Search birdRS Box

Search birdRS blog posts

Browse the Blog Posts

Or scan through the blog archive below for items of interest as only the latest post is shown below, thanks.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

PubMed Search: new articles November Week 1: 2014

Search fields: (bird[TIAB] OR songbird[TIAB]) NOT (flu[TIAB] OR influenza[TIAB] OR bird[AUTH]) AND (2014/04/01[PDAT]:2020/01/01[PDAT])

PubMed Results

1.Mitochondrial DNA. 2014 Oct 30:1-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Complete mitochondrial genome of Tree Sparrow Passer montanus saturatus (Passeriformes: Passeridae).

Yang F1, Li B, Zhou L, Bao D, Zhu H.

Author information:
1School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University , Hefei , P. R. China and.


Abstract Tree Sparrow Passer montanus is an Eurasian distribution passerine bird, which has 9 subspecies. In this study, we determined the complete mitochondrial genome of Passer montanus saturatus. The mitochondrial DNA is 16,904 bp long with A + T contents of 52.56%. The mitochondrial genome is typical circular that encodes the complete set of 37 genes. All protein-coding genes use the standard mitochondrial initiation codon ATG, except for COI starts with GTG and ND3 starts with ATA. TAN is the most frequent stop codon, and AGN and T- - are also occurred very common. All tRNAs possess the classic clover leaf secondary structure except for tRNASer (AGN) and tRNACys (CUN), which lack the "DHU" stem, only forming a simple loop.

PMID: 25358099 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Related citations
2.J Anim Ecol. 2014 Oct 30. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12312. [Epub ahead of print]

Rat eradication and the resistance and resilience of passerine bird assemblages in the Falkland Islands.

Tabak MA1, Poncet S, Passfield K, Goheen JR, Martinez Del Rio C.

Author information:
1Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071; Program in Ecology, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071.


Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) were introduced to the Falkland Islands and are detrimental to native passerines. Rat eradication programs are being used to help protect the avifauna. The present study assesses the effectiveness of eradication programs while using this conservation practice as a natural experiment to explore the ecological resistance, resilience, and homeostasis of bird communities. We conducted bird surveys on 230 islands: 85 in the presence of rats, 108 that were historically free of rats, and 37 from which rats had been eradicated. Bird detection data were used to build occupancy models for each species and estimate species-area relationships. Count data were used to estimate relative abundance and community structure. Islands with invasive rats had reduced species richness of passerines and a different community structure than islands on which rats were historically absent. Although the species richness of native passerines was remarkably similar on eradicated and historically rat-free islands, community structure on eradicated islands was more similar to that of rat-infested islands than to historically rat-free islands. The results suggest that in the Falkland Islands, species richness of passerines is not resistant to invasive rats, but seems to be resilient following their removal. In contrast, community structure seems to be neither resistant nor resilient. From a conservation perspective, rat eradication programs in the Falkland Islands appear to be effective at restoring native species richness, but they are not necessarily beneficial for species of conservation concern. For species that do not recolonize, translocations following eradications may be necessary. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 25355608 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3.Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Dec 22;281(1797). pii: 20141154. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1154.

Prenatal learning in an Australian songbird: habituation and individual discrimination in superb fairy-wren embryos.

Colombelli-Négrel D1, Hauber ME2, Kleindorfer S3.

Author information:
1School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia.
2Department of Psychology, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY 10065, USA.
3School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia


Embryos were traditionally considered to possess limited learning abilities because of the immaturity of their developing brains. By contrast, neonates from diverse species show behaviours dependent on prior embryonic experience. Stimulus discrimination is a key component of learning and has been shown by a handful of studies in non-human embryos. Superb fairy-wren embryos (Malurus cyaneus) learn a vocal password that has been taught to them by the attending female during incubation. The fairy-wren embryos use the learned element as their begging call after hatching to solicit more parental feeding. In this study, we test whether superb fairy-wren embryos have the capacity to discriminate between acoustical stimuli and whether they show non-associative learning. We measured embryonic heart rate response using a habituation/dishabituation paradigm with eggs sourced from nests in the wild. Fairy-wren embryos lowered their heart rate in response to the broadcasts of conspecific versus heterospecific calls, and in response to the calls of novel conspecific individuals. Thus, fairy-wrens join humans as vocal-learning species with known prenatal learning and individual discrimination.

© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

PMID: 25355472 [PubMed - in process]

4.PLoS One. 2014 Oct 29;9(10):e111510. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111510. eCollection 2014.

Range Expansion and Population Dynamics of an Invasive Species: The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto).

Scheidt SN, Hurlbert AH.

Author information:
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America.


Invasive species offer ecologists the opportunity to study the factors governing species distributions and population growth. The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) serves as a model organism for invasive spread because of the wealth of abundance records and the recent development of the invasion. We tested whether a set of environmental variables were related to the carrying capacities and growth rates of individual populations by modeling the growth trajectories of individual populations of the Collared-Dove using Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data. Depending on the fit of our growth models, carrying capacity and growth rate parameters were extracted and modeled using historical, geographical, land cover and climatic predictors. Model averaging and individual variable importance weights were used to assess the strength of these predictors. The specific variables with the greatest support in our models differed between data sets, which may be the result of temporal and spatial differences between the BBS and CBC. However, our results indicate that both carrying capacity and population growth rates are related to developed land cover and temperature, while growth rates may also be influenced by dispersal patterns along the invasion front. Model averaged multivariate models explained 35-48% and 41-46% of the variation in carrying capacities and population growth rates, respectively. Our results suggest that widespread species invasions can be evaluated within a predictable population ecology framework. Land cover and climate both have important effects on population growth rates and carrying capacities of Collared-Dove populations. Efforts to model aspects of population growth of this invasive species were more successful than attempts to model static abundance patterns, pointing to a potentially fruitful avenue for the development of improved invasive distribution models.

Free Article
PMID: 25354270 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Public Library of Science

5.PLoS One. 2014 Oct 29;9(10):e110633. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110633. eCollection 2014.

Behavioral Response of Corophium volutator to Shorebird Predation in the Upper Bay of Fundy, Canada.

MacDonald EC1, Frost EH1, MacNeil SM2, Hamilton DJ1, Barbeau MA2.

Author information:
1Department of Biology, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.
2Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.


Predator avoidance is an important component of predator-prey relationships and can affect prey availability for foraging animals. Each summer, the burrow-dwelling amphipod Corophium volutator is heavily preyed upon by Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) on mudflats in the upper Bay of Fundy, Canada. We conducted three complementary studies to determine if adult C. volutator exhibit predator avoidance behavior in the presence of sandpipers. In a field experiment, we monitored vertical distribution of C. volutator adults in bird exclosures and adjacent control plots before sandpipers arrived and during their stopover. We also made polymer resin casts of C. volutator burrows in the field throughout the summer. Finally, we simulated shorebird pecking in a lab experiment and observed C. volutator behavior in their burrows. C. volutator adults were generally distributed deeper in the sediment later in the summer (after sandpipers arrived). In August, this response was detectably stronger in areas exposed to bird predation than in bird exclosures. During peak predator abundance, many C. volutator adults were beyond the reach of feeding sandpipers (>1.5 cm deep). However, burrow depth did not change significantly throughout the summer. Detailed behavioral observations indicated that C. volutator spent more time at the bottom of their burrow when exposed to a simulated predator compared to controls. This observed redistribution suggests that C. volutator adults move deeper into their burrows as an anti-predator response to the presence of sandpipers. This work has implications for predators that feed on burrow-dwelling invertebrates in soft-sediment ecosystems, as density may not accurately estimate prey availability.

Free Article
PMID: 25354218 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Public Library of Science

6.Br Poult Sci. 2014 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Dietary fat modulates dl-α-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E) bioavailability in adult cockerels.

Prévéraud DP1, Devillard E, Borel P.

Author information:
1a Adisseo France SAS, Centre of Expertise and Research in Nutrition , Commentry , France.


