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Monday, 25 August 2014

Bird research this week on PubMed: August 2014 Week 4

PubMed listing for 'bird' OR 'songbird' excluding references to influenza and flu - August 2014 Week 4

1. Poult Sci. 2014 Aug 20. pii: PS3910. [Epub ahead of print]

Response to dietary supplementation of l-glutamine and l-glutamate in broiler chickens reared at different stocking densities under hot, humid tropical conditions.

Shakeri M1, Zulkifli I2, Soleimani AF1, O'Reilly EL3, Eckersall PD3, Anna AA1, Kumari S1, Abdullah FF4.Author information:
1Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
2Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, United Kingdom.
4Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.


A study was conducted to determine whether supplementing AminoGut (a commercial dietary supplement containing a mixture of l-glutamine and l-glutamic acid) to broiler chickens stocked at 2 different densities affected performance, physiological stress responses, foot pad dermatitis incidence, and intestinal morphology and microflora. A randomized design in a factorial arrangement with 4 diets [basal diet, basal diet + 0.5% AminoGut from d 1 to 21, basal diet + 0.5% AminoGut from d 1 to 42, and basal diet + virginiamycin (0.02%) for d 1 to 42] and 2 stocking densities [0.100 m2/bird (23 birds/pen; LD) or 0.067 m2/bird (35 birds/pen; HD)]. Results showed that villi length and crypt depth were not changed by different dietary treatments. However, birds in the HD group had smaller villi (P = 0.03) compared with those of the LD group. Regardless of diet, HD consistently increased the serum concentrations of ceruloplasmin, α-1 acid glycoprotein, ovotransferin, and corticosterone (P = 0.0007), and elevated heterophil to lymphocyte ratio (0.0005). Neither AminoGut supplementation nor stocking density affected cecal microflora counts. In conclusion, under the conditions of this study, dietary supplementation of AminoGut, irrespective of stocking density, had no beneficial effect on growth performance, intestinal morphology, and physiological adaptive responses of broiler chickens raised under hot and humid tropical conditions. However, AminoGut supplementation from d 1 to 42 was beneficial in reducing mortality rate. Also, the increased serum concentrations of a wide range of acute phase proteins together with elevated corticosterone and heterophil to lymphocyte ratio suggested that high stocking density induced an acute phase response either indirectly as a result of increased incidence of inflammatory diseases such as foot pad dermatitis or possibly as a direct physiological response to the stress of high stocking density.
© 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc.
PMID: 25143595 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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2. Poult Sci. 2014 Aug 20. pii: PS4148. [Epub ahead of print]

Dietary calcium, phosphorus, and phytase effects on bird performance, intestinal morphology, mineral digestibility, and bone ash during a natural necrotic enteritis episode.

Paiva D1, Walk C2, McElroy A3.Author information:
1Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, 3140 Litton Reaves Hall, Blacksburg 24060
2 ABVista Feed Ingredients, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4AN United Kingdom.
3Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, 3140 Litton Reaves Hall, Blacksburg 24060.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary Ca, P, and phytase on performance, intestinal morphology, bone ash, and Ca and P digestibility during a necrotic enteritis (NE) outbreak. The 35-d trial was designed as a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial, which included 2 Ca levels (0.6 and 0.9%), 2 P levels (0.3 and 0.45%), and 2 levels of phytase [0 and 1,000 phytase units (FTU)/kg]. Birds were placed on litter from a previous flock that exhibited clinical signs of NE. Birds and feed were weighed on d 12, 19, and 35, and BW gain, feed intake, and feed conversion were calculated. Mortality was recorded daily, and gastrointestinal pH was measured. Tibias and ileal digesta were also collected. Birds began exhibiting clinical signs of NE on d 9, and NE-associated mortality persisted until d 26. Dietary Ca supplemented at 0.9% or inclusion of 1,000 FTU/kg of phytase significantly increased mortality compared with 0.6% Ca or 0 FTU/kg of phytase, respectively. From d 0 to 12, birds fed 0.9% Ca and 0.45% available P with phytase had greater BW gain compared with birds fed 0.6% Ca, 0.45% available P, and phytase. From d 0 to 19, birds fed diets with 0.9% Ca and 0.3% available P had decreased feed intake and improved feed conversion compared with birds fed 0.9% Ca and 0.45% available P. Calcium at 0.9% increased gizzard (d 19) and jejunum (d 12) pH. Phytase supplementation significantly increased Ca digestibility regardless of Ca and P levels of the diets. In addition, diets containing 0.6% Ca and 1,000 FTU/kg of phytase resulted in a significant increase in P digestibility. The results suggest that dietary Ca level may influence NE-associated mortality. In addition, bird performance was affected by interactions of Ca, P, and phytase during the exposure to Clostridium perfringens and the subsequent NE outbreak. Results showed improvements in bird performance when birds were fed 0.6% Ca and 0.3% P in diets supplemented with phytase, which was likely consequent to the influence of Ca in NE pathogenesis.
© 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc.
PMID: 25143591 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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3. Pest Manag Sci. 2014 Aug 21. doi: 10.1002/ps.3887. [Epub ahead of print]

