suggests that co-feeding transmission of B. afzelii is not efficient in these two songbird species. PMID:28054584

  19. Interspecific nest use by aridland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    1982-01-01

    Nest holes drilled by woodpeckers (Picidae) are frequently used by secondary cavity-nesting species, but interspecific use of open and domed nests is less well known. Nests constructed by many southwestern desert birds last longer than one year (pers. obs.) and are consequently reused by the same pair (e.g., Abert's Towhees [Pipilo aberti], pers. obs.) or by other...

  20. Constructing bald eagle nests with natural materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. G. Grubb

    1995-01-01

    A technique for using natural materials to build artificial nests for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and other raptors is detailed. Properly constructed nests are as permanently secured to the nest tree or cliff substrate as any eagle-built nest or human-made platform. Construction normally requires about three hours and at least two people. This technique is...

  1. Corticosterone stress response and plasma metabolite levels during breeding and molt in a free-living migratory songbird, the wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Done, Tyler; Gow, Elizabeth A; Stutchbury, Bridget J M

    2011-04-01

    Many birds face energetic trade-offs between different life history stages, such as reproductive effort, feather molt and the non-breeding period. Little is known about how physiological measures of condition (corticosterone, plasma metabolites) in free-living birds change from nesting stages to the post-breeding molt period or whether this is influenced by prior reproductive effort. We evaluated whether corticosterone (CORT) and plasma metabolite levels vary with date, nest stage and sex in a free-living migratory songbird, the wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). We also tested whether (1) baseline CORT levels early in the season were predictive of subsequent reproductive success and (2) whether prior reproductive effort influenced CORT levels and blood metabolites during molt. Baseline CORT levels decreased with date during both the incubation stage and nestling stage, but did not vary significantly across stage of breeding season. Stress-induced CORT declined with date during incubation and varied significantly across breeding stage, with lower levels during feather molt. Profiles of the metabolites of β-hydroxybutyrate, glycerol, and triglyceride did not vary significantly with date or breeding stage. Only triglycerides varied significantly with sex, with females having higher levels than males. Reproductive output was highly variable (0-10 fledglings per season) but baseline CORT levels in females during the first incubation period of the season was not related to subsequent reproductive output. Prior reproductive effort, measured as the cumulative number of young hatched during the breeding season, was positively related to stress-induced CORT during molt. High reproductive effort in wood thrush appears to have physiological carry-over effects into the molt period which could potentially affect rate of molt and preparation for fall migration. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Nest use is influenced by the positions of nests and drinkers in aviaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentfer, T L; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Fröhlich, E K F; von Borell, E

    2013-06-01

    The influence of the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers on nest use by laying hens in a commercial aviary was assessed. Twenty pens in a laying hen house were equipped with the same commercial aviary system, but the pens differed in the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers. Nests were placed along the walls in 10 pens, and nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. The other 10 pens were equipped with nests placed on a tier within the aviary (integrated nests). Nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. A total of 225 Lohmann Selected Leghorns were housed per pen. The hens were offered 4 nests per pen: 2 facing the service corridor of the laying hen house and 2 facing the outdoor area. The numbers of nest eggs and mislaid eggs were counted daily per pen. At 25, 36, and 43 wk of age, the nest platforms were videotaped and the behavior of laying hens in front of the nests was analyzed. The nest location affected the stationary and locomotive behaviors in front of the nests. Hens in front of the integrated nests and the nests with drinkers displayed more stationary behaviors than hens in front of wall-placed nests or nests without drinkers. No difference in the number of nest eggs could be detected, but the integration of the nests inside the aviary led to a more even distribution of hens while nest searching. In the pens with wall-placed nests, significantly more hens laid eggs in the nests at the wall near the service corridor than at the wall near the outdoor area. Due to this imbalance, crowding in front of the preferred nests occurred and pushing and agonistic interactions on the nest platforms were significantly more frequent. Placement of nipple drinkers in front of nests had no effect on the number of eggs laid in those nests.

  3. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Unusual raptor nests around the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.; Craig, T.; Craig, E.; Postupalsky, S.; LaRue, C.T.; Nelson, R.W.; Anderson, D.W.; Henny, C.J.; Watson, J.; Millsap, B.A.; Dawson, J.W.; Cole, K.L.; Martin, E.M.; Margalida, A.; Kung, P.

    2009-01-01

    From surveys in many countries, we report raptors using unusual nesting materials (e.g., paper money, rags, metal, antlers, and large bones) and unusual nesting situations. For example, we documented nests of Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis and Upland Buzzards Buteo hemilasius on the ground beside well-traveled roads, Saker Falcon Falco cherrug eyries in attics and a cistern, and Osprey Pandion haliaetus nests on the masts of boats and on a suspended automobile. Other records include a Golden Eagle A. chrysaetos nest 7.0 m in height, believed to be the tallest nest ever described, and, for the same species, we report nesting in rudimentary nests. Some nest sites are within a few meters of known predators or competitors. These unusual observations may be important in revealing the plasticity of a species' behavioral repertoire. ?? 2009 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  5. The role of fragmentation and landscape changes in the ecological release of common nest predators in the Neotropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael V. Cove

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Loss of large mammalian carnivores may allow smaller mesopredators to become abundant and threaten other community members. There is considerable debate about mesopredator release and the role that other potential factors such as landscape variables and human alterations to land cover lead to increased mesopredator abundance. We used camera traps to detect four mesopredators (tayra, Eira barbara; white-nosed coati, Nasua narica; northern raccoon, Procyon lotor; and common opossum, Didelphis opossum in a biological corridor in Costa Rica to estimate habitat covariates that influenced the species’ detection and occurrence. We selected these mesopredators because as semi-arboreal species they might be common nest predators, posing a serious threat to resident and migratory songbirds. Pineapple production had a pronounced positive effect on the detectability of tayras, while forest cover had a negative effect on the detection of coatis. This suggests that abundance might be elevated due to the availability of agricultural food resources and foraging activities are concentrated in forest fragments and pineapple edge habitats. Raccoon and opossum models exhibited little influence on detection from habitat covariates. Occurrence models did not suggest any significant factors influencing site use by nest predators, revealing that all four species are habitat generalists adapted to co-existing in human altered landscapes. Furthermore, fragmentation and land cover changes may predispose nesting birds, herpetofauna, and small mammals to heightened predation risk by mesopredators in the Neotropics.

  6. Nested Dynamic Condition Response Graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hildebrandt, Thomas; Mukkamala, Raghava Rao; Slaats, Tijs

    2012-01-01

    We present an extension of the recently introduced declarative process model Dynamic Condition Response Graphs ( DCR Graphs) to allow nested subgraphs and a new milestone relation between events. The extension was developed during a case study carried out jointly with our industrial partner...

  7. Nest-mediated seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert J. Warren; Jason P. Love; Mark A. Bradford

    2017-01-01

    Many plant seeds travel on the wind and through animal ingestion or adhesion; however, an overlooked dispersal mode may lurk within those dispersal modes. Viable seeds may remain attached or embedded within materials birds gather for nest building. Our objective was to determine if birds inadvertently transport seeds when they forage for plant materials to...

  8. Millipedes (Diplopoda) in birds' nests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tajovský, Karel; Mock, A.; Krumpál, M.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 37, - (2001), s. 321-323 ISSN 1164-5563 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6066911 Keywords : bird s nest s * microsites * millipedes Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.317, year: 2001

  9. Effect of heterogeneity of nest boxes on occurrence of gregarious nesting in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Tina; Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    Gregarious nesting, where hens select already occupied nest boxes even when other nest boxes are unoccupied, is an unwanted behaviour in laying hens that may reduce animal welfare and pose a financial cost to the producer. It has been suggested that gregarious nesting is caused by the difficulties...... nesting was higher in experimental groups compared to control groups (P right were higher compared to nest boxes positioned...

  10. A Ground-Nesting Galliform's Response to Thermal Heterogeneity: Implications for Ground-Dwelling Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, J Matthew; Davis, Craig A; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D

    2015-01-01

    The habitat selection choices that individuals make in response to thermal environments influence both survival and reproduction. Importantly, the way that organisms behaviorally respond to thermal environments depends on the availability and juxtaposition of sites affording tolerable or preferred microclimates. Although, ground nesting birds are especially susceptible to heat extremes across many reproductive stages (i.e., breeding, nesting, brood rearing), the mechanistic drivers of nest site selection for these species are not well established from a thermal perspective. Our goal was to assess nest site selection relative to the configuration of the thermal landscape by quantifying thermal environments available to a ground-nesting bird species inhabiting a climatically stressful environment. Using northern bobwhite (Colinus virginanus) as a model species, we measured black bulb temperature (Tbb) and vegetation parameters at 87 nests, 87 paired sites and 205 random landscape sites in Western Oklahoma during spring and summer 2013 and 2014. We found that thermal space within the study area exhibited differences in Tbb of up to 40°C during peak diurnal heating, resulting in a diverse thermal landscape available to ground-nesting birds. Within this thermally heterogeneous landscape, nest sites moderated Tbb by more than 12°C compared to random landscape sites. Furthermore, successful nests remained on average 6°C cooler than unsuccessful nests on days experiencing ambient temperatures ≥ 39°C. Models of future Tbb associated with 2080 climate change projections indicate that nesting bobwhites will face substantially greater Tbb throughout the landscape for longer durations, placing an even greater importance on thermal choices for nest sites in the future. These results highlight the capacity of landscape features to act as moderators of thermal extremes and demonstrate how thermal complexity at organism-specific scales can dictate habitat selection.

  11. What constitutes a nesting attempt? Variation in criteria causes bias and hinders comparisons across studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, V.; Conway, C.J.

    2009-01-01

    Because reliable estimates of nesting success are very important to avian studies, the defnition of a “successful nest” and the use of different analytical methods to estimate success have received much attention. By contrast, variation in the criteria used to determine whether an occupied site that did not produce offspring contained a nesting attempt is a source of bias that has been largely ignored. This problem is especially severe in studies that deal with species whose nest contents are relatively inaccessible because observers cannot determine whether or not an egg was laid for a large proportion of occupied sites. Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) often lay their eggs ≥3 m below ground, so past Burrowing Owl studies have used a variety of criteria to determine whether a nesting attempt was initiated. We searched the literature to document the extent of that variation and examined how that variation influenced estimates of daily nest survival. We found 13 different sets of criteria used by previous authors and applied each criterion to our data set of 1,300 occupied burrows. We found significant variation in estimates of daily nest survival depending on the criteria used. Moreover, differences in daily nest survival among populations were apparent using some sets of criteria but not others. These inconsistencies may lead to incorrect conclusions and invalidate comparisons of the productivity and relative site quality among populations. We encourage future authors working on cavity-, canopy-, or burrow-nesting birds to provide specific details on the criteria they used to identify a nesting attempt.

  12. Conservation significance of alternative nests of golden eagles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian A. Millsap; Teryl G. Grubb; Robert K. Murphy; Ted Swem; James W. Watson

    2015-01-01

    Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are long-lived raptors that maintain nesting territories that may be occupied for a century or longer. Within occupied nesting territories there is one nest in which eagles lay their eggs in a given year (i.e., the used nest), but there are usually other nests (i.e., alternative nests). Conservation plans often protect used nests, but...

  13. Nest marking behavior and chemical composition of olfactory cues involved in nest recognition in Megachile rotundata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guédot, Christelle; Buckner, James S; Hagen, Marcia M; Bosch, Jordi; Kemp, William P; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2013-08-01

    In-nest observations of the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata (F.), revealed that nesting females apply olfactory cues to nests for nest recognition. On their way in and out of the nest, females drag the abdomen along the entire length of the nest, and sometimes deposit fluid droplets from the tip of the abdomen. The removal of bee-marked sections of the nest resulted in hesitation and searching behavior by females, indicating the loss of olfactory cues used for nest recognition. Chemical analysis of female cuticles and the deposits inside marked nesting tubes revealed the presence of hydrocarbons, wax esters, fatty aldehydes, and fatty alcohol acetate esters. Chemical compositions were similar across tube samples, but proportionally different from cuticular extracts. These findings reveal the importance of lipids as chemical signals for nest recognition and suggest that the nest-marking cues are derived from a source in addition to, or other than, the female cuticle.

  14. Social modulation of learned behavior by dopamine in the basal ganglia: insights from songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblois, Arthur

    2013-06-01

    Dysfunction of the dopaminergic system leads to motor, cognitive, and motivational symptoms in brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease. The basal ganglia (BG) are involved in sensorimotor learning and receive a strong dopaminergic signal, shown to play an important role in social interactions. The function of the dopaminergic input to the BG in the integration of social cues during sensorimotor learning remains however largely unexplored. Songbirds use learned vocalizations to communicate during courtship and aggressive behaviors. Like language learning in humans, song learning strongly depends on social interactions. In songbirds, a specialized BG-thalamo-cortical loop devoted to song is particularly tractable for elucidating the signals carried by dopamine in the BG, and the function of dopamine signaling in mediating social cues during skill learning and execution. Here, I review experimental findings uncovering the physiological effects and function of the dopaminergic signal in the songbird BG, in light of our knowledge of the BG-dopamine interactions in mammals. Interestingly, the compact nature of the striato-pallidal circuits in birds led to new insight on the physiological effects of the dopaminergic input on the BG network as a whole. In singing birds, D1-like receptor agonist and antagonist can modulate the spectral variability of syllables bi-directionally, suggesting that social context-dependent changes in spectral variability are triggered by dopaminergic input through D1-like receptors. As variability is crucial for exploration during motor learning, but must be reduced after learning to optimize performance, I propose that, the dopaminergic input to the BG could be responsible for the social-dependent regulation of the exploration/exploitation balance in birdsong, and possibly in learned skills in other vertebrates. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Eavesdropping on the Arctic: Automated Bioacoustics Promise to Untangle Climate-Induced Shifts in Songbird Migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, R.; Ellis, D.; Gough, L.; Chmura, H.; Sweet, S. K.; Boelman, N.; Krause, J.; Perez, J.; Wingfield, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change is altering the seasonality of environmental conditions and the phenology of vegetation, particularly at high northern latitudes. Yet changes in the phenology of wildlife that rely on northern ecosystems is significantly understudied. In much the same way that remote sensing enables global-scale observations of climate and vegetation, ground-based bioacoustic recording networks have the potential to vastly expand the spatial and temporal coverage of wildlife monitoring. However, the enormous datasets that autonomous recorders typically generate demand automated analyses that remain largely undeveloped. To unleash the potential for global-scale bioacoustic monitoring, we developed automated signal processing and machine learning algorithms to generate seasonal times series of breeding songbird vocal activity from 1200 hours of landscape-level recordings in northern Alaska. The calendar dates on which songbird communities arrived to their breeding grounds in five springs (2010-2014) were automatically extracted from the time series, and agreed within 3 days to those determined via traditional avian surveys (RMSE = 1.88 - 3.02). Relative to other years, our bioacoustic approach identified a 1-9 day delay in the arrival of long distance migratory songbird communities to their breeding grounds in 2013 - a spring characterized by persistent snow cover and cold temperatures. Differences in arrival timing among sites were strongly related to the date on which the landscape surrounding the microphone became snow-free, particularly in the supervised approach (supervised: R2 = 0.59, p autonomously, which would provide the coverage necessary to determine and project the influence of climate on rapidly changing ecosystems.

  16. Sorting it out: bedding particle size and nesting material processing method affect nest complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson-Junker, Amy; Morin, Amelia; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen; Gaskill, Brianna N

    2017-04-01

    As part of routine husbandry, an increasing number of laboratory mice receive nesting material in addition to standard bedding material in their cages. Nesting material improves health outcomes and physiological performance in mice that receive it. Providing usable nesting material uniformly and efficiently to various strains of mice remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to determine how bedding particle size, method of nesting material delivery, and processing of the nesting material before delivery affected nest building in mice of strong (BALB/cAnNCrl) and weak (C3H/HeNCrl) gathering abilities. Our data suggest that processing nesting material through a grinder in conjunction with bedding material, although convenient for provision of bedding with nesting material 'built-in', negatively affects the integrity of the nesting material and subsequent nest-building outcomes. We also found that C3H mice, previously thought to be poor nest builders, built similarly scored nests to those of BALB/c mice when provided with unprocessed nesting material. This was true even when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate. We also observed that when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate, mice of both strains would sort their bedding by particle size more often than if it were not mixed in. Our findings support the utility of the practice of distributing nesting material mixed in with bedding substrate, but not that of processing the nesting material with the bedding in order to mix them.

  17. Nest plasticity of Cornitermes silvestrii (Isoptera, Termitidae, Syntermitinae in response to flood pulse in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarik G. D. Plaza

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Nest plasticity of Cornitermes silvestrii (Isoptera, Termitidae, Syntermitinae in response to flood pulse in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The Pantanal is one of the largest wetlands in the world. Since many areas in Pantanal are flooded during part of the year, it is expected that plants and animals would have mechanisms for their survival during the flooded period. This study investigated the existence of differences in nest shape and inquilines of Cornitermes silvestrii in areas influenced by the flood pulse. We measured the volume, height, width, and height/width ratio of 32 nests in flooded areas and 27 in dry areas, and performed an one-way-Anova with the quasi-Poisson distribution to determine if there were differences in the nest measurements between the points. To analyze the relationship of nest inquilines to flood pulse and nest shape, we performed a regression with a Poisson distribution with the inquiline richness and flood pulse, and the above measurements. The nests of C. silvestrii in flooded areas were significantly higher than nests in dry areas, and had a larger height/width ratio. Colonies in periodically flooded areas would probably make a larger effort to extend their nests vertically, to maintain at least some portion of the structure out of the water and prevent the entire colony from being submerged. Neither the size of the nest nor the flood pulses influenced the assemblage of 11 species found in nests of C. silvestrii.

  18. Degree of protandry reflects level of extrapair paternity in migratory songbirds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Coppack, Timothy; Tøttrup, Anders Peter; Spottiswoode, Claire

    2006-01-01

    Males of most migratory organisms, including many birds, precede female conspecifics on their journey to the breeding areas. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of protandrous migration, yet they have rarely been tested at the interspecific level. Here, we provide...... that the time-lag in spring passage between males and females of five Palearctic migratory songbird species is positively associated with levels of extrapair paternity available from the literature. This suggests that males arrive relatively more in advance of females in species with high sperm competition...

  19. Patterns of change in timing of spring migration in North European songbird populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tøttrup, Anders Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Rahbek, Carsten

    2006-01-01

    From 1976 to 1997 passerines were mist-netted and ringed on the island of Christiansø, in the Baltic Sea. Here we present analyses of phenological changes (i.e. time of arrival) for 25 species based on the entire populations of mist-netted songbirds during spring migration. We used two approaches...... to be important for our understanding of population-dynamic changes in relation to climate change. These differences may also have long-term evolutionary consequences. Migration distance seems to affect the degree of change in arrival time, but we found no difference between species wintering in different regions...... of Africa....

  20. Decoration Increases the Conspicuousness of Raptor Nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canal, David; Mulero-Pázmány, Margarita; Negro, Juan José; Sergio, Fabrizio

    2016-01-01

    Avian nests are frequently concealed or camouflaged, but a number of species builds noticeable nests or use conspicuous materials for nest decoration. In most cases, nest decoration has a role in mate choice or provides thermoregulatory or antiparasitic benefits. In territorial species however, decorations may serve additional or complementary functions, such as extended phenotypic signaling of nest-site occupancy and social status to potential intruders. The latter may benefit both signaler and receiver by minimizing the risk of aggressive interactions, especially in organisms with dangerous weaponry. Support for this hypothesis was recently found in a population of black kites (Milvus migrans), a territorial raptor that decorates its nest with white artificial materials. However, the crucial assumption that nest decorations increased nest-site visibility to conspecifics was not assessed, a key aspect given that black kite nests may be well concealed within the canopy. Here, we used an unmanned aircraft system to take pictures of black kite nests, with and without an experimentally placed decoration, from different altitudes and distances simulating the perspective of a flying and approaching, prospecting intruder. The pictures were shown to human volunteers through a standardized routine to determine whether detection rates varied according the nest decoration status and distance. Decorated nests consistently showed a higher detection frequency and a lower detection-latency, compared to undecorated versions of the same nests. Our results confirm that nest decoration in this species may act as a signaling medium that enhances nest visibility for aerial receivers, even at large distances. This finding complements previous work on this communication system, which showed that nest decoration was a threat informing trespassing conspecifics on the social dominance, territory quality and fighting capabilities of the signaler.

  1. Raptor nest management on power lines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harness, R.E. [EDM International Inc., Fort Collins, CO (United States)

    2005-07-01

    Many utilities in South Africa are now implementing labor-intensive methods to combat raptor nesting on power transmission lines. Methods have typically included direct nest removal and trimming of nest materials. However, the process is often unsuccessful, and utilities are now learning to accommodate the raptor nests. This paper argued that managing nests on utility structures has solved many operational problems and has resulted in positive publicity for many line operators. Nest management options included the use of stick deflectors to prevent nest material from accumulating during initial nest construction, as well as encouraging raptors to shift their efforts to a more suitable location. Raptors will often accept alternative nesting platforms, and taller, surrogate nesting poles can be placed next to distribution line structures. Elevated platforms can also be placed on problematic distribution structures, but may result in birds coming into contact with unprotected equipment. It was concluded that a successful nest management program includes plans to make nearby lines safe for raptors and to prevent their electrocution. Providing nests with bird-friendly utility configurations can result in electric facilities enhancing wild raptor populations without impacting power reliability. 14 refs., 9 figs.

  2. Cavity-nesting bird use of nest boxes in vineyards of central-coast California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel P. Mummert; Laura Baines; William D. Tietje

    2002-01-01

    Oak woodland habitat is being degraded or replaced by vineyards in many areas of central-coastal California. Oak woodlands are home to many insectivorous, cavity-nesting birds that would be beneficial in and around vineyards. During March to June 2001, we used bluebird nest boxes to study nest box use and productivity of cavity-nesting birds in vineyards versus...

  3. Nest-site habitat of cavity-nesting birds at the San Joaquin Experimental Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared. Verner

    2008-01-01

    Detailed information about the nesting habitats of birds, including those needed for successful nesting, can provide a better understanding of the ecological factors that permit coexistence of different species and may aid in conservation efforts. From 1989 through 1994, we studied the nesting habitat of secondary cavity-nesting birds in oak woodlands at the San...

  4. Avoiding the nest : responses of field sparrows to the threat of nest predation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirk E. Burhans

    2000-01-01

    Nest predation is a major source of reproductive failure in birds (Ricklefs 1969, Martin 1992). Birds confronted with an enemy near the nest may use behaviors to deter the prospect of nest predation. The benefits of nest defense have been shown for many agressive species (Martin 1992), but smaller birds that cannot deter predators may need to resort to other behaviors...

  5. Ground-nesting marine birds and potential for human disturbance in Glacier Bay National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Romano, Marc D.; Piatt, John F.; Piatt, John F.; Gende, S.M.

    2004-01-01

    Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve contains a diverse assemblage of marine birds that use the area for nesting, foraging and molting. The abundance and diversity of marine bird species in Glacier Bay is unmatched in the region, due in part to the geomorphic and successional characteristics that result in a wide array of habitat types (Robards and others, 2003). The opportunity for proactive management of these species is unique in Glacier Bay National Park because much of the suitable marine bird nesting habitat occurs in areas designated as wilderness. Ground-nesting marine birds are vulnerable to human disturbance wherever visitors can access nest sites during the breeding season. Human disturbance of nest sites can be significant because intense parental care is required for egg and hatchling survival, and repeated disturbance can result in reduced productivity (Leseberg and others, 2000). Temporary nest desertion by breeding birds in disturbed areas can lead to increased predation on eggs and hatchlings by conspecifics or other predators (Bolduc and Guillemette, 2003). Human disturbance of ground-nesting birds may also affect incubation time and adult foraging success, which in turn can alter breeding success (Verhulst and others, 2001). Furthermore, human activity can potentially cause colony failure when disturbance prevents the initiation of nesting (Hatch, 2002). There is management concern about the susceptibility of breeding birds to disturbance from human activities, but little historical data has been collected on the distribution of ground-nesting marine birds in Glacier Bay. This report summarizes results obtained during two years of a three-year study to determine the distribution of ground-nesting marine birds in Glacier Bay, and the potential for human disturbance of those nesting birds.

  6. Ducks and passerines nesting in northern mixed-grass prairie treated with fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Todd A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Berkey, Gordon B.

    2011-01-01

    Prescribed fire is an important, ecology-driven tool for restoration of grassland systems. However, prescribed fire remains controversial for some grassland managers because of reported reductions in bird use of recently burned grasslands. Few studies have evaluated effects of fire on grassland bird populations in the northern mixed-grass prairie region. Fewer studies yet have examined the influence of fire on nest density or survival. In our review, we found no studies that simultaneously examined effects of fire on duck and passerine nesting. During 1998—2003, we examined effects of prescribed fire on the density of upland-nesting ducks and passerines nesting in north-central North Dakota, USA. Apparent nest densities of gadwall (Anas strepera), mallard (A. platyrhynchos), and all duck species combined, were influenced by fire history of study units, although the degree of influence was not compelling. Fire history was not related to nest densities of blue-winged teal (A. discors), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), or northern pintail (A. acuta); however, apparent nest densities in relation to the number of postfire growing seasons exhibited a strikingly similar pattern among all duck species. When compared to ducks, fire history strongly influenced apparent nest densities of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). For most species examined, apparent nest densities were lowest in recently burned units, increased during the second postfire growing season, and stabilized or, in some cases, decreased thereafter. Prescribed fire is critical for restoring the ecology of northern mixed-grass prairies and our findings indicate that reductions in nest densities are limited mostly to the first growing season after fire. Our results support the premise that upland-nesting ducks and several grassland passerine species are adapted to periodic fires occurring at a frequency similar to that

  7. Synchronised provisioning at the nest: parental coordination over care in a socially monogamous species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Rooij, Erica P; Griffith, Simon C

    2013-12-19

    Bi-parental care is very common in birds, occurring in over 90% of species, and is expected to evolve whenever the benefits of enhanced offspring survival exceed the costs to both parents of providing care. In altricial species, where the nestlings are entirely dependent on the parents for providing food until fledging, reproductive success is related to the capacity of the parents to provision the offspring at the nest. The degree to which parents synchronise their visits to the nest is rarely considered by studies of bi-parental care, and yet may be an important component of parental care, affecting the outcome of the reproductive attempt, and the dynamics of sexual conflict between the parents. Here we studied this aspect of parental care in the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda), a socially monogamous estrildid finch. We monitored parental nest visit rates and the degree of parental visit synchrony, and assessed their effects on reproductive success (e.g., brood size, number of offspring fledged and nestling growth). The frequency of nest visits in a day was low in this species (nest visit synchrony may primarily be driven by the benefit of parents being together whilst foraging away from the nest, or may reduce nest predation by reducing the level of activity around the nest throughout the day.