Abstract 1. A trial was designed to assess the effect of fat supplementation (amount and type of fatty acids) on vitamin E bioavailability in adult cockerels. 2. A total of 60 birds were force-fed three different diets: a semi-purified diet without added fat (Control diet) or supplemented with 3% fat as linseed (Linseed diet) or hydrogenated coconut oil (Coconut diet). The 3 experimental diets were also supplemented with dl-α-tocopheryl acetate to provide 40 mg vitamin E per bird. 3. After one week of depletion, blood was collected from the wing vein before (baseline) and 6, 12, 24 and 96 h after the gavage. Plasma samples were analysed for their α-tocopherol, cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations. 4. Results showed that the addition of 3% fat in the experimental diet increased post-gavage plasma α-tocopherol response by 153% for Linseed diet and by 75% for Coconut diet (P < 0.0001) compared to the Control group. Furthermore, the plasma α-tocopherol response observed with the Linseed diet was 44% greater than that observed with the Coconut diet (P < 0.0001). There was no effect of treatments on either plasma triglycerides (P = 0.91) or cholesterol (P = 0.45) responses. 5. In conclusion, this study shows that the addition of 3% fat to the diet significantly increases dl-α-tocopheryl acetate bioavailability in adult cockerels. Supplementation of fat rich in unsaturated fatty acids also leads to a higher dl-α-tocopheryl acetate bioavailability than fat rich in saturated fatty acids.

PMID: 25354175 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Icon for Atypon

7.Anat Histol Embryol. 2014 Oct 28. doi: 10.1111/ahe.12158. [Epub ahead of print]

Ontogenetic Scaling of the Hindlimb Muscles of the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana).

Picasso MB.

Author information:
División Paleontología Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo-Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, La Plata, B1900FWA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; CONICET, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas.


The greater rhea (Rhea americana) is the largest South American bird. It is a cursorial, flightless species with long powerful legs and reduced forelimbs. The goal of this study was to explore how hindlimb muscles scale with body mass during postnatal growth and to analyze whether the specialized locomotion of this species affects the growth of muscle masses. The mass of 19 muscles and body mass were weighed in 21 specimens ranging from 1-month-old individuals to adults. Seventeen muscles scaled with positive allometry with respect to body mass, whereas two muscles scaled isometrically. The predominance of positive allometric growth in hindlimb muscles results in a limb with massive and powerful muscles specialized to support a large body mass and to attain relatively high running speeds. Analysis of muscle mass scaling is a simple and useful way to compare possible differences between locomotor styles, and it is valuable in studies that reconstruct the paleobiology of extinct taxa.

© 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

PMID: 25348420 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Icon for Blackwell Publishing

8.PLoS One. 2014 Oct 27;9(10):e110858. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110858. eCollection 2014.

Maternal condition but not corticosterone is linked to offspring sex ratio in a passerine bird.

Henderson LJ1, Evans NP2, Heidinger BJ3, Adams A2, Arnold KE4.

Author information:
1Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California Davis, Davis, California, United States of America; College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
2College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
3College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom; Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, United States of America.
4College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom; Environment Department, The University of York, York, United Kingdom.


There is evidence of offspring sex ratio adjustment in a range of species, but the potential mechanisms remain largely unknown. Elevated maternal corticosterone (CORT) is associated with factors that can favour brood sex ratio adjustment, such as reduced maternal condition, food availability and partner attractiveness. Therefore, the steroid hormone has been suggested to play a key role in sex ratio manipulation. However, despite correlative and causal evidence CORT is linked to sex ratio manipulation in some avian species, the timing of adjustment varies between studies. Consequently, whether CORT is consistently involved in sex-ratio adjustment, and how the hormone acts as a mechanism for this adjustment remains unclear. Here we measured maternal baseline CORT and body condition in free-living blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) over three years and related these factors to brood sex ratio and nestling quality. In addition, a non-invasive technique was employed to experimentally elevate maternal CORT during egg laying, and its effects upon sex ratio and nestling quality were measured. We found that maternal CORT was not correlated with brood sex ratio, but mothers with elevated CORT fledged lighter offspring. Also, experimental elevation of maternal CORT did not influence brood sex ratio or nestling quality. In one year, mothers in superior body condition produced male biased broods, and maternal condition was positively correlated with both nestling mass and growth rate in all years. Unlike previous studies maternal condition was not correlated with maternal CORT. This study provides evidence that maternal condition is linked to brood sex ratio manipulation in blue tits. However, maternal baseline CORT may not be the mechanistic link between the maternal condition and sex ratio adjustment. Overall, this study serves to highlight the complexity of sex ratio adjustment in birds and the difficulties associated with identifying sex biasing mechanisms.