Bird-repellents effects on bait efficacy for control of invasive mammal pests.

Cowan P1, Brown S, Forrester G, Booth L, Crowell M.Author information:
1Landcare Research, PO Box 69040, Lincoln, 7640, New Zealand.



Repellents to reduce crop damage from birds and mammals have been investigated extensively but their efficacy in reducing risk to non-target birds in aerial poisoning operations for control of mammal pests is less known. We assessed the impact on bait acceptability, palatability and kill efficacy for captive wild rats (Rattus rattus L.) and possums (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) of adding bird repellents (anthraquinone and d-pulegone) to baits used for their control in food choice trials.


For possums, anthraquinone at 0.25% reduced acceptability and palatability but not the efficacy of poison baits, whereas d-pulegone at 0.17% had no significant effects. Rats showed little response to d-pulegone, but developed a marked aversion to prefeed baits containing anthraquinone at both 0.1 and 0.25%, such that almost no exposed rats ate poison baits and mortality was reduced significantly. The aversion induced by anthraquinone was generalised to the bait as anthraquinone-exposed rats did not eat bait with only d-pulegone.


Anthraquinone is not suitable for inclusion in bait for rat control at the concentrations tested, and also presents some risk to efficacy for possum control. D-pulegone would be suitable for inclusion in bait for possums and rats but problems related to its volatility in bait manufacture and storage would need to be overcome. Further studies should focus on an alternative secondary repellent, or establishing the maximum anthraquinone concentration that does not reduce efficacy for rats and testing whether or not that concentration is sufficient to reliably repel native birds from baits.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25143303 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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4. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2014 Aug 19;0:0. [Epub ahead of print]

Is imidacloprid an effective alternative for controlling pyrethroid-resistant populations of Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in the Gran Chaco ecoregion?

Carvajal G, Picollo MI, Toloza AC.Author information:
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Centro de Investigaciones de Plagas e Insecticidas, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas para la Defensa, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The prevention of Chagas disease is based primarily on the chemical control of Triatoma infestans (Klug) using pyrethroid insecticides. However, high resistance levels, correlated with control failures, have been detected in Argentina and Bolivia. A previous study at our laboratory found that imidacloprid could serve as an alternative to pyrethroid insecticides. We studied the delayed toxicity of imidacloprid and the influence of the blood feeding condition of the insect on the toxicity of this insecticide; we also studied the effectiveness of various commercial imidacloprid formulations against a pyrethroid-resistant T. infestans population from the Gran Chaco ecoregion. Variations in the toxic effects of imidacloprid were not observed up to 72 h after exposure and were not found to depend on the blood feeding condition of susceptible and resistant individuals. Of the three different studied formulations of imidacloprid on glass and filter paper, only the spot-on formulation was effective. This formulation was applied to pigeons at doses of 1, 5, 20 and 40 mg/bird. The nymphs that fed on pigeons treated with 20 mg or 40 mg of the formulation showed a higher mortality rate than the control group one day and seven days post-treatment (p < 0.01). A spot-on formulation of imidacloprid was effective against pyrethroid-resistant T. infestans populations at the laboratory level.
Free Article
PMID: 25141281 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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5. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 20;9(8):e105605. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105605. eCollection 2014.