  8. Nest Material Shapes Eggs Bacterial Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Ruiz-Castellano

    Full Text Available Selective pressures imposed by pathogenic microorganisms to embryos have selected in hosts for a battery of antimicrobial lines of defenses that includes physical and chemical barriers. Due to the antimicrobial properties of volatile compounds of green plants and of chemicals of feather degrading bacteria, the use of aromatic plants and feathers for nest building has been suggested as one of these barriers. However, experimental evidence suggesting such effects is scarce in the literature. During two consecutive years, we explored experimentally the effects of these nest materials on loads of different groups of bacteria (mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus and Enterococcus of eggshells in nests of spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor at the beginning and at the end of the incubation period. This was also explored in artificial nests without incubation activity. We also experimentally increased bacterial density of eggs in natural and artificial nests and explored the effects of nest lining treatments on eggshell bacterial load. Support for the hypothetical antimicrobial function of nest materials was mainly detected for the year and location with larger average values of eggshell bacterial density. The beneficial effects of feathers and plants were more easily detected in artificial nests with no incubation activity, suggesting an active role of incubation against bacterial colonization of eggshells. Pigmented and unpigmented feathers reduced eggshell bacterial load in starling nests and artificial nest boxes. Results from artificial nests allowed us to discuss and discard alternative scenarios explaining the detected association, particularly those related to the possible sexual role of feathers and aromatic plants in starling nests. All these results considered together confirm the antimicrobial functionality mainly of feathers but also of plants used as nest materials, and highlight the importance of temporally and

  9. Nest Material Shapes Eggs Bacterial Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina; Tomás, Gustavo; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena; Martín-Gálvez, David; Soler, Juan José

    2016-01-01

    Selective pressures imposed by pathogenic microorganisms to embryos have selected in hosts for a battery of antimicrobial lines of defenses that includes physical and chemical barriers. Due to the antimicrobial properties of volatile compounds of green plants and of chemicals of feather degrading bacteria, the use of aromatic plants and feathers for nest building has been suggested as one of these barriers. However, experimental evidence suggesting such effects is scarce in the literature. During two consecutive years, we explored experimentally the effects of these nest materials on loads of different groups of bacteria (mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus and Enterococcus) of eggshells in nests of spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor) at the beginning and at the end of the incubation period. This was also explored in artificial nests without incubation activity. We also experimentally increased bacterial density of eggs in natural and artificial nests and explored the effects of nest lining treatments on eggshell bacterial load. Support for the hypothetical antimicrobial function of nest materials was mainly detected for the year and location with larger average values of eggshell bacterial density. The beneficial effects of feathers and plants were more easily detected in artificial nests with no incubation activity, suggesting an active role of incubation against bacterial colonization of eggshells. Pigmented and unpigmented feathers reduced eggshell bacterial load in starling nests and artificial nest boxes. Results from artificial nests allowed us to discuss and discard alternative scenarios explaining the detected association, particularly those related to the possible sexual role of feathers and aromatic plants in starling nests. All these results considered together confirm the antimicrobial functionality mainly of feathers but also of plants used as nest materials, and highlight the importance of temporally and geographically

  10. Modelling survival

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ashauer, Roman; Albert, Carlo; Augustine, Starrlight

    2016-01-01

    The General Unified Threshold model for Survival (GUTS) integrates previously published toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models and estimates survival with explicitly defined assumptions. Importantly, GUTS accounts for time-variable exposure to the stressor. We performed three studies to test...

  11. From neurons to nests: nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Zachary J; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan D

    Despite centuries of observing the nest building of most extant bird species, we know surprisingly little about how birds build nests and, specifically, how the avian brain controls nest building. Here, we argue that nest building in birds may be a useful model behaviour in which to study how the brain controls behaviour. Specifically, we argue that nest building as a behavioural model provides a unique opportunity to study not only the mechanisms through which the brain controls behaviour within individuals of a single species but also how evolution may have shaped the brain to produce interspecific variation in nest-building behaviour. In this review, we outline the questions in both behavioural and comparative neuroscience that nest building could be used to address, summarize recent findings regarding the neurobiology of nest building in lab-reared zebra finches and across species building different nest structures, and suggest some future directions for the neurobiology of nest building.

  12. Survival analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Badwe, R.A.

    1999-01-01

    The primary endpoint in the majority of the studies has been either disease recurrence or death. This kind of analysis requires a special method since all patients in the study experience the endpoint. The standard method for estimating such survival distribution is Kaplan Meier method. The survival function is defined as the proportion of individuals who survive beyond certain time. Multi-variate comparison for survival has been carried out with Cox's proportional hazard model

  13. A winter distribution model for Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a conservation tool for a threatened migratory songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. P. McFarland; C. C. Rimmer; J. E. Goetz; Y. Aubry; J. M. Wunderle Jr.; A. Hayes-Sutton; J. M. Townsend; A. Llanes Sosa; A. Kirkconnell

    2013-01-01

    Conservation planning and implementation require identifying pertinent habitats and locations where protection and management may improve viability of targeted species. The winter range of Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a threatened Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, is restricted to the Greater Antilles. We analyzed winter records from the mid-1970s to...

  14. Nest predation increases with parental activity: separating nest site and parental activity effects.

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, T E; Scott, J; Menge, C

    2000-01-01

    Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators h...

  15. Dispersal for survival: some observations on the trunk ant (Formica truncorum Fabricius)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mabelis, A.A.; Korczynska, J.

    2001-01-01

    The survival chance of the trunk ant (Formica truncorum) is compared with the survival chance of two other species of red wood ants: F.rufa and F.polyctena. Nest populations of F.truncorum are much smaller than nest populations of the other red wood ant species, which makes the species a weaker

  16. Male songbird indicates body size with low-pitched advertising songs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L Hall

    Full Text Available Body size is a key sexually selected trait in many animal species. If size imposes a physical limit on the production of loud low-frequency sounds, then low-pitched vocalisations could act as reliable signals of body size. However, the central prediction of this hypothesis--that the pitch of vocalisations decreases with size among competing individuals--has limited support in songbirds. One reason could be that only the lowest-frequency components of vocalisations are constrained, and this may go unnoticed when vocal ranges are large. Additionally, the constraint may only be apparent in contexts when individuals are indeed advertising their size. Here we explicitly consider signal diversity and performance limits to demonstrate that body size limits song frequency in an advertising context in a songbird. We show that in purple-crowned fairy-wrens, Malurus coronatus coronatus, larger males sing lower-pitched low-frequency advertising songs. The lower frequency bound of all advertising song types also has a significant negative relationship with body size. However, the average frequency of all their advertising songs is unrelated to body size. This comparison of different approaches to the analysis demonstrates how a negative relationship between body size and song frequency can be obscured by failing to consider signal design and the concept of performance limits. Since these considerations will be important in any complex communication system, our results imply that body size constraints on low-frequency vocalisations could be more widespread than is currently recognised.

  17. Learning speed is affected by personality and reproductive investment in a songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hector Fabio Rivera-Gutierrez

    Full Text Available Individuals from different taxa, including songbirds, differ consistently in behaviour and personality when facing different situations. Although our understanding of animal behaviour has increased, knowledge about between-individual differences in cognitive abilities is still limited. By using an experimental approach and a free-living songbird (Parus major as a model, we attempted to understand between-individual differences in habituation to playbacks (as a proxy of learning speed, by investigating the role of personality, age and reproductive investment (clutch size. Pre-breeding males were tested for exploration (a proxy of personality in standardized conditions. In addition, the same individuals were exposed to three playbacks in the field during incubation. Birds significantly moved less, stayed further away and overlapped less the playback with successive playback stimulation. While a decrease in the locomotor behaviour can be explained by personality, differences in habituation of overlapping were predicted by both reproductive investment and personality. Fast explorers habituated less. Moreover, males paired to females with larger clutches did not vary the intensity of overlapping. Since habituation requires information for recognition of non-threatening signals, personality may bias information gathering. While fast explorers may collect less information from the environment, slow explorers (reactive birds seem to pay attention to environmental clues and collect detailed information. We provided evidence that the rate of habituation of behavioural responses, a proxy of cognitive abilities, may be affected by different factors and in a complex way.

  18. Statistical learning in songbirds: from self-tutoring to song culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehér, Olga; Ljubičić, Iva; Suzuki, Kenta; Okanoya, Kazuo; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2017-01-05

    At the onset of vocal development, both songbirds and humans produce variable vocal babbling with broadly distributed acoustic features. Over development, these vocalizations differentiate into the well-defined, categorical signals that characterize adult vocal behaviour. A broadly distributed signal is ideal for vocal exploration, that is, for matching vocal production to the statistics of the sensory input. The developmental transition to categorical signals is a gradual process during which the vocal output becomes differentiated and stable. But does it require categorical input? We trained juvenile zebra finches with playbacks of their own developing song, produced just a few moments earlier, updated continuously over development. Although the vocalizations of these self-tutored (ST) birds were initially broadly distributed, birds quickly developed categorical signals, as fast as birds that were trained with a categorical, adult song template. By contrast, siblings of those birds that received no training (isolates) developed phonological categories much more slowly and never reached the same level of category differentiation as their ST brothers. Therefore, instead of simply mirroring the statistical properties of their sensory input, songbirds actively transform it into distinct categories. We suggest that the early self-generation of phonological categories facilitates the establishment of vocal culture by making the song easier to transmit at the micro level, while promoting stability of shared vocabulary at the group level over generations.This article is part of the themed issue 'New frontiers for statistical learning in the cognitive sciences'. © 2016 The Authors.

  19. Male songbird indicates body size with low-pitched advertising songs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Michelle L; Kingma, Sjouke A; Peters, Anne

    2013-01-01

    Body size is a key sexually selected trait in many animal species. If size imposes a physical limit on the production of loud low-frequency sounds, then low-pitched vocalisations could act as reliable signals of body size. However, the central prediction of this hypothesis--that the pitch of vocalisations decreases with size among competing individuals--has limited support in songbirds. One reason could be that only the lowest-frequency components of vocalisations are constrained, and this may go unnoticed when vocal ranges are large. Additionally, the constraint may only be apparent in contexts when individuals are indeed advertising their size. Here we explicitly consider signal diversity and performance limits to demonstrate that body size limits song frequency in an advertising context in a songbird. We show that in purple-crowned fairy-wrens, Malurus coronatus coronatus, larger males sing lower-pitched low-frequency advertising songs. The lower frequency bound of all advertising song types also has a significant negative relationship with body size. However, the average frequency of all their advertising songs is unrelated to body size. This comparison of different approaches to the analysis demonstrates how a negative relationship between body size and song frequency can be obscured by failing to consider signal design and the concept of performance limits. Since these considerations will be important in any complex communication system, our results imply that body size constraints on low-frequency vocalisations could be more widespread than is currently recognised.

  20. Spatial Aggregation of Forest Songbird Territories and Possible Implications for Area Sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Bourque

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Habitat area requirements of forest songbirds vary greatly among species, but the causes of this variation are not well understood. Large area requirements could result from advantages for certain species when settling their territories near those of conspecifics. This phenomenon would result in spatial aggregations much larger than single territories. Species that aggregate their territories could show reduced population viability in highly fragmented forests, since remnant patches may remain unoccupied if they are too small to accommodate several territories. The objectives of this study were twofold: (1 to seek evidence of territory clusters of forest birds at various spatial scales, lags of 250-550 m, before and after controlling for habitat spatial patterns; and (2 to measure the relationship between spatial autocorrelation and apparent landscape sensitivity for these species. In analyses that ignored spatial variation of vegetation within remnant forest patches, nine of the 17 species studied significantly aggregated their territories within patches. After controlling for forest vegetation, the locations of eight out of 17 species remained significantly clustered. The aggregative pattern that we observed may, thus, be indicative of a widespread phenomenon in songbird populations. Furthermore, there was a tendency for species associated with higher forest cover to be more spatially aggregated [ERRATUM].

  1. Interaction in Balanced Cross Nested Designs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Paulo; Mexia, João T.; Carvalho, Francisco; Covas, Ricardo

    2011-09-01

    Commutative Jordan Algebras, CJA, are used in the study of mixed models obtained, through crossing and nesting, from simpler ones. In the study of cross nested models the interaction between nested factors have been systematically discarded. However this can constitutes an artificial simplification of the models. We point out that, when two crossed factors interact, such interaction is symmetric, both factors playing in it equivalent roles, while when two nested factors interact, the interaction is determined by the nesting factor. These interactions will be called interactions with nesting. In this work we present a coherent formulation of the algebraic structure of models enabling the choice of families of interactions between cross and nested factors using binary operations on CJA.

  2. Microhabitat Conditions in Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Areas: Effects on Nest Site Selection and Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinkins, Jonathan B; Smith, Kurt T; Beck, Jeffrey L; Kirol, Christopher P; Pratt, Aaron C; Conover, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to identify microhabitat characteristics of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nest site selection and survival to determine the quality of sage-grouse habitat in 5 regions of central and southwest Wyoming associated with Wyoming's Core Area Policy. Wyoming's Core Area Policy was enacted in 2008 to reduce human disturbance near the greatest densities of sage-grouse. Our analyses aimed to assess sage-grouse nest selection and success at multiple micro-spatial scales. We obtained microhabitat data from 928 sage-grouse nest locations and 819 random microhabitat locations from 2008-2014. Nest success was estimated from 924 nests with survival data. Sage-grouse selected nests with greater sagebrush cover and height, visual obstruction, and number of small gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥0.5 m and sage-grouse were selecting different nest sites in Core Areas relative to areas outside of Core. The Kaplan-Meier nest success estimate for a 27-day incubation period was 42.0% (95% CI: 38.4-45.9%). Risk of nest failure was negatively associated with greater rock and more medium-sized gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥2.0 m and <3.0 m). Within our study areas, Wyoming's Core Areas did not have differing microhabitat quality compared to outside of Core Areas. The close proximity of our locations within and outside of Core Areas likely explained our lack of finding differences in microhabitat quality among locations within these landscapes. However, the Core Area Policy is most likely to conserve high quality habitat at larger spatial scales, which over decades may have cascading effects on microhabitat quality available between areas within and outside of Core Areas.

  3. Off-road vehicles affect nesting behaviour and reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    As human populations and associated development increase, interactions between humans and wildlife are occurring with greater frequency. The effects of these interactions, particularly on species whose populations are declining, are of great interest to ecologists, conservationists, land managers and natural resource policy-makers. The American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus, a species of conservation concern in the USA, nests on coastal beaches subject to various forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including aircraft overflights, off-road vehicles and pedestrians. This study assessed the effects of these human disturbances on the incubation behaviour and reproductive success of nesting American Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore, on the Atlantic coast of the USA. We expanded on-going monitoring of Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore by supplementing periodic visual observations with continuous 24-h video and audio recording at nests. Aircraft overflights were not associated with changes in Oystercatcher incubation behaviour, and we found no evidence that aircraft overflights influenced Oystercatcher reproductive success. However, Oystercatchers were on their nests significantly less often during off-road vehicle and pedestrian events than they were during control periods before the events, and an increase in the number of off-road vehicles passing a nest during incubation was consistently associated with significant reductions in daily nest survival (6% decrease in daily nest survival for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90, 0.98) and hatching success (12% decrease in hatching success for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.88; 95% CI 0.76, 0.97). Management of vehicles and pedestrians in areas of Oystercatcher breeding is important for the conservation of American

  4. No evidence for UV-based nest-site selection in sticklebacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bakker Theo CM

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nests are built in various animal taxa including fish. In systems with exclusive male parental care, the choice of a nest site may be an important component of male fitness. The nest site may influence male attractiveness as a mate, and male, embryo, and juvenile survival probabilities. Reproductively active three-spined stickleback males establish and defend a territory in which they build a nest. Territories can differ remarkably in qualities that influence male and female reproductive success like predation risk or abiotic factors such as dissolved oxygen concentration or lighting conditions. The latter may be important because in sticklebacks the extended visual capability into the ultraviolet (UV wave range plays a role in female mate choice. Males are thus expected to be choosy about the habitat in which they will build their nest. Results We tested nest-site choice in male three-spined sticklebacks with respect to different UV lighting conditions. Reproductively active males were given the simultaneous choice to build their nest either in an UV-rich (UV+ or an UV-lacking (UV- environment. Males exhibited no significant nest-site preferences with respect to UV+ or UV-. However, larger males and also heavier ones completed their nests earlier. Conclusion We found that UV radiation as well as differences in luminance had no influence on nest-site choice in three-spined sticklebacks. Males that built in the UV-rich environment were not different in any trait (body traits and UV reflection traits from males that built in the UV-poor environment. There was a significant effect of standard length and body mass on the time elapsed until nest completion in the UV experiment. The larger and heavier a male, the faster he completed his nest. In the brightness control experiment there was a significant effect only of body mass on the duration of nest completion. Whether nest building preferences with respect to UV lighting

  5. Variation in Nest Temperatures of the American Alligator Found on the Kennedy Space Center Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowers, Russell; Guillette, Louis J.; Weiss, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Information on nest temperatures of the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) constructed in the wild is limited. Nesting temperatures during a critical thermal sensitive period determine the sex of alligators and are therefore critical in establishing the sex biases in recruitment efforts of alligators within a given community. Nest components, varying environmental conditions, and global warming could have a significant impact on nest temperatures, thus affecting future generations of a given population. One hundred and seventy four programmable thermistors were inserted into fifty eight nests from 2010 through 2015 nesting cycles. Three thermistors were placed inside each nest cavity (one on top of the eggs, one in the middle of the eggs, and one at the bottom of the clutch of the eggs) to collect temperature profiles in the incubation chamber and throughout the entire incubation period. One thermistor was also placed near or above these nests to obtain an ambient air temperature profile. Once retrieved, data from these thermistors were downloaded to examine temperature profiles throughout the incubation period as well as during the period of sexual determination. These data would help establish survival rates related to nest temperature and predict sex ratio of recruited neonates at the Kennedy Space Center. Over three million temperatures have been recorded since 2010 for the alligator thermistor study giving us insight to the recruitment efforts found here. Precipitation was the largest influence on nesting temperatures outside of daily photoperiod, with immediate changes of up to eight degrees Celsius.

  6. Combining direct and indirect tracking techniques to assess the impact of sub-Saharan conditions on cross-continental songbird migration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Lykke; Fraser, Kevin C.; Kyser, T. Kurt

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how events throughout the annual cycle interact to influence individual fitness and hence population dynamics is crucial to optimize conservation strategies for migratory birds. Despite major advancements in technology, direct tracking devices for passerine songbirds are still limited...

  7. Female in-nest chatter song increases predation

    OpenAIRE

    Kleindorfer, Sonia; Evans, Christine; Mahr, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    Female song is an ancestral trait in songbirds, yet extant females generally sing less than males. Here, we examine sex differences in the predation cost of singing behaviour. The superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) is a Southern Hemisphere songbird; males and females provision the brood and produce solo song year-round. Both sexes had higher song rate during the fertile period and lower song rate during incubation and chick feeding. Females were more likely than males to sing close to or ins...

  8. Polytypic Functions Over Nested Datatypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf Hinze

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available The theory and practice of polytypic programming is intimately connected with the initial algebra semantics of datatypes. This is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because the underlying theory is beautiful and well developed. It is a curse because the initial algebra semantics is restricted to so-called regular datatypes. Recent work by R. Bird and L. Meertens [3] on the semantics of non-regular or nested datatypes suggests that an extension to general datatypes is not entirely straightforward. Here we propose an alternative that extends polytypism to arbitrary datatypes, including nested datatypes and mutually recursive datatypes. The central idea is to use rational trees over a suitable set of functor symbols as type arguments for polytypic functions. Besides covering a wider range of types the approach is also simpler and technically less involving than previous ones. We present several examples of polytypic functions, among others polytypic reduction and polytypic equality. The presentation assumes some background in functional and in polytypic programming. A basic knowledge of monads is required for some of the examples.

  9. Nest site attributes and temporal patterns of northern flicker nest loss: effects of predation and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Ryan J; Wiebe, Karen L

    2006-04-01

    To date, most studies of nest site selection have failed to take into account more than one source of nest loss (or have combined all sources in one analysis) when examining nest site characteristics, leaving us with an incomplete understanding of the potential trade-offs that individuals may face when selecting a nest site. Our objectives were to determine whether northern flickers (Colaptes auratus) may experience a trade-off in nest site selection in response to mammalian nest predation and nest loss to a cavity nest competitor (European starling, Sturnus vulgaris). We also document within-season temporal patterns of these two sources of nest loss with the hypothesis that flickers may also be constrained in the timing of reproduction under both predatory and competitive influence. Mammalian predators frequently depredated flicker nests that were: lower to the ground, less concealed by vegetation around the cavity entrance and at the base of the nest tree, closer to coniferous forest edges and in forest clumps with a high percentage of conifer content. Proximity to coniferous edges or coniferous trees increased the probability of nest predation, but nests near conifers were less likely to be lost to starlings. Flickers may thus face a trade-off in nest site selection with respect to safety from predators or competitors. Models suggested that peaks of nest predation and nest loss to eviction occurred at the same time, although a competing model suggested that the peak of nest loss to starlings occurred 5 days earlier than the peak of mammalian predation. Differences in peaks of mammalian predation and loss to starlings may constrain any adjustment in clutch initiation date by flickers to avoid one source of nest loss.

  10. Synchronisation of parental behaviours reduces the risk of nest predation in a socially monogamous passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leniowski, K; Węgrzyn, E

    2018-05-09

    Social monogamy with bi-parental care is the most common breeding pattern in birds, yet cooperation between mates has not been intensively studied to date. In this study we investigate synchronisation of parental behaviours in the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, a species characterized by bi-parental care and high nest predation. We test the hypothesis that mates synchronize their behaviours to decrease total activity at the nest, which is known to affect predation rate in birds. We examine if blackcap parents synchronise their feeding trips more when nestlings are at the poikilothermic stage, and they may be more vulnerable to nest predation due to their inability to escape and survive outside the nest without parental brooding. We also investigate the alternation of feeding trips by parents. We show that blackcap parents synchronise the majority of their feeding trips during the whole nestling period, and the level of parental synchrony is higher before nestlings develop endothermy. The alternation of male and female feeding trips was much higher than would be expected by chance and was positively related to parental synchrony. We have demonstrated that synchronisation of parental feeding trips significantly decreased parental activity at the nest, and nest survival time increased with the synchrony of parental feeding trips.

  11. Nest site selection by individual leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea, Testudines: Dermochelyidae in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noga Neeman

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Nest site selection for individual leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, is a matter of dispute. Some authors suggest that a female will tend to randomly scatter her nests to optimize clutch survival at a highly dynamic beach, while others suggest that some site fidelity exists. It is also possible that both strategies exist, depending on the characteristics of each nesting beach, with stable beaches leading to repeating nest site selections and unstable beaches leading to nest scattering. To determine the strategy of the Tortuguero population of D. coriacea, female site preference and repetition were determined by studying whether females repeat their nest zone choices between successive attempts and whether this leads to a correlation in hatching and emergence success of subsequent nests. Nesting data from 1997 to 2008 were used. Perpendicular to the coastline, open sand was preferred in general, regardless of initial choice. This shows a tendency to scatter nests and is consistent with the fact that all vertical zones had a high variability in hatching and emergence success. It is also consistent with nest success not being easily predictable, as shown by the lack of correlation in success of subsequent nesting attempts. Along the coastline, turtles showed a preference for the middle part of the studied section of beach, both at a population level and as a tendency to repeat their initial choice. Interestingly, this zone has the most artificial lights, which leads to slightly lower nest success (though not significantly so and hatchling disorientation. This finding merits further study for a possibly maladaptive trait and shows the need for increased control of artificial nesting on this beach.

  12. An economical wireless cavity-nest viewer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel P. Huebner; Sarah R. Hurteau

    2007-01-01

    Inspection of cavity nests and nest boxes is often required during studies of cavity-nesting birds, and fiberscopes and pole-mounted video cameras are sometimes used for such inspection. However, the cost of these systems may be prohibitive for some potential users. We describe a user-built, wireless cavity viewer that can be used to access cavities as high as 15 m and...

  13. Adrenocortical responses to offspring-directed threats in two open-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Luke K; Bisson, Isabelle-Anne; Hayden, Timothy J; Wikelski, Martin; Romero, L Michael

    2009-07-01

    Dependent young are often easy targets for predators, so for many parent vertebrates, responding to offspring-directed threats is a fundamental part of reproduction. We tested the parental adrenocortical response of the endangered black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla) and the common white-eyed vireo (V. griseus) to acute and chronic threats to their offspring. Like many open-nesting birds, our study species experience high offspring mortality. Parents responded behaviorally to a predator decoy or human 1-2m from their nests, but, in contrast to similar studies of cavity-nesting birds, neither these acute threats nor chronic offspring-directed threats altered plasma corticosterone concentrations of parents. Although parents in this study showed no corticosterone response to offspring-directed threats, they always increased corticosterone concentrations in response to capture. To explain these results, we propose that parents perceive their risk of nest-associated death differently depending on nest type, with cavity-nesting adults perceiving greater risk to themselves than open-nesters that can readily detect and escape from offspring-directed threats. Our results agree with previous studies suggesting that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a major physiological mechanism for coping with threats to survival, probably plays no role in coping with threats to offspring when risks to parents and offspring are not correlated. We extend that paradigm by demonstrating that nest style may influence how adults perceive the correlation between offspring-directed and self-directed threats.

