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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed: December 2014, Week 4

This message contains My NCBI what's new results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

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

View complete results in PubMed (results may change over time).


PubMed Results



1. Sci Total Environ. 2014 Dec 29;511C:288-297. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.068. [Epub ahead of print]

Unravelling trophic subsidies of agroecosystems for biodiversity conservation: Food consumption and nutrient recycling by waterbirds in Mediterranean rice fields.

Navedo JG1, Hahn S2, Parejo M3, Abad-Gómez JM3, Gutiérrez JS4, Villegas A3, Sánchez-Guzmán JM3, Masero JA3.

Abstract

Waterbirds can reallocate a considerable amount of nutrients within agricultural fields and between agriculture sites and wetlands. However their effects on biogeochemical cycles have rarely been quantified. We estimated bird numbers, diet (from stable isotope analysis), food supply, and the food consumption on rice fields by overwintering waterbirds in one of the most important areas for rice production in southwestern Europe and a key area for various migrating and resident waterbird species. Herein, we modelled the nutrient (N and P) recycling in rice fields, and their transport to reservoirs. The energy consumption by waterbirds (96,605±18,311 individuals) on rice fields during winter averaged at 89.9±39.0kJ·m-2, with its majority (89.9%) belonging to foraging on rice seeds. Thus, the birds removed about 26% of rice seeds leftover after harvest (estimated in 932.5±504.7 seeds·m-2 in early winter) wherein common cranes and dabbling ducks (four species) were the most important consumers. Waterbirds foraging and roosting in the rice fields recycled more than 24.1 (1.0kg·ha-1) of N and an additional 5.0tons (0.2kg·ha-1) of P in the Extremadura's rice fields during winter. Additionally, we estimated that 2.3tons of N and 550kg of P were removed from rice fields and transported to reservoirs. The seasonal foraging of wildlife should result in a direct benefit for rice farmers by improving nutrient recycling through defecation by waterbirds with respect to artificial fertilisation. Additionally, rice fields located in the cranes' core wintering areas can provide sufficient food supply to induce habitat shift from their traditional wintering habitat in 'dehesas' to rice fields, which causes indirect socioeconomic benefit through reduced acorn consumption by cranes. Our modelling approach may thus be especially helpful for management decisions regarding rice agroecosystems in areas which are also important for the conservation of migratory waterbirds.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25553543 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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2. Environ Pollut. 2014 Dec 29;198C:41-46. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.12.023. [Epub ahead of print]

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste recycling site in South China.

Luo X1, Sun Y2, Wu J3, Chen S3, Mai B3.

Abstract

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are under review by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Currently, limited data are available about SCCPs in terrestrial organisms. In the present study, SCCP concentration in the muscles of seven terrestrial bird species (n = 38) inhabiting an e-waste recycling area in South China was determined. This concentration varied from 620 to 17,000 ng/g lipid. Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP concentrations than migratory birds (p < 0.01). Trophic magnification was observed for migratory bird species but not for resident, which was attributed to high heterogeneity of SCCP in e-waste area. Two different homologue group patterns were observed in avian samples. The first pattern was found in five bird species dominated by C10 and C11 congeners, while the second was found in the remains, which show rather equal abundance of homologue groups. This may be caused by two sources of SCCPs (local and e-waste) in the study area.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25553345 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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3. PeerJ. 2014 Dec 23;2:e706. doi: 10.7717/peerj.706. eCollection 2014.

Three-dimensional anatomy of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) knee joint.

Chadwick KP1, Regnault S1, Allen V1, Hutchinson JR1.

Abstract

The three-dimensional anatomy of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) knee (femorotibial, femorofibular, and femoropatellar) joint has scarcely been studied, and could elucidate certain mechanobiological properties of sesamoid bones. The adult ostrich is unique in that it has double patellae, while another similar ratite bird, the emu, has none. Understanding why these patellae form and what purpose they may serve is dually important for future studies on ratites as well as for understanding the mechanobiological characteristics of sesamoid bone development. For this purpose, we present a three-dimensional anatomical study of the ostrich knee joint, detailing osteology, ligaments and menisci, and myology. We have identified seven muscles which connect to the two patellae and compare our findings to past descriptions. These descriptions can be used to further study the biomechanical loading and implications of the double patella in the ostrich.
Free Article
PMID: 25551024 [PubMed]
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4. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Dec 23;12(1):106-30. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120100106.