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

McKinnon EA, Fraser KC, Stanley CQ, Stutchbury BJ.Author information:
Dept. of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Juvenile songbirds on spring migration travel from tropical wintering sites to temperate breeding destinations thousands of kilometres away with no prior experience to guide them. We provide a first glimpse at the migration timing, routes, and stopover behaviour of juvenile wood thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) on their inaugural spring migration by using miniaturized archival geolocators to track them from Central America to the U.S. and Canada. We found significant differences between the timing of juvenile migration and that of more experienced adults: juveniles not only departed later from tropical wintering sites relative to adults, they also became progressively later as they moved northward. The increasing delay was driven by more frequent short stops by juveniles along their migration route, particularly in the U.S. as they got closer to breeding sites. Surprisingly, juveniles were just as likely as adults to cross the Gulf of Mexico, an open-water crossing of 800-1000 km, and migration route at the Gulf was not significantly different for juveniles relative to adults. To determine if the later departure of juveniles was related to poor body condition in winter relative to adults, we examined percent lean body mass, fat scores, and pectoral muscle scores of juvenile versus adult birds at a wintering site in Belize. We found no age-related differences in body condition. Later migration timing of juveniles relative to adults could be an adaptive strategy (as opposed to condition-dependent) to avoid the high costs of fast migration and competition for breeding territories with experienced and larger adults. We did find significant differences in wing size between adults and juveniles, which could contribute to lower flight efficiency of juveniles and thus slower overall migration speed. We provide the first step toward understanding the "black box" of juvenile songbird migration by documenting their migration timing and en route performance.
Free Article
PMID: 25141193 [PubMed - in process]

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6. Am Nat. 2014 Sep;184(3):374-83. doi: 10.1086/677397. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Nonautosomal genetic variation in carotenoid coloration.

Evans SR1, Schielzeth H, Forstmeier W, Sheldon BC, Husby A. Author information:
1Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.


Abstract Carotenoid-based coloration plays an important role in signaling, is often sexually dimorphic, and is potentially subject to directional and/or sex-specific selection. To understand the evolutionary dynamics of such color traits, it is essential to quantify patterns of inheritance, yet nonautosomal sources of genetic variation are easily overlooked by classical heritability analyses. Carotenoid metabolism has recently been linked to mitochondria, highlighting the potential for color variation to be explained by cytoplasmically inherited factors. In this study, we used quantitative genetic animal models to estimate the importance of mitochondrial and sex chromosome-linked sources of genetic variation in coloration in two songbird populations in which dietary carotenoids are either unmodified (great tit plumage) or metabolized into alternative color forms (zebra finch beak). We found no significant Z-linked genetic variance in great tit plumage coloration, while zebra finch beak coloration exhibited significant W linkage and cytoplasmic inheritance. Our results support cytoplasmic inheritance of color in the zebra finch, a trait based on endogenously metabolized carotenoids, and demonstrate the potential for nonautosomal sources to account for a considerable share of genetic variation in coloration. Although often overlooked, such nonautosomal genetic variation exhibits sex-dependent patterns of inheritance and potentially influences the evolution of sexual dichromatism.
PMID: 25141146 [PubMed - in process]

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7. Am Nat. 2014 Sep;184(3):352-63. doi: 10.1086/677261. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Asynchrony of seasons: genetic differentiation associated with geographic variation in climatic seasonality and reproductive phenology.

Quintero I1, González-Caro S, Zalamea PC, Cadena CD.Author information:
1 Laboratorio de Biología Evolutiva de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.