  14. Edge, height and visibility effects on nest predation by birds and mammals in the Brazilian cerrado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonov, Pavel; Paneczko, Ingrid Toledo; Telles, Marina

    2017-08-01

    Edge influence is one of the main impacts in fragmented landscapes; yet, most of studies on edge influence have focused on high-contrast edges, and the impacts of low-contrast edges and narrow linear openings are less understood. Edge influence often affects bird nest predation, but these effects are not ubiquitous and may depend on characteristics such as nest height and visibility. We performed an experiment on nest predation in a migratory passerine, Elaenia chiriquensis (Lesser Elaenia; Passeriformes: Tyrannidae), in a savanna vegetation of the Brazilian Cerrado biome in South-Eastern Brazil. We used 89 real E. chiriquensis nests, collected during previous reproductive seasons, with two plasticine eggs in each, and randomly distributed them at two locations (edge - up to 20 m from a firebreak edge and interior - approx. 150-350 m from the edge) and two heights (low - 60-175 cm and high - 190-315 cm above ground). We also measured leaf and branch density around each nest. We performed this study on two 15-days campaigns, checking the nests every 2-3 days and removing those with predation marks. We sorted the predation marks into those made by birds, mammals, or unidentified predators, and used generalized linear models to assess the effects of location, height and leaf density on survival time and predator type. Only four nests had not been predated during the experiment; 55 nests were predated by birds, 7 by mammals, and 23 by unidentified predators. Low nests in the interior tended to have larger survival times whereas high nests at the edge tended to be more predated by birds and less predated by mammals. Thus, even a low-contrast (firebreak) edge may significantly increase nest predation, which is also affected by the nest's height, mainly due to predation by birds. These effects may be due to predator movement along the edge as well as to edge-related changes in vegetation structure. We suggest that higher-contrast edges which may also be used as movement

  15. The design and function of birds' nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R; Lambrechts, Marcel M; Deeming, D Charles

    2014-10-01

    All birds construct nests in which to lay eggs and/or raise offspring. Traditionally, it was thought that natural selection and the requirement to minimize the risk of predation determined the design of completed nests. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that sexual selection also influences nest design. This is an important development as while species such as bowerbirds build structures that are extended phenotypic signals whose sole purpose is to attract a mate, nests contain eggs and/or offspring, thereby suggesting a direct trade-off between the conflicting requirements of natural and sexual selection. Nest design also varies adaptively in order to both minimize the detrimental effects of parasites and to create a suitable microclimate for parents and developing offspring in relation to predictable variation in environmental conditions. Our understanding of the design and function of birds' nests has increased considerably in recent years, and the evidence suggests that nests have four nonmutually exclusive functions. Consequently, we conclude that the design of birds' nests is far more sophisticated than previously realized and that nests are multifunctional structures that have important fitness consequences for the builder/s.

  16. The design and function of birds' nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R; Lambrechts, Marcel M; Deeming, D Charles

    2014-01-01

    All birds construct nests in which to lay eggs and/or raise offspring. Traditionally, it was thought that natural selection and the requirement to minimize the risk of predation determined the design of completed nests. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that sexual selection also influences nest design. This is an important development as while species such as bowerbirds build structures that are extended phenotypic signals whose sole purpose is to attract a mate, nests contain eggs and/or offspring, thereby suggesting a direct trade-off between the conflicting requirements of natural and sexual selection. Nest design also varies adaptively in order to both minimize the detrimental effects of parasites and to create a suitable microclimate for parents and developing offspring in relation to predictable variation in environmental conditions. Our understanding of the design and function of birds' nests has increased considerably in recent years, and the evidence suggests that nests have four nonmutually exclusive functions. Consequently, we conclude that the design of birds' nests is far more sophisticated than previously realized and that nests are multifunctional structures that have important fitness consequences for the builder/s. PMID:25505520

  17. Nested trampoline resonators for optomechanics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weaver, M. J., E-mail: mweaver@physics.ucsb.edu; Pepper, B.; Luna, F.; Perock, B. [Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Buters, F. M.; Eerkens, H. J.; Welker, G.; Heeck, K.; Man, S. de [Huygens-Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Universiteit Leiden, 2333 CA Leiden (Netherlands); Bouwmeester, D. [Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Huygens-Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Universiteit Leiden, 2333 CA Leiden (Netherlands)

    2016-01-18

    Two major challenges in the development of optomechanical devices are achieving a low mechanical and optical loss rate and vibration isolation from the environment. We address both issues by fabricating trampoline resonators made from low pressure chemical vapor deposition Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} with a distributed Bragg reflector mirror. We design a nested double resonator structure with 80 dB of mechanical isolation from the mounting surface at the inner resonator frequency, and we demonstrate up to 45 dB of isolation at lower frequencies in agreement with the design. We reliably fabricate devices with mechanical quality factors of around 400 000 at room temperature. In addition, these devices were used to form optical cavities with finesse up to 181 000 ± 1000. These promising parameters will enable experiments in the quantum regime with macroscopic mechanical resonators.

  18. Nested trampoline resonators for optomechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weaver, M. J.; Pepper, B.; Luna, F.; Perock, B.; Buters, F. M.; Eerkens, H. J.; Welker, G.; Heeck, K.; Man, S. de; Bouwmeester, D.

    2016-01-01

    Two major challenges in the development of optomechanical devices are achieving a low mechanical and optical loss rate and vibration isolation from the environment. We address both issues by fabricating trampoline resonators made from low pressure chemical vapor deposition Si 3 N 4 with a distributed Bragg reflector mirror. We design a nested double resonator structure with 80 dB of mechanical isolation from the mounting surface at the inner resonator frequency, and we demonstrate up to 45 dB of isolation at lower frequencies in agreement with the design. We reliably fabricate devices with mechanical quality factors of around 400 000 at room temperature. In addition, these devices were used to form optical cavities with finesse up to 181 000 ± 1000. These promising parameters will enable experiments in the quantum regime with macroscopic mechanical resonators

  19. Nested trampoline resonators for optomechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, M. J.; Pepper, B.; Luna, F.; Buters, F. M.; Eerkens, H. J.; Welker, G.; Perock, B.; Heeck, K.; de Man, S.; Bouwmeester, D.

    2016-01-01

    Two major challenges in the development of optomechanical devices are achieving a low mechanical and optical loss rate and vibration isolation from the environment. We address both issues by fabricating trampoline resonators made from low pressure chemical vapor deposition Si3N4 with a distributed Bragg reflector mirror. We design a nested double resonator structure with 80 dB of mechanical isolation from the mounting surface at the inner resonator frequency, and we demonstrate up to 45 dB of isolation at lower frequencies in agreement with the design. We reliably fabricate devices with mechanical quality factors of around 400 000 at room temperature. In addition, these devices were used to form optical cavities with finesse up to 181 000 ± 1000. These promising parameters will enable experiments in the quantum regime with macroscopic mechanical resonators.

  20. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: New Hampshire: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting birds in New Hampshire. Vector points in this data set represent locations of nesting osprey...

  1. Place preference and vocal learning rely on distinct reinforcers in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, Don; Chen, Ruidong; Goldberg, Jesse H

    2018-04-30

    In reinforcement learning (RL) agents are typically tasked with maximizing a single objective function such as reward. But it remains poorly understood how agents might pursue distinct objectives at once. In machines, multiobjective RL can be achieved by dividing a single agent into multiple sub-agents, each of which is shaped by agent-specific reinforcement, but it remains unknown if animals adopt this strategy. Here we use songbirds to test if navigation and singing, two behaviors with distinct objectives, can be differentially reinforced. We demonstrate that strobe flashes aversively condition place preference but not song syllables. Brief noise bursts aversively condition song syllables but positively reinforce place preference. Thus distinct behavior-generating systems, or agencies, within a single animal can be shaped by correspondingly distinct reinforcement signals. Our findings suggest that spatially segregated vocal circuits can solve a credit assignment problem associated with multiobjective learning.

  2. Memory for multiple cache locations and prey quantities in a food-hoarding songbird

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola eArmstrong

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Most animals can discriminate between pairs of numbers that are each less than four without training. However, North Island robins (Petroica longipes, a food hoarding songbird endemic to New Zealand, can discriminate between quantities of items as high as eight without training. Here we investigate whether robins are capable of other complex quantity discrimination tasks. We test whether their ability to discriminate between small quantities declines with 1. the number of cache sites containing prey rewards and 2. the length of time separating cache creation and retrieval (retention interval. Results showed that subjects generally performed above chance expectations. They were equally able to discriminate between different combinations of prey quantities that were hidden from view in 2, 3 and 4 cache sites from between 1, 10 and 60 seconds. Overall results indicate that North Island robins can process complex quantity information involving more than two discrete quantities of items for up to one minute long retention intervals without training.

  3. Direct observation of syringeal muscle function in songbirds and a parrot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Goller, Franz

    2002-01-01

    on the syrinx. Contraction of m. tracheobronchialis ventralis enlarges the syringeal lumen and thus increases airflow by abducting the LL but does not affect the ML. The largest syringeal muscle, m. syringealis ventralis, plays a minor role, if any, in direct aperture control and thus in gating airflow...... the LTMs further into the tracheal lumen but does not close the syringeal aperture fully. The intrinsic deep muscle, m. syringealis profundus, abducts the LTMs through cranio-laterad movement of a paired, protruding half-ring. The weakly developed extrinsic m. sternotrachealis seems to increase tension......The role of syringeal muscles in controlling the aperture of the avian vocal organ, the syrinx, was evaluated directly for the first time by observing and filming through an endoscope while electrically stimulating different muscle groups of anaesthetised birds. In songbirds (brown thrashers...

  4. The effects of temperature on nest predation by mammals, birds, and snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Andrew Cox; F.R. Thompson III; J.L. Reidy

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how weather influences survival and reproduction is an important component of forecasting how climate change will influence wildlife population viability. Nest predation is the primary source of reproductive failure for passerine birds and can change in response to temperature. However, it is unclear which predator species are responsible for such...

  5. Do common cuckoo chicks suffer nest predation more than host nestlings?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jelínek, Václav; Karasová, Tereza; Weidinger, K.; Procházka, Petr; Honza, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 11 (2016), s. 1975-1987 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Brood parasitism * Great reed warbler * Nest survival * Reed warbler Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.185, year: 2016

  6. Livestock grazing and trampling of birds' nests: An experiment using artificial nests

    OpenAIRE

    Mandema, Freek S.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Ens, Bruno J.; Bakker, Jan P.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to experimentally determine the differences between four grazing treatments on the trampling of nests. Additionally, we examine to what extent the trampling probability of nests is higher close to a source of fresh water. We compare the trampling of artificial nests in five different grazing treatments in an experimental design. We use buried clay pigeon targets as artificial mimics of bird nests to obtain reliable estimates of trampling risk and compare these wit...

  7. Biomechanical testing of materials in avian nests provides insight into nest construction behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Biddle, Lucia E.; Deeming, D. Charles; Goodman, Adrian M.

    2015-01-01

    Animals that use materials to build nest structures have long since fascinated biologists and engineers alike. Avian nests are generally composed of collected materials brought together into a cup-like structure in which the bird sits to incubate eggs and, in many cases, it is where chicks are reared. Hence, the materials in a nest can be presumed to be loaded in compression, but relatively few studies have investigated the mechanical role of the nest elements and their position w...

  8. Spawning chronology, nest site selection and nest success of smallmouth bass during benign streamflow conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauwalter, D.C.; Fisher, W.L.

    2007-01-01

    We documented the nesting chronology, nest site selection and nest success of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in an upstream (4th order) and downstream (5th order) reach of Baron Fork Creek, Oklahoma. Males started nesting in mid-Apr. when water temperatures increased to 16.9 C upstream, and in late-Apr. when temperatures increased to 16.2 C downstream. Streamflows were low (77% upstream to 82% downstream of mean Apr. streamflow, and 12 and 18% of meanjun. streamflow; 47 and 55 y of record), and decreased throughout the spawning period. Larger males nested first upstream, as has been observed in other populations, but not downstream. Upstream, progeny in 62 of 153 nests developed to swim-up stage. Downstream, progeny in 31 of 73 nests developed to swim-up. Nesting densities upstream (147/km) and downstream (100/km) were both higher than any densities previously reported. Males selected nest sites with intermediate water depths, low water velocity and near cover, behavior that is typical of smallmouth bass. Documented nest failures resulted from human disturbance, angling, and longear sunfish predation. Logistic exposure models showed that water velocity at the nest was negatively related and length of the guarding male was positively related to nest success upstream. Male length and number of degree days were both positively related to nest success downstream. Our results, and those of other studies, suggest that biological factors account for most nest failures during benign (stable, low flow) streamflow conditions, whereas nest failures attributed to substrate mobility or nest abandonment dominate when harsh streamflow conditions (spring floods) coincide with the spawning season.

  9. Tracking from the tropics reveals behaviour of juvenile songbirds on their first spring migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily A McKinnon

    Full Text Available Juvenile songbirds on spring migration travel from tropical wintering sites to temperate breeding destinations thousands of kilometres away with no prior experience to guide them. We provide a first glimpse at the migration timing, routes, and stopover behaviour of juvenile wood thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina on their inaugural spring migration by using miniaturized archival geolocators to track them from Central America to the U.S. and Canada. We found significant differences between the timing of juvenile migration and that of more experienced adults: juveniles not only departed later from tropical wintering sites relative to adults, they also became progressively later as they moved northward. The increasing delay was driven by more frequent short stops by juveniles along their migration route, particularly in the U.S. as they got closer to breeding sites. Surprisingly, juveniles were just as likely as adults to cross the Gulf of Mexico, an open-water crossing of 800-1000 km, and migration route at the Gulf was not significantly different for juveniles relative to adults. To determine if the later departure of juveniles was related to poor body condition in winter relative to adults, we examined percent lean body mass, fat scores, and pectoral muscle scores of juvenile versus adult birds at a wintering site in Belize. We found no age-related differences in body condition. Later migration timing of juveniles relative to adults could be an adaptive strategy (as opposed to condition-dependent to avoid the high costs of fast migration and competition for breeding territories with experienced and larger adults. We did find significant differences in wing size between adults and juveniles, which could contribute to lower flight efficiency of juveniles and thus slower overall migration speed. We provide the first step toward understanding the "black box" of juvenile songbird migration by documenting their migration timing and en route performance.

  10. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giret, Nicolas; Menardy, Fabien; Del Negro, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM), while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer, and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird's own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of information about the

  11. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eGiret

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM, while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird’s own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of

  12. Testosterone-dependency of male solo song in a duetting songbird--evidence from females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Cornelia; Leitner, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    For male songbirds of the temperate zone there is a tight link between seasonal song behaviour and circulating testosterone levels. Such a relationship does not seem to hold for tropical species where singing can occur year-round and breeding seasons are often extended. White-browed sparrow weavers (Plocepasser mahali) are cooperatively breeding songbirds with a dominant breeding pair and male and female subordinates found in eastern and southern Africa. Each group defends an all-purpose territory year-round. While all group members sing duets and choruses, the most dominant male additionally sings a solo song that comprises a distinct and large syllable repertoire. Previous studies suggested this type of song being associated with reproduction but failed to support a relationship with males' circulating testosterone levels. The present study aimed to investigate the steroid hormone sensitivity of the solo song in more detail. We found that dominant males had significantly higher circulating testosterone levels than subordinates during the early and late breeding seasons. No changes in solo song characteristics were found between both time points. Further, experimental implantation of captive adult females with exogenous testosterone induced solo singing within one week of treatment. Such females produced male-typical song regarding overall structure and syllable composition. Sex differences existed, however, concerning singing activity, repertoire size and temporal organisation of song. These results suggest that solo singing in white-browed sparrow weavers is under the control of gonadal steroid hormones. Moreover, the behaviour is not male-specific but can be activated in females under certain conditions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Determining the sources of calcium for migratory songbirds using stable strontium isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Joel D; Taliaferro, E Hank; Holmes, Richard T

    2001-02-01

    We investigated natural variations in the stable isotopic composition of strontium (a surrogate for calcium) in the bones of a single species of breeding migratory songbird, as well as in their eggshells, egg contents, and food sources. We use this information to determine the sources of calcium to these migratory songbirds and their offspring. Samples were collected from two locations in the northeastern USA (Hubbard Brook, NH, and Downer Forest, VT.) that differed in soil geochemistry. The mean 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios of food items (caterpillars and snails), eggshells, and egg contents were indistinguishable within each site, but significantly different between the two sites. Mean 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios for the bones of adult females were significantly different between the two sites, but values were significantly lower than those of food items and eggshells at each site. Two of four adult individuals studied at each site had 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios lower than the entire range of values for local food sources. Mixing calculations indicate that up to 60% of skeletal strontium and calcium was derived from foods consumed in the winter grounds where lower 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios predominate. At each study site, the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio of eggshells differed significantly between clutches, but the mean clutch 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios were unrelated to the skeletal 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio of the laying adult. These findings suggest that strontium (and hence calcium) for eggshell production in this species is derived predominantly from local food sources in breeding areas. Thus, reductions in available calcium in northern temperate ecosystems due to the influences of acid deposition could be potentially harmful to this and other species of migratory bird.

  14. Cortical inter-hemispheric circuits for multimodal vocal learning in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, Amy K; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2017-10-15

    Vocal learning in songbirds and humans is strongly influenced by social interactions based on sensory inputs from several modalities. Songbird vocal learning is mediated by cortico-basal ganglia circuits that include the SHELL region of lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN), but little is known concerning neural pathways that could integrate multimodal sensory information with SHELL circuitry. In addition, cortical pathways that mediate the precise coordination between hemispheres required for song production have been little studied. In order to identify candidate mechanisms for multimodal sensory integration and bilateral coordination for vocal learning in zebra finches, we investigated the anatomical organization of two regions that receive input from SHELL: the dorsal caudolateral nidopallium (dNCL SHELL ) and a region within the ventral arcopallium (Av). Anterograde and retrograde tracing experiments revealed a topographically organized inter-hemispheric circuit: SHELL and dNCL SHELL , as well as adjacent nidopallial areas, send axonal projections to ipsilateral Av; Av in turn projects to contralateral SHELL, dNCL SHELL , and regions of nidopallium adjacent to each. Av on each side also projects directly to contralateral Av. dNCL SHELL and Av each integrate inputs from ipsilateral SHELL with inputs from sensory regions in surrounding nidopallium, suggesting that they function to integrate multimodal sensory information with song-related responses within LMAN-SHELL during vocal learning. Av projections share this integrated information from the ipsilateral hemisphere with contralateral sensory and song-learning regions. Our results suggest that the inter-hemispheric pathway through Av may function to integrate multimodal sensory feedback with vocal-learning circuitry and coordinate bilateral vocal behavior. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Reward and vocal production: song-associated place preference in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riters, Lauren V; Stevenson, Sharon A

    2012-05-15

    Vocal production is crucial for successful social interactions in multiple species. Reward can strongly influence behavior; however, the extent to which reward systems influence vocal behavior is unknown. In songbirds, singing occurs in different contexts. It can be spontaneous and undirected (e.g., song produced alone or as part of a large flock) or directed towards a conspecific (e.g., song used to attract a mate or influence a competitor). In this study, we developed a conditioned place preference paradigm to measure reward associated with different types of singing behavior in two songbird species. Both male zebra finches and European starlings developed a preference for a chamber associated with production of undirected song, suggesting that the production of undirected song is tightly coupled to intrinsic reward. In contrast, neither starlings nor zebra finches developed a place preference in association with directed song; however, male starlings singing directed song that failed to attract a female developed a place aversion. Unsuccessful contact calling behavior was also associated with a place aversion. These findings suggest that directed vocal behavior is not tightly linked to intrinsic reward but may be externally reinforced by social interactions. Data across two species thus support the hypothesis that the production of undirected but not directed song is tightly coupled to intrinsic reward. This study is the first to identify song-associated reward and suggests that reward associated with vocal production differs depending upon the context in which communication occurs. The findings have implications for understanding what motivates animals to engage in social behaviors and ways in which distinct reward mechanisms function to direct socially appropriate behaviors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Models of vocal learning in the songbird: Historical frameworks and the stabilizing critic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nick, Teresa A

    2015-10-01

    Birdsong is a form of sensorimotor learning that involves a mirror-like system that activates with both song hearing and production. Early models of song learning, based on behavioral measures, identified key features of vocal plasticity, such as the requirements for memorization of a tutor song and auditory feedback during song practice. The concept of a comparator, which compares the memory of the tutor song to auditory feedback, featured prominently. Later models focused on linking anatomically-defined neural modules to behavioral concepts, such as the comparator. Exploiting the anatomical modularity of the songbird brain, localized lesions illuminated mechanisms of the neural song system. More recent models have integrated neuronal mechanisms identified in other systems with observations in songbirds. While these models explain multiple aspects of song learning, they must incorporate computational elements based on unknown biological mechanisms to bridge the motor-to-sensory delay and/or transform motor signals into the sensory domain. Here, I introduce the stabilizing critic hypothesis, which enables sensorimotor learning by (1) placing a purely sensory comparator afferent of the song system and (2) endowing song system disinhibitory interneuron networks with the capacity both to bridge the motor-sensory delay through prolonged bursting and to stabilize song segments selectively based on the comparator signal. These proposed networks stabilize an otherwise variable signal generated by both putative mirror neurons and a cortical-basal ganglia-thalamic loop. This stabilized signal then temporally converges with a matched premotor signal in the efferent song motor cortex, promoting spike-timing-dependent plasticity in the premotor circuitry and behavioral song learning. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Factors driving territory size and breeding success in a threatened migratory songbird, the Canada Warbler

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. T. Tyler Flockhart

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Successful conservation of migratory birds demands we understand how habitat factors on the breeding grounds influences breeding success. Multiple factors are known to directly influence breeding success in territorial songbirds. For example, greater food availability and fewer predators can have direct effects on breeding success. However, many of these same habitat factors can also result in higher conspecific density that may ultimately reduce breeding success through density dependence. In this case, there is a negative indirect effect of habitat on breeding success through its effects on conspecific density and territory size. Therefore, a key uncertainty facing land managers is whether important habitat attributes directly influence breeding success or indirectly influence breeding success through territory size. We used radio-telemetry, point-counts, vegetation sampling, predator observations, and insect sampling over two years to provide data on habitat selection of a steeply declining songbird species, the Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis. These data were then applied in a hierarchical path modeling framework and an AIC model selection approach to determine the habitat attributes that best predict breeding success. Canada Warblers had smaller territories in areas with high shrub cover, in the presence of red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, at shoreline sites relative to forest-interior sites and as conspecific density increased. Breeding success was lower for birds with smaller territories, which suggests competition for limited food resources, but there was no direct evidence that food availability influenced territory size or breeding success. The negative relationship between shrub cover and territory size in our study may arise because these specific habitat conditions are spatially heterogeneous, whereby individuals pack into patches of preferred breeding habitat scattered throughout the landscape, resulting in reduced

  18. Social status affects the degree of sex difference in the songbird brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Voigt

    Full Text Available It is thought that neural sex differences are functionally related to sex differences in the behaviour of vertebrates. A prominent example is the song control system of songbirds. Inter-specific comparisons have led to the hypothesis that sex differences in song nuclei size correlate with sex differences in song behaviour. However, only few species with similar song behaviour in both sexes have been investigated and not all data fit the hypothesis. We investigated the proposed structure-function relationship in a cooperatively breeding and duetting songbird, the white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali. This species lives in groups of 2-10 individuals, with a dominant breeding pair and male and female subordinates. While all male and female group members sing duet and chorus song, a male, once it has reached the dominant position in the group, sings an additional type of song that comprises a distinct and large syllable repertoire. Here we show for both types of male-female comparisons a male-biased sex difference in neuroanatomy of areas of the song production pathway (HVC and RA that does not correlate with the observed polymorphism in song behaviour. In contrast, in situ hybridisation of mRNA of selected genes expressed in the song nucleus HVC reveals a gene expression pattern that is either similar between sexes in female-subordinate male comparisons or female-biased in female-dominant male comparisons. Thus, the polymorphic gene expression pattern would fit the sex- and status-related song behaviour. However, this implies that once a male has become dominant it produces the duetting song with a different neural phenotype than subordinate males.

  19. Development with age of nest box use and gregarious nesting in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2010-01-01

    in position (left + corner, middle, and right). Nesting behaviour was video recorded for 5 days in each of five distinct periods: age 20, 26, 32, 38, and 44 weeks. The total number of visits and the number of gregarious visits were higher in the left nest box than in the other two nest boxes at all ages...

  20. Livestock grazing and trampling of birds' nests : An experiment using artificial nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, Freek S.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Ens, Bruno J.; Bakker, Jan P.

    The purpose of this study is to experimentally determine the differences between four grazing treatments on the trampling of nests. Additionally, we examine to what extent the trampling probability of nests is higher close to a source of fresh water. We compare the trampling of artificial nests in

  1. Nest predators of open and cavity nesting birds in oak woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared Verner

    1999-01-01

    Camera setups revealed at least three species of rodents and seven species of birds as potential predators at artificial open nests. Surprisingly, among avian predators identified at open nests, one third were Bullock's Orioles (Icterus bullockii). Two rodent species and three bird species were potential predators at artificial cavity nests. This high predator...

  2. Conservation significance of alternative nests of golden eagles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian A. Millsap

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos are long-lived raptors that maintain nesting territories that may be occupied for a century or longer. Within occupied nesting territories there is one nest in which eagles lay their eggs in a given year (i.e., the used nest, but there are usually other nests (i.e., alternative nests. Conservation plans often protect used nests, but not alternative nests or nesting territories that appear vacant. Our objective is to review literature on golden eagle use of alternative nests and occupancy of nesting territories to determine if alternative nests are biologically significant and warrant greater conservation consideration. Our review shows that: (1 alternative nests or their associated habitat are most often in core areas of golden eagle nesting territories; (2 alternative nests likely will become used in the future; (3 probability of an alternative nest becoming used is greatest where prey availability is high and alternative nest sites are limited; (4 likelihood of annual occupancy or reoccupancy of golden eagle nesting territories is high; and (5 prey availability is the most important determinant of nesting territory occupancy and breeding activity. We recommend alternative nests be treated with the same deference as used nests in land use planning.

