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BIOLOGY (1418 journals)            First | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | Last

Showing 1201 - 1400 of 1720 Journals sorted alphabetically
Reports in Parasitology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Reports on Mathematical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Reports on Progress in Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Reproductive Biology     Full-text available via subscription  
Reproductive Biology Insights     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online     Open Access  
Reproductive Toxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Research & Reviews : Journal of Computational Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Research & Reviews : Journal of Ecology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Research and Reports in Biodiversity Studies     Open Access  
Research and Reports in Biology     Open Access  
Research in Engineering Design     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Research Journal of Parasitology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Research Journal of Seed Science     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Research Journal of Soil Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Research Journal of Toxins     Open Access  
Resources     Open Access  
Retrovirology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Reviews of Modern Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29)
Revista Argentina de Antropología Biológica     Open Access  
Revista Brasileira de Biociencias     Open Access  
Revista Brasileira de Biologia     Open Access  
Revista Brasileira de Fisiologia Vegetal     Open Access  
Revista CENIC. Ciencias Biológicas     Open Access  
Revista Ceres     Open Access  
Revista Ciencias Marinas y Costeras     Open Access  
Revista Cubana de Investigaciones Biomédicas     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista de Biología Tropical     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista de Ciencia y Tecnología     Open Access  
Revista de Ciências Agroambientais     Open Access  
Revista de Educación en Biología     Open Access  
Revista de la Ciencia del Suelo y Nutricion Vegetal     Open Access  
Revista de Protección Vegetal     Open Access  
Revista Eletrônica de Biologia     Open Access  
Revista Eletrônica TECCEN     Open Access  
Revista Fitotecnia Mexicana     Open Access  
Revista Iberoamericana de las Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias     Open Access  
Revista Iberoamericana de Micología     Full-text available via subscription  
Revista Latinoamericana de Bioética     Open Access  
Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad     Open Access  
Revista Mexicana de Micologí­a     Open Access  
Revista Peruana de Biología     Open Access  
Revue de primatologie     Open Access  
Revue d’ethnoécologie     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Rhodora     Full-text available via subscription  
Rice     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Rice Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Risk Analysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
RNA     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
RNA & Disease     Open Access  
RNA Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
RURALS: Review of Undergraduate Research in Agricultural and Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Russian Journal of Biological Invasions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Russian Journal of Marine Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Russian Journal of Mathematical Physics     Hybrid Journal  
Russian Physics Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Scholars' Research Journal     Open Access  
Science and Engineering Ethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Science China Life Sciences     Open Access  
Science Signaling     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Science Technology & Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Scientific Journal of Biological Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Scientific Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 37)
Scientific Research Journal     Open Access  
Scientifica     Open Access  
SCIMETR : International Journal of Science     Open Access  
Seed Science and Technology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Selection     Full-text available via subscription  
Self/Nonself - Immune Recognition and Signaling     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Selforganizology     Open Access  
Semiconductor Science and Technology     Open Access  
Seminars in Cancer Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Seminars in Hematology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Sensing and Bio-Sensing Research     Open Access  
Sensors     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Sexual Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Sierra Leone Journal of Biomedical Research     Open Access  
Signal Transduction     Hybrid Journal  
Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy     Open Access  
Signal Transduction Insights     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Simbiosis : Journal of Biological Sciences     Open Access  
SINET : Ethiopian Journal of Science     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Single Molecules     Hybrid Journal  
Small     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Small GTPases     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Social and Natural Sciences Journal     Open Access  
Sociobiology     Open Access  
Somatosensory and Motor Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Source Code for Biology and Medicine     Open Access  
South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture     Open Access  
South African Journal of Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
South Asian Journal of Experimental Biology     Open Access  
South Australian Naturalist, The     Full-text available via subscription  
Spatial Vision     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Standards in Genomic Sciences     Open Access  
Statistics in Biosciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Stem Cell and Translational Investigation     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Stem Cell Biology and Research     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Stem Cell Discovery     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Stem Cell Epigenetics     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Stem Cell Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Stem Cell Research     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Stem Cell Reviews and Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Stem Cells     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Stem Cells and Cloning: Advances and Applications     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Stem Cells International     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Steroids     Hybrid Journal  
Studies in Mycology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Subterranean Biology     Open Access  
Sugar Tech     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Summa Phytopathologica     Open Access  
Sunsari Technical College Journal     Open Access  
Surface Science Reports     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Sustainability : The Journal of Record     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Symbiosis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Synthesis Lectures on Biomedical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription  
Synthetic Biology     Full-text available via subscription  
Systematic Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Systematics and Biodiversity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Systems and Synthetic Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine     Hybrid Journal  
Taprobanica : The Journal of Asian Biodiversity     Open Access  
Taxon     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Telomere and Telomerase     Open Access  
Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
The Anatomical Record : Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
The Botulinum J.     Hybrid Journal  
The Breast Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
The Bryologist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
The Cerebellum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
The Coleopterists Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
The Condor     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28)
The Enzymes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
The FASEB Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24)
The Herpetological Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
The Journal of Technology Transfer     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
The Knee     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
The Nucleus     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
The Physics of Metals and Metallography     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
The Plant Cell     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24)
The Protein Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Theoretical Population Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Tissue and Cell     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Tissue Engineering Part A     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Toxicology in Vitro     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Traffic     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia     Hybrid Journal  
Transcription     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Transgenic Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Translational Psychiatry     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Transportation Planning and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Tree Genetics & Genomes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Tree-Ring Research     Full-text available via subscription  
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Trends in Bacteriology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Trends in Bioinformatics     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
Trends in Biotechnology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 117)
Trends in Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 34)
Trends in Evolutionary Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Trends in Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 32)
Trends in Molecular Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Trends in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Trends in Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Trends in Vector Research and Parasitology     Open Access  
Tropical Freshwater Biology     Full-text available via subscription  
Tumor Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Tumor Microenvironment and Therapy     Open Access  
Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Turkish Journal of Biology     Open Access  
Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Uniciencia     Open Access  
Universal Journal of Biomedical Engineering     Open Access  
Unnes Journal of Biology Education     Open Access  
Vakuum in Forschung und Praxis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Vascular Cell     Open Access  
Victorian Naturalist, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Virchows Archiv     Hybrid Journal  
Virologica Sinica     Hybrid Journal  
Virology Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Virulence     Full-text available via subscription  
Virus Evolution     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Virus Genes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Virus Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology, ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology, medicine     Open Access  
Walailak Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access  
Web Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Weed Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)

  First | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | Last

Journal Cover Journal of Avian Biology
  [SJR: 1.296]   [H-I: 59]   [23 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0908-8857 - ISSN (Online) 1600-048X
   Published by John Wiley and Sons Homepage  [1605 journals]
  • Light-level geolocation reveals wintering distribution, migration routes,
           and primary stopover locations of an endangered long-distance migratory
    • Authors: Nathan W. Cooper; Michael T. Hallworth, Peter P. Marra
      Abstract: The importance of understanding the geographic distribution of the full annual cycle of migratory birds has been increasingly highlighted over the past several decades. However, the difficulty of tracking small birds between breeding and wintering areas has hindered progress in this area. To learn more about Kirtland's warbler Setophaga kirtlandii movement patterns throughout the annual cycle, we deployed archival light-level geolocators across their breeding range in Michigan. We recovered devices from 27 males and analyzed light-level data within a Bayesian framework. We found that most males wintered in the central Bahamas and exhibited a loop migration pattern. In both fall and spring, departure date was the strongest predictor of arrival date, but in spring, stopover duration and migration distance were also important. Though stopover strategies varied, males spent the majority of their spring migration at stopover sites, several of which were located just before or after large ecological barriers. We argue that loop migration is likely a response to seasonal variation in prevailing winds. By documenting a tight link between spring departure and arrival dates, we provide a plausible mechanism for previously documented carry-over effects of winter rainfall on reproductive success in this species. The migratory periods remain the least understood periods for all birds, but by describing Kirtland's warbler migration routes and timing, and identifying locations of stopover sites, we have begun the process of better understanding the dynamics of their full annual cycle. Moreover, we have provided managers with valuable information on which to base future conservation and research priorities.
      PubDate: 2017-01-20T06:41:21.387878-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01096
  • Phylogeny of Penduline Tits inferred from mitochondrial and microsatellite
    • Authors: Hossein Barani-Beiranvand; Mansour Aliabadian, Martin Irestedt, Yanhua Qu, Jamshid Darvish, T. Szekely, Rene van Dijk, Per Ericson
      Abstract: Penduline Tits (Remiz spp) are renowned for their diverse mating and parenting strategies, and are a well-studied system by behavioural ecologists. However, the phylogenetic relationships and species delimitations within this genus are poorly understood. Here, we investigate phylogenetic relationships within the genus Remiz by examining the genetic variation in the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene of 64 individuals and in ten autosomal microsatellite markers from 44 individuals. The taxon sampling includes individuals from all currently recognized species (R. pendulinus, R. macronyx, R. coronatus, and R. consobrinus) and most subspecies in the Palearctic region. We showed that R. coronatus and R. consobrinus are genetically well differentiated and constitute independent evolutionary lineages, separated from each other and from R. pendulinus/macronyx. However, we found no evidence for significant differentiation among R. pendulinus/macronyx individuals in mtDNA haplotypes and only marginal differences between R. pendulinus and R. macronyx in microsatellite markers. Hence, based on present data our recommendation is to treat R. pendulinus and R. macronyx as conspecific and R. coronatus and R. consobrinus as separate species.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-18T05:10:47.254738-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01163
  • Geographical Variation in Reproductive Investment across Avian Assemblages
           in Europe: Effects of Environmental Drivers Differ Between Altricial and
           Precocial Species
    • Authors: Lenka Kopsová-Storchová; David Storch, Lluús Brotons, David Hořák
      Abstract: Reproductive traits provide information about the ways by which available resources are allocated during breeding. We tested for environmental drivers of large scale geographical patterns in assemblage mean clutch size, number of broods and overall reproductive investment per breeding season in European birds. We combined data about geographical distribution with published information about reproductive traits, and calculated mean trait values for avian assemblages occurring in 50x50 km grid cells. In total, we employed data from 499 species and 2059 assemblages. As the time available for breeding and the amount of food limit the reproductive effort, we related the geographical variation in reproductive traits to the length of breeding season, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a surrogate of resource availability, and its seasonality. Geographical patterns in traits may differ between reproductive modes, thus we performed the analyses separately for altricial Passerines (N=203) and precocial non-passerine species (N=164) and controlled for the effect of taxonomy. Large clutches dominated in areas with high NDVI and, in precocial birds, also in areas with high annual seasonality and a long breeding season. High number of broods and high overall reproductive investment dominated in areas with a long breeding season, and high number of broods was found also in areas with low annual seasonality, but only in precocial species. High overall reproductive investment dominated in highly productive areas and also in areas with low annual seasonality in both groups. The increase in reproductive investment is caused mostly by an increase in the number of broods related to the length of season and partly by increase in clutch size related to NDVI. We found a negative correlation between clutch size and the number of broods in Passerines, which might suggest a trade-off between these traits. Processes behind trait patterns differ between altricial and precocial species.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-18T04:35:23.47018-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01131
  • Variable drivers of primary versus secondary nesting; density-dependence
           and drought effects on greater sage-grouse
    • Authors: Erik J. Blomberg; Daniel Gibson, Michael T. Atamian, James S. Sedinger
      Abstract: Organisms seek to maximize fitness by balancing reproductive allocations against mortality risk, given selection pressures inherent to the environment. However, environmental conditions are often dynamic and unpredictable, which complicates the ability to achieve such a balance, and may require reproductive adjustments depending on prevailing conditions. We evaluated the effects of density-dependent, density-independent (drought), and individual (age, body condition) factors on nesting decisions of female greater sage-grouse in the American Great Basin. We obtained relocations and recorded reproductive histories from 287 radio-marked females over a period of 10 years, and applied these data to a multi-state model that estimated probabilities of initiating a first nest (primary nesting rate) or a second nest, given loss of a first (secondary nesting rate). This approach allowed us to evaluate the relative association between nesting rates and covariates while accounting for imperfect detection of nests. Sage-grouse primary and secondary nesting were influenced differently by density dependence and drought. Primary nesting was high and relatively constant among years despite variable drought conditions, but was negatively associated with population size (density dependence). Secondary nesting was lower and more variable compared to primary nesting, was similarly influenced by density-dependence, and was also sensitive to drought conditions. Females known to initiate second nests were in better body condition than females that only initiated first nests, and females of intermediate age had higher primary nesting rates, whereas secondary nesting was unaffected by age. Our results suggest that females were more flexible and responded more readily to changing conditions when allocating resources to second nests. These results are consistent with patterns that have been demonstrated for female allocation to clutch size in this system, and suggest that when conditions are poor second nests reflect a tipping point where reproductive costs (increased mortality) outweigh benefits (offspring reproductive value).This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T02:26:10.121591-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00988
  • Soaring across continents: decision-making of a soaring migrant under
           changing atmospheric conditions along an entire flyway
    • Authors: W.M.G. Vansteelant; J. Shamoun-Baranes, J. McLaren, J. Diermen, W. Bouten
      Abstract: Thermal soaring birds reduce flight-energy costs by alternatingly gaining altitude in thermals and gliding across the earth's surface. To find out how soaring migrants adjust their flight behaviour to dynamic atmospheric conditions across entire migration routes, we combined optimal soaring migration theory with high-resolution GPS tracking data of migrating Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus and wind data from a global numerical atmospheric model.We compared measurements of gliding air speeds to predictions based on two distinct behavioural benchmarks for thermal soaring flight. The first being a time-optimal strategy whereby birds alter their gliding air speeds as a function of climb rates to maximize cross-country air speed over a full climb-glide cycle (Vopt). The second a risk-averse energy-efficient strategy at which birds alter their gliding air speed in response to tailwinds/headwinds to maximize the distance travelled in the intended direction during each glide phase (Vbgw).Honey Buzzards were gliding on average 2.05 ms-1 slower than Vopt and 3.42 ms-1 faster than Vbgw while they increased air speeds with climb rates and reduced air speeds in tailwinds. They adopted flexible flight strategies gliding mostly near Vbgw under poor soaring conditions and closer to Vopt in good soaring conditions.Honey Buzzards most adopted a time-optimal strategy when crossing the Sahara, and at the onset of spring migration, where and when they met with the best soaring conditions. The buzzards nevertheless glided slower than Vopt during most of their journeys, probably taking time to navigate, orientate and locate suitable thermals, especially in areas with poor thermal convection,.Linking novel tracking techniques with optimal migration models clarifies the way birds balance different trade-offs during migration.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T02:25:53.834978-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01298
  • Songbirds are resilient to hurricane disturbed habitats during spring
    • Authors: Emily J. Lain; Theodore J. Zenzal, Frank R. Moore, Wylie C. Barrow, Robert H. Diehl
      Abstract: The Gulf of Mexico is a conspicuous feature of the Neotropical-Nearctic bird migration system. Traveling long distances across ecological barriers comes with considerable risks, and mortality associated with intercontinental migration may be substantial, including that caused by storms or other adverse weather events. However, little, if anything, is known about how migratory birds respond to disturbance -induced changes in stopover habitat. Isolated, forested cheniere habitat along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico often concentrate migrants, during weather conditions unfavorable for northward movement or when birds are energetically stressed. We expected hurricane induced degradation of this habitat to negatively affect the abundance, propensity to stopover, and fueling trends of songbirds that stopover in coastal habitat. We used spring banding data collected in coastal Louisiana to compare migrant abundance and fueling trends before (1993-1996 and 1998-2005) and after hurricanes Rita (2006) and Ike (2009). We also characterized changes in vegetative structure before (1995) and after (2010) the hurricanes. The hurricanes caused dramatic changes to the vegetative structure, which likely decreased resources. Surprisingly, abundance, propensity to stopover, and fueling trends of most migrant species were not influenced by hurricane disturbance. Our results suggest that: 1) the function of chenieres as a refuge for migrants after completing a trans-Gulf flight may not have changed despite significant changes to habitat and decreases in resource availability, and 2) that most migrants may be able to cope with habitat disturbance during stopover. The fact that migrants use disturbed habitat points to their conservation value along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T02:25:52.75649-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01215
  • Early arrival is not associated with more extra-pair fertilizations in a
           long-distance migratory bird
    • Authors: Barbara M. Tomotani; Ezra Caglar, Iván Hera, Christa Mateman, Marcel E. Visser
      Abstract: When assessing the benefits of early arrival date of migratory birds, a hidden and often ignored component of males' fitness is the higher chance of early-arriving birds to obtain extra-pair fertilizations. Here we investigated how extra-pair paternity might affect the relationship between male arrival date and number of fertilizations in a model study system, the European pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca). For this purpose, we sampled and genotyped breeding pairs, unpaired males and offspring (including embryos from unhatched eggs when possible) of a Dutch pied flycatcher population. Detailed information on arrival date of males, egg laying date of their social mates and nest success was also recorded. Early-arriving males had early-laying females and males with early-laying females had a higher probability of siring extra-pair eggs and obtain more fertilizations. However, male arrival date alone did not correlate with the probability to gain extra-pair paternity and neither to the amount of fertilized eggs. Both early- and late-arriving males had a higher probability of losing paternity in their own nest compared to birds with an intermediate arrival date. Finally, late-arriving males were more likely to remain unpaired but, interestingly, a few of these birds obtained paternity via extra-pair copulations. Because earlier arrival date did not lead to more extra-pair fertilizations and because such relationship seems to be driven mainly by the female's laying date, we conclude that the contribution of extra-pair paternity to the overall fitness benefits of early male arrival date is relatively small.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:50:35.851679-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01317