Moving beyond Green: Exploring the Relationship of Environment Type and Indicators of Perceived Environmental Quality on Emotional Well-Being following Group Walks.

Marselle MR1, Irvine KN2, Lorenzo-Arribas A3, Warber SL4.

Abstract

Against the backdrop of increasing interest in the relationship between Nature and health, this study examined the effect of perceived environment type and indicators of perceived environmental quality on short-term emotional well-being following outdoor group walks. Participants (n = 127) of a national group walk program completed pre- and post-walk questionnaires for each walk attended (n = 1009) within a 13-week study period. Multilevel linear modelling was used to examine the main and moderation effects. To isolate the environmental from the physical activity elements, analyses controlled for walk duration and perceived intensity. Analyses revealed that perceived restorativeness and perceived walk intensity predicted greater positive affect and happiness following an outdoor group walk. Perceived restorativeness and perceived bird biodiversity predicted post-walk negative affect. Perceived restorativeness moderated the relationship between perceived naturalness and positive affect. Results suggest that restorative quality of an environment may be an important element for enhancing well-being, and that perceived restorativeness and naturalness of an environment may interact to amplify positive affect. These findings highlight the importance of further research on the contribution of environment type and quality on well-being, and the need to control for effects of physical activity in green exercise research.
Free Article
PMID: 25546275 [PubMed - in process]
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5. Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2014 Dec 27. doi: 10.1111/plb.12297. [Epub ahead of print]

How specialised is bird pollination in the Cactaceae?

Gorostiague P1, Ortega-Baes P.

Abstract

Many cactus species produce 'bird' flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Here, we report on a study of the pollination of two species from the Cleistocactus genus, cited as an ornithophilous genus, in the context of the different ways in which they are specialised to bird pollination. In addition, we re-evaluate the level of specialisation of previous studies of cacti with bird pollination and evaluate how common phenotypic specialisation to birds is in this family. Both Cleistocactus species exhibited ornithophilous floral traits. C. baumannii was pollinated by hummingbirds, whereas C. smaragdiflorus was pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. Pollination by birds has been recorded in 27 cactus species, many of which exhibit ornithophilous traits; however, they show generalised pollination systems with bees, bats or moths in addition to birds being their floral visitors. Of all cactus species, 27% have reddish flowers. This trait is associated with diurnal anthesis and a tubular shape. Phenotypic specialisation to bird pollination is recognised in many cactus species; however, it is not predictive of functional and ecological specialisation in this family. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25545418 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



6. Parasitol Res. 2014 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Leucocytozoon pterotenuis sp. nov. (Haemosporida, Leucocytozoidae): description of the morphologically unique species from the Grallariidae birds, with remarks on the distribution of Leucocytozoon parasites in the Neotropics.

Lotta IA1, Gonzalez AD, Pacheco MA, Escalante AA, Valkiūnas G, Moncada LI, Matta NE.

Abstract

We describe morphologically unique Leucocytozoon pterotenuis sp. nov. (Haemosporida, Leucocytozoidae), the first reported leucocytozoid species developing in fusiform host cell found in a Neotropical passeriform bird. The type host of this parasite is the Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla, Grallariidae), an elusive native passerine bird whose natural history remains, to a large degree, unexplored. This bird was captured in Palacio forest in the damping zone of Chingaza National Natural Park, Cundinamarca, Colombia, at 2900 m above sea level (asl). Gametocytes of the new species develop both in roundish and fusiform host cells. This parasite is readily morphologically distinguishable from the described Leucocytozoon species because its host cells possess the narrow (needle-like) spindle-shaped processes, which length markedly exceeds their width. Additionally, the host cell nucleus markedly extends into the processes. Phylogenetic relationships were constructed based on a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and the complete mitochondrial genome. Phylogenetic analysis placed the lineage of L. pterotenuis in different positions depending on the length of the sequence analyzed that is likely due to poor sampling of Leucocytozoon species, especially from rare or non-passerine hosts, as well as a paucity of complete mitochondrial sequences of these parasites. Available data indicate that Leucocytozoon parasites are distributed mainly in mountain regions of the Neotropics where unique morphological forms have been recently discovered. To a better knowledge of the diversity of Leucocytozoon spp. and their host-vector-parasite interactions in Neotropical countries, additional deep and intensive samplings are needed, particularly in orders different to Passeriformes.
PMID: 25544705 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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7. Zootaxa. 2014 Oct 24;3878(3):261-90. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3878.3.3.

