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.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

BOU2015 Avian Tracking Conference, Ibis Virtual Issue, March 2015


Cover image for Vol. 157 Issue 2

© British Ornithologists' Union

Volume 157 Issue 2
Edited By: Paul F. Donald (Editor in Chief)

BOU2015 Avian Tracking Virtual Issue
This Virtual Issue of Ibis has been compiled to showcase some of the recent contributions published in the Journal on ‘avian tracking and remote sensing’ to accompany the BOU 2015 Annual Conference on the same theme held at University of Leicester, UK in March 2015. You can find conference related items on social media using #BOU2015.

Tracking to assess migratory movements:

Malcolm Smith, Mark Bolton, David J. Okill, Ron W. Summers, Pete Ellis, Felix Liechti and Jeremy D. Wilson

The migration route of Red-necked Phalarope populations breeding on North Atlantic islands has been subject to considerable speculation. Geolocator tags were fitted to nine Red-necked Phalaropes breeding in northern Scotland to assess whether they migrated to Palaearctic or Nearctic wintering grounds. Of four birds known to return, two had retained their tags, of which one was recaptured. This male Phalarope left Shetland on 1 August 2012 and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the Labrador Sea off eastern Canada in 6 days, then moved south to reach Florida during September, crossed the Gulf of Mexico into the Pacific Ocean and reached an area between the Galapagos Islands and the South American coast by mid-October, where it remained until the end of April, returning by a similar route until the tag battery failed as the bird was crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The total migration of 22 000 km is approximately 60% longer than the previously assumed route to the western part of the Arabian Sea, and this first evidence of migration of a European breeding bird to the Pacific Ocean also helps to indicate the possible migratory route of the large autumn movements of Red-necked Phalaropes down the east coast of North America.

Iain J. Stenhouse, Carsten Egevang and Richard A. Phillips

The migrations and winter distributions of most seabirds, particularly small pelagic species, remain poorly understood despite their potential as indicators of marine ecosystem health. Here we report the use of miniature archival light loggers (geolocators) to track the annual migration of Sabine’s Gull Larus sabini, a small (c. 200 g) Arctic-breeding larid. We describe their migratory routes and identify previously unknown staging sites in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as their main Atlantic wintering area in the southern hemisphere. Sabine’s Gulls breeding in northeast Greenland displayed an average annual migration of almost 32 000 km (n = 6), with the longest return journey spanning close to 39 000 km (not including local movements at staging sites or within the wintering area). On their southern migration, they spent an average of 45 days in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Sea, off the coasts of France, Spain and Portugal. They all wintered in close association with the cold waters of the Benguela Upwelling, spending an average of 152 days in that area. On their return north, Sabine’s Gulls staged off the west African coast (Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal), spending on average 19 days at this site. This leg of migration was particularly rapid, birds travelling an average of 813 km/day, assisted by the prevailing winds. Sabine’s Gulls generally followed a similar path on their outbound and return migrations, and did not exhibit the broad figure-of-eight pattern (anti clockwise in the southern hemisphere and clockwise in the northern hemisphere) seen in other trans-equatorial seabirds in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Ruben Liminana, Marta Romero Ugo Mellone and Vicente Urios

Recent improvements in satellite tracking, such as the miniaturization of transmitters, have enabled the study of movements of an increasing number of bird species. The Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni has been the subject of numerous studies but detailed information on its migration routes and wintering areas is still lacking. Here, we provide a detailed description of migration routes, timing of migration and wintering areas of Lesser Kestrels. Five adults fitted with satellite transmitters in southeastern Spain were tracked during autumn and spring migration journeys and on their wintering grounds. The overall migration duration was longer in spring than in autumn, although birds also showed longer stopovers in this season and hence the number of travelling days was lower. Lesser Kestrels covered longer daily distances in spring due to a higher frequency of nocturnal migration, rather than differences in flight speed, which did not differ between seasons. Wintering areas of Lesser Kestrels from the same breeding colony were widely spaced throughout the western Sahel along the borders of Mauritania, Mali and Senegal, approximately 2800 km from their breeding sites. The autumn migration duration of Lesser Kestrels derived from recent studies using geolocators was underestimated compared with that recorded by satellite telemetry. Given the current rapid habitat loss in the Sahel, a better understanding of migratory routes and wintering areas of other populations of this species would be important to assess its influence on population trends.