  • “Same procedure as last year'” – Repeatedly tracked swifts show
           individual consistency in migration pattern in successive years
    • Authors: A. H. J. Wellbrock; C. Bauch, J. Rozman, K. Witte
      Abstract: Individual migration pattern during non-breeding season is still a black box in many migratory birds. However, knowledge on both individual level and population level in migration and overwintering is fundamental to understand the life cycle of these birds and the constraints affecting them. We showed in a highly aerial migrant, the common swift Apus apus, that repeatedly tracked birds breeding at one site in Germany used the same individual-specific migration routes and wintering areas in subsequent years. In contrast, different individuals from the same breeding colony showed diverse movement patterns during non-breeding season suggesting that several suitable areas for overwintering coexist. We found lower variation in timing of autumn and spring migration within than between individuals. Our findings provide first indication of individual consistency but between-individual variation in migration pattern in a small non-passerine bird revealed by geolocators. This supports that swifts have diverse but individual-specific ‘step-by-step’ migration patterns revealing high flexibility through individual strategies.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:50:26.529418-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01251
  • Ultraconserved Elements Resolve the Phylogeny of Potoos (Aves:
    • Authors: Noor D. White; Charles Mitter, Michael J. Braun
      Abstract: In this study, we apply a genome-scale set of molecular markers, ultraconserved elements, to fully resolve the phylogeny of a family of secretive, nocturnal birds, the potoos (Nyctibiidae). This dataset provides an opportunity to explore some challenges of phylogenetic analyses of genome-scale datasets, which we address in several ways. We generate data matrices ranging between 2,610–4,175 loci (1,477,319–3,848,295 aligned base pairs) that represent versions of the data differing in whether or not alignments were trimmed prior to concatenation, and whether 100% or 75% of all taxa were required to be represented by data for inclusion of a given locus. These matrices are analyzed with both maximum likelihood and coalescent algorithms, to check for artifacts of concatenation. Then, we subsample our data matrix by locus into randomly-selected replicates of 125–1,000 loci, and compare the topologies and statistical support of the resulting trees to look for evidence of systematic error. In analyses of complete matrices, we find strong statistical support for all ingroup nodes of the tree with no evidence for systematic error introduced by alignment trimming, missing data, or concatenation. We find further support for that topology in our subsampling analyses and statistical topology tests. The earliest branch of the tree separates Nyctibius bracteatus from the rest of the potoos, followed successively by N. grandis and N. aethereus. Two pairs of species, N. jamaicensis plus N. griseus, and N. leucopterus plus N. aethereus comprise the distal tips of the tree. Finally, we compare our strongly supported topology to those of previous studies, and use the phylogeny to examine the evolutionary history of potoos.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:50:25.285181-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01313
  • House sparrows offset the physiological trade-off between immune response
           and feather growth by adjusting foraging behavior
    • Authors: Miriam Ben-Hamo; Cynthia J. Downs, Darren J. Burns, Berry Pinshow
      Abstract: Growing feathers and mounting immune responses are both energetically costly for birds. According to the life history trade-off hypothesis, it has been posited that the costs of feather growth lead to temporal isolation between molt and other expensive activities, reproduction for example. In contrast to life cycle events, the need to mount an immune response can occur at any time, including during feather growth. Thus, we hypothesized that mounting an immune response during feather growth may divert energy and resources from feather growth and impair feather renewal. To test this hypothesis, we clipped or plucked the same feathers of male house sparrows, Passer domesticus biblicus. In the clipped group (n = 16), the feathers were absent with no regrowth; in the plucked group (n = 14), feathers were absent and regrowth was initiated. We also had an intact control group of 15 sparrows. We then initiated an inflammatory immune response by subcutaneous injection over the left breast muscle of the birds with a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and quantified behavioral and physiological responses. We predicted that sparrows with plucked feathers would incur the highest energetic costs while mounting an immune response, and would increase their foraging effort to offset this cost. We found no difference in body mass and resting metabolic rates among sparrows subjected to the different feather and immune treatments. However, we did find that while sparrows with plucked feathers increased foraging efficiency following the immune challenge by paying fewer but longer visits to the food tray, allowing them to maintain food consumption. Foraging efficiency in sparrows with clipped feathers was reduced. We also found that quality of newly grown feathers after the immune challenge was poorer in the plucked group, suggesting that mounting an immune response competes with feather growth for resources.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:50:22.415963-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01252
  • The biological background of a recurrently emerging infectious disease:
           prevalence, diversity and host specificity of Avipoxvirus in wild
           Neotropical birds
    • Authors: Michaël A. J. Moens; Javier Pérez-Tris, Borja Milá, Laura Benítez
      Abstract: Understanding which factors promote disease emergence and transmission remains a major challenge of epidemiology. A problem with research on emerging diseases is that we seldom know to what extent pathogens circulate in natural populations before emergence is already occurring. Moreover, it is critical to determine which pathogen characteristics are key to predict their emergence and invasion potential. We examined the prevalence, host specificity and evolutionary relationships of Avipoxvirus causing skin lesions in birds in two megadiverse and unexplored geographical regions of South America: an elevational gradient in the South Ecuadorian Andes, and a lowland Amazon rainforest in French Guiana. Next, we analyzed the host specificity and distribution of the worldwide Avipoxvirus diversity in order to understand their invasion potential. In French Guiana Avipoxvirus prevalence was 0 % (n=889, 94 bird species). In Ecuador, prevalence was 0.3 % (n=941, 132 bird species), with cases spanning the range of elevations between 1500 and 2500 m. These were caused by two newly described strains, one of which belonged to an American clade of Avipoxvirus shared by different bird families, and another one closely related to a strain recovered from a different family of birds in Madeira. An analysis of the host specificity and geographic distribution of all Avipoxvirus strains known worldwide finds that these viruses are usually host generalists (particularly those in the fowlpox clade), and that many closely related strains are found on multiple continents. Our study at the community level suggests that distantly related Avipoxvirus strains circulate at very low prevalence in continental tropical South America. Avipoxvirus assemblages are composed of generalist strains with different ancestry and widespread distribution, a combination of characteristics which may make these typically scarce viruses perfect candidates to emerge under favorable ecological conditions.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:15:30.151702-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01240
  • Influence of device accuracy and choice of algorithm for species
           distribution modelling of seabirds: A case study using black-browed
    • Authors: Petra Quillfeldt; Jan O. Engler, Janet R.D. Silk, Richard A. Phillips
      Abstract: Species distribution models (SDM) based on tracking data from different devices are used increasingly to explain and predict seabird distributions. However, different tracking methods provide different data resolutions, ranging from < 10m to >100km. To better understand the implications of this variation, we modeled the potential distribution of black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophris from South Georgia that were simultaneously equipped with a Platform Terminal Transmitter (PTT) (high resolution) and a Global Location Sensor (GLS) logger (coarse resolution), and measured the overlap of the respective potential distribution for a total of nine different SDM algorithms. We found slightly better model fits for the PTT than for GLS data (AUC values 0.958±0.048 vs. 0.95±0.05) across all algorithms. The overlaps of the predicted distributions were higher between device types for the same algorithm, than among algorithms for either device type. Uncertainty arising from coarse-resolution location data is therefore lower than that associated with the modeling technique. Consequently, the choice of an appropriate algorithm appears to be more important than device type when applying SDMs to seabird tracking data. Despite their low accuracy, GLS data appear to be effective for analyzing the habitat preferences and distribution patterns of pelagic species.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:10:26.097813-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01238
  • Outdoor recreation causes effective habitat reduction in Capercaillie
           Tetrao urogallus: a major threat for geographically restricted populations
    • Authors: Joy Coppes; Judith Ehrlacher, Rudi Suchant, Veronika Braunisch
      Abstract: Outdoor recreation inflicts a wide array of impacts on individual animals, many of them reflected in the avoidance of disturbed areas. The scale and spatial extent, however, at which wildlife populations are affected, are mostly unclear. Particularly in geographically isolated populations, where restricted habitat availability may preclude a relocation to undisturbed areas, effective habitat reduction may remain underestimated or even unnoticed, when animals stay in disturbed areas and only show small-scale responses. Based on telemetry data, we investigated the spatial and seasonal effects of outdoor recreation - in relation to landscape and vegetation conditions – on western capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, considering two scales, homerange and within-homerange habitat selection. We determined the distance-thresholds up to which recreation infrastructures were avoided and estimated the extent of affected habitat for the isolated Black Forest (Southwestern Germany) study population. While outdoor recreation did not affect homerange selection, strong effects on habitat use within the homerange were detected: Distance to recreation infrastructure (hiking and cross-country skiing trails, ski pistes) was the main determinant of habitat selection in winter; in summer, mountain bike trails and hiker's restaurants were avoided up to an average distance of 145m (CI: 60-1092m). Around winter-infrastructure, relative avoidance was recorded up to 320m (CI: 36-327m), it was reduced, however, when dense understory provided visual cover. Of the entire population area, between 8- 20% (summer) and 8- 40% (winter) were affected by outdoor recreation, mainly in the high altitudes. Even without evident large-scale shifts in species distribution, local-scale avoidance of outdoor recreation can substantially contribute to effective habitat reduction. Based on our results we recommend a general reduction in recreation infrastructure density in key habitats, the establishment of undisturbed wildlife refuges with a diameter of at least 800m, as well as enhancing visual protection by maintaining a strip of dense understory along trails.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:10:23.785218-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01239
  • Effects of experimental night lighting on the daily timing of winter
           foraging in common European songbirds
    • Authors: Arnaud Da Silva; David Diez-Méndez, Bart Kempenaers
      Abstract: The ecological effects of light pollution are becoming better understood, especially in birds. Recent studies have shown that several bird species can use street lighting to extend activity into the night during the breeding season. However, most of these studies are correlational and little is known about the effects of artificial night lighting on the timing of activities outside the breeding season. During winter, low temperatures and short days may limit foraging opportunities and can negatively affect survival of resident birds. However, night lighting may allow them to expand the time niche available for foraging. Here, we report on a study where we repeatedly manipulated the amount of night lighting during early winter at automated feeding stations in a natural forest. We used video-recordings at the feeders to determine the time of the first (at dawn) and last (at dusk) foraging visits for six songbird species. We predicted that all species, and in particular the naturally early-foraging species, would advance their daily onset of foraging during the mornings with night lighting, but would show minimal or no delays in their daily cessation of foraging during the lighted evenings. We found that two early-foraging species, the blue tit and the great tit, started foraging earlier during the experimentally lighted mornings. However, in great tits, this effect was weak and restricted to nights with inclement weather. The light treatment did not have any effect on the start of foraging in the willow/marsh tit, the nuthatch, the European jay, and the blackbird. Artificial night lighting did not cause later foraging at dusk in any of the six species. Overall, our results suggest that artificial light during winter has only small effects on timing of foraging. We discuss these findings and the importance of temperature and winter weather in shaping the observed foraging patterns.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:05:24.145147-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01232
  • Traffic noise decreases nestlings’ metabolic rates in an urban
    • Authors: François Brischoux; Alizée Meillère, Andréaz Dupoué, Olivier Lourdais, Frédéric Angelier
      Abstract: High levels of anthropogenic noise produced in urban areas are known to negatively affect wildlife. Although most research has been focused on the disturbances of communication systems, chronic noise exposure can also lead to physiological and behavioural changes that have strong consequences for fitness. For instance, behavioural changes mediated by anthropogenic noise (e.g. quality of parental care) may alter development and could influence nestling phenotype. We tested if nestling metabolism was influence by traffic noise in an urban exploiter, the House sparrow (Passer domesticus). We experimentally exposed breeding House sparrows from a rural area to a playback of traffic noise and we examined the impacts of this experimental procedure on metabolic rates and morphology of nestlings. We did not find an effect of traffic noise on the morphology of nestlings. Surprisingly, we found that disturbed nestlings had overall lower metabolic rates and mass-adjusted metabolic rates than undisturbed birds. Our results suggest a specific effect of noise exposure per se, rather than an indirect effect of anthropogenic noise through the quality of parental care. Both the proximate mechanisms and the ultimate consequences of such metabolic changes on nestlings remain unknown and deserve future experimental studies.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-16T00:00:24.065355-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01139
  • A comparative study of insect abundance and reproductive success of barn
           swallows Hirundo rustica in two urban habitats
    • Authors: Peter Györkös Teglhøj
      Abstract: Few studies have quantified the relative reproductive success of passerines in urban habitats. I studied food availability and reproductive success of barn swallows, Hirundo rustica, in two urban habitats during 2012-2015. Barn swallows breeding in the town center experienced lower insect densities than those in the town periphery. Lower food availability resulted in reduced feeding rates per capita, lower nestling body mass, longer nestling periods, longer inter-clutch intervals, fewer first and second brood fledglings and a lower total number of fledglings produced during the breeding season in comparison to barn swallows breeding in the town periphery. I hypothesize that the lower intra-specific competition for nest sites and fitness advantages linked to the solitary breeding in urban habitats balanced the apparent costs of reproduction in more urbanized habitats.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-15T23:10:23.400092-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01086
  • Morphological and molecular evolution and their consequences for
    • Authors: Hernán Vázquez-Miranda; Josie A. Griffin, Jay M. Sheppard, Jordan M. Herman, Octavio Rojas-Soto, Robert M. Zink
      Abstract: We evaluated geographic variation and subspecific taxonomy in the Le Conte's Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei) by analyzing DNA sequences from 16 nuclear loci, one mitochondrial DNA locus, and four study skin characters, and compared these data sets with previously published data on plumage coloration and different mtDNA genes. Morphological support for the southernmost taxon, T. l. arenicola, is relatively weak: multivariate analyses of morphometrics or back coloration do not provide diagnostic support, although one color character differs statistically. However, combined DNA analyses indicate that T. l. arenicola is diagnosable and reciprocally monophyletic, diverging from T. l. lecontei at least 140,000 years ago. Little to no past introgression across a very short geographic distance despite the long period of isolation is strong evidence of independently evolving taxa. We suggest that the lack of morphological divergence in traits related to niche use has prevented the two taxa from invading each other's range. Despite relatively weak morphological differences we suggest that these two deeply divergent lineages merit species status, and we suggest Vizcaino Thrasher for the common name corresponding to T. l. arenicola. The population size of T. l. arenicola is small and the taxon is in need of preservation attention.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-15T22:50:29.341566-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01057
  • Movements of four native Hawaiian birds across a naturally fragmented
    • Authors: Jessie L. Knowlton; David J. Flaspohler, Eben H. Paxton, Tadashi Fukami, Christian P. Giardina, Daniel S. Gruner, Erin E. Wilson Rankin
      Abstract: Animals often increase their fitness by moving across space in response to temporal variation in habitat quality and resource availability, and as a result of intra and inter-specific interactions. The long-term persistence of populations and even whole species depends on the collective patterns of individual movements, yet animal movements have been poorly studied at the landscape level. We quantified movement behavior within four native species of Hawaiian forest birds in a complex lava-fragmented landscape: Hawai‛i ‘Amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens), ‘Oma‘o (Myadestes obscurus), ‘Apapane (Himatione sanguinea), and ‘I‘iwi (Drepanis coccinea). We evaluated the relative importance of six potential intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of movement behavior and patch fidelity: 1) forest fragment size, 2) the presence or absence of invasive rats (Rattus sp.), 3) season, 4) species, 5) age, and 6) sex. The study was conducted across a landscape of 34 forest fragments varying in size from 0.07 to 12.37 ha, of which 16 had rats removed using a treatment-control design. We found the largest movements in the nectivorous ‘Apapane and ‘I‘iwi, intermediate levels in the generalist Hawai‛i ‘Amakihi, and shortest average movement for the ‘Oma‘o, a frugivore. We found evidence for larger patch sizes increasing patch fidelity only in the ‘Oma‘o, and an effect of rat-removal increasing patch fidelity of Hawai‛i ‘Amakihi only after two years of rat-removal. Greater movement during the non-breeding season was observed in all species, and season was an important factor in explaining higher patch fidelity in the breeding season for ‘Apapane and ‘I‘iwi. Sex was important in explaining patch fidelity in ‘Oma‘o only, with males showing higher patch fidelity. Our results provide new insights into how these native Hawaiian species will respond to a changing environment, including habitat fragmentation and changing distribution of threats from climate change.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-13T04:00:51.533761-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00924
  • Sunrise in the city: disentangling drivers of the avian dawn chorus onset
           in urban greenspaces
    • Authors: Jeffrey G-H. Lee; Ian MacGregor-Fors, Pamela J. Yeh
      Abstract: Urban systems are known to have a number of effects on avian diversity, density, and morphological and behavioral traits. However, no study to date has simultaneously examined the wide range of urban variables in relation to the avian dawn chorus, a complex behavioral phenomenon. Previous studies investigating adjustments of the dawn chorus onset in urban settings have mainly been confined to relationships with noise and light levels. In addition to noise and light levels, in this study we included other potentially related environmental characteristics describing vegetation structure, urban infrastructure, and human activity, all of which have been shown to be drivers of bird diversity in urban areas. We conducted dawn chorus surveys at 38 Los Angeles urban greenspaces and used a classification and regression tree analysis to identify specific urban scenarios that best explained timing differences in the dawn chorus onset. Our results show that light level was the most important determinant of the dawn chorus onset time, in which, counter-intuitively, bird communities in greenspaces with higher light levels had later onsets. In addition, noise was an important factor for the chorus onset in greenspaces with higher light levels. Although our results differ from those of previous studies, these findings highlight the importance of noise and light levels in explaining dawn chorus onset variation, indicating the need for further research in untangling this complex and ecologically important phenomenon.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-01-13T04:00:48.596572-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01042
  • Preparation for flight: pre-fledging exercise time is correlated with
           growth and fledging age in burrow-nesting seabirds
    • Authors: Ken Yoda; Tatsuya Shiozaki, Masaki Shirai, Sakiko Matsumoto, Maki Yamamoto
      Abstract: Chicks of many burrow-nesting seabirds are known to repeatedly emerge from their nests (these trips being termed “excursions”) and exercise their wings prior to fledging, but this behavior is poorly documented in the literature, and thus the relationship between growth and exercise remains unclear. Here, we used infrared video cameras placed in front of streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas) nests during the chick-emergence period to examine correlations between chick excursions and parameters known to be important for juvenile survival after fledging. In addition, we also attached acceleration-temperature loggers to several chicks in order to evaluate the relationship between excursion time and time spent exercising the wing muscles (i.e. flapping). Chicks that undertook longer excursions exhibited more rapid increases in wing length and larger body masses at fledging, and also fledged earlier. Correlations between fitness-related parameters and excursion time indicate that excursions during the emergence period might offer insights into the various relationships between growth and behavior and/or the mechanisms underlying offspring survival following fledging.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-29T01:21:02.253079-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01186
  • Reexamining Phylloscopus trochiloides complex as a ring species: A
           refugial counter-hypothesis
    • Authors: A. Townsend Peterson; Tashitso Anamza
      Abstract: The idea of ring species has been viewed as a demonstration of the potential for species-level differentiation produced by isolation by distance in otherwise continuous populations. Although the concept is attractive, the list of empirical examples has narrowed significantly as detailed studies have been carried out. One of the few examples still cited among birds is the warbler species complex Phylloscopus trochiloides, which comprises P. trochiloides sensu stricto, P. plumbeitarsus, and P. nitidus. The ring comprises a series of populations surrounding the Tibetan Plateau in which a species-level break is apparent at the north end of the ring. Although recent theoretical treatments have indicated that such differentiation is possible in theory, recent genomic analyses indicated multiple differentiated populations around the ring unlikely to have resulted from isolation by distance. Here, we complement the genomic studies to date with paleodistributional projections of ecological niche models that provide further evidence for multiple, isolated refugia around the ring during and since the Late Pleistocene. As such, this group should not be interpreted as exemplifying an isolation-by-distance mechanism of speciation, and should no longer be considered as a ring species: genomic and geographic evidence coincide in indicating that its differentiation took place in allopatry.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-29T00:50:27.889651-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01167
  • How does an increase in minimum daily temperatures during incubation
           influence reproduction in the great tit (Parus major)'
    • Authors: Marie Vaugoyeau; Sandrine Meylan, Clotilde Biard