Ulyxes, a new Australopapuan mite genus associated with arboreal nests (Acari: Laelapidae).

Shaw MD1.

Abstract

As part of a survey of mammal and bird nests, new species, new male stages, and some feeding observations have been collected from what was formerly called the Androlaelaps ulysses group. As many features of this group are consistently different from Androlaelaps, and also from Haemolaelaps where it was formerly placed, this group is here elevated to Ulyxes new genus, and U. autolycus, U. euryclea, and U. theoclymenus are described as new species. This genus has a broad range of feeding behaviour spanning intranasal parasitism, nidicolous parasitism, and at least one species is a nidicolous predator. Its host range is broad; two new species are shown here to cohabit with parrots while most remaining species associate with mammals. In contrast to the variation in feeding behaviour, Ulyxes spp are associated with a narrow range of nest types, being confined to arboreal nests, usually tree hollows (rarely fallen logs), and on the parrot or mammal hosts that use them. Ulyxes spp show a remarkable variability in male cheliceral development, which assorts according to feeding behaviour. There is a strong contrast between male chelicerae of predatory and parasitic species that has not been previously observed in such a compact dermanyssine genus. Previously male cheliceral morphology was thought to be conservative enough to provide diagnostic characters at suprageneric rank. For systematics, these findings complicate previous attempts to recognise male mouthparts as reliable features marking higher-level natural groups that include dermanyssoid vertebrate parasites. For evolutionary studies, this may be relevant in seeking examples of transitions to, or away from, parasitism.
PMID: 25544446 [PubMed - in process]



8. Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Declines in Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Contamination of San Francisco Bay following Production Phase-Outs and Bans.

Sutton R1, Sedlak MD, Yee D, Davis JA, Crane D, Grace R, Arsem N.

Abstract

California has implemented unique consumer product flammability standards. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants were once widely incorporated into products to meet these standards, but concerns regarding toxicity and accumulation in humans and biota led to nationwide phase-outs and state bans. A decade of PBDE monitoring in San Francisco Bay has resulted in a data set that covers periods during and after PBDE use and consists of hundreds of measurements of water, sediment, and biota. While PBDEs remain widely detected in biota, levels have declined by nearly half in sport fish and 74-95% in bivalves and bird eggs. Concentrations of BDE-47 in sediment have dropped by over one-third from 2002 to 2012; in water, a decline is not yet evident. The dominant congener in sediment, DecaBDE component BDE-209, showed no temporal trend. U.S. production of DecaBDE ended in 2013; future monitoring may reveal declines. Overall, the data indicate that reduced production can result in relatively rapid reductions in the concentrations of some hydrophobic contaminants in biota and sediment, particularly when implemented after only a few decades of heavy use. Recent changes to California's flammability standards may lessen the use of other flame retardants and similarly reduce Bay contamination.
PMID: 25544014 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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9. Zootaxa. 2014 Nov 14;3884(3):253-66. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3884.3.4.

An advanced, new long-legged bird from the Early Cretaceous of the Jehol Group (northeastern China): insights into the temporal divergence of modern birds.

Liu D1, Chiappe LM2, Zhang Y1, Bell A2, Meng Q1, Ji Q3, Wang X4.