  3. Nested Sampling with Constrained Hamiltonian Monte Carlo

    OpenAIRE

    Betancourt, M. J.

    2010-01-01

    Nested sampling is a powerful approach to Bayesian inference ultimately limited by the computationally demanding task of sampling from a heavily constrained probability distribution. An effective algorithm in its own right, Hamiltonian Monte Carlo is readily adapted to efficiently sample from any smooth, constrained distribution. Utilizing this constrained Hamiltonian Monte Carlo, I introduce a general implementation of the nested sampling algorithm.

  4. Estimating length of avian incubation and nestling stages in afrotropical forest birds from interval-censored nest records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, T.R.; Newmark, W.D.

    2010-01-01

    In the East Usambara Mountains in northeast Tanzania, research on the effects of forest fragmentation and disturbance on nest survival in understory birds resulted in the accumulation of 1,002 nest records between 2003 and 2008 for 8 poorly studied species. Because information on the length of the incubation and nestling stages in these species is nonexistent or sparse, our objectives in this study were (1) to estimate the length of the incubation and nestling stage and (2) to compute nest survival using these estimates in combination with calculated daily survival probability. Because our data were interval censored, we developed and applied two new statistical methods to estimate stage length. In the 8 species studied, the incubation stage lasted 9.6-21.8 days and the nestling stage 13.9-21.2 days. Combining these results with estimates of daily survival probability, we found that nest survival ranged from 6.0% to 12.5%. We conclude that our methodology for estimating stage lengths from interval-censored nest records is a reasonable and practical approach in the presence of interval-censored data. ?? 2010 The American Ornithologists' Union.

  5. Neural correlates of vocal learning in songbirds and humans: cross-species fMRI studies into individual differences

    OpenAIRE

    Kant, Anne Marie van der

    2015-01-01

    Animal models, songbirds particularly, are increasingly used to study the human capacity for speech and language. In the light of understanding both language evolution and individual language acquisition these models are highly valuable, provided that they are studied within a valid comparative framework. In the past few decades, non-invasive methods such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Near-InfraRed Spectroscopy (NIRS) have become available for human as well as animal bra...

  6. Low heritability of nest construction in a wild bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Järvinen, Pauliina; Kluen, Edward; Brommer, Jon E

    2017-10-01

    In birds and other taxa, nest construction varies considerably between and within populations. Such variation is hypothesized to have an adaptive (i.e. genetic) basis, but estimates of heritability in nest construction are largely lacking. Here, we demonstrate with data collected over 10 years from 1010 nests built by blue tits in nest-boxes that nest size (height of nest material) and nest composition (proportion of feathers in the nest) are repeatable but only weakly (12-13%) heritable female traits. These findings imply that nest construction may evolve but only if subjected to strong and consistent selection pressures. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Early kit mortality and growth in farmed mink are affected by litter size rather than nest climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schou, Toke Munk; Malmkvist, Jens

    2017-01-01

    increased growth (P=0.026). Nest box temperature had little effect on early kit survival and growth, which could be due to dams’ additional maternal behaviour. Therefore, we cannot confirm that temperature is the primary reason for kit mortality, under the conditions of plenty straw access for maternal nest......We investigated the effects of nest box climate on early mink kit mortality and growth. We hypothesised that litters in warm nest boxes experience less hypothermia-induced mortality and higher growth rates during the 1st week of life. This study included data from 749, 1-year-old breeding dams...... building. Instead, prenatal and/or parturient litter size is the primary factor influencing early kit vitality. The results indicate that the focus should be on litter size and dam welfare around the times of gestation and birth to increase early kit survival in farmed mink....

  8. Assessing hypotheses about nesting site occupancy dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bled, Florent; Royle, J. Andrew; Cam, Emmanuelle

    2011-01-01

    Hypotheses about habitat selection developed in the evolutionary ecology framework assume that individuals, under some conditions, select breeding habitat based on expected fitness in different habitat. The relationship between habitat quality and fitness may be reflected by breeding success of individuals, which may in turn be used to assess habitat quality. Habitat quality may also be assessed via local density: if high-quality sites are preferentially used, high density may reflect high-quality habitat. Here we assessed whether site occupancy dynamics vary with site surrogates for habitat quality. We modeled nest site use probability in a seabird subcolony (the Black-legged Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla) over a 20-year period. We estimated site persistence (an occupied site remains occupied from time t to t + 1) and colonization through two subprocesses: first colonization (site creation at the timescale of the study) and recolonization (a site is colonized again after being deserted). Our model explicitly incorporated site-specific and neighboring breeding success and conspecific density in the neighborhood. Our results provided evidence that reproductively "successful'' sites have a higher persistence probability than "unsuccessful'' ones. Analyses of site fidelity in marked birds and of survival probability showed that high site persistence predominantly reflects site fidelity, not immediate colonization by new owners after emigration or death of previous owners. There is a negative quadratic relationship between local density and persistence probability. First colonization probability decreases with density, whereas recolonization probability is constant. This highlights the importance of distinguishing initial colonization and recolonization to understand site occupancy. All dynamics varied positively with neighboring breeding success. We found evidence of a positive interaction between site-specific and neighboring breeding success. We addressed local

  9. Landscape and regional context differentially affect nest parasitism and nest predation for Wood Thrush in central Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many empirical studies have shown that forest-breeding songbirds, and neotropical migrants in particular, are found in lower abundance in small patches of forest in the Eastern United States compared to similar, but larger patches in the same region. A common hypothesis for the ...

  10. Body size mediates social and environmental effects on nest building behaviour in a fish with paternal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtonen, Topi K; Lindström, Kai; Wong, Bob B M

    2015-07-01

    Body size, social setting, and the physical environment can all influence reproductive behaviours, but their interactions are not well understood. Here, we investigated how male body size, male-male competition, and water turbidity influence nest-building behaviour in the sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus), a marine fish with exclusive paternal care. We found that environmental and social factors affected the nest characteristics of small and large males differently. In particular, association between male size and the level of nest elaboration (i.e. the amount of sand piled on top of the nest) was positive only under clear water conditions. Similarly, male size and nest entrance size were positively associated only in the absence of competition. Such interactions may, in turn, help to explain the persistence of variation in reproductive behaviours, which-due to their importance in offspring survival-are otherwise expected to be under strong balancing selection.

  11. Beach erosion and nest site selection by the leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae and implications for management practices at Playa Gandoca, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Spanier

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea nest on dynamic, erosion-prone beaches. Erosive processes and resulting nest loss have long been presumed to be a hindrance to clutch survival. In order to better understand how leatherbacks cope with unstable nesting beaches, I investigated the role of beach erosion in leatherback nest site selection at Playa Gandoca, Costa Rica. I also examined the potential effect of nest relocation, a conservation strategy in place at Playa Gandoca to prevent nest loss to erosion, on the temperature of incubating clutches. I monitored changes in beach structure as a result of erosion at natural nest sites during the time the nest was laid, as well as in subsequent weeks. To investigate slope as a cue for nest site selection, I measured the slope of the beach where turtles ascended from the sea to nest, as well as the slopes at other random locations on the beach for comparison. I examined temperature differences between natural and relocated nest sites with thermocouples placed in the sand at depths typical of leatherback nests. Nests were distributed non-randomly in a clumped distribution along the length of the beach and laid at locations that were not undergoing erosion. The slope at nest sites was significantly different than at randomly chosen locations on the beach. The sand temperature at nest depths was significantly warmer at natural nest sites than at locations of relocated nests. The findings of this study suggest leatherbacks actively select nest sites that are not undergoing erosive processes, with slope potentially being used as a cue for site selection. The relocation of nests appears to be inadvertently cooling the nest environment. Due to the fact that leatherback clutches undergo temperaturedependent sex determination, the relocation of nests may be producing an unnatural male biasing of hatchlings. The results of this study suggest that the necessity of relocation practices, largely in place to

  12. Observations of sea turtles nesting on Misali islan, Pemba | Pharoah ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A nest-recording programme has collected data over five years from turtles nesting on Misali Island, off the West coast of Pemba, Tanzania. Five species of sea turtle are known to occur in Zanzibar waters, two of these species nested regularly on the island, with green turtle nests outnumbering hawksbill turtle nests by a ...

  13. Nesting success and within-season breeding dispersal in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nest predation is a primary cause of nesting mortality for many bird species, particularly passerines. Nest location can affect predation, and it has also been demonstrated that predation risk can alter nest site selection. Birds can limit predation risk by selecting specific habitat characteristics; by changing nest site ...

  14. Turkey habitat use and nesting characteristics in ponderosa pine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1987-01-01

    Turkeys (Meleagris gallapovo) selected nest sites that provided good horizontal concealment. Rock or rock outcrops were selected most frequently for nest concealment on first-nest attempts. Renest attempts showed a selection preference for shrubs as nest cover; most of these were located in meadows. Nesting success doubled for renests versus first...

  15. Hg-contaminated terrestrial spiders pose a potential risk to songbirds at Caddo Lake (Texas/Louisiana, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gann, Gretchen L; Powell, Cleveland H; Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W

    2015-02-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental contaminant that can have adverse effects on wildlife. Because MeHg is produced by bacteria in aquatic ecosystems, studies of MeHg contamination of food webs historically have focused on aquatic organisms. However, recent studies have shown that terrestrial organisms such as songbirds can be contaminated with MeHg by feeding on MeHg-contaminated spiders. In the present study, the authors examined the risk that MeHg-contaminated terrestrial long-jawed orb weaver spiders (Tetragnatha sp.) pose to songbirds at Caddo Lake (Texas/Louisiana, USA). Methylmercury concentrations in spiders were significantly different in river, wetland, and open-water habitats. The authors calculated spider-based wildlife values (the minimum spider MeHg concentrations causing physiologically significant doses in consumers) to assess exposure risks for arachnivorous birds. Methylmercury concentrations in spiders exceeded wildlife values for Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) nestlings, with the highest risk in the river habitat. The present study indicates that MeHg concentrations in terrestrial spiders vary with habitat and can pose a threat to small-bodied nestling birds that consume large amounts of spiders at Caddo Lake. This MeHg threat to songbirds may not be unique to Caddo Lake and may extend throughout the southeastern United States. © 2014 SETAC.

  16. Nest structure and communal nesting in Euglossa (Glossura annectans Dressler (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Euglossini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Garófalo

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Three nests of Euglossa (Glossura annectans Dressier, 1982 were obtained from trap nests at Serra do Japi, Jundiai, São Paulo State, Brazil. The bees nested in bamboo cane (one nest and in wooden-boxes (two nests. Solitary (two cases and pleometrotic (one case foundations were observed. Two nests were re-used once by two females working in each of them. Re-using females that shared the nests were of the same generation and each built, provisioned and oviposited in her own cells, characterizing a communal association. The brood development period was related to climatic conditions. Natural enemies included Anthrax oedipus oedipus Fabricius, 1805 (Bombyliidae, Coelioxys sp. (Megachilidae and Melittobia sp. (Eulophidae.

  17. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  18. Demand for Neste's City products grows strongly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1994-01-01

    Finland's oil, chemicals, and gas company, Neste Corporation, is well on the road to better financial performance after a very difficult year in 1992. Among the factors contributing to this optimism are Neste's pioneering low environmental impact traffic fuels. Neste Corporation's net sales in 1993 rose 9.9 % on 1992 figures to USD 11,011 million. Investments totalled USD 681 million. Profitability also improved during 1993, and the operating margin rose by 57 %, despite the recession affecting the Finnish economy and the instability of the international market. The operational loss for the year before extraordinary items, reserves, and taxes was USD 265 million, one-third less than in 1992. Neste's strategy has been to achieve a strong position in the Baltic Rim region by becoming the quality and cost leader in oil refining, and by expanding Neste's position in its key markets. A total of 3.3 million tonnes of petroleum products were exported from Finland in 1993. Neste's most important export markets were Sweden, Germany, Poland, the Baltic countries, and the St. Petersburg region. Some 20 % of exports went to customers outside Europe. In addition to Finland, Neste has concertedly developed its service station network in Poland and the Baltic countries

  19. Communal nesting under climate change: fitness consequences of higher incubation temperatures for a nocturnal lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayananda, Buddhi; Gray, Sarah; Pike, David; Webb, Jonathan K

    2016-07-01

    Communal nesting lizards may be vulnerable to climate warming, particularly if air temperatures regulate nest temperatures. In southeastern Australia, velvet geckos Oedura lesueurii lay eggs communally inside rock crevices. We investigated whether increases in air temperatures could elevate nest temperatures, and if so, how this could influence hatching phenotypes, survival, and population dynamics. In natural nests, maximum daily air temperature influenced mean and maximum daily nest temperatures, implying that nest temperatures will increase under climate warming. To determine whether hotter nests influence hatchling phenotypes, we incubated eggs under two fluctuating temperature regimes to mimic current 'cold' nests (mean = 23.2 °C, range 10-33 °C) and future 'hot' nests (27.0 °C, 14-37 °C). 'Hot' incubation temperatures produced smaller hatchlings than did cold temperature incubation. We released individually marked hatchlings into the wild in 2014 and 2015, and monitored their survival over 10 months. In 2014 and 2015, hot-incubated hatchlings had higher annual mortality (99%, 97%) than cold-incubated (11%, 58%) or wild-born hatchlings (78%, 22%). To determine future trajectories of velvet gecko populations under climate warming, we ran population viability analyses in Vortex and varied annual rates of hatchling mortality within the range 78- 96%. Hatchling mortality strongly influenced the probability of extinction and the mean time to extinction. When hatchling mortality was >86%, populations had a higher probability of extinction (PE: range 0.52- 1.0) with mean times to extinction of 18-44 years. Whether future changes in hatchling survival translate into reduced population viability will depend on the ability of females to modify their nest-site choices. Over the period 1992-2015, females used the same communal nests annually, suggesting that there may be little plasticity in maternal nest-site selection. The impacts of climate change may

  20. Methods for excluding cliff swallows from nesting on highway structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-08-01

    Cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) are colonially breeding migratory birds that frequently nest on highway : structures. Protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, nesting control methods cannot harm swallows or active : nests. This c...

  1. Emperor penguins nesting on Inaccessible Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkel, G.M.; Llano, G.A.

    1975-01-01

    Emperor penguins were observed nesting on Inaccessible I. during the 1973 winter. This is the southernmost nesting of emperor penguins thus far recorded; it also could be the first record of emperors attempting to start a new rookery. This site, however, may have been used by emperors in the past. The closest reported nesting of these penguins to Inaccessible I. is on the Ross Ice Shelf east of Cape Crozier. With the exception of the Inaccessible I. record, there is little evidence that emperor penguins breed in McMurdo Sound proper.

  2. Sibling cooperation influences the age of nest leaving in an altricial bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, E Keith; Sakaluk, Scott K; Thompson, Charles F

    2013-06-01

    In altricial birds, siblings raised within a nest usually leave the nest within hours of each other, despite often differing considerably in age. The youngest members of the brood are typically underdeveloped at this time and less likely than their older siblings to survive outside the nest, yet they risk abandonment if they do not fledge with their older siblings. Nest leaving is usually initiated by the older offspring, which may delay this process to provide more time for their younger siblings to mature, increasing the younger siblings' postfledging survival and their own inclusive fitness. We tested this hypothesis in a population of house wrens Troglodytes aedon and found that broods with broad age spans among siblings had longer nestling periods than broods with narrow age spans and that delayed fledging improves the survival and reproductive prospects of younger siblings, although at a potential cost to future siblings. We also manipulated age spans through cross-fostering and found that older foster nestlings postponed fledging when raised with younger broodmates, as predicted if the age of younger nestlings determines the time of fledging. Our results support kin-selection theory and demonstrate that the exact time of fledging is attributable, in part, to sib-sib interactions.

  3. The nest as fortress: Defensive behavior of Polybia emaciata, a mud-nesting eusocial wasp

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean O'Donnell

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available The swarm-founding wasp Polybia emaciata is unusual among eusocial Vespidae because it uses mud, rather than wood pulp, as its primary nest construction material. Polybia emaciata nests are more durable than similarly sized paper nests. We tested the hypothesis that the defensive behavior of this wasp may have been modified to take advantage of their strong nests in defense against vertebrate attacks. We simulated vertebrate disturbances by tapping on, and breathing in, P. emaciata. nests and similarly sized P. occidentalis paper nests in the same location at the same time. Polybia emaciata. responses to disturbance were qualitatively different from those of P. occidentalis. The latter exit the nest and attack, while P. emaciata. workers typically fled or entered the nest, attacking only after repeated and extended disturbances. We conclude that durable nest material may permit predator avoidance behavior in P. emaciata.. We compare the defensive responses of P. emaciata. workers with those of other swarm-founding Vespidae, and discuss several selective forces that could cause the evolution of species variation in nest defense behavior.

  4. Synchronised provisioning at the nest: parental coordination over care in a socially monogamous species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica P. van Rooij

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bi-parental care is very common in birds, occurring in over 90% of species, and is expected to evolve whenever the benefits of enhanced offspring survival exceed the costs to both parents of providing care. In altricial species, where the nestlings are entirely dependent on the parents for providing food until fledging, reproductive success is related to the capacity of the parents to provision the offspring at the nest. The degree to which parents synchronise their visits to the nest is rarely considered by studies of bi-parental care, and yet may be an important component of parental care, affecting the outcome of the reproductive attempt, and the dynamics of sexual conflict between the parents. Here we studied this aspect of parental care in the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda, a socially monogamous estrildid finch. We monitored parental nest visit rates and the degree of parental visit synchrony, and assessed their effects on reproductive success (e.g., brood size, number of offspring fledged and nestling growth.The frequency of nest visits in a day was low in this species (<1 visit/h, but there was a high level of synchrony by the two partners with 73% of visits made together. There was a correlation between the proportion of visits that were made by the pair together and the size of the brood at hatching, although it was not related to the number of fledglings a pair produced, or the quality of those offspring. We suggest that nest visit synchrony may primarily be driven by the benefit of parents being together whilst foraging away from the nest, or may reduce nest predation by reducing the level of activity around the nest throughout the day.

  5. Computer-based image studies on tumor nests mathematical features of breast cancer and their clinical prognostic value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lin-Wei; Qu, Ai-Ping; Yuan, Jing-Ping; Chen, Chuang; Sun, Sheng-Rong; Hu, Ming-Bai; Liu, Juan; Li, Yan

    2013-01-01

    The expending and invasive features of tumor nests could reflect the malignant biological behaviors of breast invasive ductal carcinoma. Useful information on cancer invasiveness hidden within tumor nests could be extracted and analyzed by computer image processing and big data analysis. Tissue microarrays from invasive ductal carcinoma (n = 202) were first stained with cytokeratin by immunohistochemical method to clearly demarcate the tumor nests. Then an expert-aided computer analysis system was developed to study the mathematical and geometrical features of the tumor nests. Computer recognition system and imaging analysis software extracted tumor nests information, and mathematical features of tumor nests were calculated. The relationship between tumor nests mathematical parameters and patients' 5-year disease free survival was studied. There were 8 mathematical parameters extracted by expert-aided computer analysis system. Three mathematical parameters (number, circularity and total perimeter) with area under curve >0.5 and 4 mathematical parameters (average area, average perimeter, total area/total perimeter, average (area/perimeter)) with area under curve nests could be a useful parameter to predict the prognosis of early stage breast invasive ductal carcinoma.

  6. The adaptive value of habitat preferences from a multi-scale spatial perspective: insights from marsh-nesting avian species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Jedlikowski

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background Habitat selection and its adaptive outcomes are crucial features for animal life-history strategies. Nevertheless, congruence between habitat preferences and breeding success has been rarely demonstrated, which may result from the single-scale evaluation of animal choices. As habitat selection is a complex multi-scale process in many groups of animal species, investigating adaptiveness of habitat selection in a multi-scale framework is crucial. In this study, we explore whether habitat preferences acting at different spatial scales enhance the fitness of bird species, and check the appropriateness of single vs. multi-scale models. We expected that variables found to be more important for habitat selection at individual scale(s, would coherently play a major role in affecting nest survival at the same scale(s. Methods We considered habitat preferences of two Rallidae species, little crake (Zapornia parva and water rail (Rallus aquaticus, at three spatial scales (landscape, territory, and nest-site and related them to nest survival. Single-scale versus multi-scale models (GLS and glmmPQL were compared to check which model better described adaptiveness of habitat preferences. Consistency between the effect of variables on habitat selection and on nest survival was checked to investigate their adaptive value. Results In both species, multi-scale models for nest survival were more supported than single-scale ones. In little crake, the multi-scale model indicated vegetation density and water depth at the territory scale, as well as vegetation height at nest-site scale, as the most important variables. The first two variables were among the most important for nest survival and habitat selection, and the coherent effects suggested the adaptive value of habitat preferences. In water rail, the multi-scale model of nest survival showed vegetation density at territory scale and extent of emergent vegetation within landscape scale as the most

  7. Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslo, Brooke; Schlacher, Thomas A; Weston, Michael A; Huijbers, Chantal M; Anderson, Chris; Gilby, Ben L; Olds, Andrew D; Connolly, Rod M; Schoeman, David S

    2016-01-01

    Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km), encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and human use regimes in southeast Queensland, Australia. Of the 132 model nests deployed and monitored with cameras, 45 (34%) survived the experimental exposure period. Thirty-five (27%) were lost to flooding, 32 (24%) were depredated, nine (7%) buried by sand, seven (5%) destroyed by people, three (2%) failed by unknown causes, and one (1%) was destroyed by a dog. Clutch fate differed substantially among regions, particularly with respect to losses from flooding and predation. 'Topographic' exposure was the main driver of mortality of nests placed close to the drift line near the base of dunes, which were lost to waves (particularly during storms) and to a lesser extent depredation. Predators determined the fate of clutches not lost to waves, with the depredation probability largely influenced by region. Depredation probability declined as nests were backed by higher dunes and were placed closer to vegetation. This study emphasizes the scale at which clutch fate and survival varies within a regional context, the prominence of corvids as egg predators, the significant role of flooding as a source of nest loss, and the multiple trade-offs faced by beach-nesting birds and those that manage them.

  8. Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke Maslo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km, encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and human use regimes in southeast Queensland, Australia. Of the 132 model nests deployed and monitored with cameras, 45 (34% survived the experimental exposure period. Thirty-five (27% were lost to flooding, 32 (24% were depredated, nine (7% buried by sand, seven (5% destroyed by people, three (2% failed by unknown causes, and one (1% was destroyed by a dog. Clutch fate differed substantially among regions, particularly with respect to losses from flooding and predation. ‘Topographic’ exposure was the main driver of mortality of nests placed close to the drift line near the base of dunes, which were lost to waves (particularly during storms and to a lesser extent depredation. Predators determined the fate of clutches not lost to waves, with the depredation probability largely influenced by region. Depredation probability declined as nests were backed by higher dunes and were placed closer to vegetation. This study emphasizes the scale at which clutch fate and survival varies within a regional context, the prominence of corvids as egg predators, the significant role of flooding as a source of nest loss, and the multiple trade-offs faced by beach-nesting birds and those that manage them.

  9. Nest Construction by a Ground-nesting Bird Represents a Potential Trade-off Between Egg Crypticity and Thermoregulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Predation selects against conspicuous colors in bird eggs and nests, while thermoregulatory constraints select for nest building behavior that regulates incubation temperatures. We present results that reveal a trade-off between nest crypticity and thermoregulation of eggs base...

  10. Adult Health: Worried About Empty Nest Syndrome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... clinical diagnosis. Instead, empty nest syndrome is a phenomenon in which parents experience feelings of sadness and loss when the last child leaves home. Although you might actively encourage your ...

  11. Survival Analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Miller, Rupert G

    2011-01-01

    A concise summary of the statistical methods used in the analysis of survival data with censoring. Emphasizes recently developed nonparametric techniques. Outlines methods in detail and illustrates them with actual data. Discusses the theory behind each method. Includes numerous worked problems and numerical exercises.

  12. Nesting biology of Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) lactitarse Saussure (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae) in trap-nests in Southern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Buschini,M. L. T.; Niesing,F.; Wolff,L. L.

    2006-01-01

    This study was carried in the Parque Municipal das Araucárias in the municipality of Guarapuava, state of Paraná, Southern Brazil. Three hundred and sixty five nests of T. lactitarse were obtained using trap-nests of 0.7, 1.0, and 1.3 cm in diameter. All of them had similar architecture, regardless of the diameter of the trap-nest. Completed nests consisted of a linear series of brood cells whose average number per nest was of 3.3, 4.0 and 3.6 for the nests with 0.7 cm, 1.0 cm and 1.3 cm in d...

  13. Discovery of a new Kittlitz's murrelet nest: Clues to habitat selection and nest-site fidelity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatt, John F.; Naslund, Nancy L.; van Pelt, Thomas I.

    1999-01-01

    On 13 June 1993, a new Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) nest was discovered near Red Mountain on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The nest was on a 22° slope at about 900 m elevation with a northeast aspect, and contained a 60.2 × 40.6 mm egg that weighed 49.0 g. Downy feathers and weathered fecal material found at the nest indicated re-use from a previous year, suggesting possible nest site fidelity. The nest was located in an area scoured by winds and free of snow during early spring, suggesting that this may be an important mesoscale factor influencing selection of nesting habitat. Proximity to suitable foraging habitat, particularly sheltered bays and glacial river outflows, may affect breeding habitat choice over larger spatial scales.