      Abstract: Temperature variation affects all life stages of organisms, especially early development, and considering global warming, it is urgent to understand precisely its consequences. In egg-laying species, incubation behaviour can buffer embryo developmental temperature variation and influence offspring development. We experimentally investigated the effect of an increase in minimum daily nest temperature during incubation in the great tit (Parus major), by placing a hand warming pad under the nest in the evenings. As compared to controls, the experimental treatment increased nest temperature at night by an average of 4°C, and this increase carried over to the following day. We measured the consequences of this mainly nocturnal temperature increase during incubation on (i) parental behaviour (incubation and nestling feeding), (ii) parental health (quantified by body condition, immune status, physiological and oxidative stress) and (iii) reproductive success (nestling body condition, growth, i.e. mass gain, hatching and fledging success, and nestling immune status, physiological and oxidative stress). This study yielded three major results. First, we found that heating the nest did not change the duration of incubation as compared to controls. Second, increasing nest temperature during incubation decreased nestling feeding behaviour but did not affect parental health in terms of body condition, immune status, physiological and oxidative stress. Third, nestling mass at hatching was greater but nestling mass gain was slower in heated nests than in control nests, resulting in similar fledging mass. The present study demonstrates that increased environmental temperatures during incubation influenced nestling development in the great tit and especially hatchling mass, which might produce long-term life history consequences.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-17T09:20:28.342579-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01208
  • Effect of haemosporidian infections on host survival and recapture rate in
           the blue tit
    • Authors: Edyta Podmokła; Anna Dubiec, Szymon M. Drobniak, Joanna Sudyka, Adam Krupski, Aneta Arct, Lars Gustafsson, Mariusz Cichoń
      Abstract: Parasites are ubiquitous in the wild and by imposing fitness costs on their hosts they constitute an important selection factor. One of the most common parasites of wild birds are Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, protozoans inhabiting the blood, which cause avian malaria and malaria-like disease, respectively. Although they are expected to cause negative effects in infected individuals, in many cases studies in natural populations failed to detect such effect.Using data from seven breeding seasons (2008 - 2014), we applied a multistate capture – mark – recapture approach to study the effect of infection with malaria and malaria-like parasites, individual age and sex on the probability of survival and recapture rate in a small passerine, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), inhabiting the island of Gotland, Sweden. We found no effect of infection on survival prospects. However, the recapture rate of infected individuals was higher than that of uninfected ones. Thus, while our data do not support the presence of infection costs in terms of host survival, it suggests that parasites from the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus may affect some aspects of host behaviour, which translates into biased estimation of infection frequency at the population level.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-10T02:50:30.534822-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01108
  • Arrival and onset of breeding of three passerine birds in Eastern Finland
           tracks climatic variation and phenology of insects
    • Authors: Anu Valtonen; Raimo Latja, Reima Leinonen, Hannu Pöysä
      Abstract: Anthropogenic climate change poses a challenge to the annual cycles of migratory birds. It has become urgent to understand whether migratory birds are able to advance their spring phenology when the climate is warming and whether they are able to adjust these phenological phases to the spring phenology in their breeding areas. In this work, we studied long-term trends in first arrival and onset of breeding for three passerine birds in Eastern Finland; the Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), the Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and the Great Tit (Parus major). The Pied Flycatcher and the Common Redstart are long-distance migrants while the Great Tit is a partial migrant in Finland. We asked what environmental variables best explain the first arrival or onset of breeding, if there is evidence of “thermal delay” (long-term increase in the accumulated temperatures) at arrival or onset of breeding and if the interannual variation in the onset of breeding correlates with variation in spring phenology of local insects. We found that the Pied Flycatcher and the Common Redstart had advanced their first arrival (explained by increased temperatures at the migration route), but we found no long-term change in the onset of breeding (explained by local temperatures). Also, the onset of breeding of the Great Tit is tracking local temperatures. We found no or only weak evidence of thermal delay at arrival or onset of breeding for any of the species. The onsets of breeding for the Pied Flycatcher and the Great Tit are also closely tracking the spring phenology of the local insects. The stable or increasing population sizes of all three species in Finland could be a result from their ability to effectively track climatic and environmental variation.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-10T02:50:29.234286-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01128
  • Opportunity Costs Influence Food Selection and Giving-up Density of
           Dabbling Ducks
    • Authors: Heath M. Hagy; Joshua D. Stafford, Randolph V. Smith, Aaron P. Yetter, Christopher S. Hine, Michelle M. Horath, Christopher J. Whelan
      Abstract: The interaction of animals with their food can yield insights into habitat characteristics, such as perceived predation risk and relative quality. We deployed experimental foraging patches in wetlands used by migrating dabbling ducks (Anas spp.) in the central Illinois River Valley to estimate variation in seed removal and giving-up density (GUD; i.e., density of food remaining in patches following abandonment) with respect to seed density, seed size, seed depth in the substrate, substrate firmness, perceived predation risk, and an energetic profitability threshold (i.e., critical food density). Seed depth and the density of naturally-occurring seeds outside of experimental plots affected seed removal and GUD in experimental patches more than perceived predation risk, seed density, seed size, or substrate firmness. The greatest seed removal and lowest GUDs in experimental patches occurred when food resources in alternative foraging locations outside of plots (i.e., opportunity costs) appeared to be near or below a critical food density (i.e., 119–181 kg/ha). Giving-up densities varied substantially from a critical food density across a range of food densities in alternative foraging locations suggesting that fixed GUDs should not be used as surrogates for critical food densities in energetic carrying capacity models. Foraging and resting rates in and near experimental foraging patches did not reflect patterns of seed removal and were poor predictors of GUD and foraging habitat quality. Our results demonstrated the usefulness of GUDs as indicators of habitat quality for subsurface, benthic foragers relative to other available foraging patches and suggested that food may be limited for dabbling ducks during spring migration in some years in the Midwest.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-10T02:50:27.595284-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01275
  • Modelling avian growth with the Unified-Richards: As exemplified by
           wader-chick growth
    • Authors: Kathleen M. C. Tjørve; Even Tjørve
      Abstract: Postnatal growth in birds is traditionally modelled by fitting three-parameter models, namely the logistic, the Gompertz, or the von Bertalanffy models. The purpose of this paper is to address the utility of the Unified-Richards (U-Richards) model. We draw attention to two forms of the U-Richards and lay down a set of recommendations for the analysis of bird growth, in order to make this model and the methods more accessible. We examine the behaviour of the four parameters in each model form and the four derived measurements, and we show that all are easy to interpret, and that each parameter controls a single curve characteristic. The two parameters that control the inflection point, enable us to compare its placement in two dimensions, (1) inflection value (mass or length at inflection) and (2) inflection time (time since hatching), between data sets (e.g. between biometrics or between species). We also show how the parameter controlling growth rate directly presents us with the relative growth rate at inflection, and we demonstrate how one can compare growth rates across data sets. The three traditional models, where the inflection value is fixed (to a specific percentage of the upper asymptote), provide incompatible growth-rate coefficients. One of the two forms of the U-Richards model makes it possible to fix not only the upper asymptote (adult value), but also the intersection with the y-axis (hatching value). Fitting the new model forms to data validates the usefulness of interpreting the inflection placement in addition to the growth rate. It also illustrated the advantages and limitations of constraining the upper asymptote (adult value) and the y-axis intersection (hatching value) to fixed values. We show that the U-Richards model can successfully replace some of the commonly used growth models, and we advocate replacing these with the U-Richards when modelling bird growth.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-03T08:30:36.997037-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00992
  • First genetic assessment of the level of endemism in the avifauna of the
           Central Sierras in southern South America
    • Authors: Belén Bukowski; Pablo D. Lavinia, Natalia Trujillo-Arias, Cecilia Kopuchian, Pablo L. Tubaro, Darío A. Lijtmaer
      Abstract: The Andes constitute one of the main factors that have promoted diversification in the Neotropics. However, the role of other highland regions in the southern cone of South America has been barely studied. We analyzed the level of endemism in the avifauna of the Central Sierras in Córdoba, a high region in Central Argentina, to evaluate the effect of its geographic isolation from the Andes. There are 11 species with endemic subspecies in this region, all of them described based only on differences in morphology (mainly plumage color) with no genetic evidence. We performed the first genetic analyses of seven of these species using mitochondrial DNA obtained from fresh tissue and toe pad samples. Our results show that for three of these species (Catamenia inornata, Phrygilus unicolor and Cinclodes atacamensis) the population in the Central Sierras is clearly differentiated from those of other regions, and the first two of them also show divergence among Andean subspecies. In the remaining species we found a varying degree of differentiation, ranging from a small divergence in Muscisaxicola rufivertex to the presence of different haplotypes but with an apparent lack of phylogeographic structure in Phrygilus plebejus and Sturnella loyca (being the latter the only species with a continuous distribution between the Central Sierras and the Andes) to haplotype sharing in Asthenes modesta. While further analyses including additional markers, morphological characters and vocalizations are needed, our results show that some of the species that have disjunct distributions, with a population in the Central Sierras isolated geographically from the Andes, possess distinct genetic lineages in the Central Sierras that suggest an evolutionary isolation from other populations. These findings highlight the importance of montane regions in general, and the Central Sierras in particular, as drivers of diversification in the Neotropics.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-03T08:26:22.322235-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01087
  • Weather-mediated decline in prey delivery rates causes food-limitation in
           a top avian predator
    • Authors: Barry G. Robinson; Alastair Franke, Andrew E. Derocher
      Abstract: Inclement weather can negatively affect breeding birds directly by exposure to factors such as severe temperature and rainfall, or indirectly by reducing food supply. During a three-year study of Arctic peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius) breeding in Nunavut, Canada, we estimated annual prey density at a biologically relevant scale (i.e., the home range of breeding pairs), and examine the manner in which prey density and within-season weather conditions influenced occupancy of breeding sites, egg-laying, hatch rate, prey delivery rates, and growth and survivability of nestlings. We found that occupancy of breeding sites was consistently high. As a proportion of the number of eggs laid, hatch rate did not change among years, but the number of eggs laid per occupied site declined in the third year of the. In the first two years of the study, the number of nestlings per occupied sited was high, but declined in the third year. Total prey density at the home range scale was similar in 2010 and 2012, while the highest prey density was recorded in 2011. In general, total prey delivery rates were similar in 2011 and 2012, and were greatest in 2010. Nestling growth rates were similar in 2010 and 2011, but were markedly different in 2012; for both sexes the period of rapid growth was of shorter duration in 2012 and asymptotic weights were lower.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-03T08:26:20.024669-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01130
  • Migration strategies and annual space-use in an Afro-Palaearctic aerial
           insectivore – the European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
    • Authors: Gabriel Norevik; Susanne Åkesson, Anders Hedenström
      Abstract: Obligate insectivorous birds breeding in high latitudes travel thousands of kilometres during annual movements to track the local seasonal peaks of food abundance in a continuously fluctuating resource landscape. Avian migrants use an array of strategies when conducting these movements depending on e.g. morphology, life history traits and environmental factors encountered en route. Here we used geolocators to derive data on the annual space-use, temporal pattern and migratory strategies in an Afro-Palaearctic aerial insectivorous bird species – the European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus. More specifically, we aimed to test a set of hypothesises pertaining to the migration of a population of nightjars breeding in south-eastern Sweden. We found that the birds wintered across the central and western parts of the southern tropical Africa almost entirely outside the currently described wintering range of the species. The nightjars performed a narrow loop migration across Sahara, with spring Sahel stopovers significantly to the west of autumn stops indicative to an adaptive response to winds during migration. To our surprise, the migration speed was faster in the autumn (119 km day-1) than in the spring (99 km day-1), possibly due to the prevailing wind regimes over the Sahara. The estimated flight fraction in both autumn (14 %) and spring (12 %) was almost exactly as the theoretically predicted 1:7 time relationship between flights and stopovers for small birds. The temporal patterns within the annual cycle indicate that individuals follow alternative spatiotemporal schedules that converge towards the breeding season. The positive relationship between the spatially and temporally distant winter departure and breeding arrival suggests that individuals' temporal fine-tuning to breeding may be constrained, leading to potential negative fitness consequences.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-03T08:26:07.018946-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01071
  • Experimental feeding regime influences urban bird disease dynamics
    • Authors: Josie A. Galbraith; Margaret C. Stanley, Darryl N. Jones, Jacqueline R. Beggs
      Abstract: Wild bird feeding often results in high densities of birds, potentially facilitating transmission of disease. Wild birds are major reservoirs of many zoonotic diseases, and although a number of avian disease outbreaks have been linked to bird feeders, urban bird-feeding and its role in disease systems remains poorly studied. We examined the impacts of typical supplementary feeding practices on the health status of feeder-visiting birds at experimental feeding stations in an urban area of New Zealand. Over an 18-month period, we screened birds captured at feeding and non-feeding properties for three pathogens and four groups of parasites to determine whether feeding altered disease dynamics. We also assessed body condition. All pathogens and parasites were detected in at least one garden bird species. Feeding stations tested positive for Salmonella enterica Typhimurium on ~7% of occasions, confirming that structures used in feeding are a potential transmission pathway. Feeding influenced some parasite infection parameters; these effects varied among host species. In silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis), helminth prevalence and abundance were lower at feeding properties compared to non-feeding properties. In contrast, Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula) at feeding properties had a higher abundance of helminths. House sparrows (Passer domesticus) at feeding properties had a higher abundance of feather lice. Furthermore, our feeding regime significantly affected body condition in house sparrow and silvereye, though no associations between parasite parameters and body condition indices were found. Our results demonstrate that feeding practices can have varied effects on avian health, including no observable effects for some disease agents in some host species. Disease risks are present, however, thus understanding and reducing these risks should be a key goal for all stakeholders to protect birds that use feeders and other wildlife.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-11-03T08:25:55.930183-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01076
  • Does the House Sparrow Passer domesticus represent a global model species
           for egg rejection behavior'
    • Authors: Thomas Manna; Caren Cooper, Shane Baylis, Matthew D. Shawkey, Geoffrey I.N. Waterhouse, Tomas Grim, Mark E. Hauber
      Abstract: Conspecific brood parasitism (CP) is a facultative breeding tactic whereby females lay their eggs in the nests of conspecifics. In some species, potential hosts have evolved the ability to identify and reject foreign eggs from their nest. Previous studies suggest that the ubiquitous House Sparrow Passer domesticus in Spain and South Africa employs both CP and egg rejection, while a population in China does not. Given the species' invasive range expansions, the House Sparrow represents a potentially excellent global model system for parasitic egg rejection across variable ecological conditions. We examined the responses of House Sparrows to experimental parasitism at three geographically distinct locations (in Israel, North America, and New Zealand) to provide a robust test of how general the findings of the previous studies are. In all three geographic regions egg rejection rates were negligible and not statistically different from background rates of disappearance of control eggs, suggesting that the House Sparrow is not a suitable model species for egg rejection experiments on a global scale.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-18T09:05:27.561769-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01193
  • Interisland gene flow among populations of the buff-banded rail (Aves:
           Rallidae) and its implications for insular endemism in Oceania
    • Authors: Juan C. Garcia-R; Leo Joseph, Greg Adcock, Julian Reid, Steven A. Trewick
      Abstract: Studies of fragmented habitat, such as island archipelagos, provide insights into the microevolutionary processes that drive early stages of diversification. Here, we examined genetic variation and gene flow among populations of the widespread buff-banded rail (Gallirallus philippensis) in Oceania to understand the factors that promote speciation associated within this bird lineage. We analysed mtDNA Control Region sequences and six microsatellite loci from a total of 152 individuals of buff-banded rail on islands and continental areas. We used a phylogeographic model-testing approach and a structured spatial design ranging from within to among archipelagoes in the south Pacific. Buff-banded rail populations in the Philippines archipelago and nearby Palau and Wallacea had high genetic diversity while those in geographically distant Australia showed lower variation. Other archipelagos sampled were found to have less genetic diversity and included haplotypes closely related to Wallacea (Bismarck, Vanuatu, New Caledonia) or Australia (New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Cocos Islands). Nucleotide diversity and allele frequency declined with degree of geographic isolation but haplotype diversity remained more even. However, both nucleotide and haplotype diversities were positively correlated with land area. Microsatellite data for a subset of locations showed moderate to high genetic differentiation and significant pairwise FST despite a relatively high migration rate. Our results are mostly consistent with a model of abrupt genetic changes due to founder events with multiple dispersals into Australia from Wallacea and Bismarck. Australia has probably been the source of birds for islands in the Pacific. This is shown by decreasing genetic diversity and growing genetic differentiation when distances separating populations increased from Australia. A history of range expansion and divergent natural selection may help explain the existence of numerous sympatric Gallirallus island endemics.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-18T09:05:25.313134-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01201
  • Parent birds assess nest predation risk: influence of cavity condition and
           avian nest predator activity
    • Authors: Jongmin Yoon; Jung-Shim Jung, Eun-Jin Joo, Byung-Su Kim, Shi-Ryong Park
      Abstract: Skutch (1949) hypothesized that nest predators visually assess parental activities to locate a prey nest, whereas parents modify fitness-related traits to reduce the probability of nest predation. We examined how cavity condition and parental activity interact with avian nest predators to shape the nest success of two coexisting parid species, marsh tits (Poecile palustris) and oriental tits (Parus minor), breeding in nest-boxes during the incubation period. Nest-boxes were manipulated to create a prolonged risk of nest predation (entrance diameter 2.6 cm control vs. 5.5 cm treatment) soon after clutch completion. To measure changes in parental behavior, we also simultaneously simulated a pulsed risk of nest predation, using sound playbacks of a coexisting control bird and an avian nest predator. We found that the parent tits merely responded the pulsed risk, presumably due to an environment with high avian nest predator encounters, compared to the prolonged risk. Instead, both species spent more time on vigilance at the nest, only under prolonged risk conditions. The activity of corvids near the nest-box was higher in the marsh tit than that in oriental tits. This activity was also higher in the treatment nest box than that in the control nest-box. Nest predation during the incubation period was higher in marsh tits than in oriental tits, presumably due to higher and more plastic vigilance in oriental tits, compared to marsh tits. Our results highlight that the differences in cavity condition and parental activities at the nests of two coexisting non-excavators may contribute to differential nest predation by attracting avian nest predators.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-18T09:05:21.57397-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00787
  • Wing size but not wing shape is related to migratory behavior in a soaring
    • Authors: Maricel Graña Grilli; Sergio A. Lambertucci, Jean-François Therrien, Keith L. Bildstein
      Abstract: Both wing size and wing shape affect the flight abilities of birds. Intra and inter-specific studies have revealed a pattern where high aspect ratio and low wing loading favour migratory behaviour. This, however, have not been studied in soaring migrants. We assessed the relationship between the wing size and shape and the characteristics of the migratory habits of the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), an obligate soaring migrant. We compared wing size and shape with migration strategy among three fully migratory, one partially migratory and one non-migratory (resident) population distributed across the American continent. We calculated the aspect ratio and wing loading using wing tracings to characterize the wing morphology. We used satellite-tracking data from the migratory populations to calculate distance, duration, speed and altitude during migration. Wing loading, but not aspect ratio, differed among the populations, segregating the resident population from the completely migratory ones. Unlike it has been reported in species using flapping flight during migration, the migratory flight parameters of turkey vultures were not related to the aspect ratio. By contrast, wing loading was related to most flight parameters. Birds with lower wing loading flew farther, faster, and higher during their longer journeys. Our results suggest that wing morphology in this soaring species enables lower-cost flight, through low wing-loading, and that differences in the relative sizes of wings may increase extra savings during migration. The possibility that wing shape is influenced by foraging as well as migratory flight is discussed. We conclude that flight efficiency may be improved through different morphological adaptations in birds with different flight mechanisms.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-18T09:05:20.276703-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01220
  • Context-dependent effects of radio transmitter attachment on a small
    • Authors: Lysanne Snijders; Lydia E. Nieuwe Weme, Piet Goede, James L. Savage, Kees Oers, Marc Naguib
      Abstract: Biotelemetry devices provide unprecedented insights into the spatial behaviour and ecology of many animals. Quantifying the potential effects of attaching such devices to animals is essential, but certain effects may appear only in specific or particularly stressful contexts. Here we analyse the effects of radio tag attachment on great tits (Parus major) tagged over three environmentally dissimilar years, as part of a project studying social- and communication networks. When we radio-tagged birds before breeding, only those tagged in the coldest spring tended to be less likely to breed than control birds. Breeding probability was independent of the relative tag weight (between 5% and 8% bodyweight). When we radio-tagged both parents during nestling provisioning (tag weight between 6% and 8%), tagged parents were more likely than control parents to desert their brood in two of the three years, while in the other year no tagged parents deserted. Tagged parents provisioning larger broods were most likely to desert, especially during lower average temperatures. Video analyses did not reveal any tag effects on provisioning behaviour of parents in the year with no desertion. We conclude that radio tagging before breeding did not lead to negative effects, regardless of tag weight, but that decisions about radio-tagging parents during nestling provisioning need to be made with exceptional care, taking both environmental context and tag weight into account. Reporting results from long-term radio-tracking studies comprising several environmentally variable years is crucial to understand and predict potential tag effects and maximise the tremendous potential of biotelemetry.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12T10:02:31.934028-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01148