Abstract

We describe a new ornithuromorph bird species, Gansus zheni from the Lower Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of the Jiufotang Formation (Jehol Group), Liaoning Province, China. A cladistic analysis resolves Gansus zheni as the sister taxon of the roughly contemporaneous Gansus yumenensis (Xiagou Formation, Gansu Province), and together as the most immediate outgroup to Ornithurae. Gansus zheni is the most advanced bird known today for the Jehol Biota. Its discovery provides the best-documented case of inter-basinal correlations (Jehol and Changma basins of Liaoning and Gansu provinces, respectively) using low-taxonomic clades of fossil birds. The existence of close relatives of Ornithurae in deposits formed at about 120 million years ago helps to mitigate the long-standing controversy between molecular and paleontological evidence for the temporal divergence of modern birds (Neornithes).
PMID: 25543783 [PubMed - in process]



10. Respir Investig. 2015 Jan;53(1):13-21. doi: 10.1016/j.resinv.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Sep 29.

Utility of immunological tests for bird-related hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Suhara K1, Miyazaki Y2, Okamoto T1, Yasui M1, Tsuchiya K1, Inase N1.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The reaction of specific antibodies and sensitized lymphocytes to antigens is important in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). However, there are no known studies evaluating the utility of the lymphocyte proliferation test (LPT) or specific antibodies to avian antigens in diagnosing bird-related HP. In this study, we examined the sensitivity and specificity of these two tests.

METHODS:

Patients with acute bird-related HP (n=10), chronic bird-related HP (n=35), acute summer-type HP (n=14), and other interstitial pneumonia (IP) (n=76) were evaluated. The optimal cutoff values were determined by receiver operating curve (ROC) analyses of specific antibodies in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and by conducting the LPT on mononuclear cells in peripheral blood and BALF.

RESULTS:

The sensitivity and specificity of the antibodies were 80-100% and 92-100% in acute bird-related HP, and 26-79% and 73-93% in chronic bird-related HP, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the LPT were 50-100% and 100% in acute bird-related HP, and 46% and 91% in chronic bird-related HP, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Specific antibodies and the LPT are quite useful for diagnosing acute bird-related HP. The presence of specific antibodies in BALF and the results of LPT with peripheral blood mononuclear cells are particularly useful for diagnosing chronic bird-related HP.
Copyright © 2014 The Japanese Respiratory Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25542599 [PubMed - in process]
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11. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 26;9(12):e116112. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116112. eCollection 2014.

Light dulls and darkens bird eggs.

Navarro JY1, Lahti DC1.

Abstract

Although egg color is generally consistent within individual birds and robust to environmental variation, recent evidence suggests a degree of susceptibility to environmental perturbation or modulation of egg color. Most of this variation manifests via the physiology of the laying female, but some direct impacts of the environment on laid eggs have also been discovered. Here we test whether light changes bird egg color and we quantify its effect, by subjecting variable blue-green eggs of Rüppell's weaver (Ploceus galbula) to a broad-spectrum light source under laboratory conditions, and measuring egg reflectance every few hours. Eggshells gradually decreased in reflectance across the entire measured wavelength spectrum of 250-800 nm. Reflectance peaks were disproportionately affected, such that the height decreased of both the blue-green peak and the smaller UV peak typical of blue-green eggs. The reflectance of lighter eggs was affected slightly more than that of darker eggs. These changes are similar to previous results for changes over long periods of time in darkness, suggesting that light might hasten the same process of pigment degradation that proceeds even without light. Comparison between the experimental light source and both sunlight and typical artificial lighting situations raises the possibility that significant color change might occur during incubation in some birds, but indicates that eggshell illumination in museums for short periods of study is unlikely to affect their color to a detectable extent. Additional research should be performed on eggs of other species and in other light environments, with an eye to an eventual generalized model of the effect of light on eggshell color.
Free Article
PMID: 25541724 [PubMed - in process]
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12. Infect Genet Evol. 2014 Dec 23. pii: S1567-1348(14)00475-4. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.12.019. [Epub ahead of print]

New Wolbachia supergroups detected in quill mites (Acari: Syringophilidae).

Glowska E1, Dragun-Damian A2, Dabert M3, Gerth M4.