PMCID: PMC4210198 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25347532 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central

9.Commun Integr Biol. 2014 May 1;7:e28940. doi: 10.4161/cib.28940. eCollection 2014.

The colorful language of Australian flowers.

Burd M1, Stayton CT2, Shrestha M3, Dyer AG4.

Author information:
1National Evolutionary Synthesis Center; Durham, NC USA ; School of Biological Sciences; Monash University; Melbourne, VIC Australia.
2National Evolutionary Synthesis Center; Durham, NC USA ; Department of Biology; Bucknell University; Lewisburg, PA USA.
3Faculty of Information Technology; Monash University; Melbourne, VIC Australia.
4School of Media and Communication; RMIT University; Melbourne, VIC Australia ; Department of Physiology; Monash University; Melbourne, VIC Australia.


The enormous increase in phylogenetic information in recent years has allowed many old questions to be reexamined from a macroevolutionary perspective. We have recently considered evolutionary convergence in floral colors within pollination syndromes, using bird-pollinated species in Australia. We combined quantitative measurements of floral reflectance spectra, models of avian color vision, and a phylogenetic tree of 234 Australian species to show that bird-pollinated flowers as a group do not have colors that are significantly different from the colors of insect-pollinated flowers. However, about half the bird-pollinated flowers have convergently evolved a narrow range of colors with dominant long-wavelength reflection far more often than would be expected by chance. These convergent colors would be seen as distinctly different from other floral colors in our sample when viewed by honeyeaters (family Meliphagidae), birds with a phylogenetically ancestral type of color vision and the dominant avian pollinators in Australia. Our analysis shows how qualitative ideas in natural history, like the concept of pollination syndromes, can be given more precise definition and rigorous statistical testing that takes into account phylogenetic information.

PMCID: PMC4203498 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25346795 [PubMed]

Icon for PubMed Central

10.Mol Ecol. 2014 Oct 24. doi: 10.1111/mec.12978. [Epub ahead of print]

Population genetic structure and direct observations reveal sex-reversed patterns of dispersal in a cooperative bird.

Harrison XA1, York JE, Young AJ.

Author information:
1Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY; Centre for Ecology & Conservation, University of Exeter, Penry Campus, Penryn, TR10 9EZ.


Sex-biased dispersal is pervasive and has diverse evolutionary implications, but the fundamental drivers of dispersal sex biases remain unresolved. This is due in part to limited diversity within taxonomic groups in the direction of dispersal sex biases, which leaves hypothesis testing critically dependent upon identifying rare reversals of taxonomic norms. Here we use a combination of observational and genetic data to demonstrate a rare reversal of the avian sex-bias in dispersal in the cooperatively breeding white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali). Direct observations revealed that i) natal philopatry was rare, with both sexes typically dispersing locally to breed, and ii), unusually for birds, males bred at significantly greater distances from their natal group than females. Population genetic analyses confirmed these patterns, as i) corrected Assignment index (AIc), FST tests and isolation-by-distance metrics were all indicative of longer dispersal distances among males than females, and ii) spatial autocorrelation analysis indicated stronger within-group genetic structure among females than males. Examining the spatial scale of extra-group mating highlighted that the resulting 'sperm dispersal' could have acted in concert with individual dispersal to generate these genetic patterns, but gamete dispersal alone cannot account entirely for the sex differences in genetic structure observed. That leading hypotheses for the evolution of dispersal sex biases cannot readily account for these sex-reversed patterns of dispersal in white-browed sparrow-weavers, highlights the continued need for attention to alternative explanations for this enigmatic phenomenon. We highlight the potential importance of sex differences in the distances over which dispersal opportunities can be detected. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 25346189 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Icon forBlackwell Publishing


No comments:

Post a comment