  14. Evaluating outcomes of management targeting the recovery of a migratory songbird of conservation concern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streby, Henry M; Kramer, Gunnar R; Peterson, Sean M; Andersen, David E

    2018-01-01

    Assessing outcomes of habitat management is critical for informing and adapting conservation plans. From 2013-2019, a multi-stage management initiative, led by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), aims to create >25,000 ha of shrubland and early-successional vegetation to benefit Golden-winged Warblers ( Vermivora chrysoptera ) in managed forested landscapes of the western Great Lakes region. We studied a dense breeding population of Golden-winged Warblers at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Minnesota, USA, where ABC initiative management was implemented to benefit the species. We monitored abundance before (2011-2014) and after (2015-2016) management, and we estimated full-season productivity (i.e., young recruited into the fall population) from predictive, spatially explicit models, informed by nest and fledgling survival data collected at sites in the western Great Lakes region, including Rice Lake NWR, during 2011 and 2012. Then, using biologically informed models of bird response to observed and predicted vegetation succession, we estimated the cumulative change in population recruitment over various scenarios of vegetation succession and demographic response. We observed an 32% decline in abundance of breeding pairs and estimated a 27% decline in per-pair full-season productivity following management, compared to no change in a nearby control site. In models that ranged from highly optimistic to progressively more realistic scenarios, we estimated a net loss of 72-460 juvenile Golden-winged Warblers produced from the managed site in the 10-20 years following management. Even if our well-informed and locally validated productivity models produced erroneous estimates and the management resulted in only a temporary reduction in abundance (i.e., no change in productivity), our forecast models still predicted a net loss of 137-260 juvenile Golden-winged Warblers from the managed area over the same time frame. Our study site represents only a small

  15. Predation on simulated duck nests in relation to nest density and landscape structure

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Padyšáková, E.; Šálek, Martin; Poledník, L.; Sedláček, František; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 7 (2010), s. 597-603 ISSN 1035-3712 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520; CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : density-dependent predation * littoral patch * landscape type * nest predators * nest success * simulated nests Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.205, year: 2010

  16. Nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria A. Saab; Robin E. Russell; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2009-01-01

    Large wildfire events in coniferous forests of the western United States are often followed by postfire timber harvest. The long-term impacts of postfire timber harvest on fire-associated cavity-nesting bird species are not well documented. We studied nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds over a 10-year period (1994-2003), representing 1-11 years after fire, on...

  17. Artificial covering on trap nests improves the colonization of trap-nesting wasps

    OpenAIRE

    Taki, Hisatomo; Kevan, Peter G.; Viana, Blandina Felipe; Silva, Fabiana O.; Buck, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    Acesso restrito: Texto completo. p. 225-229 To evaluate the role that a trap-nest cover might have on sampling methodologies, the abundance of each species of trap-nesting Hymenoptera and the parasitism rate in a Canadian forest were compared between artificially covered and uncovered traps. Of trap tubes exposed at eight forest sites in six trap-nest boxes, 531 trap tubes were occupied and 1216 individuals of 12 wasp species of four predatory families, Vespidae (Eumeninae), Crabronidae...

  18. Importance of structural stability to success of mourning dove nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coon, R.A.; Nichols, J.D.; Percival, H.F.

    1981-01-01

    Studies of nest-site selection and nesting habitats often involve a "characterization" of nests and of habitats in which nests are found. Our objective in the present work is to identify nest-site characteristics that are associated with variation in components of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) fitness (e.g. the probability of a nest succeeding), as opposed to simply "characterizing" dove nest sites. If certain nest- site characteristics affect the probability that a nest will succeed, then we suspect that these characteristics will be associated with either concealment (the probability of detection by certain predators) or structural stability (the probability of eggs or entire nests falling to the ground as a result of wind, rain storms, parental activity, etc.). Although other workers agree that structural stability is an important determinant of Mourning Dove nesting success (e.g. McClure 1944: 384; Woolfenden and Rohwer 1969: 59), we are aware of no actual tests of this hypothesis.

  19. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice...... the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites...... and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown...

  20. Within-Site Variation in Feather Stable Hydrogen Isotope (δ2Hf) Values of Boreal Songbirds: Implications for Assignment to Molt Origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordell, Cameron J; Haché, Samuel; Bayne, Erin M; Sólymos, Péter; Foster, Kenneth R; Godwin, Christine M; Krikun, Richard; Pyle, Peter; Hobson, Keith A

    2016-01-01

    Understanding bird migration and dispersal is important to inform full life-cycle conservation planning. Stable hydrogen isotope ratios from feathers (δ2Hf) can be linked to amount-weighted long-term, growing season precipitation δ2H (δ2Hp) surfaces to create δ2Hf isoscapes for assignment to molt origin. However, transfer functions linking δ2Hp with δ2Hf are influenced by physiological and environmental processes. A better understanding of the causes and consequences of variation in δ2Hf values among individuals and species will improve the predictive ability of geographic assignment tests. We tested for effects of species, land cover, forage substrate, nest substrate, diet composition, body mass, sex, and phylogenetic relatedness on δ2Hf from individuals at least two years old of 21 songbird species captured during the same breeding season at a site in northeastern Alberta, Canada. For four species, we also tested for a year × species interaction effect on δ2Hf. A model including species as single predictor received the most support (AIC weight = 0.74) in explaining variation in δ2Hf. A species-specific variance parameter was part of all best-ranked models, suggesting variation in δ2Hf was not consistent among species. The second best-ranked model included a forage substrate × diet interaction term (AIC weight = 0.16). There was a significant year × species interaction effect on δ2Hf suggesting that interspecific differences in δ2Hf can differ among years. Our results suggest that within- and among-year interspecific variation in δ2Hf is the most important source of variance typically not being explicitly quantified in geographic assignment tests using non-specific transfer functions to convert δ2Hp into δ2Hf. However, this source of variation is consistent with the range of variation from the transfer functions most commonly being propagated in assignment tests of geographic origins for passerines breeding in North America.

  1. Nest Mosquito Trap quantifies contact rates between nesting birds and mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caillouët, Kevin A; Riggan, Anna E; Rider, Mark; Bulluck, Lesley P

    2012-06-01

    Accurate estimates of host-vector contact rates are required for precise determination of arbovirus transmission intensity. We designed and tested a novel mosquito collection device, the Nest Mosquito Trap (NMT), to collect mosquitoes as they attempt to feed on unrestrained nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. In the laboratory, the NMT collected nearly one-third of the mosquitoes introduced to the nest boxes. We then used these laboratory data to estimate our capture efficiency of field-collected bird-seeking mosquitoes collected over 66 trap nights. We estimated that 7.5 mosquitoes per trap night attempted to feed on nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. Presence of the NMT did not have a negative effect on avian nest success when compared to occupied nest boxes that were not sampled with the trap. Future studies using the NMT may elucidate the role of nestlings in arbovirus transmission and further refine estimates of nesting bird and vector contact rates. © 2012 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  2. The Influence of Different Cover Types on American Robin Nest Success in Organic Agroecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R. Brandle

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available There are many opportunities for biodiversity conservation in organic farm systems. Successful and sustainable conservation efforts in organic systems, however, need to measure appropriate outcomes. In particular, data are needed on the breeding success of associated wildlife species. We measured nesting success of the American Robin (Turdus migratorius in woodlands embedded within eight organic farms in eastern Nebraska. We modeled daily nest survival rate to identify land use and land cover patterns that optimize conservation of birds in organic farm systems. The percentage of a crop in the fields adjacent to linear woodlands best predicted daily survival rate. Daily survival rate was lower in fields adjacent to wheat and greater in woodlands adjacent to soybean fields, though the latter may be a weak effect. There was no evidence that reducing the area allocated to organic crop production would improve daily survival rate but rather an evidence of a patch-matrix interaction. These results suggest that, if suitable nesting sites exist, organic farmers can complement local conservation efforts without losing working farmland.

  3. Individual differences and repeatability in vocal production: stress-induced calling exposes a songbird's personality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M.; Sturdy, Christopher B.

    2011-11-01

    Recent research in songbirds has demonstrated that male singing behavior varies systematically with personality traits such as exploration and risk taking. Here we examine whether the production of bird calls, in addition to bird songs, is repeatable and related to exploratory behavior, using the black-capped chickadee ( Poecile atricapillus) as a model. We assessed the exploratory behavior of individual birds in a novel environment task. We then recorded the vocalizations and accompanying motor behavior of both male and female chickadees, over the course of several days, in two different contexts: a control condition with no playback and a stressful condition where chick-a-dee mobbing calls were played to individual birds. We found that several vocalizations and behaviors were repeatable within both a control and a stressful context, and across contexts. While there was no relationship between vocal output and exploratory behavior in the control context, production of alarm and chick-a-dee calls in the stressful condition was positively associated with exploratory behavior. These findings are important because they show that bird calls, in addition to bird song, are an aspect of personality, in that calls are consistent both within and across contexts, and covary with other personality measures (exploration).

  4. Factors influencing the movement biology of migrant songbirds confronted with an ecological barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolinsky, J. A.; Diehl, Robert H.; Radzio, T. A.; Delaney, D. K.; Moore, F. R

    2013-01-01

    Whether or not a migratory songbird embarks on a long-distance flight across an ecological barrier is likely a response to a number of endogenous and exogenous factors. During autumn 2008 and 2009, we used automated radio tracking to investigate how energetic condition, age, and weather influenced the departure timing and direction of Swainson’s thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) during migratory stopover along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Most birds left within 1 h after sunset on the evening following capture. Those birds that departed later on the first night or remained longer than 1 day were lean. Birds that carried fat loads sufficient to cross the Gulf of Mexico generally departed in a seasonally appropriate southerly direction, whereas lean birds nearly always flew inland in a northerly direction. We did not detect an effect of age or weather on departures. The decision by lean birds to reorient movement inland may reflect the suitability of the coastal stopover site for deposition of fuel stores and the motivation to seek food among more extensive forested habitat away from the barrier.

  5. Postbreeding elevational movements of western songbirds in Northern California and Southern Oregon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegardt, Andrew; Wolfe, Jared; Ralph, C John; Stephens, Jaime L; Alexander, John

    2017-10-01

    Migratory species employ a variety of strategies to meet energetic demands of postbreeding molt. As such, at least a few species of western Neotropical migrants are known to undergo short-distance upslope movements to locations where adults molt body and flight feathers (altitudinal molt migration). Given inherent difficulties in measuring subtle movements of birds occurring in western mountains, we believe that altitudinal molt migration may be a common yet poorly documented phenomenon. To examine prevalence of altitudinal molt migration, we used 29 years of bird capture data in a series of linear mixed-effect models for nine commonly captured species that breed in northern California and southern Oregon. Candidate models were formulated a priori to examine whether elevation and distance from the coast can be used to predict abundance of breeding and molting birds. Our results suggest that long-distance migrants such as Orange-crowned Warbler ( Oreothlypis celata ) moved higher in elevation and Audubon's Warbler ( Setophaga coronata ) moved farther inland to molt after breeding. Conversely, for resident and short-distance migrants, we found evidence that birds either remained on the breeding grounds until they finished molting, such as Song Sparrow ( Melospiza melodia ) or made small downslope movements, such as American Robin ( Turdus migratorius ). We conclude that altitudinal molt migration may be a common, variable, and complex behavior among western songbird communities and is related to other aspects of a species' natural history, such as migratory strategy.

  6. No need to talk, I know you: familiarity influences early multisensory integration in a songbird's brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle GEORGE

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that visual information can affect auditory perception, as in the famous McGurk effect, but little is known concerning the processes involved. To address this issue, we used the best-developed animal model to study language-related processes in the brain: songbirds. European starlings were exposed to audiovisual compared to auditory-only playback of conspecific songs, while electrophysiological recordings were made in their primary auditory area (Field L. The results show that the audiovisual condition modulated the auditory responses. Enhancement and suppression were both observed, depending on the stimulus familiarity. Seeing a familiar bird led to suppressed auditory responses while seeing an unfamiliar bird led to response enhancement, suggesting that unisensory perception may be enough if the stimulus is familiar while redundancy may be required for unfamiliar items. This is to our knowledge the first evidence that multisensory integration may occur in a low-level, putatively unisensory area of a non-mammalian vertebrate brain, and also that familiarity of the stimuli may influence modulation of auditory responses by vision.

  7. 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.

  8. Variation in circulating testosterone during mating predicts reproductive success in a wild songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beate Apfelbeck

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Testosterone is an important sex hormone and mediates reproduction in male vertebrates. There is ample evidence that testosterone coordinates the expression of physiological, morphological and behavioural traits during reproduction and many of these traits are under sexual selection. However, only few studies so far have examined if individual variation in testosterone is correlated with reproductive success. Because socially monogamous bird species pass through different phases within a breeding cycle and each of these phases requires the expression of different behaviours, the relation between testosterone and reproductive success could vary with breeding stage. Here we investigate the link between reproductive success and testosterone in European stonechats – a socially monogamous songbird with biparental care. Previous studies found that territorial aggression in breeding stonechats depends on testosterone and that testosterone levels peak during the mating phase. Thus, high testosterone levels during mating may influence reproductive success by promoting territorial aggression and mate guarding. We found that males with two breeding attempts produced a similar number of fledglings as males with three breeding attempts. However, males with two breeding attempts expressed higher levels of testosterone than males with just one or those with three breeding attempts, regardless of whether testosterone was measured during the mating or the parental phase of the first brood. Furthermore, testosterone levels during mating, but not during parenting correlated with the total annual number of fledglings. Thus, individual variation in levels of plasma testosterone predicted reproductive success in stonechats.

  9. Late Pleistocene songbirds of Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia); the first fossil passerine fauna described from Wallacea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutikna, Thomas; Saptomo, Wahyu; Jatmiko; Wasisto, Sri; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Mayr, Gerald

    2017-01-01

    Background Passerines (Aves: Passeriformes) dominate modern terrestrial bird communities yet their fossil record is limited. Liang Bua is a large cave on the Indonesian island of Flores that preserves Late Pleistocene–Holocene deposits (∼190 ka to present day). Birds are the most diverse faunal group at Liang Bua and are present throughout the stratigraphic sequence. Methods We examined avian remains from the Late Pleistocene deposits of Sector XII, a 2 × 2 m area excavated to about 8.5 m depth. Although postcranial passerine remains are typically challenging to identify, we found several humeral characters particularly useful in discriminating between groups, and identified 89 skeletal elements of passerines. Results At least eight species from eight families are represented, including the Large-billed Crow (Corvus cf. macrorhynchos), the Australasian Bushlark (Mirafra javanica), a friarbird (Philemon sp.), and the Pechora Pipit (Anthus cf. gustavi). Discussion These remains constitute the first sample of fossil passerines described in Wallacea. Two of the taxa no longer occur on Flores today; a large sturnid (cf. Acridotheres) and a grassbird (Megalurus sp.). Palaeoecologically, the songbird assemblage suggests open grassland and tall forests, which is consistent with conditions inferred from the non-passerine fauna at the site. Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, found in the Homo floresiensis-bearing layers, was likely part of a scavenging guild that fed on carcasses of Stegodon florensis insularis alongside vultures (Trigonoceps sp.), giant storks (Leptoptilos robustus), komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis), and probably H. floresiensis as well. PMID:28828271

  10. Social information changes stress hormone receptor expression in the songbird brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelius, Jamie M; Perreau, Gillian; Bishop, Valerie R; Krause, Jesse S; Smith, Rachael; Hahn, Thomas P; Meddle, Simone L

    2018-01-01

    Social information is used by many vertebrate taxa to inform decision-making, including resource-mediated movements, yet the mechanisms whereby social information is integrated physiologically to affect such decisions remain unknown. Social information is known to influence the physiological response to food reduction in captive songbirds. Red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) that were food reduced for several days showed significant elevations in circulating corticosterone (a "stress" hormone often responsive to food limitation) only if their neighbors were similarly food restricted. Physiological responses to glucocorticoid hormones are enacted through two receptors that may be expressed differentially in target tissues. Therefore, we investigated the influence of social information on the expression of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA in captive red crossbill brains. Although the role of MR and GR in the response to social information may be highly complex, we specifically predicted social information from food-restricted individuals would reduce MR and GR expression in two brain regions known to regulate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity - given that reduced receptor expression may lessen the efficacy of negative feedback and release inhibitory tone on the HPA. Our results support these predictions - offering one potential mechanism whereby social cues could increase or sustain HPA-activity during stress. The data further suggest different mechanisms by which metabolic stress versus social information influence HPA activity and behavioral outcomes. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Late Pleistocene songbirds of Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia; the first fossil passerine fauna described from Wallacea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanneke J.M. Meijer

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background Passerines (Aves: Passeriformes dominate modern terrestrial bird communities yet their fossil record is limited. Liang Bua is a large cave on the Indonesian island of Flores that preserves Late Pleistocene–Holocene deposits (∼190 ka to present day. Birds are the most diverse faunal group at Liang Bua and are present throughout the stratigraphic sequence. Methods We examined avian remains from the Late Pleistocene deposits of Sector XII, a 2 × 2 m area excavated to about 8.5 m depth. Although postcranial passerine remains are typically challenging to identify, we found several humeral characters particularly useful in discriminating between groups, and identified 89 skeletal elements of passerines. Results At least eight species from eight families are represented, including the Large-billed Crow (Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, the Australasian Bushlark (Mirafra javanica, a friarbird (Philemon sp., and the Pechora Pipit (Anthus cf. gustavi. Discussion These remains constitute the first sample of fossil passerines described in Wallacea. Two of the taxa no longer occur on Flores today; a large sturnid (cf. Acridotheres and a grassbird (Megalurus sp.. Palaeoecologically, the songbird assemblage suggests open grassland and tall forests, which is consistent with conditions inferred from the non-passerine fauna at the site. Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, found in the Homo floresiensis-bearing layers, was likely part of a scavenging guild that fed on carcasses of Stegodon florensis insularis alongside vultures (Trigonoceps sp., giant storks (Leptoptilos robustus, komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis, and probably H. floresiensis as well.

  12. Songbird Respiration is Controlled by Multispike Patterns at Millisecond Temporal Resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Caroline; Srivastava, Kyle; Vellema, Michiel; Elemans, Coen; Nemenman, Ilya; Sober, Samuel

    Although the importance of precise timing of neural action potentials (spikes) is well known in sensory systems, approaches to motor control have focused almost exclusively on firing rates. Here we examined whether precise timing of spikes in multispike patterns has an effect on the motor output in the respiratory system of the Bengalese finch, a songbird. By recording from single motor neurons and the muscle fibers they innervate in freely behaving birds, we find that the spike trains are significantly non-Poisson, suggesting that the precise timing of spikes is tightly controlled. We further find that even a one millisecond shift of an individual spike in a multispike pattern predicts a significantly different air sac pressure. Finally, we provide evidence for the causal relation between precise spike timing and the motor output in this organism by stimulating the motor system with precisely timed patterns of electrical impulses. We observe that shifting a single pulse by as little as two milliseconds elicits differences in resulting air sac pressure. These results demonstrate that the precise timing of spikes does play a role in motor control. This work was partially supported by NSF Grant IOS/1208126, NIH Grant 5R90DA033462 , NIH Grant R01NS084844, and NIH Grant F31DC013753.

  13. Statistical learning of recurring sound patterns encodes auditory objects in songbird forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S

    2014-10-07

    Auditory neurophysiology has demonstrated how basic acoustic features are mapped in the brain, but it is still not clear how multiple sound components are integrated over time and recognized as an object. We investigated the role of statistical learning in encoding the sequential features of complex sounds by recording neuronal responses bilaterally in the auditory forebrain of awake songbirds that were passively exposed to long sound streams. These streams contained sequential regularities, and were similar to streams used in human infants to demonstrate statistical learning for speech sounds. For stimulus patterns with contiguous transitions and with nonadjacent elements, single and multiunit responses reflected neuronal discrimination of the familiar patterns from novel patterns. In addition, discrimination of nonadjacent patterns was stronger in the right hemisphere than in the left, and may reflect an effect of top-down modulation that is lateralized. Responses to recurring patterns showed stimulus-specific adaptation, a sparsening of neural activity that may contribute to encoding invariants in the sound stream and that appears to increase coding efficiency for the familiar stimuli across the population of neurons recorded. As auditory information about the world must be received serially over time, recognition of complex auditory objects may depend on this type of mnemonic process to create and differentiate representations of recently heard sounds.

  14. Contrasting impacts of competition on ecological and social trait evolution in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drury, Jonathan P; Tobias, Joseph A; Burns, Kevin J; Mason, Nicholas A; Shultz, Allison J; Morlon, Hélène

    2018-01-01

    Competition between closely related species has long been viewed as a powerful selective force that drives trait diversification, thereby generating phenotypic diversity over macroevolutionary timescales. However, although the impact of interspecific competition has been documented in a handful of iconic insular radiations, most previous studies have focused on traits involved in resource use, and few have examined the role of competition across large, continental radiations. Thus, the extent to which broad-scale patterns of phenotypic diversity are shaped by competition remain largely unclear, particularly for social traits. Here, we estimate the effect of competition between interacting lineages by applying new phylogenetic models that account for such interactions to an exceptionally complete dataset of resource-use traits and social signaling traits for the entire radiation of tanagers (Aves, Thraupidae), the largest family of songbirds. We find that interspecific competition strongly influences the evolution of traits involved in resource use, with a weaker effect on plumage signals, and very little effect on song. Our results provide compelling evidence that interspecific exploitative competition contributes to ecological trait diversification among coexisting species, even in a large continental radiation. In comparison, signal traits mediating mate choice and social competition seem to diversify under different evolutionary models, including rapid diversification in the allopatric stage of speciation.

  15. Neural Correlates of Auditory Processing, Learning and Memory Formation in Songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinaud, R.; Terleph, T. A.; Wynne, R. D.; Tremere, L. A.

    Songbirds have emerged as powerful experimental models for the study of auditory processing of complex natural communication signals. Intact hearing is necessary for several behaviors in developing and adult animals including vocal learning, territorial defense, mate selection and individual recognition. These behaviors are thought to require the processing, discrimination and memorization of songs. Although much is known about the brain circuits that participate in sensorimotor (auditory-vocal) integration, especially the ``song-control" system, less is known about the anatomical and functional organization of central auditory pathways. Here we discuss findings associated with a telencephalic auditory area known as the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). NCM has attracted significant interest as it exhibits functional properties that may support higher order auditory functions such as stimulus discrimination and the formation of auditory memories. NCM neurons are vigorously dr iven by auditory stimuli. Interestingly, these responses are selective to conspecific, relative to heterospecific songs and artificial stimuli. In addition, forms of experience-dependent plasticity occur in NCM and are song-specific. Finally, recent experiments employing high-throughput quantitative proteomics suggest that complex protein regulatory pathways are engaged in NCM as a result of auditory experience. These molecular cascades are likely central to experience-associated plasticity of NCM circuitry and may be part of a network of calcium-driven molecular events that support the formation of auditory memory traces.

  16. The role of motivation and reward neural systems in vocal communication in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riters, Lauren V

    2012-04-01

    Many vertebrates are highly motivated to communicate, suggesting that the consequences of communication may be rewarding. Past studies show that dopamine and opioids in the medial preoptic nucleus (mPOA) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) play distinct roles in motivation and reward. In songbirds, multiple lines of recent evidence indicate that the roles of dopamine and opioid activity in mPOA and VTA in male birdsong differ depending upon whether song is used to attract females (sexually-motivated) or is produced spontaneously (undirected). Evidence is reviewed supporting the hypotheses that (1) mPOA and VTA interact to influence the context in which a male sings, (2) distinct patterns of dopamine activity underlie the motivation to produce sexually-motivated and undirected song, (3) sexually-motivated communication is externally reinforced by opioids released as part of social interactions, and (4) undirected communication is facilitated and rewarded by immediate opioid release linked to the act of singing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. A positive relationship between spring temperature and productivity in 20 songbird species in the boreal zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meller, Kalle; Piha, Markus; Vähätalo, Anssi V; Lehikoinen, Aleksi

    2018-03-01

    Anthropogenic climate warming has already affected the population dynamics of numerous species and is predicted to do so also in the future. To predict the effects of climate change, it is important to know whether productivity is linked to temperature, and whether species' traits affect responses to climate change. To address these objectives, we analysed monitoring data from the Finnish constant effort site ringing scheme collected in 1987-2013 for 20 common songbird species together with climatic data. Warm spring temperature had a positive linear relationship with productivity across the community of 20 species independent of species' traits (realized thermal niche or migration behaviour), suggesting that even the warmest spring temperatures remained below the thermal optimum for reproduction, possibly due to our boreal study area being closer to the cold edge of all study species' distributions. The result also suggests a lack of mismatch between the timing of breeding and peak availability of invertebrate food of the study species. Productivity was positively related to annual growth rates in long-distance migrants, but not in short-distance migrants. Across the 27-year study period, temporal trends in productivity were mostly absent. The population sizes of species with colder thermal niches had decreasing trends, which were not related to temperature responses or temporal trends in productivity. The positive connection between spring temperature and productivity suggests that climate warming has potential to increase the productivity in bird species in the boreal zone, at least in the short term.