Abstract

Wolbachia is the most abundant intracellular bacterial genus infecting a wide range of arthropods and filarial nematodes. Wolbachia have evolved parasitic, mutualistic and commensal relationships with their hosts but in arthropods generally act as reproductive parasites, inducing a wide range of phenotypic effects such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, feminization and male-killing. Up to now, the genus has been divided into 14 supergroups successively named A-O. Here, we describe two new Wolbachia supergroups from syringophilid mites (Acari: Cheyletoidea). These obligatory ectoparasites of birds inhabit the quills of feathers in many avian groups. The species of this family reproduce in a haplodiploid mode sensu arrhenotoky and are usually strongly female-biased. Based on the sequences of four protein-coding genes (ftsZ, gltA and groEL and coxA) and the 16S rRNA we identified strains of three Wolbachia supergroups (F and two distinct, yet undescribed ones) in five quill mite species. Our results suggest that in some cases the distribution of the bacteria can be better correlated with the mite's bird host rather than with mite taxonomy as such. The discovery of two new Wolbachia supergroups not only broadens the knowledge of the diversity of this bacterium but also raises questions about potential effects induced in quill mites and transmission mechanisms of the endosymbionts in this peculiar bacteria-quill mite-bird system.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 25541519 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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13. Ecol Evol. 2014 Nov;4(22):4247-57. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1290. Epub 2014 Oct 22.

An integrated modeling approach to estimating Gunnison sage-grouse population dynamics: combining index and demographic data.

Davis AJ1, Hooten MB2, Phillips ML3, Doherty PF Jr1.

Abstract

Evaluation of population dynamics for rare and declining species is often limited to data that are sparse and/or of poor quality. Frequently, the best data available for rare bird species are based on large-scale, population count data. These data are commonly based on sampling methods that lack consistent sampling effort, do not account for detectability, and are complicated by observer bias. For some species, short-term studies of demographic rates have been conducted as well, but the data from such studies are typically analyzed separately. To utilize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of these two data types, we developed a novel Bayesian integrated model that links population count data and population demographic data through population growth rate (λ) for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). The long-term population index data available for Gunnison sage-grouse are annual (years 1953-2012) male lek counts. An intensive demographic study was also conducted from years 2005 to 2010. We were able to reduce the variability in expected population growth rates across time, while correcting for potential small sample size bias in the demographic data. We found the population of Gunnison sage-grouse to be variable and slightly declining over the past 16 years.
PMCID: PMC4267864 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25540687 [PubMed]
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14. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Feb 7;282(1800). pii: 20142085. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2085.

Feather corticosterone reveals effect of moulting conditions in the autumn on subsequent reproductive output and survival in an Arctic migratory bird.

Harms NJ1, Legagneux P2, Gilchrist HG3, Bêty J 2, Love OP4, Forbes MR5, Bortolotti GR6, Soos C7.

Abstract

For birds, unpredictable environments during the energetically stressful times of moulting and breeding are expected to have negative fitness effects. Detecting those effects however, might be difficult if individuals modulate their physiology and/or behaviours in ways to minimize short-term fitness costs. Corticosterone in feathers (CORTf) is thought to provide information on total baseline and stress-induced CORT levels at moulting and is an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity during the time feathers are grown. We predicted that CORTf levels in northern common eider females would relate to subsequent body condition, reproductive success and survival, in a population of eiders nesting in the eastern Canadian Arctic during a capricious period marked by annual avian cholera outbreaks. We collected CORTf data from feathers grown during previous moult in autumn and data on phenology of subsequent reproduction and survival for 242 eider females over 5 years. Using path analyses, we detected a direct relationship between CORTf and arrival date and body condition the following year. CORTf also had negative indirect relationships with both eider reproductive success and survival of eiders during an avian cholera outbreak. This indirect effect was dramatic with a reduction of approximately 30% in subsequent survival of eiders during an avian cholera outbreak when mean CORTf increased by 1 standard deviation. This study highlights the importance of events or processes occurring during moult on subsequent expression of life-history traits and relation to individual fitness, and shows that information from non-destructive sampling of individuals can track carry-over effects across seasons.
© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25540279 [PubMed - in process]
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15. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2014 Dec 24;10(1):81. [Epub ahead of print]

Local knowledge and exploitation of the avian fauna by a rural community in the semi-arid zone of northeastern Brazil.

Teixeira PH, Thel TD, Ferreira JM, Júnior S, Júnior WR, Neves R.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The present study examined the exploitation of bird species by the residents of a rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid zone, and their preferences for species with different characteristics.