Tracking to study breeding ecology, habitat use and diet:

Giuseppe De Marchi, Giorgio Chiozzi, Giacomo Dell'Omo and Mauro Fasola

We used GPS data-loggers, video-recordings and dummy eggs to assess whether foraging needs may force the low incubation attentiveness (< 55%) of the Crab Plover Dromas ardeola, a crab-eating wader of the Indian Ocean that nests colonially in burrows. The tidal cycle was the major determinant of the time budget and some foraging trips were more distant from the colony than previously known (up to 26 km away and lasting up to 45 h). The longest trips were mostly made by off-duty parents, but on-duty parents also frequently left the nest unattended while foraging for 1–7 h. However, the time spent at the colony area (47%) and the time spent roosting on the foraging grounds (16%) would have allowed almost continuous incubation, as in other species with shared incubation. Therefore, the low incubation attentiveness is not explained by the need for long foraging trips but is largely dependent on a high intermittent rhythm of incubation with many short recesses (5.8 ± 2.6 recesses/h) that were not spent foraging but just outside the burrow or thermoregulating at the seashore. As a result, the eggs were warmed on average only 1.7 °C above burrow temperature, slightly more during high tide periods and when burrow temperature was lower between 20:00 and 10:00 h, only partly counteracting the temperature fluctuations of the incubation chamber. These results suggest that low incubation attentiveness is due to the favourable thermal conditions provided by safe nesting burrows and by the hot tropical breeding season, a combination that allows simultaneous foraging by parents and the exploitation of distant foraging grounds. Why Crab Plovers engage in many short recesses from incubation still remains to be clarified but the need to thermoregulate at the seashore and to watch for predators may play a role.

Sarah E. Gutowsky, Yann Tremblay, Michelle A. Kappes, Elizabeth N. Flint, John Klavitter, Leona Laniawe, Dan P. Costa, Maura B. Naughton, Marc D. Romano and Scott A. Shaffer

Past tracking studies of marine animals have primarily targeted adults, biasing our understanding of at-sea habitat use toward older life stages. Anthropogenic threats persist throughout the at-sea ranges of all life stages and it is therefore of interest to population ecologists and managers alike to understand spatiotemporal distributions and possible niche differentiation between age-classes. In albatrosses, particularly little is known about the juvenile life stage when fledglings depart the colonies and venture to sea with no prior experience or parental guidance. We compared the dispersal of 22 fledgling Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes between 2006 and 2008 using satellite telemetry and 16 adults between 2008 and 2009 using geolocaters from Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Following tag deployment, all fledglings spent several days within the calm atoll waters, then travelled northward until reaching 750–900 km from the colony. At this point, fledgling distributions approached the productive North Pacific Transition Zone (NPTZ). Rather than reaching the high chlorophyll a densities on the leading edge of this zone, however, fledglings remained in areas of low productivity in the subtropical gyre. In contrast, adult albatrosses from the same breeding colony did not utilize the NPTZ at this time of year but rather ranged throughout the highly productive northern periphery of the Pacific Ocean Basin among the shelf regions off Japan and the Aleutian Islands. The dichotomy in habitat use between fledglings and adults from Midway Atoll results in complete spatial segregation between age-classes and suggests ontogenetic niche separation in this species. This research fills a large knowledge gap in at-sea habitat use during a little known yet critical life stage of albatrosses, and contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of differential mortality pressure between age-classes and overall conservation status for the vulnerable Black-footed Albatross.