  • Evaluating interspecific niche overlaps in environmental and geographic
           spaces to assess the value of umbrella species
    • Authors: Yoan Fourcade; Aurélien G. Besnard, Jean Secondi
      Abstract: The concept of umbrella species assumes that concentrating resources on the protection of a single species contributes to the conservation of a suite of species and ecological processes belonging to the same ecosystem. The environmental requirements and geographical distribution of the umbrella species should thus overlap those of the group of targeted species. In western France, the conservation of several large grassland floodplains relies on agri-environmental schemes targeting one single bird species, the corncrake Crex crex. It is considered as an umbrella species but no real assessment of its effectiveness has been carried out so far. We used a two-step methodology to assess the potential of the corncrake to act as an umbrella species by estimating niche overlap in the environmental and geographic space between the main ground-nesting species of the bird community in these grasslands, including the corncrake and four passerines. The five species showed substantial differences in their ecological niches so that their distributions did not perfectly overlap. Overlaps in predicted distributions between pairs of species depended on the threshold used to convert suitability to binary maps. Moreover, the number of species that could be protected by a candidate umbrella species was affected by the overlap criterion of success. Although the corncrake may be used as an umbrella species, it would be outperformed by several passerine species. Our study highlights the potential of using niche overlap to select umbrella species. It also reveals the importance of analysing the sensitivity of outputs when changing thresholds and overlap criteria.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12T10:02:30.478856-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01153
  • Divergence and gene flow in the globally distributed blue-winged ducks
    • Authors: Joel T. Nelson; Robert E. Wilson, Kevin G. McCracken, Graeme S. Cumming, Leo Joseph, Patrick-Jean Guay, Jeffrey L. Peters
      Abstract: The ability to disperse over long distances can result in a high propensity for colonizing new geographic regions, including uninhabited continents, and lead to lineage diversification via allopatric speciation. However, high vagility can also result in gene flow between otherwise allopatric populations, and in some cases, parapatric or divergence-with-gene-flow models might be more applicable to widely distributed lineages. Here, we use five nuclear introns and the mitochondrial control region along with Bayesian models of isolation with migration to examine divergence, gene flow, and phylogenetic relationships within a cosmopolitan lineage comprising six species, the blue-winged ducks (genus Anas), which inhabit all continents except Antarctica. We found two primary sub-lineages, the globally-distributed shoveler group and the New World blue-winged/cinnamon teal group. The blue-winged/cinnamon sub-lineage is composed of sister taxa from North America and South America, and taxa with parapatric distributions are characterized by low to moderate levels of gene flow. In contrast, our data support strict allopatry for most comparisons within the shovelers. However, we found evidence of gene flow from the migratory, Holarctic northern shoveler (A. clypeata) and the more sedentary, African Cape shoveler (A. smithii) into the Australasian shoveler (A. rhynchotis), although we could not reject strict allopatry. Given the diverse mechanisms of speciation within this complex, the shovelers and blue-winged/cinnamon teals can serve as an effective model system for examining how the genome diverges under different evolutionary processes and how genetic variation is partitioned among highly dispersive taxa.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12T10:02:23.659133-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00998
  • Age-related prenatal maternal effects and postnatal breeding experience
           have different influences on nestling development in an altricial
    • Authors: Pierre-Paul Bitton; Russell D. Dawson
      Abstract: Reproductive success and nestling performance are related to the age of parents across several vertebrate taxa. However, because breeding experience and prenatal maternal investment in reproduction often covary, the source of these age-related differences can be difficult to determine. In this study, we evaluated the influence of prenatal maternal effects and postnatal breeding experience on the performance of nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor Vieillot) by conducting a carefully controlled partial cross-fostering experiment. We swapped half-broods of nestlings between the nest of a young first-time breeding female and the nest of a female known to have previously raised and fledged young. Our manipulation did not influence the within-brood nestling hierarchies, and controlled for the effects of egg laying order. We found that nestlings of older females were heavier just prior to fledging regardless of the breeding experience of the attending female. In addition, fledglings raised by experienced females grew their flight feathers faster, and had greater probability of fledging. Our study demonstrates that prenatal investment in reproduction by older females can have long-term consequences on nestling mass, and suggests limited potential for compensatory mass gains prior to fledging. Because our analyses controlled for feeding rates, our results also suggest that foraging quantity and quality are not the only benefits nestlings gain by being raised by an experienced female.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12T10:02:17.510656-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01202
  • Life history patterns, individual heterogeneity, and density dependence in
           breeding common goldeneyes of the northern boreal forest
    • Authors: Abigail J. Lawson; James S. Sedinger, Eric J. Taylor
      Abstract: Life history patterns and their associated tradeoffs influence population dynamics, as they determine how individuals allocate resources among competing demographic traits. Here we examined life history strategies in Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula; hereafter goldeneye), a cavity-nesting sea duck, in the northern boreal forest of interior Alaska, USA. We used multistate capture-mark-recapture models to estimate adult survival, breeding probability, first-year survival, and recruitment probability using a long-term nest box study (1997-2010). We detected marked variation in adult survival, which varied from 0.74 ± 0.12 (SE) to 0.93 ± 0.06. In contrast, breeding probability remained relatively high and invariant (0.84 ± 0.11) and was positively related to individual nest success the year prior. Nonbreeding individuals in one year were more likely to remain a nonbreeder, than attempt to breed the following year. First-year survival decreased with smaller residual duckling mass and larger brood sizes. Probability of recruitment into the breeding population conditioned on survival was constant during the study (0.96 ± 0.06), and did not vary among ages 2-5 years-old. Overall, goldeneyes exhibited high, but somewhat variable, adult survival, and high breeding and recruitment probabilities, which is consistent with observed patterns in bet-hedging species that breed annually in high quality breeding environments, but whose reproductive output is often influenced by stochastic events. Demographic estimates from this study are among the first for goldeneyes within Alaska. Life history patterns are known to vary geographically, therefore, we recommend further examination of life history patterns within the distribution of goldeneyes.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-05T09:35:29.288507-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00975
  • Climatic and geographic barriers drive distributional patterns of bird
           phenotypes within peninsular India
    • Authors: Vivek Ramachandran; V.V. Robin, Krishnapriya Tamma, Uma Ramakrishnan
      Abstract: Modern phylogenetic data provide unparalleled ability to test biogeographic paradigms, often suggested by differences in species distribution patterns. However, such approaches have been applied less at regional scales, particularly in Asia. In the absence of such data, we examine if concordance of distributional patterns for phenotypes (subspecies) suggest potential biogeographic barriers for birds in peninsular India. Specifically, we examine climatic and physical factors that might limit phenotype distributions in this region.Various physical, vegetation and climatic barriers were demarcated to identify potential biogeographic units within peninsular India. We then collated occurrence of endemic or disjunct distribution species and subspecies within these units using published range maps. We also quantified turnover between potential units, allowing us to identify significant biogeographic barriers. Three time-step climate data (Last Glacial Maxima, mid-Holocene and present) enabled us to examine differences between these potential biogeographic regions through time.The Palk Straits, followed by the Goa Gap (~16° N) and the Godavari River emerged as the major barriers in this region. The Palk Straits and Godavari are physical barriers while Goa Gap appears to be a climate-mediated ecological divide. Mountain barriers like the Palghat Gap are not the most significant barriers as previously thought. Climatically intermediate regions appeared unstable in the past and showed inconsistent affinities to different geographic units across families. We suggest that relative climatic stability of the wet regions of the southern Western Ghats could be responsible for high subspecies endemism here. Our approach provides hypotheses that can be tested with comparative multi-species phylogeographic data in the future.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-04T07:45:25.381828-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01278
  • Wintering areas predict age-related breeding phenology in a migratory
           passerine bird
    • Authors: C. López-Calderón; K. A. Hobson, A. Marzal, J. Balbontín, M. Reviriego, S. Magallanes, L. García-Longoria, F. Lope, Anders P. Møller
      Abstract: Understanding connections between breeding, stopover and wintering grounds for long-distance migratory birds can provide important insight into factors influencing demography and the strength of carry-over effects among various periods of the annual cycle. Using previously described, multi-isotope (δ13C, δ15N, δ2H) feather isoscapes for Africa, we identified the most probable wintering areas for house martins (Delichon urbica) breeding at Badajoz in southwestern Spain. We identified two most-probable wintering areas differing in latitude in West Africa. We found that the probability to winter in the northern region was related to age and sex of individuals. Specifically, experienced males (i.e., two years or older) winter in the northern area with a greater probability than experienced females, whereas first-year females winter in the northern area with a greater probability than first-year males. In addition, wintering area was correlated with breeding phenology, with individuals wintering in the northern area initiating their clutches earlier than those wintering in the southern area. For birds wintering in the northern area, there was no relationship between age and clutch initiation date. In contrast, young birds wintering in the southern area initiated their clutches earlier than experienced birds wintering in this area. There was no significant correlation between wintering area and clutch size or the number of fledglings produced. We hypothesize that the relationship among social status, population density and winter habitat quality should be the most important driver of the carry-over effect we found for this populationThis article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-04T07:45:23.359321-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01070
  • Breeding limits foraging time: evidence of interrupted foraging response
           from body mass variation in a tropical environment
    • Authors: Chima J. Nwaogu; Maurine W. Dietz, B. Irene Tieleman, Will Cresswell
      Abstract: Birds should store body reserves if starvation risk is anticipated; this is known as an ‘interrupted foraging response’. If foraging remains unrestricted, however, body mass should remain low to limit the predation risk that gaining and carrying body reserves entails. In temperate environments mass gain in female birds during breeding is often attributed to egg formation and mass loss after incubation to flight adaptation or the effect of reproductive workload, rather than as a result of an adaptive interrupted foraging response to the limited foraging time or unpredictable foraging conditions that breeding demands. In tropical environments, foraging conditions vary more within the breeding season than in temperate environments, and so studies in tropical environments are more suited to decouple the potentially confounded effects of increase in body reserves versus egg formation on the body mass of breeding birds. In this study, we test whether breeding results in an interrupted foraging response in a tropical savannah system using body mass data collected over a 15-year period from female Common Bulbuls Pycnonotus barbatus. This species breeds both in the wet and dry season, despite fewer resources being available in the dry season. Breeding stage predicted female body mass: body mass peaked abruptly during incubation, but was not closely associated with the egg-laying stage, and declined during brood rearing. Breeding females were heavier in the dry season than in the wet season. In the dry season, heavier birds were more likely to incubate eggs or brood chicks. These observations suggest that increased body reserves are required to buffer the consequence of limited foraging time or impoverished foraging conditions, which may be most pronounced during incubation and in the dry season, respectively. Such mass increases are consistent with an interrupted foraging response, which may apply to temperate zone birds experiencing foraging restrictions during breeding.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-10-04T07:40:25.802719-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01132
  • Breeding phenological response to spring weather conditions in common
           Finnish birds: resident species respond stronger than migratory species
    • Authors: Edward Kluen; Riikka Nousiainen, Aleksi Lehikoinen
      Abstract: National bird‐nest record schemes provide a valuable data source to study large‐scale changes in basic breeding biology and effects of climate change on birds. Using nest‐record scheme data from 26 common Finnish breeding bird species from whole Finland, we estimated the laydate of the first egg for 129,063 nesting attempts. We then investigated the relationship of mean spring temperature and spring precipitation sum to changes in the onset of laying over the period 1961–2012. In addition, we examine differences in response to these climatic variables in three migratory strategy groups (residents, short‐ and long‐distance migrants), diet and habitat. Finally, we test whether body size is related to the strength of phenological response. We show that 26 common Finnish breeding bird species have advanced their laying dates over time and to an increase in the mean spring temperature over the study period. When species are grouped according life history strategies, we find that breeding phenological change is negatively associated with changes in the mean spring temperature where residents respond strongest to changes in mean spring temperature, but also short‐ and long‐distance migrants advance laydates with increasing spring temperatures. Breeding phenological change is also associated with spring precipitation, where resident species delay and short‐distance migrants advance the onset of breeding. In addition we find that omnivorous species respond stronger than insectivorous species to changes in spring temperature. In contrast to results from an earlier study, we do not find evidence that small‐sized species respond stronger to spring temperature than large‐sized species. As climate warming is predicted to continue in the future, long‐term citizen science schemes, such as the Finnish nest‐card scheme, prove to be a valuable cost‐effective way to monitor the environment and allow investigation into how species are responding to changes in their environment.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-21T07:40:20.683773-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01110
  • Contrasting latitudinal patterns of life‐history divergence in two
           genera of new world thrushes (Turdinae)
    • Authors: Andy J. Boyce; Thomas E. Martin
      Abstract: Several long‐standing hypotheses have been proposed to explain latitudinal patterns of life‐history strategies. Here, we test predictions of four such hypotheses (seasonality, food limitation, nest predation and adult survival probability) by examining life‐history traits and age‐specific mortality rates of several species of thrushes (Turdinae) based on field studies at temperate and tropical sites and data gathered from the literature. Thrushes in the genus Catharus showed the typical pattern of slower life‐history strategies in the tropics while co‐occuring Turdus thrushes differed much less across latitudes. Seasonality is a broadly accepted hypothesis for latitudinal patterns, but the lack of concordance in latitudinal patterns between co‐existing genera that experience the same seasonal patterns suggests seasonality cannot fully explain latitudinal trait variation in thrushes. Nest‐predation also could not explain patterns based on our field data and literature data for these two genera. Total feeding rates were similar, and per‐nestling feeding rates were higher at tropical latitudes in both genera, suggesting food limitation does not explain trait differences in thrushes. Latitudinal patterns of life histories in these two genera were closely associated with adult survival probability. Thus, our data suggest that environmental influences on adult survival probability may play a particularly strong role in shaping latitudinal patterns of life‐history traits.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-21T07:35:24.186233-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01113
  • A small badge of longevity: opposing survival selection on the size of
           white and black wing markings
    • Authors: Tuul Sepp; Kalev Rattiste, Lauri Saks, Richard Meitern, Janek Urvik, Ants Kaasik, Peeter Hõrak
      Abstract: According to handicap principle, exaggerated ornamental traits are supposed to exert costs on their bearers. However, there is much less theoretical and practical consensus about whether and under which conditions ornament expression should positively correlate with survival. We measured age‐related variation and survival selection on the size of white wing patches and black wing tips in a long‐lived monogamous seabird, the common gull (Larus canus). Males had larger white patches than females but patch size showed concave relationship with age irrespective of sex, suggesting that white patch size was prone to senescence in both sexes. Extent of wing tip abrasion correlated negatively with the size of white patch, suggesting, in agreement with the Zahavian handicap hypothesis that only individuals with largest ornaments are able of maintaining them and not paying cost of displaying them. Areas of white wing patches and black wing tips correlated negatively. Irrespective of sex, survival selection favored birds with larger white wing patches and smaller black wing tips, which suggests that white and black wing markings may have coevolved as reverse components of a single ornament. Altogether, our results provide an evidence for the case where survival selection on ornamental traits in females is not weaker than in males. Absence of sex differences with respect to most of observed patterns is consistent with a prediction that among monogamous long‐lived species with biparental care, mutual mate choice leads to evolution of elaborate ornamental traits in both sexes.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-21T07:35:22.813695-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01136
  • Feather melanin and microstructure variation in Dark‐eyed Junco (Junco
           hyemalis) across an elevational gradient in the Selkirk Mountains
    • Authors: Devin R. Zwaan; Jennifer L. Greenwood, Kathy Martin
      Abstract: Variation in feather melanism and microstructure can arise through sexual selection and ecological functional drivers. Melanin‐based plumage traits are associated with sexual dichromatism and the intensity of sexual selection in many avian species, but also have several ecological benefits such as protection against ultra‐violet (UV) radiation, camouflage, and feather strength. Additionally, feather microstructure influences thermoregulation. Plumage variation across species is well documented; however, the relative role of sexual selection and ecological drivers in intra‐specific and within‐population variation is less established. We investigated UV reflectance, melanism, and feather microstructure in a population of Oregon Dark‐eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis oreganus) between high (1900–2200 m a.s.l.) and low (450–800 m a.s.l.) elevations in the Selkirk Mountains to evaluate potential sexual selection and ecological drivers of variation. We found no difference in UV reflectance or lightness (melanism) of head feathers between elevations, but individuals at high elevation had lighter (less melanism) and less brown (less pheomelanin) body contour feathers than at low elevations. High elevation individuals also had longer contour feathers with more pronounced plumulaceous regions. Sexual dichromatism did not vary between elevations, leading us to reject sexual selection in favour of ecological functional drivers of plumage variation in this system. To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify within‐population differences in feather melanism and microstructure between different elevations.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-17T08:05:32.646452-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01050
  • Maternal allocation in eggs when counting on helpers in a cooperatively
           breeding bird
    • Authors: Juliana Valencia; Concha Mateos, Carlos Cruz, Juan Carranza
      Abstract: For cooperatively breeding birds, it has been proposed that breeders should reduce their investment in eggs when they count on helpers, because this can be compensated for by helpers provisioning of nestlings. Data from some species have supported this prediction, but this is not the case in others. It has also been proposed that mothers should not reduce but rather increase investment if the presence of helpers enhances the reproductive value of offspring, a pattern that might also influence egg production as long as helpers are predictable for laying females. Here, we studied maternal expenditure in eggs and clutches in the Iberian magpie, to see whether mothers reduce their expenditure at the egg stage in the presence of helpers. Our results show that investment in clutches varied depending on the year, date in the season and age of the mother, but there were no reductions in maternal expenditure per individual egg when they counted on helpers. On the contrary, a pattern emerged in the opposite direction of more investment in eggs associated with the future presence of helpers at the nestling stage. Our data suggest that the predictability of helpers, along with the type of benefits accrued from the contribution of helpers, may be crucial to understanding the reaction of mothers at egg production.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-17T08:05:31.317474-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01020
  • No effect of partner age and lifespan on female age‐specific
           reproductive performance in blue tits
    • Authors: Seyed Mehdi Amininasab; Martijn Hammers, Oscar Vedder, Jan Komdeur, Peter Korsten
      Abstract: Studies of age‐specific reproductive performance are fundamental to our understanding of population dynamics and the evolution of life‐history strategies. In species with bi‐parental care, reproductive ageing trajectories of either parent may be influenced by their partner's age, but this has rarely been investigated. We investigated within‐individual age‐specific performance (laying date and number of eggs laid) in wild female blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and evaluated how the age and longevity of their male partner indirectly influenced the females' reproductive performance. Females showed clear age‐dependence in both laying date and number of eggs laid. We found that female reproductive performance improved in early life, before showing a decline. Longer‐lived females had an earlier laying date throughout their lives than shorter‐lived females, but there was no difference in number of eggs laid between longer‐ and shorter‐lived females. Within breeding pairs, the female's (age‐specific) reproductive performance was not dependent on the age and longevity of the male partner. We conclude that the age and quality of the male partner may be of little importance for traits that are under direct female control.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-06T04:00:27.63999-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00970
  • How much do we know about the breeding biology of bird species in the
    • Authors: Hongtao Xiao; Yigang Hu, Zedong Lang, Bohao Fang, Weibin Guo, Qi Zhang, Xuan Pan, Xin Lu
      Abstract: Knowledge on species' breeding biology is the building blocks of avian life history theory. A review for the current status of the knowledge at a global scale is needed to highlight the priority for future research. We collected all available information on three critical nesting parameters (clutch size, incubation period and nestling period) for the close to 10,000 bird species in the world and identified taxonomic, geographic and habitat gaps in the distribution of knowledge on avian breeding biology. The results show that only one third of all extant species are well known regarding the three nesting parameters analyzed, while the rest are partly or poorly known. Most data deficient taxonomic groups are tropical forest nesters, particularly from the Amazon basin, Southeast Asia, Equatorial Africa and Madagascar ― the places that harbor the world's highest bird diversity. These knowledge gaps could be hampering our understanding of avian life histories. Ornithologists are encouraged to pay more efforts to explore the breeding biology of those poorly‐known species.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-02T09:50:22.989321-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00934