  18. Restless roosts: Light pollution affects behavior, sleep, and physiology in a free-living songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Jenny Q; de Jong, Maaike; van Grunsven, Roy H A; Matson, Kevin D; Haussmann, Mark F; Meerlo, Peter; Visser, Marcel E; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2017-11-01

    The natural nighttime environment is increasingly polluted by artificial light. Several studies have linked artificial light at night to negative impacts on human health. In free-living animals, light pollution is associated with changes in circadian, reproductive, and social behavior, but whether these animals also suffer from physiologic costs remains unknown. To fill this gap, we made use of a unique network of field sites which are either completely unlit (control), or are artificially illuminated with white, green, or red light. We monitored nighttime activity of adult great tits, Parus major, and related this activity to within-individual changes in physiologic indices. Because altered nighttime activity as a result of light pollution may affect health and well-being, we measured oxalic acid concentrations as a biomarker for sleep restriction, acute phase protein concentrations and malaria infection as indices of immune function, and telomere lengths as an overall measure of metabolic costs. Compared to other treatments, individuals roosting in the white light were much more active at night. In these individuals, oxalic acid decreased over the course of the study. We also found that individuals roosting in the white light treatment had a higher probability of malaria infection. Our results indicate that white light at night increases nighttime activity levels and sleep debt and affects disease dynamics in a free-living songbird. Our study offers the first evidence of detrimental effects of light pollution on the health of free-ranging wild animals. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Light pollution alters the phenology of dawn and dusk singing in common European songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, Arnaud; Valcu, Mihai; Kempenaers, Bart

    2015-05-05

    Artificial night lighting is expanding globally, but its ecological consequences remain little understood. Animals often use changes in day length as a cue to time seasonal behaviour. Artificial night lighting may influence the perception of day length, and may thus affect both circadian and circannual rhythms. Over a 3.5 month period, from winter to breeding, we recorded daily singing activity of six common songbird species in 12 woodland sites, half of which were affected by street lighting. We previously reported on analyses suggesting that artificial night lighting affects the daily timing of singing in five species. The main aim of this study was to investigate whether the presence of artificial night lighting is also associated with the seasonal occurrence of dawn and dusk singing. We found that in four species dawn and dusk singing developed earlier in the year at sites exposed to light pollution. We also examined the effects of weather conditions and found that rain and low temperatures negatively affected the occurrence of dawn and dusk singing. Our results support the hypothesis that artificial night lighting alters natural seasonal rhythms, independently of other effects of urbanization. The fitness consequences of the observed changes in seasonal timing of behaviour remain unknown.

  20. Variation in social relationships relates to song preferences and EGR1 expression in a female songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubloom, Hannah E; Woolley, Sarah C

    2016-09-01

    Social experiences can profoundly shape social behavior and the underlying neural circuits. Across species, the formation of enduring social relationships is associated with both neural and behavioral changes. However, it remains unclear how longer-term relationships between individuals influence brain and behavior. Here, we investigated how variation in social relationships relates to variation in female preferences for and neural responses to song in a pair-bonding songbird. We assessed variation in the interactions between individuals in male-female zebra finch pairs and found that female preferences for their mate's song were correlated with the degree of affiliation and amount of socially modulated singing, but not with the frequency of aggressive interactions. Moreover, variation in measures of pair quality and preference correlated with variation in the song-induced expression of EGR1, an immediate early gene related to neural activity and plasticity, in brain regions important for auditory processing and social behavior. For example, females with weaker preferences for their mate's song had greater EGR1 expression in the nucleus Taeniae, the avian homologue of the mammalian medial amygdala, in response to playback of their mate's courtship song. Our data indicate that the quality of social interactions within pairs relates to variation in song preferences and neural responses to ethologically relevant stimuli and lend insight into neural circuits sensitive to social information. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1029-1040, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Mirror nesting of the Fermi contour and enhanced diamagnetism of the pseudogap state in cuprates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kapaev, V.V.; Belyavsky, V.I. [P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Kopaev, Yu.V. [P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation)], E-mail: kopaev@sci.lebedev.ru; Smirnov, M.Yu. [State Pedagogical University, Voronezh 394043 (Russian Federation)

    2007-09-01

    Since the insulating gap in parent spin antiferromagnet survives under a hole underdoping, it might result in a rise of a metal state with a pocket-like Fermi contour with both conventional and mirror nesting corresponding to the same momentum K = ({pi}, {pi}). The nesting leads to a possibility of singlet orbital antiferromagnetic order whereas the mirror nesting promotes the superconducting pairing with the momentum K. We assume screened Coulomb repulsion to be the dominating pairing interaction in the cuprates resulting in the two-component superconducting order parameter. The relative phase of the parameter can be related to orbital current circulations as it follows from the Ginzburg-Landau phenomenology. The orbital antiferromagnetic state with the insulating gap on the Fermi contour is related to the pseudogap state with enhanced diamagnetic response.

  2. Mirror nesting of the Fermi contour and enhanced diamagnetism of the pseudogap state in cuprates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kapaev, V.V.; Belyavsky, V.I.; Kopaev, Yu.V.; Smirnov, M.Yu.

    2007-01-01

    Since the insulating gap in parent spin antiferromagnet survives under a hole underdoping, it might result in a rise of a metal state with a pocket-like Fermi contour with both conventional and mirror nesting corresponding to the same momentum K = (π, π). The nesting leads to a possibility of singlet orbital antiferromagnetic order whereas the mirror nesting promotes the superconducting pairing with the momentum K. We assume screened Coulomb repulsion to be the dominating pairing interaction in the cuprates resulting in the two-component superconducting order parameter. The relative phase of the parameter can be related to orbital current circulations as it follows from the Ginzburg-Landau phenomenology. The orbital antiferromagnetic state with the insulating gap on the Fermi contour is related to the pseudogap state with enhanced diamagnetic response

  3. Drought-caused delay in nesting of Sonoran Desert birds and its facilitation of parasite- and predator-mediated variation in reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreedy, Chris; van Riper, Charles

    2015-01-01

    As our understanding of climate change has increased, so has our awareness of the impacts of these changes on biotic systems. Climate models are nearly unanimous in their predictions for increased drought frequency in southwestern North America, and delays in nest initiation due to drought may influence nesting success and productivity for many Sonoran Desert bird species. In southeastern California and western Arizona in 2004–2009, we found negative correlations for 13 of 13 species between nest initiation date and rainfall accumulation during the preceding 4-month winter rainy season. Nesting was delayed more than 3 weeks for some species during extreme droughts in 2006 and 2007. During 2004–2009, we found a significant negative effect of nest initiation date on nest survival probability (β̂ = −0.031 ± 0.005 SE, P nesting delay in nesting success and productivity, in 2010 we conducted a manipulative experiment with Black-tailed Gnatcatchers (Polioptila melanura; BTGN) and Verdins (Auriparus flaviceps; VERD). Following a wet winter, we delayed clutch initiation dates for treatment pairs to match first-egg dates that we observed during droughts in 2006 and 2007. Nest initiation date had a significant negative effect on nest survival of both species (BTGN: β̂ = −1.18 ± 0.27 SE, P nest predation and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were the most common causes of nest failure, we conclude that the impacts of climate change–caused drought on annual reproductive output in the Sonoran Desert will be further compounded by parasitism and predation for Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and by predation for Verdins.

  4. Nesting Activity of Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta at Göksu Delta, Turkey during 2004 and 2008 nesting seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salih H. Durmus

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Göksu Delta is one of the most important nesting beaches in Turkey for the endangered loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta. This paper provides information on the nesting activities of loggerhead turtles, the spatial and temporal distribution of nesting, nesting success, nesting density, hatching success, incubation duration and clutch size over two nesting seasons. A total of 902 emergences occurred over two seasons, of which 239 (26.5% nests were deposited (137 nests in 2004 and 102 nests in 2008 and the overall mean nesting density was 3.4 nests/km. The peak of nesting emergences takes place mainly in June. Of the overall nests, 226 (94.6% were excavated and 16044 eggs were counted. Of these eggs, 3680 (22.9% hatchlings emerged and 2695 (73.2% of hatchlings of them were able to reach the sea. The mean number of eggs per clutch was 71 (range: 15 – 143. The shortest and longest incubation duration in these 2 seasons ranged from 46 to 62 days with a mean of 53 days. The main problems are negatively affecting loggerhead turtle population at Göksu Delta are dense jackal predation both adult and eggs and inundation in nests. The average nesting effort here (mean: 119.5 nests/season confirms that Göksu Delta is one of the most important nesting sites for loggerhead turtles in Turkey.

  5. Microhabitat Conditions in Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Areas: Effects on Nest Site Selection and Success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan B Dinkins

    Full Text Available The purpose of our study was to identify microhabitat characteristics of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus nest site selection and survival to determine the quality of sage-grouse habitat in 5 regions of central and southwest Wyoming associated with Wyoming's Core Area Policy. Wyoming's Core Area Policy was enacted in 2008 to reduce human disturbance near the greatest densities of sage-grouse. Our analyses aimed to assess sage-grouse nest selection and success at multiple micro-spatial scales. We obtained microhabitat data from 928 sage-grouse nest locations and 819 random microhabitat locations from 2008-2014. Nest success was estimated from 924 nests with survival data. Sage-grouse selected nests with greater sagebrush cover and height, visual obstruction, and number of small gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥0.5 m and <1.0 m, while selecting for less bare ground and rock. With the exception of more small gaps between shrubs, we did not find any differences in availability of these microhabitat characteristics between locations within and outside of Core Areas. In addition, we found little supporting evidence that sage-grouse were selecting different nest sites in Core Areas relative to areas outside of Core. The Kaplan-Meier nest success estimate for a 27-day incubation period was 42.0% (95% CI: 38.4-45.9%. Risk of nest failure was negatively associated with greater rock and more medium-sized gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥2.0 m and <3.0 m. Within our study areas, Wyoming's Core Areas did not have differing microhabitat quality compared to outside of Core Areas. The close proximity of our locations within and outside of Core Areas likely explained our lack of finding differences in microhabitat quality among locations within these landscapes. However, the Core Area Policy is most likely to conserve high quality habitat at larger spatial scales, which over decades may have cascading effects on microhabitat quality available

  6. Nest covering in plovers: How modifying the visual environment influences egg camouflage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troscianko, Jolyon; Wilson-Aggarwal, Jared; Spottiswoode, Claire N; Stevens, Martin

    2016-10-01

    Camouflage is one of the most widespread antipredator defences, and its mechanistic basis has attracted considerable interest in recent years. The effectiveness of camouflage depends on the interaction between an animal's appearance and its background. Concealment can therefore be improved by changes to an animal's own appearance, by behaviorally selecting an optimal background, or by modifying the background to better match the animal's own appearance. Research to date has largely focussed on the first of these mechanisms, whereas there has been little work on the second and almost none on the third. Even though a number of animal species may potentially modify their environment to improve individual-specific camouflage, this has rarely if ever been quantitatively investigated, or its adaptive value tested. Kittlitz's plovers (Charadrius pecuarius) use material (stones and vegetation) to cover their nests when predators approach, providing concealment that is independent of the inflexible appearance of the adult or eggs, and that can be adjusted to suit the local surrounding background. We used digital imaging and predator vision modeling to investigate the camouflage properties of covered nests, and whether their camouflage affected their survival. The plovers' nest-covering materials were consistent with a trade-off between selecting materials that matched the color of the eggs, while resulting in poorer nest pattern and contrast matching to the nest surroundings. Alternatively, the systematic use of materials with high-contrast and small-pattern grain sizes could reflect a deliberate disruptive coloration strategy, whereby high-contrast material breaks up the telltale outline of the clutch. No camouflage variables predicted nest survival. Our study highlights the potential for camouflage to be enhanced by background modification. This provides a flexible system for modifying an animal's conspicuousness, to which the main limitation may be the available

  7. Management of western coniferous forest habitat for nesting accipiter hawks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard T. Reynolds

    1983-01-01

    Availability of nesting sites can limit accipiter populations. Because accipiters nest in dense forest stands, any alteration that opens these stands is likely to lessen their desirability as nest sites. Tree growth and the associated changes in the vegetative structure of aging nest sites limit the number of years sites will be suitable. Therefore, prospective...

  8. Converting nested algebra expressions into flat algebra expressions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paredaens, J.; Van Gucht, D.

    1992-01-01

    Nested relations generalize ordinary flat relations by allowing tuple values to be either atomic or set valued. The nested algebra is a generalization of the flat relational algebra to manipulate nested relations. In this paper we study the expressive power of the nested algebra relative to its

  9. The effects of large beach debris on nesting sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to understand the effects of large beach debris on sea turtle nesting behavior as well as the effectiveness of large debris removal for habitat restoration. Large natural and anthropogenic debris were removed from one of three sections of a sea turtle nesting beach and distributions of nests and false crawls (non-nesting crawls) in pre- (2011–2012) and post- (2013–2014) removal years in the three sections were compared. The number of nests increased 200% and the number of false crawls increased 55% in the experimental section, whereas a corresponding increase in number of nests and false crawls was not observed in the other two sections where debris removal was not conducted. The proportion of nest and false crawl abundance in all three beach sections was significantly different between pre- and post-removal years. The nesting success, the percent of successful nests in total nesting attempts (number of nests + false crawls), also increased from 24% to 38%; however the magnitude of the increase was comparably small because both the number of nests and false crawls increased, and thus the proportion of the nesting success in the experimental beach in pre- and post-removal years was not significantly different. The substantial increase in sea turtle nesting activities after the removal of large debris indicates that large debris may have an adverse impact on sea turtle nesting behavior. Removal of large debris could be an effective restoration strategy to improve sea turtle nesting.

  10. Nest success of the Indian House Crow Corvus splendens : An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nest success of the Indian House Crow Corvus splendens was studied in the urban area of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in late March to early May 2011. The study investigated nest success of the Indian House Crow in different tree species with varying canopy covers and heights. Fifty-five active nests and 38 inactive nests ...

  11. Nesting ecology of Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta in Sfax salina ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper we use the results of a one-year monitoring of nests in Sfax salina to provide information on its nesting parameters, in particular nesting phenology, colony size and hatching success. Our results show that Pied Avocets formed dense colonies at the beginning of the nesting season, but colony size decreased as ...

  12. Gregarious nesting - An anti-predator response in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    Gregarious nesting can be defined as a behaviour that occurs when a laying hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) given the choice between an occupied and an unoccupied nest site chooses the occupied nest site. It occurs frequently in flocks of laying hens kept under commercial conditions, contrasting...... the behaviour displayed by feral hens that isolate themselves from the flock during nesting activities. What motivates laying hens to perform gregarious nesting is unknown. One possibility is that gregarious nesting is an anti-predator response to the risk of nest predation emerging from behavioural flexibility...

  13. The songbird as a percussionist: syntactic rules for non-vocal sound and song production in Java sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayo Soma

    Full Text Available Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora, a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication.

  14. Fat, weather, and date affect migratory songbirds' departure decisions, routes, and time it takes to cross the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deppe, Jill L; Ward, Michael P; Bolus, Rachel T; Diehl, Robert H; Celis-Murillo, Antonio; Zenzal, Theodore J; Moore, Frank R; Benson, Thomas J; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A; Schofield, Lynn N; Enstrom, David A; Paxton, Eben H; Bohrer, Gil; Beveroth, Tara A; Raim, Arlo; Obringer, Renee L; Delaney, David; Cochran, William W

    2015-11-17

    Approximately two thirds of migratory songbirds in eastern North America negotiate the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), where inclement weather coupled with no refueling or resting opportunities can be lethal. However, decisions made when navigating such features and their consequences remain largely unknown due to technological limitations of tracking small animals over large areas. We used automated radio telemetry to track three songbird species (Red-eyed Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Wood Thrush) from coastal Alabama to the northern Yucatan Peninsula (YP) during fall migration. Detecting songbirds after crossing ∼1,000 km of open water allowed us to examine intrinsic (age, wing length, fat) and extrinsic (weather, date) variables shaping departure decisions, arrival at the YP, and crossing times. Large fat reserves and low humidity, indicative of beneficial synoptic weather patterns, favored southward departure across the Gulf. Individuals detected in the YP departed with large fat reserves and later in the fall with profitable winds, and flight durations (mean = 22.4 h) were positively related to wind profit. Age was not related to departure behavior, arrival, or travel time. However, vireos negotiated the GOM differently than thrushes, including different departure decisions, lower probability of detection in the YP, and longer crossing times. Defense of winter territories by thrushes but not vireos and species-specific foraging habits may explain the divergent migratory behaviors. Fat reserves appear extremely important to departure decisions and arrival in the YP. As habitat along the GOM is degraded, birds may be limited in their ability to acquire fat to cross the Gulf.

  15. Warm springs, early lay dates, and double brooding in a North American migratory songbird, the black-throated blue warbler.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea K Townsend

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have correlated the advancement of lay date in birds with warming climate trends, yet the fitness effects associated with this phenological response have been examined in only a small number of species. Most of these species--primarily insectivorous cavity nesters in Europe--exhibit fitness declines associated with increasing asynchrony with prey. Here, we use 25 years of demographic data, collected from 1986 to 2010, to examine the effects of spring temperature on breeding initiation date, double brooding, and annual fecundity in a Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, the black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens. Data were collected from birds breeding at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA, where long-term trends toward warmer springs have been recorded. We found that black-throated blue warblers initiated breeding earlier in warmer springs, that early breeders were more likely to attempt a second brood than those starting later in the season, and that double brooding and lay date were linked to higher annual fecundity. Accordingly, we found selection favored earlier breeding in most years. However, in contrast to studies of several other long-distance migratory species in Europe, this selection pressure was not stronger in warmer springs, indicating that these warblers were able to adjust mean lay date appropriately to substantial inter-annual variation in spring temperature. Our results suggest that this North American migratory songbird might not experience the same fecundity declines as songbirds that are unable to adjust their timing of breeding in pace with spring temperatures.

  16. The influence of regional hydrology on nesting behavior and nest fate of the American alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugarte, Cristina A.; Bass, Oron L.; Nuttle, William; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Whelan, Kevin R.T.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrologic conditions are critical to the nesting behavior and reproductive success of crocodilians. In South Florida, USA, growing human settlement has led to extensive surface water management and modification of historical water flows in the wetlands, which have affected regional nesting of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Although both natural and anthropogenic factors are considered to determine hydrologic conditions, the aspects of hydrological patterns that affect alligator nest effort, flooding (partial and complete), and failure (no hatchling) are unclear. We deconstructed annual hydrological patterns using harmonic models that estimated hydrological matrices including mean, amplitude, timing of peak, and periodicity of surface water depth and discharge and examined their effects on alligator nesting using survey data from Shark Slough, Everglades National Park, from 1985 to 2005. Nest effort increased in years with higher mean and lesser periodicity of water depth. A greater proportion of nests were flooded and failed when peak discharge occurred earlier in the year. Also, nest flooding rates were greater in years with greater periodicity of water depth, and nest failure rate was greater when mean discharge was higher. This study guides future water management decisions to mitigate negative impacts on reproduction of alligators and provides wildlife managers with a tool for assessing and modifying annual water management plans to conserve crocodilians and other wetland species.

  17. Nesting ecology and nest success of the Blue Grosbeak along two rivers in New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Deborah M. Finch; David L. Hawksworth; Scott H. Stoleson

    2013-01-01

    From 1997 through 2008, we studied the nesting habits and nest success of the Blue Grosbeak (Passerina cerulean) along the middle Gila River (1997-2001) and the middle Rio Grande (2000-2008) in New Mexico. A riparian forest of cottonwoods grows along both rivers. but the forest along the Rio Grande is a much more intensively managed ecosystem, with an understory...

  18. Use of artificial nests to investigate predation on freshwater turtle nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael N. Marchand; John A. Litvaitis; Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2002-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation has raised concerns that populations of generalist predators have increased and are affecting a diverse group of prey. Previous research has included the use of artificial nests to investigate the role of predation on birds that nest on or near the ground. Because predation also is a major factor limiting populations of freshwater turtles, we...

  19. Nest defense behaviors of native cavity-nesting birds to European Starlings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodney G. Olsen; Kathryn L. Purcell; David. Grubbs

    2008-01-01

    We used behavioral experiments to evaluate competition for nest sites and the extent to which European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are seen as a threat by native bird species at the San Joaquin Experimental Range, Madera County, CA. We quantified the level of aggressive behavior of four species of native cavity-nesting birds to starlings at active...

  20. Lack of nest site limitation in a cavity-nesting bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffry R. Waters; Barry R. Noon; Jared Verner

    1990-01-01

    We examined the relationship between nest site availability and density of secondary cavitynesting birds by blocking cavities in an oak-pine (Quercus spp.-Pinus sp. ) woodland. In 1986 and 1987we blocked 67 and 106 cavities, respectively, on a 37-ha plot. The combined density of secondary cavity-nesting birds did not decline...

  1. Predation of artificial ground nests on white-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, B.W.; Stanley, T.R.; Sedgwick, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are unique to prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. However, widespread eradication, habitat loss, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) have reduced their numbers by 98% since historical times. Birds associated with prairie dogs also are declining. Potential nest predators, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), swift foxes (Vulpes velox), and badgers (Taxidea taxus), may be attracted to colonies where a high concentration of prairie dogs serve as available prey. Increased abundance of small mammals, including prairie dogs, also may increase the risk of predation for birds nesting on colonies. Finally, because grazing by prairie dogs may decrease vegetation height and canopy cover, bird nests may be easier for predators to locate. In this study, we placed 1,444 artificial ground nests on and off 74 white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) colonies to test the hypothesis that nest predation rates are higher on colonies than at nearby off sites (i.e., uncolonized habitat). We sampled colonies from 27 May to 16 July 1997 at the following 3 complexes: Coyote Basin, Utah and Colorado; Moxa Arch, Wyoming; and Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Differences in daily predation rates between colonies and paired off sites averaged 1.0% (P = 0.060). When converted to a typical 14-day incubation period, predation rates averaged 14% higher on colonies (57.7 ?? 2.7%; ?? ?? SE) than at off sites (50.4 ?? 3.1%). Comparisons of habitat variables on colonies to off sites showed percent canopy cover of vegetation was similar (P = 0.114), percent bare ground was higher on colonies (P 0.288). Although we found the risk of nest predation was higher on white-tailed prairie dog colonies than at off sites, fitness of birds nesting on colonies might depend on other factors that influence foraging success, reproductive success, or nestling survival.

  2. Generation of Nutrients and Detoxification: Possible Roles of Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Pagnocca

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The possible roles played by yeasts in attine ant nests are mostly unknown. Here we present our investigations on the plant polysaccharide degradation profile of 82 yeasts isolated from fungus gardens of Atta and Acromyrmex species to demonstrate that yeasts found in ant nests may play the role of making nutrients readily available throughout the garden and detoxification of compounds that may be deleterious to the ants and their fungal cultivar. Among the yeasts screened, 65% exhibited cellulolytic enzymes, 44% exhibited pectinolytic activity while 27% and 17% possess enzyme systems for the degradation of protease and amylase, respectively. Galacturonic acid, which had been reported in previous work to be poorly assimilated by the ant fungus and also to have a negative effect on ants’ survival, was assimilated by 64% and 79% of yeasts isolated from nests of A. texana and Acromyrmex respectively. Our results suggest that yeasts found in ant nests may participate in generation of nutrients and removal of potentially toxic compounds, thereby contributing to the stability of the complex microbiota found in the leaf-cutting ant nests.

  3. Subterranean ant nests: Trace fossils past and future?

    OpenAIRE

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2003-01-01

    Many species of ants excavate complex, species-typical nests in soil. The basic structural units of many nests are descending tunnels connecting flattened, generally horizontal chambers of oval to lobed outline. The species-typical structure of many nests results from variation in the size, shape, number and arrangement of these basic elements. Nest architecture can be rendered by filling subterranean nests with a thin slurry of orthodontal plaster, then excavating and reconstructing the hard...

  4. Simulating large-scale spiking neuronal networks with NEST

    OpenAIRE

    Schücker, Jannis; Eppler, Jochen Martin

    2014-01-01

    The Neural Simulation Tool NEST [1, www.nest-simulator.org] is the simulator for spiking neural networkmodels of the HBP that focuses on the dynamics, size and structure of neural systems rather than on theexact morphology of individual neurons. Its simulation kernel is written in C++ and it runs on computinghardware ranging from simple laptops to clusters and supercomputers with thousands of processor cores.The development of NEST is coordinated by the NEST Initiative [www.nest-initiative.or...

  5. Warm water and cool nests are best. How global warming might influence hatchling green turtle swimming performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David T Booth

    Full Text Available For sea turtles nesting on beaches surrounded by coral reefs, the most important element of hatchling recruitment is escaping predation by fish as they swim across the fringing reef, and as a consequence hatchlings that minimize their exposure to fish predation by minimizing the time spent crossing the fringing reef have a greater chance of surviving the reef crossing. One way to decrease the time required to cross the fringing reef is to maximize swimming speed. We found that both water temperature and nest temperature influence swimming performance of hatchling green turtles, but in opposite directions. Warm water increases swimming ability, with hatchling turtles swimming in warm water having a faster stroke rate, while an increase in nest temperature decreases swimming ability with hatchlings from warm nests producing less thrust per stroke.

  6. Nest predation risk and growth strategies of passerine species: grow fast or develop traits to escape risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yi-Ru; Martin, Thomas E.

    2012-01-01

    Different body components are thought to trade off in their growth and development rates, but the causes for relative prioritization of any trait remains a critical question. Offspring of species at higher risk of predation might prioritize development of locomotor traits that facilitate escaping risky environments over growth of mass. We tested this possibility in 12 altricial passerine species that differed in their risk of nest predation. We found that rates of growth and development of mass, wings, and endothermy increased with nest predation risk across species. In particular, species with higher nest predation risk exhibited relatively faster growth of wings than of mass, fledged with relatively larger wing sizes and smaller mass, and developed endothermy earlier at relatively smaller mass. This differential development can facilitate both escape from predators and survival outside of the nest environment. Tarsus growth was not differentially prioritized with respect to nest predation risk, and instead all species achieved adult tarsus size by age of fledging. We also tested whether different foraging modes (aerial, arboreal, and ground foragers) might explain the variation of differential growth of locomotor modules, but we found that little residual variation was explained. Our results suggest that differences in nest predation risk among species are associated with relative prioritization of body components to facilitate escape from the risky nest environment.