METHODS:

The 24 informants were identified using the "snowball" approach, and were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires and check-sheets for the collection of data on their relationship with the bird species that occur in the region. The characteristics that most attract the attention of the interviewees were the song and the coloration of the plumage of a bird, as well as its body size, which determines its potential as a game species, given that hunting is an important activity in the region.

RESULTS:

A total of 98 species representing 32 families (50.7% of the species known to occur in the region) were reported during interviews, being used for meat, pets, and medicinal purposes. Three species were used as zootherapeutics - White-naped Jay was eaten whole as a cure for speech problems, the feathers of Yellow-legged Tinamou were used for snakebite, Smooth-billed Ani was eaten for "chronic cough" and Small-billed Tinamou and Tataupa Tinamou used for locomotion problems. The preference of the informants for characteristics such as birdsong and colorful plumage was a significant determinant of their preference for the species exploited. Birds with cynegetic potential and high use values were also among the most preferred species. Despite the highly significant preferences for certain species, some birds, such as those of the families Trochilidae, Thamnophilidae, and Tyrannidae are hunted randomly, independently of their attributes.

CONCLUSION:

The evidence collected on the criteria applied by local specialists for the exploitation of the bird fauna permitted the identification of the species that suffer hunting pressure, providing guidelines for the development of conservation and management strategies that will guarantee the long-term survival of the populations of these bird species in the region.
Free Article
PMID: 25540070 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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16. Nature. 2014 Dec 18;516(7531):297. doi: 10.1038/516297a.

Evolution: Bird family tree is in fine feather.

Callaway E.
PMID: 25519109 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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17. Ecol Lett. 2014 Oct;17(10):1310-5. doi: 10.1111/ele.12339. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Natural selection acts in opposite ways on correlated hormonal mediators of prenatal maternal effects in a wild bird population.

Tschirren B1, Postma E, Gustafsson L, Groothuis TG, Doligez B.

Abstract

Maternal hormones are important mediators of prenatal maternal effects. Although many experimental studies have demonstrated their potency in shaping offspring phenotypes, we know remarkably little about their adaptive value. Using long-term data on a wild collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) population, we show that natural selection acts in opposite ways on two maternally derived androgens, yolk androstenedione (A4) and yolk testosterone (T). High yolk A4 concentrations are associated with higher fitness, whereas high yolk T concentrations are associated with lower fitness. Natural selection thus favours females that produce eggs with high A4 and low T concentrations. Importantly, however, there exists a positive (non-genetic) correlation between A4 and T, which suggests that females are limited in their ability to reach this adaptive optimum. Thereby, these results provide strong evidence for an adaptive value of differential maternal androgen deposition, and a mechanistic explanation for the maintenance of variation in maternal investment in the wild.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.
PMID: 25130200 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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18. Biol Lett. 2014 May;10(5):20140223. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0223.

Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds.

Mayr G1, Wilde V2.

Abstract

Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of bird-flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators.
© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
PMCID: PMC4046380 [Available on 2015/5/1]
PMID: 24872461 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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19. Acta Parasitol. 2014 Jun;59(2):272-5. doi: 10.2478/s11686-014-0240-4. Epub 2014 May 15.

Isospora massardi sp. nov. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the white-necked thrush Turdus albicollis (Passeriformes: Turdidae) from Brazil.

Lopes Bdo B1, Berto BP, Luz HR, Galvão Gda S, Ferreira I, Lopes CW.

Abstract

A new coccidian species (Protozoa: Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) are reported from the white-necked thrush Turdus albicollis Vieillot, 1818, a very common species in South America. Isospora massardi sp. nov. oocysts are subspherical, 18.6 × 17.7 μm, with smooth, bilayered wall, ~0.9 μm. Micropyle, oocyst residuum are absent, but two polar granules are frequently present. Sporocysts are ovoidal, 14.8 × 9.3 μm. Stieda body is knob-like to rounded and substieda body is rounded. Sporocyst residuum is composed of scattered spherules of different sizes. Sporozoites are vermiform with posterior and anterior refractile bodies and a nucleus. This is the sixth description of an isosporoid coccidium infecting a New World turdid bird.
PMID: 24827098 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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