  • Reduced dietary conservatism in a wild bird in the presence of
           intraspecific competition
    • Authors: Keith McMahon; Nicola Marples
      Abstract: The presence of intraspecific competitors can increase foraging costs through exploitation of resources. Optimal foraging theory suggests that when the cost of pursuing one food type increases, alternative resources should be accepted. Accepting novel foods readily might put a competitor at an advantage over its more conservative rivals in the race for sufficient sustinance, but also opens it to the danger of poisoning by chemically protected food. Dietary conservatism is foraging behaviour characterised by a prolonged avoidance of novel foods, long after neophobia (initial fear of novel objects) has been overcome, and so might be seen as a disadvantage to foragers in a competitive situation. There are two stable foraging strategies found within forager populations: (1) adventurous consumers (AC) which rapidly accept novel foods and (2) foragers showing dietary conservatism (DC). The expression of these two strategies may also vary with environmental conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of intraspecific competition on the levels of dietary conservatism displayed among wild caught blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Blue tits were offered items of both novel and familiar foods under two conditions: with a competitor and without. Our results showed that individuals who experienced competition incorporated the novel items into their diet faster than those who did not experience competition. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the degree of plascticty in the expression of the DC trait using wild birds in laboratory conditions. This plasticity represents a significant adaptation to reduce the costs of foraging conservatively when novel alternative resources should be accepted.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-02T09:50:20.645725-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01135
  • Infection reduces anti‐predator behaviors in house finches
    • Authors: James S. Adelman; Corinne Mayer, Dana M. Hawley
      Abstract: Infectious diseases can cause host mortality through direct or indirect mechanisms, including altered behavior. Diminished anti‐predator behavior is among the most‐studied causes of indirect mortality during infection, particularly for systems in which a parasite's life‐cycle requires transmission from prey to predator. Significantly less work has examined whether directly‐transmitted parasites and pathogens also reduce anti‐predator behaviors. Here we test whether the directly‐transmitted bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), reduces responses to predation‐related stimuli in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). MG causes conjunctivitis and reduces survival among free‐living finches, but rarely causes mortality in captivity, suggesting a role for indirect mechanisms. Wild‐caught finches were individually housed in captivity and exposed to the following treatments: 1) visual presence of a stuffed, mounted predator (a Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)) or control object (a vase or a stuffed, mounted mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos)), 2) vocalizations of the same predator and non‐predator, 3) approach of a researcher to enclosures, and 4) simulated predator attack (capture by hand). MG infection reduced anti‐predator responses during visual exposure to a mounted predator and simulated predator attack, even for birds without detectable visual obstruction from conjunctivitis. However, MG infection did not significantly alter responses during human approach or audio playback. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that predation plays a role in MG‐induced mortality in the wild, with reduced locomotion, a common form of sickness behavior for many taxa, as a likely mechanism. Our results therefore suggest that additional research on the role of sickness behaviors in predation could prove illuminating.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-02T09:45:24.515194-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01058
  • Cyprus Wheatears Oenanthe cypriaca likely reach sub‐Saharan African
           wintering grounds in a single migratory flight
    • Authors: Marina Xenophontos; Emma Blackburn, Will Cresswell
      Abstract: Long‐distance migratory flights with multiple stop‐overs, multiple wintering sites, and small‐scale connectivity in Afro‐Palearctic migrants are likely to increase their vulnerability to environmental change and lead to declining populations. Here we present the migration tracks and wintering locations of the first six Cyprus Wheatears to be tracked with geolocators: a species with high survival and a stable population. We therefore predicted a non‐stop flight from Cyprus to sub‐Saharan wintering grounds, a single wintering area for each individual and a wide spread of wintering locations representing low migratory connectivity at the population level. The sub‐Saharan wintering grounds in South Sudan, Sudan and Ethiopia were likely reached by a single flight of an average straight‐line distance of 2,538 km in ca. 60 hours, with an average minimum speed of 43.1 km/h. The high speed of migration probably ruled out stop‐overs greater than a few hours. Cyprus Wheatears migrated from Cyprus in mid‐late October and most probably remained at a single location throughout winter; three out of five birds with available data may have used a second site
      PubDate: 2016-09-02T09:45:23.814813-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01119
  • Reduced sexual dichromatism, mutual ornamentation, and individual quality
           in the monogamous Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita
    • Authors: Aurélie Quinard; Frank Cézilly, Sébastien Motreuil, Jean‐Marc Rossi, Clotilde Biard
      Abstract: Although variation in plumage coloration is known to occur both between and within sexes, its study remains limited to a few bird families. The Zenaida dove, Zenaida aurita, is a socially monogamous tropical columbid bird species, characterized by an overall cinnamon‐brownish plumage and structural colorations on the head and neck. The species has been described as sexually dichromatic for plumage, although color differences between males and females are not obvious in the field. We investigated variation in the presumably melanin‐based color of the crown, mantle, breast, and belly, in the iridescent dark‐blue streaks on the head, and in the symmetric iridescent patches on the neck, over the whole spectrum visible to birds. Further, unlike most previous studies, we assessed covariation between plumage color and phenotypic traits in both males and females in relation to the putative signaling function of ornaments. Zenaida doves appeared to be slightly sexually dichromatic for the hue of pigment‐based colored areas, with males being on average more reddish than females. However, this difference was not discernible when considering the avian visual system. Conversely, although the reflectance spectra of iridescent plumage did not significantly differ between sexes in brightness, chroma or spectral position of the peaks, color discrimination analyses showed that individuals should be able to perceive between‐ or within‐sex differences in the color of the iridescent patch. In addition, several color parameters of brown and iridescent feathers were significantly related to territorial status, body condition, wing chord, and, albeit weakly, to individual multilocus heterozygosity. Overall, our results thus suggest that plumage color might be a reliable signal of quality in individuals of both sexes in this species. Further studies are needed to test the potential implication of plumage coloration in mate choice and mating patterns in the Zenaida Dove.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-02T09:45:21.45622-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00902
  • Does sun glare increase antipredator behaviour in prey'
    • Authors: Guy Beauchamp
      Abstract: As the sun gradually lowers over the horizon, prey species with more sun in their eyes should have more difficulty in visually monitoring their surroundings for threats and thus experience a higher predation risk. In a unique setting, I could examine changes in antipredator behaviour in a prey species, the semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla), facing attacks by peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus), which originated from the general direction of the lowering sun. I predicted gradual changes in antipredator behaviour as sun glare becomes more problematic later in the day. As the day progressed, sandpipers occurred in sparser groups when the sun glared but not when clouds obscured the sun, suggesting that fewer individuals engaged in risky foraging. Pecking rate and foraging success decreased later in the day when the sun glared but not otherwise implying an increase in vigilance at the expense of foraging. When more sun hit their eyes, sandpipers also moved faster suggesting increased skittishness. The sun glare effect might be relevant to any species foraging in open areas not only when the sun sets but also when it rises especially if predators can target prey species at these vulnerable times. The temporal gradient in predation risk that the sun glare effect creates might thus apply broadly and have important consequences for antipredator vigilance, foraging efficiency, and habitat use.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-09-02T09:20:26.807143-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01154
  • A complete molecular phylogeny of Claravis confirms its paraphyly within
           small New World ground‐doves (Aves: Peristerinae) and implies multiple
           plumage state transitions
    • Authors: Andrew D. Sweet; J. Dylan Maddox, Kevin P. Johnson
      Abstract: The three species in the genus Claravis (Aves: Peristerinae) are unique among members of the small New World ground‐dove clade. All three species inhabit forested areas rather than open scrubby habitat, and exhibit obvious sexual dichromatism. However, the phylogenetic relationships within Claravis remain unknown. The only molecular phylogenetic study to include more than one species of Claravis indicated the genus is paraphyletic. Here we include molecular data from all three Claravis species, including sequences from a museum skin of the previously unsampled Claravis geoffroyi (purple‐winged ground‐dove). Using both mitochondrial and nuclear loci, we estimate phylogenies and divergence times for the small New World ground‐dove clade. We also use ancestral state reconstruction methods to infer the evolution of male blue plumage (and thus sexual dimorphism) in the clade. As in the previous study we recover Claravis as a paraphyletic group, but with Claravis geoffroyi as the sister species to Claravis mondetoura (maroon‐chested ground‐dove). This result has important implications for the evolutionary history of the small New World ground‐dove clade. In particular, we recover multiple independent transitions between the monomorphic and dimorphic plumage states, which perhaps indicates sexual dimorphism arose twice in the group.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T06:15:29.477338-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01077
  • Rapid mobilization of abdominal fat in migrating eared grebes
    • Authors: Lorian Cobra Straker; Joseph R. Jehl
      Abstract: Eared grebes (Podiceps nigricollis), like shorebirds and other long‐distance migrants, lay down large amounts of fat to power their journeys. To investigate the pattern of how fat and soft tissue might be mobilized, we used grebes killed in migration and applied Computed Tomography to reconstruct how stores in the chest, thorax, and abdomen were reduced as body weight decreased. Fat and soft tissue were each mobilized at a constant rate through the entire migration. Fat stores in birds embarking on migration were greater in the abdomen than thorax than chest. In contrast to previous studies indicating that abdominal fat was mobilized first, we found that fat from all areas was mobilized concurrently, but that abdominal fat was catabolized at a greater rate. We suggest why this pattern might be advantageous, consider whether inter‐depot differences in fat composition might be involved, and note possible energetic consequences. Whether our findings pertain to other obese or long distance migrants remains to be determined.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T06:15:28.513317-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01007
  • Tick infestation of chicks in a seabird colony varies with local breeding
           synchrony, local nest density and habitat structure
    • Authors: Alejandra G. Ramos; Hugh Drummond
      Abstract: Parasites are a major risk for group‐living animals and seabirds are notoriously susceptible to ectoparasite infestations because they commonly nest in dense colonies. Ticks parasitize seabirds across all biogeographical regions and they can be particularly harmful to nestlings, but the ecological factors that affect their transmission to chicks are little studied and poorly understood. Here we show that abundance of tick larvae in blue‐footed booby (Sula nebouxii) broods varies with local nest synchrony and density, and also with habitat structure: abundance increased with local breeding synchrony, was linearly and quadratically related to local nest density, and was highest toward the southern end of the study area which has suitable (boulder‐rich) habitat for ticks. Also, with increasing chick age infestation first increased and then declined. The results of this study highlight how local physical and social environmental factors influence infestation of seabird nestlings by ticks.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T06:15:25.746257-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01107
  • SpotEgg: An image‐processing tool for automatised analysis of
           colouration and spottiness
    • Authors: Jesús Gómez; Gustavo Liñán‐Cembrano
      Abstract: Colouration and patterning are widespread amongst organisms. Regarding avian eggs, colouration (reflectances) has been previously measured using spectrometers whereas spottiness has been determined using human‐based scoring methods or by applying global thresholding over the luminance channel on photographs. However, the availability of powerful computers and digital image‐processing algorithms and software offers new possibilities to develop systematised, automatable, and accurate methods to characterise visual information in eggs. Here, we provide a computing infrastructure (library of functions and a Graphical User Interface) for eggshell colouration and spottiness analysis called SpotEgg, which runs over MATLAB. Compared to previous methods, our method offers four novelties for eggshell visual analysis. First, we have developed a standardised non‐human biased method to determine spottiness. Spottiness determination is based on four parameters that allow direct comparisons between studies and may improve results when relating colouration and patterning to pigment extraction. Second, researcher time devoted to routine tasks is remarkably reduced thanks to the incorporation of image‐processing techniques that automatically detect the colour reference chart and egg‐like shapes in the scene. Third, SpotEgg reduces the errors in colour estimation through the eggshell that are created by the different angles of view subtended from different parts of the eggshell and the optical centre of the camera. Fourth, SpotEgg runs automatic Fractal Dimension analysis (a measure of how the details in a pattern change with the scale at which this pattern is measured) of the spots pattern in case researchers want to relate other measurements with this special spatial pattern. Finally, although initially conceived for eggshell analysis, SpotEgg can also be applied in images containing objects different from eggs as feathers, frogs, insects, etc., since it allows the user to manually draw any region to be analysed making this tool useful not only for oologist but also for other evolutionary biologists.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T06:15:24.632563-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01117
  • Plasticity in incubation behavior and shading by king rails (Rallus
           elegans) in response to temperature
    • Authors: Amanda J. Clauser; Susan B. McRae
      Abstract: King rails experience a wide range of temperatures during the course of the breeding season throughout their rapidly contracting geographic range. Incubating parent birds are adapted to keep their eggs within a temperature range appropriate for embryo development, but king rail clutches are at risk of exceeding lethal temperatures in the latter half of the nesting season. We investigated whether behavioral plasticity during incubation enables parents to maintain clutch temperature within tolerable limits for embryo development. Video revealed that king rail parents interrupted incubation to stand above and shade their eggs. We tested the hypothesis that the onset of shading was a direct response to ambient temperature (adaptive plasticity). We monitored clutch temperature directly by experimentally adding into clutches a model egg embedded with a programmable iButton. We measured ambient temperature at the nest site simultaneously. Parents spent proportionately more time shading and less time incubating their eggs at higher ambient temperatures. Shading may primarily function in cooling the parent. The frequency and duration of shading bouts were significantly greater at higher ambient temperatures. Parents also took more frequent but shorter recesses in hotter conditions. Diurnal recesses exposed eggs to direct sunlight, and the highest clutch temperatures were recorded under these conditions. Complete hatching failure in at least one nest was attributable to high clutch temperature for an extended period. Because mean ambient temperature increases throughout the breeding season, we investigated seasonal patterns in onset of incubation and its effect on hatching rate. Later in the season, parents tended to initiate incubation earlier, and hatching asynchrony increased significantly. Together these results suggest that breeding king rails may be constrained in their ability to cope with sustained high temperatures should seasonal averages continue to rise as predicted.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T06:15:23.144495-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01056
  • Arion slugs as nest predators of small passerine species – a review
    • Authors: Katarzyna Turza‐ska; Justyna Chachulska
      Abstract: Arionid slugs have been reported to attack nestlings of some ground‐ or shrub‐nesting passerine birds, mainly in Europe. We review these reported cases and consider their effects. The slugs can cause grave or even fatal injuries to the nestlings. Surprisingly, no brood defence by the parents has been described. The information on the frequency of slug predation in bird populations is scanty, and the scale of the phenomenon is unknown. The expansion of the invasive Arion vulgaris Moquin‐Tandon, 1855 (synonymously A. lusitanicus or A. lusitanicus auct. non Mabille, 1868) in Europe may result in an increase of the negative influence of slugs on the breeding success of some passerines in the near future.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T05:55:30.441328-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01189
  • Northern flickers only work when they have to: how individual traits,
           population size and landscape disturbances affect excavation rates of an
           ecosystem engineer
    • Authors: Karen L. Wiebe
      Abstract: Woodpeckers are considered ecosystem engineers because they excavate tree cavities which are used subsequently by many species of secondary cavity nesters for breeding. Woodpeckers have the choice of excavating a new hole or reusing an existing one, and this propensity to excavate (e) may affect community dynamics but has rarely been investigated. Using 18 years of data on a population of northern flickers Colaptes auratus, I tested six hypotheses to explain the propensity to excavate (e) in a landscape which experienced two types of disturbance: pine beetles and wildfires. Woodpecker age, breeding experience and mate retention had little influence on e which varied between 13‐39% annually and averaged 23% for 1843 first nests over the 18 years. Body size and body condition of males and females were not associated with e but rates of excavation declined seasonally, suggesting time rather than energy costs limited excavation effort. Reduced cavity availability mediated through high conspecific density coupled with wildfires triggered relatively high excavation rates, up to 39% but e decreased to baseline levels three years after the landscape disturbances. Nearly 2/3 of males did not excavate in their lifetime but apparently, e is great enough to balance the average rate of cavity tree loss in this forest which is 11% annually. Excavation propensity in flickers is flexible, but the birds reduce their work levels if there is a surplus of holes available.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T05:55:29.349485-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01180
  • Kind to kin: weak interference competition among white stork (Ciconia
           ciconia) broodmates
    • Authors: José María Romero; Tomás Redondo
      Abstract: Altricial nestlings in structured families show a diverse array of behavioural mechanisms to compete for food, ranging from signalling scrambles to aggressive interference. Rates of filial infanticide are moderately high in white storks. It has been hypothesized that this unusual behaviour is an adaptive parental response to the absence of efficient mechanisms of brood reduction (aggression or direct physical interference) by nestlings. To test this latter assumption, we analyzed video recordings of 41 complete feeding episodes at 32 broods during the first half of the nestling period, when nestlings complete 90% of growth and chick mortality and size asymmetries are highest. Parents delivered food to all nestlings simultaneously by regurgitating on the nest floor. No direct (bill to bill) feeding was recorded. Senior nestlings were never observed to limit their junior nestlings from eating food, either by aggression or physical interference. Experimental feeding tests revealed that heavier nestlings handled prey items more efficiently and ate food at a higher speed. The high degree of tolerance shown by senior nestlings is unusual among birds with similar ecological and phylogenetic affinities, such as herons. Tolerance by seniors cannot be easily explained by absence of parental favouritism or proximate factors known to affect the occurrence of sibling aggression in other species (rate of food transfer, brood size, hatching asynchrony or length of nestling period).This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-27T10:40:27.152228-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00983
  • Determining fine‐scale migratory connectivity and habitat selection for
           a migratory songbird by using new GPS technology
    • Authors: K.C. Fraser; A. Shave, A. Savage, A. Ritchie, K. Bell, J. Siegrist, J.D. Ray, K. Applegate, M. Pearman
      Abstract: Migratory aerial insectivores are among the fastest declining avian group, but our understanding of these trends has been limited by poor knowledge of migratory connectivity and the identification of critical habitat across the vast distances they travel annually. Using new, archival GPS loggers, we tracked individual purple martins (Progne subis) from breeding colonies across North America to determine precise (2000 km) breeding sites, with some individuals sharing the same roosting trees. Despite vast tracts of contiguous forest in this region, birds occupied a much more limited habitat, with most (56%) roosts occurring on small habitat islands that were strongly associated with water. Only 17% of these roosts were in current protected areas. These data reflect a critical advance in our ability to remotely determine precise migratory connectivity and habitat selection across vast spatial scales, enhancing our understanding of population dynamics and enabling more effective conservation of species at risk.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-27T09:55:20.965932-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01091
  • Variation in Nestling Body Condition and Wing Development Predict
           Cause‐specific Mortality in Fledgling Dickcissels
    • Authors: Todd M. Jones; Michael P. Ward, Thomas J. Benson, Jeffrey D. Brawn
      Abstract: Phenotypic traits developed in one life‐history stage can carryover and affect survival in subsequent stages. For songbirds, carryover effects from the pre‐ to post‐fledging period may be crucial for survival but are poorly understood. We assessed whether juvenile body condition and wing development at fledging influenced survival during the post‐fledging period in the Dickcissel (Spiza americana). We found pre‐ to post‐fledging carryover effects on fledgling survival for both traits during the “early part”—first four days—of the post‐fledging period. Survival benefits of each trait depended on cause‐specific sources of mortality; individuals in better body condition were less likely to die from exposure to adverse environmental conditions, whereas those with more advanced wing development were less likely to be preyed upon. Fledglings with more advanced wing development were comparatively more active and mobile earlier in the post‐fledging period, suggesting they were better able to avoid predators. Our results provide some of the first evidence linking development of juvenile phenotypic traits to survival against specific sources of post‐fledging mortality in songbirds. Further investigation into pre‐ to post‐fledging carryover effects may yield important insights into avian life‐history evolution.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-27T09:50:20.969796-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01143
  • Winter territory prospecting is associated with life‐history stage but
           not activity in a passerine
    • Authors: Alfredo Sánchez‐Tójar; Isabel Winney, Antje Girndt, Mirre J. P. Simons, Shinichi Nakagawa, Terry Burke, Julia Schroeder