  7. Nested high voltage generator/particle accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adler, R.J.

    1992-01-01

    This patent describes a modular high voltage particle accelerator having an emission axis and an emission end, the accelerator. It comprises: a plurality of high voltage generators in nested adjacency to form a nested stack, each the generator comprising a cup-like housing having a base and a tubular sleeve extending from the base, a primary transformer winding encircling the nested stack; a secondary transformer winding between each adjacent pair of housings, magnetically linked to the primary transformer winding through the gaps; a power supply respective to each of the secondary windings converting alternating voltage from its respective secondary winding to d.c. voltage, the housings at the emission end forming a hollow throat for particle acceleration, a vacuum seal at the emission end of the throat which enables the throat to be evacuated; a particle source in the thrond power means to energize the primary transformer winding

  8. Cancer Chemotherapy Specific to Acidic Nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi

    2017-04-20

    The realization of cancer therapeutics specific to cancer cells with less of an effect on normal tissues is our goal. Many trials have been carried out for this purpose, but this goal is still far from being realized. It was found more than 80 years ago that solid cancer nests are acidified, but in vitro studies under acidic conditions have not been extensively studied. Recently, in vitro experiments under acidic conditions were started and anti-cancer drugs specific to acidic areas have been identified. Many genes have been reported to be expressed at a high level under acidic conditions, and such genes may be potent targets for anti-cancer drugs specific to acidic nests. In this review article, recent in vitro, in vivo, and clinical achievements in anti-cancer drugs with marked efficacy under acidic conditions are summarized, and the clinical use of anti-cancer drugs specific to acidic nests is discussed.

  9. Nest-site selection, reproductive ecology and shifts within core-use areas of Black-necked Cranes at the northern limit of the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lixun; An, Bei; Shu, Meilin; Yang, Xiaojun

    2017-01-01

    We investigated population dynamics, breeding pairs, breeding habitat selection, nest density, distance between neighboring nests, nest survival, reproductive success, and recruitment rate for Black-necked Cranes (BNC, Grus nigricollis ) during 2013-2015 in Yanchiwan National Nature Reserve (YCW), Gansu, China. Numbers of BNC and breeding pairs remained relatively stable at around 140 individuals and 40 pairs. Recruitment rates ranged from 15.7% to 25.8%. The average nest distance was 718.66 ± 430.50 m (2013), 1064.51 ± 323.99 m (2014) and 534.99 ± 195.45 m (2015). Average nest survival rate, hatching success, and breeding success of all 29 nests were 65.56 ± 5.09%, 57.04 ± 6.12% and 32.78% ± 2.55. Water depth, water body area, and distance to land were positively related to nest survival, while disturbance level showed a negative relationship. However, nest site selection of BNC was determined by habitat type, disturbance and water depth. BNC often foraged in mudflats and freshwater marsh but seldom foraged in saline-alkali wet meadows due to food density and quantity in April, the month when BNC choose nest sites. Conservation strategies based on habitats should consider ecological factors that may not be well predicted by nest site selection. Shifts within core-use areas from satellite tracking of BNC demonstrated that maintaining populations demands that conservation areas are large enough to permit breeding BNC changes in space use. Our results are important for conservation management and provide quantitative reproductive data for this species.

  10. Survival costs of chick rearing in black-legged kittiwakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golet, Gregory H.; Irons, David B.; Estes, James A.

    1998-01-01

    1. We tested for costs of chick rearing in the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla (Linnaeus) by removing entire clutches from 149 of 405 randomly selected nests, in which one or both mates was colour-banded. After the manipulation, we monitored adult nest attendance and body condition at unmanipulated and manipulated nests, and measured the survival and fecundity of these adults the following year.2. Late in the chick-rearing period, adults from unmanipulated nests (i.e. with chicks) went on significantly longer foraging trips, and were significantly lighter for their size, than adults from manipulated nests (i.e. without chicks).3. Adults from unmanipulated nests also survived to the following nesting season at a significantly lower rate than those from the manipulated nests (0·898 vs. 0·953), suggesting that attempting to raise chicks can reduce life expectancy by 55%.4. There was a tendency for adults from nests that were unmanipulated in year one to have lower reproductive success in year two, primarily because of reduced fledging success, and a higher incidence of non-breeding.5. These findings suggest that mass loss in kittiwakes during chick rearing may not be adaptive. Raising chicks can lead to reproductive costs, and the causal mechanism appears to be a reduction in body condition.6. We compare our results with previous brood (or clutch) size manipulation experiments that have measured adult body condition, survival and/or future fecundity. Although the empirical evidence suggests that long-lived species are more likely to experience survival costs than short-lived species, we believe the opposite may be true. We suggest that shifting the experimental protocol of cost of reproduction studies from brood enlargements (an approach taken in most prior studies) to brood reductions will provide more accurate quantifications of naturally occurring costs.7. The cost of reproduction is one mechanism proposed to explain the reduced survival rates reported

  11. Mirror nesting and repulsion-induced superconductivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belyavsky, Vladimir I.; Kapaev, Vladimir V.; Kopaev, Yurii V.

    2004-01-01

    Mirror nesting condition that is a rise of pair Fermi contour due to matching of some pieces of the Fermi contour and an isoline of the pair-relative-motion kinetic energy may be satisfied, at definite total pair momenta, due to special features of electron dispersion. Perfect mirror nesting results in a rise of the possibility of superconducting ordering up to arbitrary small pairing repulsive interaction strength. Due to kinematical constraints, the order parameter exists only inside some definite domain of the momentum space and changes its sign on a line belonging to this domain

  12. Influence of an extreme high water event on survival, reproduction, and distribution of snail kites in Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennetts, R.E.; Kitchens, W.M.; Dreitz, V.J.

    2002-01-01

    Hydrology frequently has been reported as the environmental variable having the greatest influence on Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) populations. Although drought has received the most attention, high-water conditions also have been reported to affect kites. Years of high water generally have been reported to be favorable for nesting, although prolonged high water may be detrimental to sustaining suitable habitat. During 1994 and 1995, southern Florida experienced an extreme high water event. This event enabled us to compare survival, nesting success, number of young per successful nest, and spatial distribution of nesting before, during, and after the event. We found no evidence of an effect (either negative or positive) on survival of adult kites. In contrast, juvenile kites experienced the highest survival during the event, although our data suggest greater annual variability than can be explained by the event alone. We found no evidence of an effect of the high water event on nest success or number of young per successful nest. Nest success was highest during the event in the southern portion of the range but was quite similar to other years, both before and after the event. Our data do indicate a substantial shift in the spatial distribution of nesting birds. During the event, nesting activity shifted to higher elevations (i.e., shallower water) in the major nesting areas of the Everglades region. Nesting also occurred in Big Cypress National Preserve during the event, which is typically too dry to support nesting kites. Thus, our data indicate a potential short-term benefit of increased juvenile survival and an expansion of nesting habitat. However, the deterioration of habitat quality from prolonged high water precludes any recommendation for such conditions to be maintained for extended periods. ?? 2002, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  13. Nest design in a changing world: great tit Parus major nests from a Mediterranean city environment as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambrechts, Marcel M; Charmantier, Anne; Demeyrier, Virginie; Lucas, Annick; Perret, Samuel; Abouladzé, Matthieu; Bonnet, Michel; Canonne, Coline; Faucon, Virginie; Grosset, Stéphanie; le Prado, Gaëlle; Lidon, Frédéric; Noell, Thierry; Pagano, Pascal; Perret, Vincent; Pouplard, Stéphane; Spitaliéry, Rémy; Bernard, Cyril; Perret, Philippe; Blondel, Jacques; Grégoire, Arnaud

    2017-12-01

    Investigations of urbanization effects on birds have focused mainly on breeding traits expressed after the nest-building stage (e.g. first-egg date, clutch size, breeding success, and offspring characteristics). Urban studies largely ignored how and why the aspects of nest building might be associated with the degree of urbanization. As urban environments are expected to present novel environmental changes relative to rural environments, it is important to evaluate how nest-building behavior is impacted by vegetation modifications associated with urbanization. To examine nest design in a Mediterranean city environment, we allowed urban great tits ( Parus major ) to breed in nest boxes in areas that differed in local vegetation cover. We found that different measures of nest size or mass were not associated with vegetation cover. In particular, nests located adjacent to streets with lower vegetation cover were not smaller or lighter than nests in parks with higher vegetation cover. Nests adjacent to streets contained more pine needles than nests in parks. In addition, in nests adjacent to streets, nests from boxes attached to pine trees contained more pine needles than nests from boxes attached to other trees. We suggest that urban-related alterations in vegetation cover do not directly impose physical limits on nest size in species that are opportunistic in the selection of nesting material. However, nest composition as reflected in the use of pine needles was clearly affected by habitat type and the planted tree species present, which implies that rapid habitat change impacts nest composition. We do not exclude that urbanization might impact other aspects of nest building behaviour not covered in our study (e.g. costs of searching for nest material), and that the strengths of the associations between urbanization and nest structures might differ among study populations or species.

  14. Learning to breathe and sing: development of respiratory-vocal coordination in young songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veit, Lena; Aronov, Dmitriy; Fee, Michale S

    2011-10-01

    How do animals with learned vocalizations coordinate vocal production with respiration? Songbirds such as the zebra finch learn their songs, beginning with highly variable babbling vocalizations known as subsong. After several weeks of practice, zebra finches are able to produce a precisely timed pattern of syllables and silences, precisely coordinated with expiratory and inspiratory pulses (Franz M, Goller F. J Neurobiol 51: 129-141, 2002). While respiration in adult song is well described, relatively little is known about respiratory patterns in subsong or about the processes by which respiratory and vocal patterns become coordinated. To address these questions, we recorded thoracic air sac pressure in juvenile zebra finches prior to the appearance of any consistent temporal or acoustic structure in their songs. We found that subsong contains brief inspiratory pulses (50 ms) alternating with longer pulses of sustained expiratory pressure (50-500 ms). In striking contrast to adult song, expiratory pulses often contained multiple (0-8) variably timed syllables separated by expiratory gaps and were only partially vocalized. During development, expiratory pulses became shorter and more stereotyped in duration with shorter and fewer nonvocalized parts. These developmental changes eventually resulted in the production of a single syllable per expiratory pulse and a single inspiratory pulse filling each gap, forming a coordinated sequence similar to that of adult song. To examine the role of forebrain song-control nuclei in the development of respiratory patterns, we performed pressure recordings before and after lesions of nucleus HVC (proper name) and found that this manipulation reverses the developmental trends in measures of the respiratory pattern.

  15. Temperate grassland songbird species accumulate incrementally along a gradient of primary productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

    Full Text Available Global analyses of bird communities along elevation gradients suggest that bird diversity on arid mountains is primarily limited by water availability, not temperature or altitude. However, the mechanism by which water availability, and subsequently primary productivity, increases bird diversity is still unclear. Here we evaluate two possible mechanisms from species-energy theory. The more individuals hypothesis proposes that a higher availability of resources increases the total number of individuals that can be supported, and therefore the greater number of species that will be sampled. By contrast, the more specialization hypothesis proposes that increasing resource availability will permit specialists to exploit otherwise rare resources, thus increasing total diversity. We used 5 years of surveys of grassland songbird communities along an elevational gradient in British Columbia, Canada, to distinguish between these hypotheses. Vegetation changed markedly in composition along the gradient and contrary to the expectations of the more specialization hypothesis, bird community composition was remarkably constant. However, both total abundance and species richness of birds increased with increasing water availability to plants. When we used rarefaction to correct species richness for differences in total abundance, much of the increase in bird diversity was lost, consistent with the expectations of the more individuals hypothesis. Furthermore, high species richness was associated with reductions in territory size of common bird species, rather than the fine-scale spatial partitioning of the landscape. This suggests that bird diversity increases when greater resource availability allows higher densities rather than greater habitat specialization. These results help explain a pervasive global pattern in bird diversity on arid mountains, and suggest that in such landscapes conservation of grassland birds is strongly linked to climate and hydrology.

  16. Distinct neurogenomic states in basal ganglia subregions relate differently to singing behavior in songbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Austin T Hilliard

    Full Text Available Both avian and mammalian basal ganglia are involved in voluntary motor control. In birds, such movements include hopping, perching and flying. Two organizational features that distinguish the songbird basal ganglia are that striatal and pallidal neurons are intermingled, and that neurons dedicated to vocal-motor function are clustered together in a dense cell group known as area X that sits within the surrounding striato-pallidum. This specification allowed us to perform molecular profiling of two striato-pallidal subregions, comparing transcriptional patterns in tissue dedicated to vocal-motor function (area X to those in tissue that contains similar cell types but supports non-vocal behaviors: the striato-pallidum ventral to area X (VSP, our focus here. Since any behavior is likely underpinned by the coordinated actions of many molecules, we constructed gene co-expression networks from microarray data to study large-scale transcriptional patterns in both subregions. Our goal was to investigate any relationship between VSP network structure and singing and identify gene co-expression groups, or modules, found in the VSP but not area X. We observed mild, but surprising, relationships between VSP modules and song spectral features, and found a group of four VSP modules that were highly specific to the region. These modules were unrelated to singing, but were composed of genes involved in many of the same biological processes as those we previously observed in area X-specific singing-related modules. The VSP-specific modules were also enriched for processes disrupted in Parkinson's and Huntington's Diseases. Our results suggest that the activation/inhibition of a single pathway is not sufficient to functionally specify area X versus the VSP and support the notion that molecular processes are not in and of themselves specialized for behavior. Instead, unique interactions between molecular pathways create functional specificity in particular brain

  17. Songbird response to increased willow (Salix spp.) growth in Yellowstone's northern range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baril, Lisa M; Hansen, Andrew J; Renkin, Roy; Lawrence, Rick

    2011-09-01

    After nearly a century of height suppression, willows (Salix spp.) in the northern range of Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A., are increasing in height growth as a possible consequence of wolf (Canis lupus) restoration, climate change, or other factors. Regardless of the drivers, the recent release of this rare but important habitat type could have significant implications for associated songbirds that are exhibiting declines in the region. Our objective was to evaluate bird response to releasing willows by comparing willow structure and bird community composition across three willow growth conditions: height suppressed, recently released, and previously tall (i.e., tall prior to the height increase of released willows). Released and previously tall willows exhibited high and similar vertical structure, but released willows were significantly lower in horizontal structure. Suppressed willows were significantly shorter and lower in horizontal cover than released or previously tall willows. Bird richness increased along a gradient from lowest in suppressed to highest in previously tall willows, but abundance and diversity were similar between released and previously tall willows, despite lower horizontal cover in the released condition. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) and Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) were found in all three growth conditions; however, Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus), Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), and Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodii) were present in released and previously tall willows only. Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla) was found in previously tall willows only, appearing to specialize on tall, dense willows. The results of our a priori habitat models indicated that foliage height diversity was the primary driver of bird richness, abundance, and diversity. These results indicate that vertical structure was a more important driver of bird community variables than horizontal

  18. Memory-dependent adjustment of vocal response latencies in a territorial songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geberzahn, Nicole; Hultsch, Henrike; Todt, Dietmar

    2013-06-01

    Vocal interactions in songbirds can be used as a model system to investigate the interplay of intrinsic singing programmes (e.g. influences from vocal memories) and external variables (e.g. social factors). When characterizing vocal interactions between territorial rivals two aspects are important: (1) the timing of songs in relation to the conspecific's singing and (2) the use of a song pattern that matches the rival's song. Responses in both domains can be used to address a territorial rival. This study is the first to investigate the relation of the timing of vocal responses to (1) the vocal memory of a responding subject and (2) the selection of the song pattern that the subject uses as a response. To this end, we conducted interactive playback experiments with adult nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos) that had been hand-reared and tutored in the laboratory. We analysed the subjects' vocal response latencies towards broadcast playback stimuli that they either had in their own vocal repertoire (songs shared with playback) or that they had not heard before (unknown songs). Likewise, we compared vocal response latencies between responses that matched the stimulus song and those that did not. Our findings showed that the latency of singing in response to the playback was shorter for shared versus unknown song stimuli when subjects overlapped the playback stimuli with their own song. Moreover birds tended to overlap faster when vocally matching the stimulus song rather than when replying with a non-matching song type. We conclude that memory of song patterns influenced response latencies and discuss possible mechanisms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. A GIS Approach to Prioritizing Habitat for Restoration Using Neotropical Migrant Songbird Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzmueller, Eric J.; Gaskins, Michael D.; Mangun, Jean C.

    2011-07-01

    Restoration efforts to increase wildlife habitat quality in agricultural landscapes have limited funding and are typically done on a first come, first serve basis. In order to increase the efficiency of these restoration efforts, a prioritized ranking system is needed to obtain the greatest increase in habitat quality possible for the fewest amount of hectares restored. This project examines the use of a GIS based multi-criteria approach to prioritize lands for reforestation along the Kaskaskia River in Illinois. Loss of forested area and corresponding increase in forest fragmentation has decreased songbird habitat quality across the Midwestern United States. We prioritized areas for reforestation based on nine landscape metrics: available agricultural land, forest cover gaps, edge density, proximity to river, 200 m corridor area, total forest core area, fringe core area, distance to primary core value, and primary core area. The multi-criteria analysis revealed that high priority areas for reforestation were most likely to be close to the riparian corridor and existing large blocks of forest. Analysis of simulated reforestation (0, 0.5, 1.0, 5.0 10.0, 25.0, and 50.0% of highest priority parcels reforested) revealed different responses for multiple landscape metrics used to quantify forest fragmentation following reforestation, but indicated that the study area would get the greatest rate of return on reforestation efforts by reforesting 10.0% of the highest priority areas. This project demonstrates how GIS and a multi-criteria analysis approach can be used to increase the efficiency of restoration projects. This approach should be considered by land managers when attempting to identify the location and quantity of area for restoration within a landscape.

  20. Cost of Parasitism Incurred by Two Songbird Species and Their Quality As Cowbird Hosts1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirk Burhans; Frank R. Thompson III

    2000-01-01

    We measured the costs of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism incurred by Field Sparrows (Spizella pusilla) and Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea). We predicted that the frequent occurrence of nest desertion as a response to cowbird parasitism in Field Sparrows would be reflected by a higher cost of...

  1. Evaluating outcomes of management targeting the recovery of a migratory songbird of conservation concern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry M. Streby

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Assessing outcomes of habitat management is critical for informing and adapting conservation plans. From 2013–2019, a multi-stage management initiative, led by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC, aims to create >25,000 ha of shrubland and early-successional vegetation to benefit Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera in managed forested landscapes of the western Great Lakes region. We studied a dense breeding population of Golden-winged Warblers at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR in Minnesota, USA, where ABC initiative management was implemented to benefit the species. Methods We monitored abundance before (2011–2014 and after (2015–2016 management, and we estimated full-season productivity (i.e., young recruited into the fall population from predictive, spatially explicit models, informed by nest and fledgling survival data collected at sites in the western Great Lakes region, including Rice Lake NWR, during 2011 and 2012. Then, using biologically informed models of bird response to observed and predicted vegetation succession, we estimated the cumulative change in population recruitment over various scenarios of vegetation succession and demographic response. Results We observed an 32% decline in abundance of breeding pairs and estimated a 27% decline in per-pair full-season productivity following management, compared to no change in a nearby control site. In models that ranged from highly optimistic to progressively more realistic scenarios, we estimated a net loss of 72–460 juvenile Golden-winged Warblers produced from the managed site in the 10–20 years following management. Even if our well-informed and locally validated productivity models produced erroneous estimates and the management resulted in only a temporary reduction in abundance (i.e., no change in productivity, our forecast models still predicted a net loss of 137–260 juvenile Golden-winged Warblers from the managed area over the same time

  2. Preliminary Evaluation of a Nest Usage Sensor to Detect Double Nest Occupations of Laying Hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Zaninelli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Conventional cage systems will be replaced by housing systems that allow hens to move freely. These systems may improve hens’ welfare, but they lead to some disadvantages: disease, bone fractures, cannibalism, piling and lower egg production. New selection criteria for existing commercial strains should be identified considering individual data about laying performance and the behavior of hens. Many recording systems have been developed to collect these data. However, the management of double nest occupations remains critical for the correct egg-to-hen assignment. To limit such events, most systems adopt specific trap devices and additional mechanical components. Others, instead, only prevent these occurrences by narrowing the nest, without any detection and management. The aim of this study was to develop and test a nest usage “sensor”, based on imaging analysis, that is able to automatically detect a double nest occupation. Results showed that the developed sensor correctly identified the double nest occupation occurrences. Therefore, the imaging analysis resulted in being a useful solution that could simplify the nest construction for this type of recording system, allowing the collection of more precise and accurate data, since double nest occupations would be managed and the normal laying behavior of hens would not be discouraged by the presence of the trap devices.

  3. Preliminary evaluation of a nest usage sensor to detect double nest occupations of laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaninelli, Mauro; Costa, Annamaria; Tangorra, Francesco Maria; Rossi, Luciana; Agazzi, Alessandro; Savoini, Giovanni

    2015-01-26

    Conventional cage systems will be replaced by housing systems that allow hens to move freely. These systems may improve hens' welfare, but they lead to some disadvantages: disease, bone fractures, cannibalism, piling and lower egg production. New selection criteria for existing commercial strains should be identified considering individual data about laying performance and the behavior of hens. Many recording systems have been developed to collect these data. However, the management of double nest occupations remains critical for the correct egg-to-hen assignment. To limit such events, most systems adopt specific trap devices and additional mechanical components. Others, instead, only prevent these occurrences by narrowing the nest, without any detection and management. The aim of this study was to develop and test a nest usage "sensor", based on imaging analysis, that is able to automatically detect a double nest occupation. Results showed that the developed sensor correctly identified the double nest occupation occurrences. Therefore, the imaging analysis resulted in being a useful solution that could simplify the nest construction for this type of recording system, allowing the collection of more precise and accurate data, since double nest occupations would be managed and the normal laying behavior of hens would not be discouraged by the presence of the trap devices.

  4. Open cup nests evolved from roofed nests in the early passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, J Jordan; Griffith, Simon C

    2017-02-08

    The architectural diversity of nests in the passerine birds (order Passeriformes) is thought to have played an important role in the adaptive radiation of this group, which now comprises more than half of avian species and occupies nearly all terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present an extensive survey and ancestral state reconstruction of nest design across the passerines, focusing on early Australian lineages and including members of nearly all passerine families worldwide. Most passerines build open cup-shaped nests, whereas a minority build more elaborate domed structures with roofs. We provide strong evidence that, despite their relative rarity today, domed nests were constructed by the common ancestor of all modern passerines. Open cup nests evolved from enclosed domes at least four times independently during early passerine evolution, at least three of which occurred on the Australian continent, yielding several primarily cup-nesting clades that are now widespread and numerically dominant among passerines. Our results show that the ubiquitous and relatively simple cup-shaped nests of many birds today evolved multiple times convergently, suggesting adaptive benefits over earlier roofed designs. © 2017 The Author(s).

  5. The Songbird Neurogenomics (SoNG Initiative: Community-based tools and strategies for study of brain gene function and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lewin Harris A

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Songbirds hold great promise for biomedical, environmental and evolutionary research. A complete draft sequence of the zebra finch genome is imminent, yet a need remains for application of genomic resources within a research community traditionally focused on ethology and neurobiological methods. In response, we developed a core set of genomic tools and a novel collaborative strategy to probe gene expression in diverse songbird species and natural contexts. Results We end-sequenced cDNAs from zebra finch brain and incorporated additional sequences from community sources into a database of 86,784 high quality reads. These assembled into 31,658 non-redundant contigs and singletons, which we annotated via BLAST search of chicken and human databases. The results are publicly available in the ESTIMA:Songbird database. We produced a spotted cDNA microarray with 20,160 addresses representing 17,214 non-redundant products of an estimated 11,500–15,000 genes, validating it by analysis of immediate-early gene (zenk gene activation following song exposure and by demonstrating effective cross hybridization to genomic DNAs of other songbird species in the Passerida Parvorder. Our assembly was also used in the design of the "Lund-zfa" Affymetrix array representing ~22,000 non-redundant sequences. When the two arrays were hybridized to cDNAs from the same set of male and female zebra finch brain samples, both arrays detected a common set of regulated transcripts with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.895. To stimulate use of these resources by the songbird research community and to maintain consistent technical standards, we devised a "Community Collaboration" mechanism whereby individual birdsong researchers develop experiments and provide tissues, but a single individual in the community is responsible for all RNA extractions, labelling and microarray hybridizations. Conclusion Immediately, these results set the foundation for a

  6. How important are hemoparasites to migratory songbirds? Evaluating physiological measures and infection status in three neotropical migrants during stopover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelius, E A; Davis, A K; Altizer, S A

    2014-01-01

    Long-distance migrations are energetically expensive for many animals, including migratory songbirds. During these demanding journeys, birds likely face limitations in allocating resources to different physiological functions, including lipid reserves needed to fuel the migration and costly immune defense against pathogens. We sampled three species of long-distance migratory songbirds during their fall migration through coastal Georgia and quantified their body condition, subcutaneous fat reserves, and infection status with blood parasites (Hemoproteus and Plasmodium). We also quantified cellular immunity, on the basis of total and differential white blood cell counts, and estimated individual stress levels, using the heterophil∶lymphocyte (H∶L) ratio. We tested whether birds infected with blood parasites had decreased fat measures, poorer body condition, or increased stress levels (as reflected by H∶L ratios). We also examined relationships between immune cell profiles and the following variables: body condition, subcutaneous fat, infection status, age, and species. Infected birds did not show greater H∶L ratios, poorer body condition, or lower fat measures, but in one species infected individuals showed significantly elevated leukocyte counts. Although we found little evidence for negative relationships between immune cell counts and body condition or fat measures, as might reflect underlying trade-offs in resource allocation, our results concerning hemoparasites are consistent with past work and suggest that chronic hemoparasite infections might have minimal effects on the outcome of long-distance migratory flight.

  7. Sequential and Simultaneous Logit: A Nested Model.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ophem, J.C.M.; Schram, A.J.H.C.

    1997-01-01

    A nested model is presented which has both the sequential and the multinomial logit model as special cases. This model provides a simple test to investigate the validity of these specifications. Some theoretical properties of the model are discussed. In the analysis a distribution function is

  8. High-field superconducting nested coil magnet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laverick, C.; Lobell, G. M.

    1970-01-01

    Superconducting magnet, employed in conjunction with five types of superconducting cables in a nested solenoid configuration, produces total, central magnetic field strengths approaching 70 kG. The multiple coils permit maximum information on cable characteristics to be gathered from one test.

  9. Streaming nested data parallelism on multicores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Frederik Meisner; Filinski, Andrzej

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of nested data parallelism (NDP) allows a variety of semi-regular computation tasks to be mapped onto SIMD-style hardware, including GPUs and vector units. However, some care is needed to keep down space consumption in situations where the available parallelism may vastly exceed...