AMany organisms exhibit distinct breeding seasons tracking food availability. If conspecific populations inhabit areas that experience different temporal cycles in food availability spurred by variation in precipitation regimes, then they should display asynchronous breeding seasons. Thus, such populations might exhibit a temporal barrier to gene flow, which may potentially promote genetic differentiation. We test a central prediction of this hypothesis, namely, that individuals living in areas with more asynchronous precipitation regimes should be more genetically differentiated than individuals living in areas with more similar precipitation regimes. Using mitochondrial DNA sequences, climatic data, and geographical/ecological distances between individuals of 57 New World bird species mostly from the tropics, we examined the effect of asynchronous precipitation (a proxy for asynchronous resource availability) on genetic differentiation. We found evidence for a positive and significant cross-species effect of precipitation asynchrony on genetic distance after accounting for geographical/ecological distances, suggesting that current climatic conditions may play a role in population differentiation. Spatial asynchrony in climate may thus drive evolutionary divergence in the absence of overt geographic barriers to gene flow; this mechanism contrasts with those invoked by most models of biotic diversification emphasizing physical or ecological changes to the landscape as drivers of divergence.
PMID: 25141144 [PubMed - in process]

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8. Curr Biol. 2014 Aug 18;24(16):R751-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.07.017.

Dinosaur evolution: feathers up for selection.

Zhou Z.Author information:
Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 142 Xiwai Street, Beijing, 100044, China. Electronic address:


A new specimen of the early bird Archaeopteryx shows remarkable plumage preservation, including pennaceous leg feathers. But whether birds went through a four-winged stage, and in what exact functional context feathers evolved remains a matter of debate.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25137588 [PubMed - in process]

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9. Avian Pathol. 2014 Aug 18:1-24. [Epub ahead of print]

Detection and molecular characterization of infectious bronchitis-like viruses in wild bird populations.

Domanska-Blicharz K1, Jacukowicz A, Lisowska A, Wyrostek K, Minta Z.Author information:
1a Department of Poultry Diseases , National Veterinary Research Institute, , Al. Partyzantow 57, 24-100 Pulawy , Poland.


We examined 884 wild birds mainly from the Anseriformes, Charadriiformes, Galliforme orders for infectious bronchits (IBV)-like coronavirus in Poland between 2008 and 2011. Coronavirus (CoV) was detected in 31 (3.5%) of the tested birds with detection rates of 3.5% in Anseriformes and 2.3% in Charadriiformes and as high as 17.6% in Galliformes. From the 31 positive samples only ten gave positive results in molecular tests aimed at various IBV genome fragments: five samples were positive for the RdRp gene, four for gene 3, eight for gene N and eight for the 3'UTR fragment. All analyzed genome fragments of the CoV strains shared different evolutionary branches, resulting in a different phylogenetic tree topology. Most detected fragment genes seem to be IBV-like genes of the most frequently detected lineages of IBV in this geographical region, i.e. Massachusettes, 793B and QX. Two waves of CoV infections were identified: one in spring (April-May) and another in late autumn (October-December). To our knowledge this is the first report of the detection of different fragment IBV-like genes in wild bird populations.
PMID: 25133705 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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10. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014;2014:157824. doi: 10.1155/2014/157824. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Bird Diversity and Distribution in relation to Urban Landscape Types in Northern Rwanda.

Gatesire T1, Nsabimana D2, Nyiramana A2, Seburanga JL2, Mirville MO3.Author information:
1University of Rwanda, P.O. Box 117, Butare, Rwanda ; Karisoke Research Center, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, 800 Cherokee Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30315-1440, USA.
2University of Rwanda, P.O. Box 117, Butare, Rwanda.
3Karisoke Research Center, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, 800 Cherokee Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30315-1440, USA.


Using the point count method, linear mixed models, Shannon's diversity index, and Bray-Curtis cluster analysis, we conducted a study of the effect of urban fabric layout on bird diversity and distribution in northern Rwanda. The results showed a significant effect of city landscapes on bird richness and relative abundance; residential neighborhoods, institutional grounds, and informal settlements had the highest species diversity in comparison to other microlandscape types. Riversides were characterized by specialized bird species, commonly known to be restricted to wetland environments. Built-up areas and open field landscapes had comparable results. One Albertine Rift endemic bird species, the Ruwenzori Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris stuhlmanni), was recorded. Three migratory birds were found in Musanze city for the first time: the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), the Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), and the Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus). Two bird species have not been previously reported in Rwanda: the Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) and the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina). The implications of this study are particularly relevant to urban decision makers who should consider the existence of a great diversity of avian fauna when developing and implementing master plans, especially when villages and cities are in proximity of protected areas or natural reserves.
PMCID: PMC4123549 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25133203 [PubMed - in process]

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