      Abstract: Finding a high quality territory is essential for many animals to reproduce successfully. Despite its importance for fitness, we know little about the process of territory prospecting in wild birds, and whether individual traits and behaviours, such as personality, co‐vary with territory prospecting. Here, we use long‐term data from a wild, insular house sparrow Passer domesticus population to test three hypotheses about territory fidelity and prospecting: (1) House sparrows show high territory fidelity between years and also during winter. (2) Individuals will prospect for a breeding territory during their first winter whereas older, more experienced individuals will keep a territory from previous years and will, therefore, show no or reduced winter territory prospecting. (3) More active behavioural types will prospect more than less active behavioural types. We use data from four winters from automatically, daily recorded nest‐box visits of 188 birds of known age. The number of nest‐boxes that each individual visited within each winter was used as a proxy of winter territory prospecting. We show that house sparrows visit multiple nest‐boxes during their first winter, whereas older individuals keep territories year‐round and, potentially because of this, indeed show reduced winter territory prospecting. Activity was not associated with the number of nest‐boxes visited. Further research is needed to investigate whether time of territory and mate acquisition differs among individuals and the possible effect on lifetime fitness.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-21T05:11:38.62766-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01055
  • Point of no return – absence of returning birds in the otherwise
           philopatric willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
    • Authors: Johanna S.U. Hedlund; Frida Sjösten, Kristaps Sokolovskis, Sven Jakobsson
      Abstract: The return of individual birds to a specific area in successional years, i.e. philopatry, is a remarkable behavioural trait. Here we report on the remarkably reversed: the complete absence of returning individuals of a migratory passerine with otherwise pronounced philopatry. At a high latitude study site in Abisko (68°32’N, 18°80’E) in northern Sweden none of the banded adult willow warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) returned to breed 2011‐14. This is in stark contrast to all other reports in the literature and also to our two southern study sites (at 56°56’N, 18°10’E and at 58°94’N, 17°14’E) where 18‐38% of adults returned. We investigated this aberrant pattern found in Abisko by analysing three parameters known to influence philopatry; nest predation, breeding success and breeding density, and predicted that absence of philopatry should co‐occur with low breeding success, low breeding density and/or high nest predation. The results did not corroborate this, except that breeding density was lower at Abisko (49‐71 pairs/km2) than at the southern sites (106 pairs/km2, 101 pairs/km2). Instead, we suggest the hypothesis that the absence of philopatry is caused by an influx of southern, dispersal‐prone individuals deploying another breeding strategy and that this intra‐specific range expansion is enabled by milder climate and low population density.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-21T05:00:44.154382-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00973
  • Pair complementarity influences reproductive output in the polymorphic
           black sparrowhawk (Accipiter melanoleucus)
    • Authors: Gareth Tate; Petra Sumasgutner, Ann Koeslag, Arjun Amar
      Abstract: How multiple morphs are maintained within populations of colour polymorphic bird species remains a challenging question in evolutionary ecology. In some systems, differential productivity or survival between morphs are thought to play a role. Here we examine key demographic parameters between the two discrete adult morphs that characterise the polymorphic black sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus. Using long‐term breeding and survival data from a population on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, we test for differences in reproductive performance between light and dark morphs, both in isolation and in combination with their partner morph and adult survival between morphs. We found that neither morph had a specific advantage in terms of productivity or survival. Despite this lack of difference between the individual morphs, we did however find that morph combination of adult pairs influenced productivity significantly, with mixed‐pairs producing more offspring per year than pairs consisting of the same morph. The body condition of the offspring showed the opposite relationship, with nestlings of mixed‐pairs having lower body condition than nestlings of like‐pairs. While our results suggest an advantage of mating with the opposite morph, there was no evidence for disassortative mating; instead breeding pair morph combinations were random with respect to the background frequencies of the two morphs. Higher productivity of mixed‐pairs may be the result of the complementary nature of care provided by the different morphs. We propose that differential foraging success between black sparrowhawk morphs under varying light conditions allows mixed‐pairs to expand their foraging niche. We conclude that emergent pair‐level properties may play an important role in promoting and maintaining polymorphism and may be important for other bird species which display bi‐parental care.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-06T10:40:21.86018-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01100
  • Early exposure to a bacterial endotoxin advances the onset of moult in the
           European starling
    • Authors: Simone Pirrello; Andrea Pilastro, Diego Rubolini, Jacopo G. Cecere, Andrea Romano, Alessandro Andreotti, Stefano Volponi, Nicola Saino, Matteo Griggio, Lorenzo Serra
      Abstract: In animals, events occurring early in life can have profound effects on subsequent life‐history events. Early developmental stresses often produce negative long‐lasting impacts, although positive effects of mild stressors have also been documented. Most studies of birds have investigated the effects of events occurring at early developmental stages on the timing of migration or reproduction, but little is known on the long‐term effects of these early events on moulting and plumage quality. We exposed European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) nestlings to an immune challenge to assess the effects of a developmental stress on the timing of the first (post‐juvenile) and second (post‐breeding) complete annual moult, the length of the flight feathers, and the length and colouration of ornamental throat feathers. The nestlings were transferred to indoor aviaries before fledgling and kept in captivity until the end of post‐breeding moult. Individuals treated with Escherichia coli lypopolysaccharide (LPS) started both moult cycles earlier compared to control siblings. Moult duration was unaffected by the immune challenge, but an advanced moult onset resulted in a longer moult duration. Moreover, female (but not male) throat feather colouration of LPS‐injected individuals showed a reduced UV chroma. We argue that an early activation of the immune system caused by LPS may allow nestlings to better cope with post‐fledging stresses and lead to an earlier moult onset. The effect of early LPS exposure was remarkably persistent, as it was still visible more than one year after the treatment, and highlighted the importance of early developmental stresses in shaping subsequent major life‐history traits, including the timing of moult in birds.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-06T10:36:43.164233-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01017
  • Trade‐offs between reproduction and self‐maintenance (immune function
           and body mass) in a small seabird, the little auk
    • Authors: Izabela Kulaszewicz; Katarzyna Wojczulanis‐Jakubas, Dariusz Jakubas
      Abstract: Breeding season is the most energetically and physiologically demanding phase in the avian annual cycle, challenging adults' physiology and survival. However, the timing and extent that self‐maintenance of breeding adults is compromised during the breeding season is poorly understood. We investigated the trade‐off between reproduction and self‐maintenance in relation to breeding phase (prelaying, incubation, chick rearing) and sex in a small Arctic seabird, the little auk (Alle alle). To measure a bird's allocation of time for self‐maintenance, we examined size‐adjusted body mass and immunocompetence expressed by bacteria (Escherichia coli) killing capacity (BKC) of blood plasma, heterophils/lymphocyte ratio (H/L) and their numbers of particular leucocytes per 10 000 red blood cells (RBC). We found that size‐adjusted body mass decreased as the breeding season progressed. BKC, number of heterophils and H/L values were all was significantly higher at prelaying when compared to all other phases. Interestingly, we found that heavier individuals had higher BKC and number heterophils at the prelaying and chick rearing phases than light individuals. There were no differences by sex in any studied variables. Our results indicate that immunocompetence and body mass of breeding adults decreases over the course of breeding season. The efficiency of the immune system appears to be dependent on the bird's body reserves. Our results suggest that little auks allocation of resources into reproduction negatively affects their self‐maintenance.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-06T10:36:41.994403-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01000
  • Non‐moulted primary coverts correlate with rapid primary moulting
    • Authors: Yosef Kiat; Ido Izhaki
      Abstract: Time constraint is a main factor which affects the moult strategies in passerines, mainly during the first year of life. The variability of moult strategies between species is associated with the extent of the moult. In the first year of life, the extent of the moult is highly variable between species and individuals. In most passerine species, juveniles only renew some of their feathers, but the factors that govern which feathers are renewed and which are retained have been largely overlooked. Here we examine the common pattern of non‐moulted primary coverts (PC) in passerines during the first‐year moult cycle (post‐juvenile and first‐year pre‐breeding moults). On the interspecific level we found that among 63 species of passerines, PCs are the least commonly moulted feather tract. For five species (Hirundo rustica, Pycnonotus xanthopygos, Prinia gracilis, Acrocephalus stentoreus and Passer moabiticus) which perform a complete post‐juvenile moult, we found that the PC moult occurs over a longer period than greater coverts (GCs) and is sequential (non‐simultaneous). At the intraspecific level, we found that the main difference between a partial and complete moult in Prinia gracilis is the moulting or non‐moulting of the PCs. We also demonstrate that for Prinia gracilis (1) juveniles which do not moult their PCs, moult their primaries at a higher speed than those which moult their PCs and (2) area / mass ratio of PCs is lower than of GCs. These two findings may explain why many passerines skip PC renewal during the first year of life. Because the PC moult lasts a long time, forgoing this moult enables long term resource savings that allow for dealing with time constraints. Our results highlight the adaptive advantages of non‐moulted PCs in cases of time constraints.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-06T10:30:22.850961-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00939
  • Decoding colouration of begging traits by the experimental addition of the
           appetite enhancer cyproheptadine hydrochloride in magpie (Pica pica)
    • Authors: David Martín‐Gálvez; Juan J. Soler
      Abstract: The colouration of some traits in nestlings of altricial birds may influence parental food allocation as it may reflect physical condition or hunger. There is increasing evidence of the relationship between colouration of begging traits and nestling performance. However, evidence of the influence of hunger level on nestling colouration is scarce, mainly because of difficulty of distinguishing between the effects of physical condition and hunger levels. Here, we used the appetite stimulant cyproheptadine hydrochloride to increase the sensation of hunger of magpie (Pica pica) nestlings for eight days and assessed the effect on the colouration of rictal flanges, mouth and body skin. We found that nestlings administered with cyproheptadine had flanges more conspicuous (chromatic visual contrast), more UV coloured and less yellow coloured than their control nestmates. Conversely, mouths of experimental nestlings were more yellow coloured and less UV coloured than controls. Our pharmacological experiment affected the strength of the relationship between body mass and some colour components of body skin (chromatic and achromatic visual contrasts, UV–chroma and Yellow–chroma) and of rictal flanges (chromatic visual contrasts, UV–chroma and yellow–chroma), but not for mouth colouration. These results taken together suggest that the effect of the cyproheptadine on nestling colourations is probably mediated by an increase in hunger levels of nestlings for rictal flanges and body skin colourations, and by an increase in physical condition in the case of mouth coloration.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-07-06T10:10:22.82591-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00641
  • Post‐fledging family space use in blue and great tit: similarities and
           species‐specific behaviours
    • Authors: Thijs Overveld; Michalis Vardakis, Lisa Arvidsson, Kristine Stolk, Frank Adriaensen, Erik Matthysen
      Abstract: In birds, parental escorting of dependent young to feeding areas outside the breeding territory is a commonly observed, yet poorly documented phenomenon. Using radio‐tracking, we provide a detailed description of the post‐fledging movements of 12 blue tit families (Cyanistes caeruleus) and compare these observations with a much larger dataset of the closely related great tit (Parus major) collected over several years in the same study area. The proportion of families making excursions outside woodlots was similar in both species (± 50%), but the spatial extent of these movements tended to be larger in blue tits (mean ± SE: 1100m ± 265, range: 643‐2374, n = 6) as compared to great tits (mean ± SE: 666 m ± 42, range: 245‐1898, n = 64). Blue tit families foraged significantly more in oak habitat within woodlots, independently of excursion behaviour, whereas great tits undertaking excursions shifted their range use towards more variable habitat outside woodlots. The observed excursions of blue tits appeared multiple‐day or permanent shifts of the family range, and not daily excursions as most frequently observed in great tits. Although family movements in both species may be largely driven by common underlying factors, our results also points toward species‐specific difference in spatial behaviour which may be linked with foraging specializations and post‐fledging territory fidelity.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-20T08:50:32.035971-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00999
  • Long‐term population dynamics reveal that survival and recruitment of
           tropical boobies improve after a hurricane
    • Authors: Sergio Ancona; Hugh Drummond, Cristina Rodríguez, J. Jaime Zúñiga‐Vega
      Abstract: Variability in population numbers is a central issue in evolutionary ecology and also in biodiversity conservation. However, for most seabirds this information is lacking and tropical populations are virtually unstudied. Long‐term studies are warranted because world's seabird populations exhibit an overall declining trend since 1950. Using data spanning 23 years, we investigated how adult survival, local recruitment, and their relative contributions to population growth (λ) vary over time in the blue‐footed booby (Sula nebouxii), a long‐lived locally foraging seabird that breeds in tropical waters. In addition, we investigated whether booby demographic rates exhibit the same declining trend observed in other seabirds, whether these rates are impacted by hurricanes, and whether these potential impacts differ between sexes. Our analysis of 4608 capture‐recapture histories revealed that survival and recruitment were nearly equal between males and females, exhibited a declining trend over the last 23 years, and in both sexes, these vital rates improved after a hurricane. The declining trend in recruitment was slightly more attenuated in males. These results add to the current evidence for an overall declining trend in world's seabird populations and extend its confirmation to the warm eastern tropical Pacific. Moreover, they provide the first evidence that hurricanes may favor natural populations. As a result of the declining trend and variation in survival and recruitment, λ exhibited a slight decline and substantial variation over the 23 years. However, most λ values were equal to or higher than 1, and the long‐term average indicates population increase. The ability of blue‐footed boobies to maintain a positive population balance despite of negative trends in their vital rates might result from canalization of adult survival (the vital rate that contributes most to λ and shows lower variation compared to recruitment) against environmental variability.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T08:45:46.653599-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01133
  • Stable isotopes reveal differences in diet among reed bunting subspecies
           that vary in bill size
    • Authors: Júlio Manuel Neto; Luís Gordinho, Benjamin Vollot, Marcial Marín, Juan S. Monrós, Jason Newton
      Abstract: Reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) subspecies vary considerably in bill size and shape and seem to be at an early stage of speciation, in which bill might be indirectly causing reproductive isolation. Hence, we evaluated whether bill size, as well as age and sex, are associated with foraging niche in three West European subspecies of reed bunting: the thin‐billed schoeniclus, the intermediate‐billed lusitanica and the thick‐billed witherbyi. Blood sampling was undertaken at three sites in southwest Europe during the winter (when these subspecies co‐occur), and stable isotope analyses (carbon and nitrogen) were performed to assess their foraging niches. Stable isotope analyses of potential food items confirmed uniform baseline isotopic composition among sites. schoeniclus showed a significantly broader isotopic niche than lusitanica and witherbyi, which seemed otherwise similar despite the fact that witherbyi is more divergent in bill traits. Stable isotope ratios were consistent with the latter two subspecies feeding on C3‐plant‐feeding insects, whereas schoeniclus diet also included C4 plant material. Despite its lower sexual dimorphism, sex and age differences were found only in schoeniclus, but these differences vary between locations in a complex manner. Our results suggest that bill size and shape differentiated between northern, migratory and southern, resident subspecies as a consequence of natural selection through competition during the winter, which is now reflected in isotopic niche divergence between subspecies. The potential roles of sexual selection, reed thickness and summer temperature on the difference in bill size (and greater sexual dimorphism) between lusitanica and witherbyi are discussed.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T08:40:38.535886-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01069
    • Authors: Johan Bäckman; Arne Andersson, Thomas Alerstam, Lykke Pedersen, Sissel Sjöberg, Kasper Thorup, Anders P. Tøttrup
      Abstract: We describe a method and device (< 1.2 g) for recording, processing and storing data about activity and location of individuals of free‐living songbirds throughout the annual cycle.Activity level was determined every five minutes from five 100 ms samples of accelerometer data with 5 s between the sampling events. Activity levels were stored on an hourly basis throughout the annual cycle, allowing periods of resting/sleep, continuous flight and intermediate activity (foraging, breeding) to be distinguished. Measurements from a light sensor were stored from preprogrammed key stationary periods during the year to provide control information about geographic location.Successful results, including annual actogram, were obtained for a red‐backed shrike Lanius collurio carrying out its annual loop migration between northern Europe and southern Africa. The shrike completed its annual migration by performing >66 (max. 73) nocturnal migratory flights (29 flights in autumn and >37, max. 44, in spring) adding up to a total of >434 (max. 495) flight hours. Migratory flights lasted on average 6.6 h with maximum 15.9 h. These flights were aggregated into eight travel episodes (periods of 4‐11 nights when flights took place on the majority of nights). Daytime resting levels were much higher during the winter period compared to breeding and final part of spring migration. Daytime resting showed peaks during days between successive nocturnal flights across Sahara, continental Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, indicating that the bird was mostly sleeping between these long migratory flights.Annual activity and flight data for free‐living songbirds will open up many new research possibilities. Main topics that can be addressed are e.g. migratory flight performance (total flight investment, numbers and characteristics of flights), timing of stationary periods, activity patterns (resting/sleep, activity level) in different phases of the annual cycle and variability in the annual activity patterns between and within individuals.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T08:25:33.538484-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01068
  • Habitat selection by postbreeding female diving ducks: influence of
           habitat attributes and conspecifics
    • Authors: Jane E. Austin; Shawn T. O'Neil, Jeffrey M. Warren
      Abstract: Habitat selection studies of postbreeding waterfowl have rarely focused on within‐wetland attributes such as water depth, escape cover, and food availability. Flightless waterfowl must balance habitat selection between avoiding predation risks and feeding. Reproductively successful female ducks face the greatest challenges because they begin the definitive prebasic molt at or near the end of brood rearing, when their body condition is at a low point. We assessed the relative importance of habitat attributes and group effects in habitat selection by postbreeding female lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) on a 2,332‐ha montane wetland complex during the peak flightless period (August) over seven years. Hypothesis‐based habitat attributes included percent open water, open water:emergent edge density, water depth, percent flooded bare substrate, fetch (distance wind can travel unobstructed), group size, and several interactions representing functional responses to interannual variation in water levels. Surveys of uniquely marked females were conducted within randomly ordered survey blocks. We fitted two‐part generalized linear mixed‐effects models to counts of marked females within survey blocks, which allowed us to relate habitat attributes to relative probability of occurrence and, given the presence of a marked female, abundance of marked individuals. Postbreeding female scaup selected areas with water depths > 40 cm, large open areas, and intermediate edge densities but showed no relation to flooded bare substrate, suggesting their habitat preferences were more influenced by avoiding predation risks and disturbances than in meeting foraging needs. Grouping behavior by postbreeding scaup suggests habitat selection is influenced in part by behavioral components and/or social information, conferring energetic and survival benefits (predation and disturbance risks) but potentially also contributing to competition for food resources. This study demonstrates the importance of incorporating group effects and interannual variability in habitat conditions when investigating habitat selection, particularly for seasons when waterfowl are aggregated.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T08:15:29.118415-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01063
  • Tracking the Stejneger's stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri along the East
           Asian–Australian Flyway from Japan via China to Southeast Asia
    • Authors: Yuichi Yamaura; Heiko Schmaljohann, Simeon Lisovski, Masayuki Senzaki, Kazuhiro Kawamura, Yuzo Fujimaki, Futoshi Nakamura
      Abstract: The East Asian–Australian Flyway spans from North Asia to Australia and is the world's richest birds’ flyway because it involves >40% of global migratory bird species. However, information is lacking on individual migratory routes and non‐breeding grounds for small land birds using this flyway. Here, we present the first migration tracks of the songbird Stejneger's stonechat (Saxicola stejnegeri) from this part of the world using light‐level geolocators. This species depends on grasslands during the entire annual cycle and was captured and equipped with tracking devices in Hokkaido, northern Japan. All individuals traveled through southern Primorye or eastern Heilongjiang (Russia/China) before flying southward via central China toward their major non‐breeding grounds in Southeast Asia (China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam). Individual stonechats spent 42–70 days en route during their autumn migration. Both the major non‐breeding grounds and the stopover sites are likely to pose challenges to the persistence of this species, because these habitats are currently degraded and will likely be lost in the near future due to intensified agriculture and the establishment of permanent croplands. Moreover, the areas used by Stejneger's stonechat during migration largely overlapped with illegal trapping areas in northeastern China.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T08:10:23.844189-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01054
  • Testosterone levels in relation to size and UV reflectance of achromatic
           plumage traits of female pied flycatchers
    • Authors: Alejandro Cantarero; Toni Laaksonen, Pauliina E. Järvistö, Jimena López‐Arrabé, Diego Gil, Juan Moreno