  10. Nested Reconfigurable Robots: Theory, Design, and Realization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Tan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Rather than the conventional classification method, we propose to divide modular and reconfigurable robots into intra-, inter-, and nested reconfigurations. We suggest designing the robot with nested reconfigurability, which utilizes individual robots with intra-reconfigurability capable of combining with other homogeneous/heterogeneous robots (inter-reconfigurability. The objective of this approach is to generate more complex morphologies for performing specific tasks that are far from the capabilities of a single module or to respond to programmable assembly requirements. In this paper, we discuss the theory, concept, and initial mechanical design of Hinged-Tetro, a self-reconfigurable module conceived for the study of nested reconfiguration. Hinged-Tetro is a mobile robot that uses the principle of hinged dissection of polyominoes to transform itself into any of the seven one-sided tetrominoes in a straightforward way. The robot can also combine with other modules for shaping complex structures or giving rise to a robot with new capabilities. Finally, the validation experiments verify the nested reconfigurability of Hinged-Tetro. Extensive tests and analyses of intra-reconfiguration are provided in terms of energy and time consumptions. Experiments using two robots validate the inter-reconfigur ability of the proposed module.

  11. Field guide to red tree vole nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damon B. Lesmeister; James K. Swingle

    2017-01-01

    Surveys for red tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus) nests require tree climbing because the species is a highly specialized arboreal rodent that live in the tree canopy of coniferous forests in western Oregon and northwestern California. Tree voles are associated with old coniferous forest (≥80 years old) that are structurally complex, but are often...

  12. Flattening Queries over Nested Data Types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ruth, J.

    2006-01-01

    The theory developed in this thesis provides a method to improve the efficiency of querying nested data. The roots of this research lie in the tension between data model expressiveness and performance. Obviously, more expressive data models are more convenient for application programmers. For many

  13. A catalog of Louisiana's nesting seabird colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontenot, William R.; Cardiff, Steve W.; DeMay, Richard A.; Dittmann, Donna L.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Jeske, Clinton W.; Lorenz, Nicole; Michot, Thomas C.; Purrington, Robert Dan; Seymour, Michael; Vermillion, William G.

    2012-01-01

    Summarizing his colonial nesting waterbird survey experiences along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in a paper presented to the Colonial Waterbird Group of the Waterbird Society (Portnoy 1978), bird biologist John W. Portnoy stated, “This huge concentration of nesting waterbirds, restricted almost entirely to the wetlands and estuaries of southern Louisiana, is unmatched in all of North America; for example, a 1975 inventory of wading birds along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida [Custer and Osborn, in press], tallied 250,000 breeding [waterbirds] of 14 species, in contrast with the 650,000 birds of 15 species just from Sabine Pass to Mobile Bay.” The “650,000 birds” to which Portnoy referred, were tallied by him in a 1976 survey of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (see below, under “Major Surveys” section). According to the National Atlas of Coastal Waterbird Colonies in the Contiguous United States: 1976-82 (Spendelow and Patton 1988), the percentages of the total U.S. populations of Laughing Gull (11%), Forster's Tern (52%), Royal Tern (16%), Sandwich Tern (77%), and Black Skimmer (44%) which annually nest in Louisiana are significant – perhaps crucially so in the cases of Forster's Tern, Sandwich Tern, and Black Skimmer. Nearly three decades after Spendelow and Patton's determinations above, coastal Louisiana still stands out as the major center of colonial wading bird and seabird nesting in all of the United States. Within those three intervening decades, however, the

  14. Collective fluid mechanics of honeybee nest ventilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Combes, Stacey; Wood, Robert J.; Peters, Jacob

    2014-11-01

    Honeybees thermoregulate their brood in the warm summer months by collectively fanning their wings and creating air flow through the nest. During nest ventilation workers flap their wings in close proximity in which wings continuously operate in unsteady oncoming flows (i.e. the wake of neighboring worker bees) and near the ground. The fluid mechanics of this collective aerodynamic phenomena are unstudied and may play an important role in the physiology of colony life. We have performed field and laboratory observations of the nest ventilation wing kinematics and air flow generated by individuals and groups of honeybee workers. Inspired from these field observations we describe here a robotic model system to study collective flapping wing aerodynamics. We microfabricate arrays of 1.4 cm long flapping wings and observe the air flow generated by arrays of two or more fanning robotic wings. We vary phase, frequency, and separation distance among wings and find that net output flow is enhanced when wings operate at the appropriate phase-distance relationship to catch shed vortices from neighboring wings. These results suggest that by varying position within the fanning array honeybee workers may benefit from collective aerodynamic interactions during nest ventilation.

  15. Nest sharing under semi-natural conditions in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    problems to laying hens, and egg production may also be negatively affected. Understanding what causes this difference in nest location selection may provide solutions to the problems associated with simultaneous nest sharing. The aims were to investigate whether a commercial strain of laying hens normally...... daily of each nest with regard to number of eggs, position, and materials used. On five mornings nesting behaviour was observed. Nest sharing occurred on all but the first 5 days of egg-laying. The majority of hens (n = 14) chose to visit an occupied nest at least once, but no hens exclusively used...

  16. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Mississippi: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for gulls and terns in Mississippi. Vector points in this data set represent bird nesting sites. Species...

  17. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Southern California: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting and roosting gulls, terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and T/E species in Southern California. Vector...

  18. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Northwest Arctic, Alaska: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting birds in Northwest Arctic, Alaska. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  19. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting birds in coastal Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Vector points in this...

  20. Surviving Sengstaken.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, S; Odulaja, A; Patel, S; Davenport, M; Ade-Ajayi, N

    2015-07-01

    To report the outcomes of children who underwent Sengstaken-Blakemore tube (SBT) insertion for life-threatening haemetemesis. Single institution retrospective review (1997-2012) of children managed with SBT insertion. Patient demographics, diagnosis and outcomes were noted. Data are expressed as median (range). 19 children [10 male, age 1 (0.4-16) yr] were identified; 18 had gastro-oesophageal varices and 1 aorto-oesophageal fistula. Varices were secondary to: biliary atresia (n=8), portal vein thrombosis (n=5), alpha-1-anti-trypsin deficiency (n=1), cystic fibrosis (n=1), intrahepatic cholestasis (n=1), sclerosing cholangitis (n=1) and nodular hyperplasia with arterio-portal shunt (n=1). Three children deteriorated rapidly and did not survive to have post-SBT endoscopy. The child with an aortooesophageal fistula underwent aortic stent insertion and subsequently oesophageal replacement. Complications included gastric mucosal ulceration (n=3, 16%), pressure necrosis at lips and cheeks (n=6, 31%) and SBT dislodgment (n=1, 6%). Six (31%) children died. The remaining 13 have been followed up for 62 (2-165) months; five required liver transplantation, two underwent a mesocaval shunt procedure and 6 have completed endoscopic variceal obliteration and are under surveillance. SBT can be an effective, albeit temporary, life-saving manoeuvre in children with catastrophic haematemesis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  2. Construction patterns of birds' nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    OpenAIRE

    Biddle, Lucia; Goodman, Adrian; Deeming, Charles

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in a...

  3. From neurons to nests : nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience

    OpenAIRE

    Hall, Zachary Jonas; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan Denise

    2015-01-01

    This work was supported by funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/ I019502/1 to SDH and SLM) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (grant number PGSD3-409582-2011 to ZJH) and Roslin Institute Strategic Grant funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (SLM). Despite centuries of observing the nest building of most extant bird species, we know surprisingly little about how birds build nests and, s...

  4. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Tanaka

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1 covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes, and 2 open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds. Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1 covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs, and 2 open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment

  5. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  6. Design of nest access grids and perches in front of the nests: Influence on the behavior of laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stämpfli, K; Buchwalder, T; Fröhlich, E K F; Roth, B A

    2013-04-01

    In aviary systems for laying hens, it is important to provide suitable nest access platforms in front of the nests, allowing hens to reach and explore each of the nests easily. This access platform is needed to achieve good nest acceptance by the hens and thereby prevent mislaid eggs. In the present experiment, the behavior of hens using 2 different nest access platforms, a plastic grid and 2 wooden perches, was examined. Furthermore, the nests were placed on both sides of the aviary rack (corridor side and outdoor side), either integrated into the aviary rack itself (integrated nest; IN) or placed on the walls of the pens (wall nest; WN), resulting in a 2 × 2 factorial design Four thousand five hundred white laying hens were housed in 20 test pens. The eggs in the nests and mislaid eggs were collected daily, and the behavior of hens on the nest accesses was filmed during wk 25 and 26, using focal observation and scan sampling methods. More balancing, body contact, and agonistic interactions were expected for nests with perches, whereas more walking and nest inspections were expected for nests with grids. There were more mislaid eggs and balancing found in pens equipped with nests with wooden perches. More agonistic interactions and balancing, less standing, and a longer duration of nest inspection were found with the WN compared with the IN. Interactions between platform design and position of the nests were found for duration of nest visits, body contact, and walking, with the highest amount for WN equipped with plastic grids. Nests on the corridor side were favored by the hens. Nest-related behaviors, such as nest inspection, standing, and walking, decreased over time as did the number of hens on the nest accesses, whereas sitting increased. These results indicate that the hens had more difficulties in gripping the perches as designed. The lower number of hens on the nest access platforms in front of IN may be due to a better distribution around nests and tier

  7. Nesting biology of Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) lactitarse Saussure (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae) in trap-nests in Southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buschini, M L T; Niesing, F; Wolff, L L

    2006-08-01

    This study was carried in the Parque Municipal das Araucárias in the municipality of Guarapuava, state of Paraná, Southern Brazil. Three hundred and sixty five nests of T. lactitarse were obtained using trap-nests of 0.7, 1.0, and 1.3 cm in diameter. All of them had similar architecture, regardless of the diameter of the trap-nest. Completed nests consisted of a linear series of brood cells whose average number per nest was of 3.3, 4.0 and 3.6 for the nests with 0.7 cm, 1.0 cm and 1.3 cm in diameter, respectively. They were constructed more often during the summer. T. lactitarse had two types of life cycles: direct development (without diapause), and delayed development (with diapause during winter). Natural enemies included Chrysididae, Sarcophagidae, Dolichopodidae and Ichneumonidae. Out of 1,353 identified spider prey, 1,313 belonged to the Araneidae family.

  8. Nesting biology of Trypoxylon (Trypargilum lactitarse Saussure (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae in trap-nests in Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. L. T. Buschini

    Full Text Available This study was carried in the Parque Municipal das Araucárias in the municipality of Guarapuava, state of Paraná, Southern Brazil. Three hundred and sixty five nests of T. lactitarse were obtained using trap-nests of 0.7, 1.0, and 1.3 cm in diameter. All of them had similar architecture, regardless of the diameter of the trap-nest. Completed nests consisted of a linear series of brood cells whose average number per nest was of 3.3, 4.0 and 3.6 for the nests with 0.7 cm, 1.0 cm and 1.3 cm in diameter, respectively. They were constructed more often during the summer. T. lactitarse had two types of life cycles: direct development (without diapause, and delayed development (with diapause during winter. Natural enemies included Chrysididae, Sarcophagidae, Dolichopodidae and Ichneumonidae. Out of 1,353 identified spider prey, 1,313 belonged to the Araneidae family.

  9. Visitors to nests of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We recommend expanding the Hooded Vulture nest monitoring programme to include more pairs. Keywords: Alopochen aegyptiaca, Chacma Baboon, Egyptian Goose, Hooded Vulture, Kruger-to-Canyons Biosphere Region, Martial Eagle, Necrosyrtes monachus, nest visitors, Papio ursinus, Polemaetus bellicosus ...

  10. DISPERSAL OF SEEDS AS NEST MATERIAL BY THE CACTUS WREN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) nests from the southern Chihuahuan Desert contained viable seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. The most common plants used as construction material in these nests were Muhlenbergia porteri, Boerhavia spicata, and the alien grass Era...

  11. Bird nesting and droppings control on highway structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    This report provides a comprehensive literature survey of permanent and temporary deterrents to nesting and roosting, a : discussion of risks to human health and safety from exposure to bird nests and droppings and recommended protective measures, : ...

  12. Forest Policy Scenario Analysis: Sensitivity of Songbird Community to Changes in Forest Cover Amount and Configuration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Rempel

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Changes in mature forest cover amount, composition, and configuration can be of significant consequence to wildlife populations. The response of wildlife to forest patterns is of concern to forest managers because it lies at the heart of such competing approaches to forest planning as aggregated vs. dispersed harvest block layouts. In this study, we developed a species assessment framework to evaluate the outcomes of forest management scenarios on biodiversity conservation objectives. Scenarios were assessed in the context of a broad range of forest structures and patterns that would be expected to occur under natural disturbance and succession processes. Spatial habitat models were used to predict the effects of varying degrees of mature forest cover amount, composition, and configuration on habitat occupancy for a set of 13 focal songbird species. We used a spatially explicit harvest scheduling program to model forest management options and simulate future forest conditions resulting from alternative forest management scenarios, and used a process-based fire-simulation model to simulate future forest conditions resulting from natural wildfire disturbance. Spatial pattern signatures were derived for both habitat occupancy and forest conditions, and these were placed in the context of the simulated range of natural variation. Strategic policy analyses were set in the context of current Ontario forest management policies. This included use of sequential time-restricted harvest blocks (created for Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus conservation and delayed harvest areas (created for American marten (Martes americana atrata conservation. This approach increased the realism of the analysis, but reduced the generality of interpretations. We found that forest management options that create linear strips of old forest deviate the most from simulated natural patterns, and had the greatest negative effects on habitat occupancy, whereas policy options

  13. Comparing coefficients of nested nonlinear probability models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kohler, Ulrich; Karlson, Kristian Bernt; Holm, Anders

    2011-01-01

    In a series of recent articles, Karlson, Holm and Breen have developed a method for comparing the estimated coeffcients of two nested nonlinear probability models. This article describes this method and the user-written program khb that implements the method. The KHB-method is a general decomposi......In a series of recent articles, Karlson, Holm and Breen have developed a method for comparing the estimated coeffcients of two nested nonlinear probability models. This article describes this method and the user-written program khb that implements the method. The KHB-method is a general...... decomposition method that is unaffected by the rescaling or attenuation bias that arise in cross-model comparisons in nonlinear models. It recovers the degree to which a control variable, Z, mediates or explains the relationship between X and a latent outcome variable, Y*, underlying the nonlinear probability...

  14. Nested partitions method, theory and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Shi, Leyuan

    2009-01-01

    There is increasing need to solve large-scale complex optimization problems in a wide variety of science and engineering applications, including designing telecommunication networks for multimedia transmission, planning and scheduling problems in manufacturing and military operations, or designing nanoscale devices and systems. Advances in technology and information systems have made such optimization problems more and more complicated in terms of size and uncertainty. Nested Partitions Method, Theory and Applications provides a cutting-edge research tool to use for large-scale, complex systems optimization. The Nested Partitions (NP) framework is an innovative mix of traditional optimization methodology and probabilistic assumptions. An important feature of the NP framework is that it combines many well-known optimization techniques, including dynamic programming, mixed integer programming, genetic algorithms and tabu search, while also integrating many problem-specific local search heuristics. The book uses...

  15. Structural relations between nested harmonic sums

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bluemlein, J.

    2008-07-01

    We describe the structural relations between nested harmonic sums emerging in the description of physical single scale quantities up to the 3-loop level in renormalizable gauge field theories. These are weight w=6 harmonic sums. We identify universal basic functions which allow to describe a large class of physical quantities and derive their complex analysis. For the 3-loop QCD Wilson coefficients 35 basic functions are required, whereas a subset of 15 describes the 3-loop anomalous dimensions. (orig.)

  16. Structural relations between nested harmonic sums

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bluemlein, J.

    2008-07-15

    We describe the structural relations between nested harmonic sums emerging in the description of physical single scale quantities up to the 3-loop level in renormalizable gauge field theories. These are weight w=6 harmonic sums. We identify universal basic functions which allow to describe a large class of physical quantities and derive their complex analysis. For the 3-loop QCD Wilson coefficients 35 basic functions are required, whereas a subset of 15 describes the 3-loop anomalous dimensions. (orig.)

  17. Nest trees of northern flying squirrels in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marc D. Meyer; Douglas A. Kelt; Malcolm P. North

    2005-01-01

    We examined the nest-tree preferences of northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) in an old-growth, mixed-conifer and red fir (Abies magnifica) forest of the southern Sierra Nevada of California. We tracked 27 individuals to 122 nest trees during 3 summers. Flying squirrels selected nest trees that were larger in diameter and...

  18. Short Note Ground cavity nest temperatures and their relevance to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Blue Swallows Hirundo atrocaerulea are Critically Endangered within South Africa. They nest in natural underground holes in mist-belt grasslands. Temperature dataloggers were used to record ground cavity nest (Tn) and ambient temperature (Ta) for one artificial and 11 natural Blue Swallow nests. Mean ground cavity Tn ...

  19. Efficient processing of containment queries on nested sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ibrahim, A.; Fletcher, G.H.L.

    2013-01-01

    We study the problem of computing containment queries on sets which can have both atomic and set-valued objects as elements, i.e., nested sets. Containment is a fundamental query pattern with many basic applications. Our study of nested set containment is motivated by the ubiquity of nested data in

  20. Language Nests and Language Acquisition: An Empirical Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okura, Eve K.

    2017-01-01

    This dissertation presents the findings from interviews conducted with language nest workers, teachers, language nest coordinators, administrators of language revitalization programs, principals and directors of language immersion schools that work in close proximity with language nests, and linguists involved in language revitalization efforts.…

  1. Nest-site partitioning in a strandveld shrubland bird community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nest-site selection may vary adaptively among co-existing species as a result of competitive interactions among the species or in response to density-dependent nest predation. We examined nest-site characteristics and degree of partitioning among 14 co-existing bird species breeding in dwarf strandveld shrubland at ...

  2. UBV-photometry of nests of interacting galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arkhipova, V.P.

    1982-01-01

    The results of photoelectric UBV-observations of 19 nests of interacting galaxies, made at the Crimean Station of the Sternberg Institute, are given. Most of the nests observed were found to be and to have high luminosity. The UBV and spectral data show a large amount of gas inside many nests [ru

  3. Nesting biology and food habits of the Peregrine Falcon Falco ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We studied nesting biology, behaviour, and diet of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus radama in Madagascar during two breeding seasons at Tsimanampetsotsa Natural Reserve in the south-west (n = 2 nests) and at Tritriva Lake (n = 1 nest) on the central plateau from July to November 1999 and June to October 2000, ...

  4. Effects of prescribed burns on wintering cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather L. Bateman; Margaret A. O' Connell

    2006-01-01

    Primary cavity-nesting birds play a critical role in forest ecosystems by excavating cavities later used by other birds and mammals as nesting or roosting sites. Several species of cavity-nesting birds are non-migratory residents and consequently subject to winter conditions. We conducted winter bird counts from 1998 to 2000 to examine the abundance and habitat...

  5. Repeatability of nest morphology in African weaver birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Patrick T; Hansell, Mike; Borello, Wendy D; Healy, Susan D

    2010-04-23

    It is generally assumed that birds build nests according to a genetic 'template', little influenced by learning or memory. One way to confirm the role of genetics in nest building is to assess the repeatability of nest morphology with repeated nest attempts. Solitary weaver birds, which build multiple nests in a single breeding season, are a useful group with which to do this. Here we show that repeatability of nest morphology was low, but significant, in male Southern Masked weaver birds and not significant in the Village weavers. The larger bodied Village weavers built larger nests than did Southern Masked weavers, but body size did not explain variation in Southern Masked weaver nest dimensions. Nests built by the same male in both species got shorter and lighter as more nests were constructed. While these data demonstrate the potential for a genetic component of variation in nest building in solitary weavers, it is also clear that there remains plenty of scope in both of these species for experience to shape nest construction.

  6. Localizing Tortoise Nests by Neural Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Barbuti

    Full Text Available The goal of this research is to recognize the nest digging activity of tortoises using a device mounted atop the tortoise carapace. The device classifies tortoise movements in order to discriminate between nest digging, and non-digging activity (specifically walking and eating. Accelerometer data was collected from devices attached to the carapace of a number of tortoises during their two-month nesting period. Our system uses an accelerometer and an activity recognition system (ARS which is modularly structured using an artificial neural network and an output filter. For the purpose of experiment and comparison, and with the aim of minimizing the computational cost, the artificial neural network has been modelled according to three different architectures based on the input delay neural network (IDNN. We show that the ARS can achieve very high accuracy on segments of data sequences, with an extremely small neural network that can be embedded in programmable low power devices. Given that digging is typically a long activity (up to two hours, the application of ARS on data segments can be repeated over time to set up a reliable and efficient system, called Tortoise@, for digging activity recognition.

  7. Changes in position and quality of preferred nest box: effects on nest box use by laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch; Nielsen, Birte L.

    2013-01-01

    Using laying hens, we investigated whether position of a nest box, both within the pen and relative to other nest boxes, influenced the preference for a nest box, and how a sudden and marked change to the preferred box influenced the use of nest boxes by the hens. Groups (n=12) of 15 Isa Warren...... hens were housed in pens, each with five identical nest boxes in different positions: Two single (in a corner or not) and a triplet of nest boxes (one of which in a corner). The use of nest boxes was determined by the number of eggs laid daily in each box. Three experiments, each lasting 10 days, were...... carried out. First, the undisturbed use of each of the nest box types was investigated, and a strong preference (Peggs laid there. Second, each of the hen groups was moved to another pen allocated at random, and where...

  8. Reproductive plasticity and landscape heterogeneity benefit a ground-nesting bird in a fire-prone ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, J Matthew; Hovick, Torre J; Davis, Craig A; Elmore, Robert Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D

    2017-10-01

    Disturbance is critical for the conservation of rangeland ecosystems worldwide and many of these systems are fire dependent. Although it is well established that restoring fire as an ecological process can lead to increased biodiversity in grasslands and shrublands, the underlying mechanisms driving community patterns are poorly understood for fauna in fire-prone landscapes. Much of this uncertainty stems from the paucity of studies that examine the effects of fire at scales relevant to organism life histories. We assessed the response of a non-migratory ground-dwelling bird to disturbance (i.e., prescribed fire) and environmental stochasticity over the course of a 4-yr period, which spanned years of historic drought and record rainfall. Specifically, we investigated the nesting ecology of Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter Bobwhite) to illuminate possible avenues by which individuals respond to dynamic landscape patterns during a critical reproductive stage (i.e., nesting) in a mixed-grass shrubland in western Oklahoma, USA. We found that Bobwhites exhibited extreme plasticity in nest substrate use among time since fire categories (TSF) and subsequently maintained high nest survival (e.g., 57-70%). Bobwhites were opportunistic in nest substrate use among TSF categories (i.e., 72% of nest sites in shrubs in 0-12 months post fire compared to 71% in herbaceous vegetation in >36 months post fire), yet nesting decisions were first filtered by similar structural components (i.e., vertical and horizontal cover) within the vicinity of nest sites regardless of TSF category. Despite being a non-migratory and comparatively less mobile ground-nesting bird species, Bobwhites adjusted to dynamic vegetation mosaics on a fire-prone landscape under stochastic climatic conditions that culminated in stable and high nest survival. Broadly, our findings provide a unique depiction of organism response strategies to fire at scales relevant to a critical life-stage, a

  9. Nest building and posture changes and activity budget of gilts housed in pens and crates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Inger Lise; Vasdal, Guro; Pedersen, Lene Juul

    2014-01-01

    was born until 8 h after the birth of the first piglet. There was no significant effect of the sows breeding value on any of the sow behaviours. Sows housed in pens spent significantly more time nest building than crated sows from 4 to 12 h prepartum (P ...The aim of the present work was to study nest building, posture changes and the overall activity budget of gilts in pens vs. crates. Twenty-three HB gilts (high piglet survival day 5) and 21 LB gilts (low piglet survival day 5) were video recorded from day 110 in pregnancy to four days after...... farrowing in either a farrowing pen or farrowing crate. The gilts were provided with 2 kg of chopped straw daily from day 113 of pregnancy until farrowing in both environments. Nest building and other activity measures of the sows were analysed using continuous sampling the last 12 h before the first piglet...

  10. Using Field Data and GIS-Derived Variables to Model Occurrence of Williamson's Sapsucker Nesting Habitat at Multiple Spatial Scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Drever

    Full Text Available Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus is a migratory woodpecker that breeds in mixed coniferous forests in western North America. In Canada, the range of this woodpecker is restricted to three small populations in southern British Columbia, precipitating a national listing as 'Endangered' in 2005, and the need to characterize critical habitat for its survival and recovery. We compared habitat attributes between Williamson's sapsucker nest territories and random points without nests or detections of this sapsucker as part of a resource selection analysis to identify the habitat features that best explain the probability of nest occurrence in two separate geographic regions in British Columbia. We compared the relative explanatory power of generalized linear models based on field-derived and Geographic Information System (GIS data within both a 225 m and 800 m radius of a nest or random point. The model based on field-derived variables explained the most variation in nest occurrence in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, whereas nest occurrence was best explained by GIS information at the 800 m scale in the Western Region. Probability of nest occurrence was strongly tied to densities of potential nest trees, which included open forests with very large (diameter at breast height, DBH, ≥57.5 cm western larch (Larix occidentalis trees in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, and very large ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa and large (DBH 17.5-57.5 cm trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides trees in the Western Region. Our results have the potential to guide identification and protection of critical habitat as required by the Species at Risk Act in Canada, and to better manage Williamson's sapsucker habitat overall in North America. In particular, management should focus on the maintenance and recruitment of very large western larch and ponderosa pine trees.

  11. Using Field Data and GIS-Derived Variables to Model Occurrence of Williamson's Sapsucker Nesting Habitat at Multiple Spatial Scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drever, Mark C; Gyug, Les W; Nielsen, Jennifer; Stuart-Smith, A Kari; Ohanjanian, I Penny; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    Williamson's sapsucke