      Abstract: In a substantial number of species, females show some development of secondary sexual characters. These traits can function as signals of individual phenotypic or genetic qualities and status to conspecifics. Individuals may benefit potentially from expressing signals or badges of status if they are reliable and honest signals of individual quality. In many species, badge sizes have been shown to correlate with dominance rank, which may be mediated by testosterone (T) levels. Here, we explored geographic variation in the size and properties of the white wing patch of female pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca and its relation to circulating T levels in three populations (two southern populations in central Spain and a northern population in Finland). Furthermore, we aimed at detecting if the size of the white wing patch and its ultraviolet (UV) reflectance indicate individual quality. We found that females in Spain had larger, brighter and more UV reflecting wing patches than those in Finland. Females with higher UV reflectance and larger primary white patches bred earlier. Younger females and females with larger primary white wing patches showed higher T levels. In contrast, higher values of UV reflectance in feathers from these patches were associated with low T levels. Despite genetic differentiation and differences in trait expression between populations, female pied flycatchers from different populations may converge and use the size of white wing patches to signal their T levels and thereby their social dominance.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T07:35:40.689387-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01032
  • An empirical comparison of models for the phenology of bird migration
    • Authors: Andreas Lindén; Kalle Meller, Jonas Knape
      Abstract: Bird migration phenology shows strong responses to climate change. Studies of trends and patterns in phenology are typically based on annual summarizing metrics, such as means and quantiles calculated from raw daily count data. However, with irregularly sampled data and large day‐to‐day variation, such metrics can be biased and noisy, and may be analysed using phenological functions fitted to the data. Here we use count data of migration passage from a Finnish bird observatory to compare different models for the phenological distributions of spring migration (27 species) and autumn migration (57 species). We assess parsimony and goodness‐of‐fit in a set of models, with phenological functions of different complexity, optionally with covariates accounting for day‐to‐day variability. The covariates describe migration intensities of related species or relative migration intensities the previous day (autocovariates). We found that parametric models are often preferred over the more flexible generalized additive models with constrained degrees of freedom. Models corresponding to a mixture of two distinct passing populations were frequently preferred over simpler ones, but usually no more complex models are needed. Slightly more complex models were favoured in spring compared to autumn. Related species’ migration activity effectively improves the model by accounting for the large day‐to‐day variation. Autocovariates were usually not that relevant, implying that autocorrelation is generally not a major concern if phenology is modelled properly. We suggest that parametric models are relatively good for studying single‐population migration phenology, or a mix of two groups with distinct phenologies, especially if daily variation in migration intensity can be controlled for. Generalized additive models may be useful when the migrating population composition is unknown. Despite these guidelines, choosing an appropriate model involves case‐by‐case assessment or the biological relevance and rationale for modelling phenology.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T07:25:24.685225-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00994
  • Is offspring dispersal related to male mating status? An experiment with
           the facultatively polygynous spotless starling
    • Authors: Juan G. Rubalcaba; José P. Veiga, Vicente Polo
      Abstract: Patterns of natal dispersal are generally sex‐biased in vertebrates, i.e., female‐biased in birds and male‐biased in mammals. Interphyletic comparisons in mammals suggest that male‐biased dispersal occurs in polygynous and promiscuous species where local mate competition among males exceeds local resource competition among females. However, few studies have analysed sex‐biased patterns of dispersal at the individual level, and facultatively polygynous species might offer this opportunity. In the spotless starling, polygynous males exhibit their mating status during courtship carrying higher amounts of green plants to nests than monogamous males. We experimentally incorporated green plants to nests during four years to analyse long‐term consequences on breeding success and offspring recruitment rates. We unexpectedly found that experimental sons recruited farther than experimental daughters, while control daughters recruited farther than control sons. A similar pattern was found using observational information from eight years. We discuss this result in the context of local competition hypothesis and speculate that sons dispersed farther from nests controlled by polygynous males to avoid competition with relatives. The amount of green plants in nests affects female perception of male attractiveness and degree of polygyny, although little is known about proximate mechanisms linking this process with the offspring dispersal behaviour. Our results support the idea that male‐biased dispersal is related to polygyny in a facultatively polygynous bird.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15T07:15:43.890998-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00974
  • Song rate as a signal of male aggressiveness during territorial contests
           in the wood warbler
    • Authors: Jakub Szymkowiak; Lechosław Kuczyński
      Abstract: Aggressive signaling is an important component in animal communication, as it provides an efficient mechanism for settling conflicts over resources between competitors. In songbirds, a number of singing behaviors have been proposed to be aggressive signals used in territory defense, including song rate. Although aggressive signaling in songbirds has received considerable research attention, adequate evidence for most putative aggressive signals is not available. In this study, we experimentally investigated whether the song rate of male wood warblers (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) is a signal of their aggressive intent in male‐male interactions. We found that males responded differentially to simulated territorial intrusions depending on the song rate of an intruder. Moreover, males that continued to sing during territorial contests increased their song rates, and this behavior predicted the strength of aggressive escalation by the signaler. These results suggest that song rate is an aggressive signal during male‐male interactions in the wood warbler. We also found high intra‐individual repeatability in the strength of aggressive response to simulated intrusions, likely reflecting differences in personality (aggressiveness) or quality of male wood warblers. We conclude that changes in singing rate may be an efficient mechanism of signaling immediate shifts in motivation of signalers during territorial contests, especially in species that lack large repertoires or have simple songs.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-14T10:50:52.817753-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00969
  • Bias in ring‐recovery studies: causes of mortality of little owls
           (Athene noctua) and implications for population assessment
    • Authors: Beat Naef‐Daenzer; Fränzi Korner‐Nievergelt, Wolfgang Fiedler, Martin U. Grüebler
      Abstract: Recoveries of marked animals hold long‐term, large‐scale information on survival and causes of mortality, but are prone to bias towards dead recoveries and casualties in the range of presence of potential finders. Thus, accounting for circumstance‐related recovery probabilities is crucial in statistical approaches. For the little owl, a species of conservation concern in Central Europe, raw ring recoveries suggested a strong human‐related impact on survival. We analysed the proportions of the main causes of death using a large sample of radio‐tracked birds as a reference. We compared ring recoveries in Southern Germany collected 1950 – 2012 (n = 465 dead recoveries of 2007 recoveries of 30623 ringed birds) with data from a radio‐tracking study in the same region 2009 – 2012 (n = 177 dead recoveries of 377 tagged individuals). Two assumptions of multi‐state ring recovery modelling were unrealistic. First, not all dispatched rings remained available to potential finders. Instead, 34 % of tracked birds were displaced to sites where rings were irretrievable, resulting in biased estimates of recovery probability. Second, the proportions of irretrievable rings were disproportional, with 48 % in predated birds and 5 % in human‐induced mortality. Consequently, the sample of rings from which recoveries were drawn differed from the sample of dispatched rings. Accounting for these biases in a multi‐state model, we estimated the frequencies of main causes of mortality to 45 % for predation, 20 % for casualties due to traffic and at buildings and 34 % for all other causes. In radio‐tracked birds, predation was even more dominant (76%). Integrating mark‐recapture data and telemetry observations allowed detecting and quantifying so far unknown recovery bias and resulted in improved estimates of key population parameters. The demography of little owls likely depends mainly on predator‐prey relationships rather than on human‐induced deaths.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-06-14T10:35:52.21799-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00947
  • The relationship between female brooding and male nestling provisioning:
           does climate underlie geographic variation in sex roles'
    • Authors: Jongmin Yoon; Helen R. Sofaer, T. Scott Sillett, Scott A. Morrison, Cameron K. Ghalambor
      Abstract: Comparative studies of populations occupying different environments can provide insights into the ecological conditions affecting differences in parental strategies, including the relative contributions of males and females. Male and female parental strategies reflect the interplay between ecological conditions, the contributions of the social mate, and the needs of offspring. Climate is expected to underlie geographic variation in incubation and brooding behavior, and can thereby affect both the absolute and relative contributions of each sex to other aspects of parental care such as offspring provisioning. However, geographic variation in brooding behavior has received much less attention than variation in incubation attentiveness or provisioning rates. We compared parental behavior during the nestling period in populations of orange‐crowned warblers (Oreothlypis celata) near the northern (64°N) and southern (33°N) boundaries of the breeding range. In Alaska, we found that males were responsible for the majority of food delivery whereas the sexes contributed equally to provisioning in California. Higher male provisioning in Alaska appeared to facilitate a higher proportion of time females spent brooding the nestlings. Surprisingly, differences in brooding between populations could not be explained by variation in ambient temperature, which was similar between populations during the nestling period. While these results represent a single population contrast, they suggest additional hypotheses for the ecological correlates and evolutionary drivers of geographic variation in brooding behavior, and the factors that shape the contributions of each sex.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:10:47.741459-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00890
  • Egg morphology fails to identify nests parasitized by conspecifics in
           common pochard: a test based on protein fingerprinting and including
           female relatedness
    • Authors: Adéla Petrželková; Hannu Pöysä, Petr Klvaňa, Tomáš Albrecht, David Hořák
      Abstract: Conspecific brood parasites lay eggs in nests of other females of the same species. A variety of methods have been developed and used to detect conspecific brood parasitism (CBP). Traditional methods may be inaccurate in detecting CBP and in revealing its true frequency. On the other hand more accurate molecular methods are expensive and time consuming. Eadie developed a method for revealing CBP based on differences in egg morphology. That method is based on Euclidean distances calculated for pairs of eggs within a clutch using standardized egg measurements (length, width and weight). We tested the applicability of this method in the common pochard (Aythya ferina) using nests that were identified as parasitized (39 nests) or non‐parasitized (16 nests) based on protein fingerprinting of eggs. We also analyzed whether we can distinguish between parasitic and host eggs in the nest. We found that variation in MED can be explained by parasitism but there was a huge overlap in MED between parasitized and non‐parasitized nests. MED also increased with clutch size. Using discriminant function analysis (DFA) we found that only 76.4% of nests were correctly assigned as parasitized or non‐parasitized and only 68.3% of eggs as parasitic or host eggs. Moreover we found that MED in parasitized nests increased with relatedness of the females that laid eggs in the nest. This finding was supported by positive correlation between MED and estimated relatedness in female‐female pairs. Although variation in egg morphology is associated with CBP, it does not provide a reliable clue for distinguishing parasitized nests from non‐parasitized nests in common pochard.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:05:29.708326-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00865
  • Responses of King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) adults and chicks to
           two food‐related odours
    • Authors: Gregory B. Cunningham; Sarah Leclaire, Camille Toscani, Francesco Bonadonna
      Abstract: Increasing evidence suggests that penguins are sensitive to dimethyl sulphide (DMS), a scented airborne compound that a variety of marine animals use to find productive areas of the ocean where prey is likely to be found. Here we present data showing that King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are also sensitive to DMS. We deployed DMS on a lake near a King penguin colony at Ratmanoff beach in the Kerguelen archipelago. We also presented DMS to “sleeping” adults on the beach. On the lake, penguins responded to the DMS deployments by swimming more, while on the beach, penguins twitched their heads and woke up more for the DMS than for the control presentations. Interestingly, penguins did not respond to cod liver oil deployments on the lake; mirroring at‐sea studies of other penguins. Although at‐sea studies are needed to confirm that King penguins use DMS as a surface cue that informs them of productivity under the water, this study is an important first step in understanding how these birds locate prey over significant distances.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:05:23.287996-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00863
  • Genetic and paleomodelling evidence of the population expansion of the
           cattle egret Bubulcus ibis in Africa during the climatic oscillations of
           the Late Pleistocene
    • Authors: Carlos Congrains; Antônio F. Carvalho, Elder A. Miranda, Graeme S. Cumming, Dominic A. W. Henry, Shiiwua A. Manu, Jacinta Abalaka, Cristiano D. Rocha, Moussa S. Diop, Joãozinho Sá, Hamilton Monteiro, Lars H. Holbech, Francis Gbogbo, Silvia N. Del Lama
      Abstract: Increasing aridity during glacial periods produced the retraction of forests and the expansion of arid and semi‐arid environments in Africa, with consequences for birds. Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a dispersive species that prefers semiarid environments and requires proximity to bodies of water. We expected that climatic oscillations led to the expansion of the range of the cattle egret during arid periods, such as the Last Maximum Glacial (LGM) and contraction of distribution during the Last Interglacial (LIG) period, resulting in contact of populations previously isolated. We investigated this hypothesis by evaluating the genetic structure and population history of 15 cattle egret breeding colonies located in West and South Africa using the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region, mtDNA ATPase 8 and 6, and an intron of nuclear gene transforming growth factor beta‐2. Occurrence data and bioclimatic information were used to generate ecological niche models of three periods (present, LGM and LIG). We used the genetic and paleomodelling data to assess the responses of the cattle egret from Africa to the climatic oscillations during the late Pleistocene. Genetic data revealed low levels of genetic differentiation, signs of isolation‐by‐distance, as well as recent increases in effective population size that started during the LGM. The observed low genetic structure may be explained by recent colonization events due to the demographic expansion following the last glacial period and by dispersal capacity of this species. The paleomodels corroborated the expansion during the LGM, and a more restricted potential distribution during the LIG. Our findinds supports the hypothesis that the species range of the cattle egret expanded during arid periods and contracted during wet periods.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-23T04:40:37.500353-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00972
  • Malaria infection negatively affects feather growth rate in the house
           sparrow (Passer domesticus)
    • Authors: Courtney AC Coon; Luz Garcia‐Longoria, Lynn B Martin, Sergio Magallanes, Florentino Lope, Alfonso Marzal
      Abstract: Birds often face various stressors during feather renewing, for example, enduring infection with blood parasites. Because nutritional resources are typically limited, especially for wild animals, when an individual allocates energy to one physiological system, there is subsequently less for other processes, thereby requiring a trade‐off. Surprisingly, potential trade‐offs between malaria infection and feather growth rate have not been experimentally considered yet. Here, we conducted three studies to investigate whether a trade‐off occurs among feather growth rate, malaria infection and host health conditions. First, we explored whether naturally infected and uninfected house sparrows differed in feather growth rate in the wild. Second, we asked whether experimental inoculation of malaria parasites and / or forcing the renewal of a tail feather. Lastly, we evaluated whether individual condition was affected by experimentally‐induced feather regrowth and / or malaria experimental infection. Our findings showed that feather growth rate was negatively affected by natural malaria infection status in free‐living birds and by experimental infection in captive birds. Furthermore, birds that did not increase body mass or hematocrit during the experimental study had slower feather growth. Together our results suggest that infection with blood parasites has more negative health effects than the growth of tail feathers and that these two processes (response to blood parasite infection and renewal of feathers) are traded‐off against each other. As such, our results highlight the role of malaria parasites as a potential mechanism driving other trade‐offs in wild passerines.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T01:11:34.267175-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00942
  • Natural and anthropogenic influences on the population structure of
           white‐tailed eagles in the Carpathian Basin and Central Europe
    • Authors: Edina Nemesházi; Szilvia Kövér, Frank E. Zachos, Zoltán Horváth, Gábor Tihanyi, Attila Mórocz, Tibor Mikuska, István Hám, Ivan Literák, Suvi Ponnikas, Tadeusz Mizera, Krisztián Szabó
      Abstract: European populations of the white‐tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) suffered a drastic decline during the 20th century. In many countries, only a few dozen breeding pairs survived or the species disappeared completely. By today, the populations have recovered, naturally or through restocking (e.g. in Scotland or the Czech Republic). In the Carpathian Basin, which is now a stronghold in southern Europe for the species in the southern part of the distribution range with more than 500 breeding pairs, only about 50 pairs survived the bottleneck. This region provides important wintering places for individuals arriving from different regions of Eurasia. In the present study, we investigated 249 DNA samples from several European countries, using 11 microsatellites and mitochondrial control region sequences (499 bp), to answer two main questions: 1) Did the Carpathian Basin population recover through local population expansion or is there a significant gene flow from more distant populations as well? 2) Does the Czech population show signs in its genetic structure of the restocking with birds of unknown origin? Our microsatellite data yielded three genetically separate lineages within Europe: northern, central and southern, the latter being present exclusively in the Carpathian Basin. Sequencing of mitochondrial DNA revealed that there is one haplotype (B12) which is not only exclusive to the Carpathian Basin but it is frequent in this population. Our results suggest that in accordance with the presumably philopatric behaviour of the species, recovery of the Carpathian Basin population was mainly local, but some of the wintering birds coming from the northern and central populations contributed to its genetic composition as well. We detected considerably higher proportions of northern birds within the Czech Republic compared to the neighbouring areas, making it likely that parents of the reintroduced birds came from northern populations.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T01:11:17.956074-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00938
  • Nest building under the risk of predation: safe nests are not always the
           best option
    • Authors: Jong Koo Lee; Steven L. Lima
      Abstract: Nest predation is a widespread demographic and evolutionary force in avian reproduction, but few studies have considered the circumstances under which birds might invest in the construction of safe nests. We examined this question using a stochastic simulation model based on a basic passerine breeding season. Nest safety functions were used to translate time invested in nest building into an increase in daily nest survival; that increase could be rapid, requiring only a few days to achieve a safe nest, or slow, taking many days to do so. The maximum achievable safety differed across nest safety functions. Given a limited length to the breeding season, a greater time investment in nest safety detracts from the time available for re‐nesting following successful or unsuccessful nesting attempts. In many circumstances, the best option is a quick‐build “minimal” nest that provides adequate support for young, but little additional safety from attacks. This is especially true for scenarios that allow for multiple nesting attempts across a season. However, relatively safe nests that can be built fairly quickly are uniformly favored options. Safe, long‐build nests are favored only when they provide a great deal of safety over other nest‐building options, but greater safety alone is not sufficient for such investment. Simulations allowing only a single nesting attempt generally favor a greater investment in nest safety. Parental survival is another important factor in nest investment. Increased danger to the parent during nest building strongly favors a low investment in nests. However, substantial investment in a safe nest is favored when that safety extends to the incubating parent. Our results provide some insight into the prevalence of seemingly unsafe, open‐cup nests across the bird world, but the range of nest types that could potentially be built by a given species is an open question.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T01:10:59.712585-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00958
  • Adaptability of a specialist predator: The effects of land use on diet
           diversification and breeding performance of Verreaux's eagles
    • Authors: M. Murgatroyd; G. Avery, L.G. Underhill, A. Amar
      Abstract: Specialist predators are generally negatively impacted by habitat change. Predators that inhabit transformed areas are usually forced to diversify their diet and this departure away from traditional resources can have negative consequences for fitness and demographic parameters. We consider this relationship as it applies to Verreaux's eagles Aquila verreauxii, which is typically considered to be a highly specialised predator of hyraxes (Procavia and Heterohyrax spp.). We investigate diet in relation to land cover in two adjacent areas of South Africa and explore the links between diet diversity, the percentage of hyrax consumed, and the breeding performance of eagles. We also examine these same patterns using data from other studies. We found that diet diversity was greater in the agriculturally developed Sandveld region compared to the natural Cederberg region. Proportions of the three main prey types were correlated with the proportion of agriculturally developed land around the nest site. Breeding performance was correlated with the diet, but not in the manner expected, with breeding productivity being greater in regions with large diet diversity and a small proportion of hyrax in the diet. We found similar patterns when placing our results into a broader geographical context using other dietary studies of Verreaux's eagles, suggesting our results were not unique to our study system. Thus, our results suggest that diet diversification does not necessarily impinge on breeding performance in the presence of adequate alternative prey resources. This research adds to the growing number of studies suggesting that some predators may be adaptable up to a threshold level of habitat transformation. These results have implications for predicting changes on such species by anthropogenic habitat transformation and highlight the potential for agriculturally developed areas to maintain a conservation value when habitat heterogeneity is maintained.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T01:10:41.600628-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00944
  • Breeding latitude leads to different temporal but not spatial organization
           of the annual cycle in a long‐distance migrant
    • Authors: Martins Briedis; Steffen Hahn, Lars Gustafsson, Ian Henshaw, Johan Träff, Miroslav Král, Peter Adamík
      First page: 743
      Abstract: The temporal and spatial organization of the annual cycle according to local conditions is of crucial importance for individuals’ fitness. Moreover, which sites and when particular sites are used can have profound consequences especially for migratory animals, because the two factors shape interactions within and between populations, as well as between animal and the environment. Here, we compare spatial and temporal patterns of two latitudinally separated breeding populations of a trans‐Equatorial passerine migrant, the Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis, throughout the annual cycle. We found that migration routes and non‐breeding residency areas of the two populations largely overlapped. Due to climatic constraints, however, the onset of breeding in the northern population was approximately two weeks later than that of the southern population. We demonstrate that this temporal offset between the populations carries‐over from breeding to the entire annual cycle. The northern population was consistently later in timing of all subsequent annual events – autumn migration, non‐breeding residence period, spring migration and the following breeding. Such year‐round spatiotemporal patterns suggest that annual schedules are endogenously controlled with breeding latitude as the decisive element shaping the timing of annual events in our study populations.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:15:22.848436-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01002
  • Communal roosting, thermoregulatory benefits and breeding group size
           predictability in cooperatively breeding sociable weavers
    • Authors: Matthieu Paquet; Claire Doutrelant, Maxime Loubon, Franck Theron, Margaux Rat, Rita Covas
      First page: 749
      Abstract: Extreme temperatures impose energy costs on endotherms through thermoregulation and different adaptations help individuals to cope with these conditions. In social species, communal roosting and huddling are thought to decrease the energetic requirement of thermoregulation under low temperatures. This is likely to represent an important mechanism by which individuals save energy during the coldest parts of the year and hence to represent a non‐breeding benefit of sociality. Here, we investigate the potential thermoregulatory benefits of group living in roosting groups of sociable weavers Philetairus socius, a colonial cooperatively breeding passerine that builds communally a massive nest structure with several independent chambers wherein individuals breed and roost throughout the year. To investigate the benefits of sociality during the non‐breeding season, we studied the thermal environment during roosting in relation to group size. In addition, to understand the link between non‐breeding and breeding sociality in this species we studied group size stability between the pre‐breeding and breeding periods. As expected, we found that the nest chamber's night‐time temperature is strongly related to the number of birds roosting together, especially during cold nights. Specifically, birds in larger groups spent less time below the critical thermal minimum temperature (i.e. the temperature below which energy expenditure increases substantially). They were less exposed to external temperature variations. We also found a positive relationship between the number of birds roosting during winter and the breeding group size, indicating breeding group size predictability. In cooperative breeders such as the sociable weaver, the costs and benefits of sociality are usually studied during the breeding period. This study shows that a better understanding of non‐breeding benefits of group membership and group dynamics between the non‐breeding and breeding periods are necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the benefits of sociality.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-13T05:46:30.743317-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00916
  • Cross‐continental migratory connectivity and spatiotemporal migratory
           patterns in the great reed warbler
    • Authors: Jaroslav Koleček; Petr Procházka, Naglaa El‐Arabany, Maja Tarka, Mihaela Ilieva, Steffen Hahn, Marcel Honza, Javier Puente, Ana Bermejo, Arzu Gürsoy, Staffan Bensch, Pavel Zehtindjiev, Dennis Hasselquist, Bengt Hansson
      First page: 756
      Abstract: Migratory connectivity describes to which degree different breeding populations have distinct (non‐overlapping) non‐breeding sites. Uncovering the level of migratory connectivity is crucial for effective conservation actions and for understanding of the evolution of local adaptations and migratory routes. Here we investigate migration patterns in a passerine bird, the great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, over its wide Western Palearctic breeding range using geolocators from Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Turkey. We found moderate migratory connectivity: a highly significant spatial structure in the connections between breeding and sub‐Saharan non‐breeding grounds, but at the same time a partial overlap between individual populations, particularly along the Gulf of Guinea where the majority of birds from the Spanish, Swedish and Czech populations spent their non‐breeding period. The post‐breeding migration routes were similar in direction and rather parallel for the five populations. Birds from Turkey showed the most distinctive migratory routes and sub‐Saharan non‐breeding range, with a post‐breeding migration to East Africa and, together with birds from Bulgaria, a previously unknown pre‐breeding migration over the Arabian Peninsula indicating counter‐clockwise loop migration. The distances between breeding and sub‐Saharan non‐breeding sites, as well as between first and final sub‐Saharan non‐breeding sites, differed among populations. Moreover, the total speed of migration did not differ significantly between populations during both the post‐breeding migration in autumn as well as during pre‐breeding migration in spring. There was also no significant relationship between the total speed of migration and distance between breeding and non‐breeding sites (neither post‐ nor pre‐breeding) and, surprisingly, the total speed of migration generally did not differ significantly between post‐breeding and pre‐breeding migration. Future challenges include understanding whether non‐breeding environmental conditions may have influenced the differences in migratory patterns that we observed between populations, and to which extent non‐breeding habitat fluctuations and loss may affect population sizes of migrants.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-03-15T07:25:35.241202-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00929
  • Egg rejection and clutch phenotype variation in the plain prinia (Prinia
    • Authors: Longwu Wang; Wei Liang, Canchao Yang, Shun‐Jen Cheng, Yu‐Cheng Hsu, Xin Lu
      First page: 788
      Abstract: Avian hosts of brood parasites can evolve anti‐parasitic defenses to recognize and reject foreign eggs from their nests. Theory predicts that higher inter‐clutch and lower intra‐clutch variation in egg appearance facilitates hosts to detect parasitic eggs as egg‐rejection mainly depends on the appearance of the egg. Therefore, we predict that egg patterns and rejection rates will differ when hosts face different intensity of cuckoo parasitism. We tested this prediction in two populations of the plain prinia (Prinia inornata): Guangxi in mainland China with high diversity and density of cuckoo species, and Taiwan where there is only one breeding cuckoo species, the Oriental cuckoo (Cuculus optatus). As expected, egg patterns were similar within clutches but different among clutches (polymorphic eggs) in the mainland population, while the island population produced more uniform egg morphs. Furthermore, the mainland population showed a high rate of egg rejection, while the island population exhibited dramatically reduced egg grasp‐rejection ability in the absence of parasitism by the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Our study suggests that prinias show lower intra‐clutch consistency in egg colour and lose egg‐rejecting ability under relaxed selection pressure from brood parasitism.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-13T05:12:01.47735-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00786
  • Body mass change and diet switch tracked by stable isotopes indicate time
           spent at a stopover site during autumn migration in dunlins (Calidris
           alpina alpina)
    • Authors: Philipp Schwemmer; Christian C. Voigt, Anna‐Marie Corman, Sven Adler, Stefan Garthe
      First page: 806
      Abstract: Birds may change their diet and foraging habitat during or after migration. Dunlins (Calidris alpina alpina) breed in the tundra of northern Europe and Russia where they feed exclusively on terrestrial prey. However, up to 80% of the flyway population uses the Wadden Sea as their first important staging site on the way to wintering grounds, feeding exclusively on marine prey. Adult birds migrate earlier than immatures and tend to fly non‐stop, whereas immatures may stage for at least a few days en route, mainly in the Baltic region. There they mostly feed on brackish water prey showing similar isotopic values compared to terrestrial prey. When they arrive in the Wadden Sea, dunlin body reserves are depleted and lower than those of individuals that have already staged for several days. We hypothesized that lighter individuals should retain a strong terrestrial isotopic blood signature, while heavier ones should show a stronger marine signature. We found a significant positive correlation between scaled mass index and carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotopes, reflecting the switch from terrestrial to marine prey during migration. A mixing model revealed differences in isotopic values between heavy and light adults and immatures, respectively, in relation to the isotopic prey signatures. Adults showed stronger marine signals compared with immatures, emphasizing the different modes of migration (i.e. a later departure in immatures) as well as the known spatial segregation of age classes in the Wadden Sea, i.e. adults use tidal flats distant from the shore while immatures use coastal areas influenced by terrestrial carbon sources. The results of this study demonstrate the value of scaled mass index in migratory birds as an indicator of time elapsed after diet switching following migration. Furthermore, this study extents the existing knowledge on the timing of dunlin migration by using an isotopic approach.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-13T05:45:58.516317-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00873
  • Spatial patterns of extra‐pair paternity for spotted towhees (Pipilo
           maculatus) in urban parks
    • Authors: Sarah Bartos Smith; Jenny E. Mckay, Michael T. Murphy, Deborah A. Duffield
      First page: 815
      Abstract: The extra‐pair (EP) mating system of birds may be influenced by food resources, such that nutritionally stressed females are unable to pursue EP fertilizations (constrained female hypothesis; CFH), or that females on poor territories acquire EP fertilizations during extra‐territorial forays in search of food (mating opportunity hypothesis; MOH). Edges of urban habitat fragments are sites of apparent high food abundance for spotted towhees (Pipilo maculatus), and we used distance to habitat edge in four urban parks in Portland, OR, USA (2004‐2006), to test the CFH and MOH. EP paternity was independent of park identity and year; 44% of nests contained EP young and 26% of all young were EP. As predicted by the CFH, EP paternity was more common in nests of long‐tailed (presumably) high quality females. However, independently of tail length, younger females had more EP young than older females, a finding consistent with the MOH. Contrary to predictions of both hypotheses, the probability that a nest contained EP young was highest both at the habitat edge and habitat interior while the proportion of young in nests of EP origin (for nests with EP young) was highest at intermediate distances from habitat edge. We propose that high frequency of EP paternity among females in the interior occurred because, as predicted by the MOH, they ranged more widely in search of food and often encountered EP males. High probability of EP paternity near edges was likely unrelated to female quality. Instead, anthropogenic food sources may have attracted individuals to edges and increased encounters between potential EP mates. Simple opportunity seems likely to account for patterns of EP paternity in spotted towhees, suggesting that human altered environments have the potential to substantially affect EP mating behavior.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-13T05:46:33.09231-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00931
  • Coastal saltpans are a good alternative breeding habitat for Kentish
           plover Charadrius alexandrinus when umbrella species are present
    • Authors: Afonso Rocha; Daniela Fonseca, José A. Masero, Jaime A. Ramos
      First page: 824
      Abstract: The loss and degradation of natural habitats in coastal areas worldwide has adversely affected many waterbird species, changing their breeding distribution and reducing their productivity. Anthropogenic habitats such as saltpans can provide alternative or complementary habitats for waterbirds and mitigate the increasing human impact on natural coastal habitats. Unvegetated linear paths between salt ponds are used by ground‐nesting waterbird species to breed but their linear structure may facilitate the detection of nests by predators. This negative effect may, however, be counterbalanced by the advantages of breeding in mixed colonies. To evaluate the importance and the risks of breeding in saltpans we used the Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus breeding in coastal saltpans of southern Portugal as a model species. Specifically, we assessed the role of nest‐site characteristics, predation and nesting proximity to species with aggressive antipredator behaviour (Black‐winged stilt Himantopus himantopus) on their breeding success. Kentish plovers selected nest‐sites on the edges of paths, with about 20% of water around the nest, and a mean visibility of more than 72 %; however nest‐site characteristics were not correlated with nesting success. Predation was the main cause of nest loss in saltpans (42%); Carrion crows Corvus corone were responsible for most daylight nest predation (58%) and Red fox (Vulpes vulpes; 73%) for night predation. An 8‐year monitoring plan of a Kentish plover population showed a linear increase in their breeding success as their breeding season increasingly overlapped with that of the Black‐winged stilt. An experiment with artificial nests showed a significant increase in the number of exposure days (7 to 12) when these nests were within close distance of Black‐winged stilt nests. Overall, our results showed that saltpans are an important alternative breeding habitat for the Kentish plover, especially for the maintenance of mixed species colonies.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-04-13T05:46:01.453-05:00
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00883
  • Comparative analysis of factors associated with first‐year survival in
           two species of migratory songbirds
    • Authors: Noah G. Perlut; Allan M. Strong
      First page: 858
      Abstract: Our understanding of the full life cycle of most migratory birds remains limited. Estimates of survival rates, particularly for first‐year birds are notably lacking. This knowledge gap results in imprecise parameters in population models and limits our ability to fully understand life history trade‐offs. We used eleven years of field data to estimate first‐year apparent survival (ϕ1st) for two species of migratory grassland songbirds that breed in the same managed habitats but have substantially different migration distances. We used a suite of life‐history, habitat and individually‐based covariates to explore causes of variation in ϕ1st. The interaction between fledge date and body mass was the best supported model of apparent survival. We found differential effects of fledging date based on nestling body mass. Overall, lighter nestlings had greater apparent survival than heavier nestlings; average or heavy nestlings within‐brood had greater apparent survival when they fledged earlier in the summer. We hypothesize that heavier birds that fledge earlier in the season have a longer window of opportunity to evaluate potential breeding sites and are more likely to disperse greater distances from the natal region, thus confounding survival with permanent emigration. Lighter birds, particularly those fledged late in the breeding season may spend more time on self‐maintenance and consequently have less time to evaluate potential future breeding sites, showing greater fidelity to their natal region. We found no support for management treatment (timing of mowing), sex, brood size, or species as important covariates in explaining apparent survival. Our results suggest that differential migration distances may not have a strong effect on first‐year apparent survival.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:05:26.485784-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00892
  • Diet and birdsong: short‐term nutritional enrichment improves songs of
           adult Bengalese finch males
    • Authors: Kentaro Yamada; Masayo Soma
      First page: 865
      Abstract: Song is a notable sexual signal of birds, and serves as an honest indicator of male quality. Condition dependence of birdsong has been well examined from the viewpoint of the developmental stress hypothesis, which posits that complex songs assure fitness because learned acoustic features of songs are especially susceptible to early‐life stress that young birds experience in song learning periods. The effect of early stress on song phenotypes should be crucial, especially in age‐limited song learners which sing stereotyped songs throughout life. However, little attention has been paid to non‐learned song features that can change plastically even in adulthood of age‐limited song‐learners. Although it has been shown that food availability affects song rate in wild songbirds, there is limited evidence of the link between favorable nutritional conditions and song phenotypes other than song rate. Under the prediction that singing behavior reflects an individual's recent life history, we kept adult Bengalese finch males under high‐nutrition or normal diet for a short term, and examined changes in body mass and songs. We found that birds on a high‐nutrition diet showed higher song output (e.g. song rate and length) compared with those of the control group, while changes in body mass were moderate. In addition, note repertoire became more consistent and temporal structures got faster in both nutrition and control groups, which indicates that songs were subject to other factors than nutrition. Considering that female estrildid finches, including Bengalese and zebra finches, show a preference toward complex songs as well as longer songs and higher song rate, it is plausible that different aspects of singing behavior signal different male qualities, and provide multifaceted clues to females that choose mates.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:10:22.34568-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00979
  • No evidence that genetic compatibility drives extra‐pair behavior in
           female blue‐footed boobies
    • Authors: Lynna Marie Kiere; Alejandra G. Ramos, Hugh Drummond
      First page: 871
      Abstract: The function of female birds' extra‐pair (EP) behavior has remained an unresolved question in ornithology and behavioral ecology for >30 years. The genetic compatibility hypothesis (GCH) proposes that females benefit by acquiring biological sires that yield more heterozygous, and therefore fitter, offspring than their social mates. We used ten polymorphic microsatellite loci to test GCH predictions and its assumption that fitness increases with heterozygosity in blue‐footed boobies (Sula nebouxii), a long‐lived tropical seabird. Our predictions were not supported. Heterozygosity was uncorrelated with quality indicators (fledging probability, fledgling or adult body size or mass, adult ornamentation, mean breeding success). Females were no more likely to have EP behavior or chicks when their social mates were less heterozygous or compatible, nor were EP males more heterozygous or compatible than the males they cuckolded. Finally, EP chicks were no more heterozygous than within‐pair chicks overall or in half‐sib comparisons, nor were within‐pair chicks from all‐within‐pair nests more heterozygous that those with EP nest‐mates. There are both methodological and biological explanations for these consistently negative results. Inadequate sample size is possible but unlikely, since our samples were comparable or larger than those of similar studies with significant findings. Lack of identity disequilibrium (within‐individual heterozygosity correlation) among our marker loci could be responsible, and suggests either insufficient marker coverage or lack of inbreeding, bottleneck, and/or admixture. An independent social pedigree revealed infrequent inbreeding, suggesting that pressure on females to select sires that maximize offspring heterozygosity may be genuinely lax. Alternatively, it is possible that the GCH is only upheld when selection on young is strongest; this would not be detected in our sample, which was taken during an extremely productive year. Whatever their cause, our results expand the taxonomic breadth of avian EP behavior analyses and should be considered in future evaluations of the GCH.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:00:43.949502-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01061
  • Unpredictable Perturbation Reduces Breeding Propensity Regardless Of
           Pre‐Laying Reproductive Readiness In A Partial Capital Breeder
    • Authors: Pierre Legagneux; Holly L. Hennin, H. Grant Gilchrist, Tony D. Williams, Oliver P. Love, Joël Bêty
      First page: 880
      Abstract: Theoretically, individuals of migratory species should optimize reproductive investment based on a combination of timing of and body condition at arrival on the breeding grounds. A minimum threshold body mass is required to initiate reproduction, and the timing of reaching this threshold is critical because of the trade‐off between delaying breeding to gain in condition against the declining value of offspring with later reproductive timing. Long‐lived species have the flexibility within their life history to skip reproduction in a given year if they are unable to achieve this theoretical mass threshold. Although the decision to breed or not is an important parameter influencing population dynamics, the mechanisms underlying this decision are poorly understood. Here, we mimicked an unpredictable environmental perturbation that induced a reduction in body mass of Arctic pre‐breeding (before the laying period) female common eiders (Somateria mollissima; a long‐lived migratory seaduck) while controlling for individual variation in the pre‐laying physiological reproductive readiness via vitellogenin (VTG) ‐ a yolk‐targeted lipoprotein. Our aim was to causally determine the interaction between body condition and pre‐laying reproductive readiness (VTG) on breeding propensity by experimentally reducing body mass in treatment females. We first demonstrated that arrival body condition was a key driver of breeding propensity. Secondly, we found treatment and VTG levels interacted to influence breeding propensity, indicating that our experimental manipulation, mimicking an unpredictable food shortage, reduced breeding propensity, regardless of the degree of pre‐laying physiological reproductive readiness (i.e., timing of ovarian follicles recruitment). Our experiment demonstrates that momentary environmental perturbations during the pre‐breeding period can strongly affect the decision to breed, a key parameter driving population dynamics.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:10:46.669786-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00824
  • Low levels of hybridization across two contact zones among three species
           of woodpeckers (Sphyrapicus sapsuckers)
    • Authors: Sampath S. Seneviratne; Peter Davidson, Kathy Martin, Darren E. Irwin
      First page: 887
      Abstract: Three species of closely related woodpeckers (sapsuckers; Sphyrapicus) hybridize where they come into contact, presenting a rare ‘λ‐shape’ meeting of hybrid zones. Two of the three arms of this hybrid zone are located on either side of the Interior Plateau of British Columbia, Canada bordering the foothills of the Coast Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. The third arm is located in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The zones of hybridization present high variability of phenotypes and alleles in relatively small areas and provide an opportunity to examine levels of reproductive isolation between the taxa involved. We examined phenotypes (morphometric traits and plumage) and genotypes of 175 live birds across the two hybrid zones. We used the Genotyping By Sequencing (GBS) method to identify 180 partially diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to generate a genetic hybrid index (GHI) for each bird. Phenotypically diverged S. ruber and S. nuchalis are genetically closely related, while S. nuchalis and S. varius have similar plumage but are well separated at the genetic markers studied. The width of both hybrid zones is narrower than expected under neutrality, and analyses of both genotypes and phenotypes indicate that hybrids are rare in the hybrid zone. Rarity of hybrids indicates assortative mating and/or some form of fitness reduction in hybrids, which might maintain the species complex despite close genetic distance and introgression. These findings further support the treatment of the three taxa as distinct species.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:10:32.148442-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.00946
  • Species delimitation of the White‐tailed Rubythroat Calliope pectoralis
           complex (Aves, Turdidae) using an integrative taxonomic approach
    • Authors: Yang Liu; Guoling Chen, Qin Huang, Chenxi Jia, Geoff Carey, Paul Leader, Yun Li, Fasheng Zou, Xiaojun Yang, Urban Olsson, Per Alström
      First page: 899
      Abstract: Our knowledge of the systematics and taxonomy of Asian birds has improved much in the last two decades, and the number of recognised species has increased significantly as a result of in‐depth studies using an integrative taxonomic approach. The Sino‐Himalayan mountains harbor a high level of passerine diversity. Several allopatric or parapatric taxa that are currently treated as subspecies of polytypic species within that region are likely to deserve full species status, and thus their taxonomic status needs to be revisited. Based on analyses of multilocus data, vocalizations and morphology, we propose that the White‐tailed Rubythroat Calliope pectoralis should be treated as two species, the Himalayan Rubythroat C. pectoralis sensu stricto in the Tian Shan and Himalayan mountains, and the Chinese Rubythroat C. tschebaiewi in the mountains of southwestern and north‐central China. According to our dating analyses based on mitochondrial loci, these two species diverged approximately 2.2 million years ago. We further found that C. tschebaiewi was paraphyletic to C. pectoralis sensu stricto in nuclear data, which demonstrates a state of mitonuclear discordance that warrants further work. Our results suggest that geographic changes and glacial cycles in the Pleistocene may have caused allopatric divergence in the C. pectoralis complex. Our study stresses the importance of applying an integrative taxonomy approach to fully unravel the true avian diversity in the Sino‐Himalayan Mountains.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30T05:10:48.889535-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/jav.01015
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