Kurt K. Burnham and Ian Newton

Little information exists on the movements of Gyrfalcons Falco rusticolus outside the breeding season, particularly amongst High Arctic populations, with almost all current knowledge based on Low Arctic populations. This study is the first to provide data on summer and winter ranges and migration distances. We highlight a behaviour previously unknown in Gyrfalcons, in which birds winter on sea ice far from land. During 2000–2004, data were collected from 48 Gyrfalcons tagged with satellite transmitters in three parts of Greenland: Thule (northwest), Kangerlussuaq (central-west) and Scoresbysund (central-east). Breeding home-range size for seven adult females varied from 140 to 1197 km2 and was 489 and 503 km2 for two adult males. Complete outward migrations from breeding to wintering areas were recorded for three individuals: an adult male which travelled 3137 km over a 38-day period (83 km/day) from northern Ellesmere Island to southern Greenland, an adult female which travelled 4234 km from Thule to southern Greenland (via eastern Canada) over an 83-day period (51 km/day), and an adult female which travelled 391 km from Kangerlussuaq to southern Greenland over a 13-day period (30 km/day). Significant differences were found in winter home-range size between Falcons tagged on the west coast (383–6657 km2) and east coast (26 810–63 647 km2). Several Falcons had no obvious winter home-ranges and travelled continually during the non-breeding period, at times spending up to 40 consecutive days at sea, presumably resting on icebergs and feeding on seabirds. During the winter, one juvenile female travelled over 4548 km over an approximately 200-day period, spending over half that time over the ocean between Greenland and Iceland. These are some of the largest winter home-ranges ever documented in raptors and provide the first documentation of the long-term use of pelagic habitats by any falcon. In general, return migrations were faster than outward ones. This study highlights the importance of sea ice and fjord regions in southwest Greenland as winter habitat for Gyrfalcons, and provides the first detailed insights into the complex and highly variable movement patterns of the species.

Tracking for conservation:

Carlos Palacín, Juan C. Alonso, Carlos A. Martín and Javier A. Alonso

A detailed knowledge of the habitat requirements of steppe birds living in farmland habitats is necessary to identify agricultural practices compatible with their conservation. The globally threatened Great Bustard Otis tarda is a partial migrant in central Iberia, but factors affecting its winter habitat use have not been identified. We assessed habitat differences between breeding and wintering areas and winter habitat selection of radiotagged migrant female Great Bustards in central Spain. Of 68 tagged females, 35% moved to wintering areas located 64.3 ± 24.0 km south of their breeding areas, and 80% wintered in a single area of c. 236 km2. A census of the population in this area identified it as one of the most important wintering areas of this species in the world, holding c. 1500 individuals. There were significant differences between breeding and wintering habitats of individually marked migrant females. Compared with breeding areas, wintering areas of migrant females were located further from roads and urban nuclei, had lower human population densities and area of urban developments, and a higher diversity of land-use types, with less cover of cereals and more vineyards and olive groves. Within this area, radiotracked migrant females preferred sites with more vineyards and a lower land-use diversity. Our results highlight the importance of traditional Mediterranean dry farmland mosaics, and suggest that different conservation strategies are needed for migrant and resident populations in winter to secure the conservation of suitable wintering habitat for Great Bustards in the Iberian Peninsula.

Andrea C. Bowling, Julien Martin and Wiley M. Kitchens

The degradation of habitats due to human activities is a major topic of interest for the conservation and management of wild populations. There is growing evidence that the Florida Everglades ecosystem continues to suffer from habitat degradation. After a period of recovery in the 1990s, the Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis population suffered a substantial decline in 2001 and has not recovered since. Habitat degradation has been suggested as one of the primary reasons for this lack of recovery. As a consequence of the continued degradation of the Everglades, we hypothesized that this would have led to increased movement of juvenile Kites over time, as a consequence of the need to find more favourable habitat. We used multistate mark-recapture models to compare between-site movement probabilities of juvenile Snail Kites in the 1990s (1992–95; which corresponds to the period before the decline) and 2000s (2003–06; after the decline). Our analyses were based on an extensive radiotelemetry study (266 birds tracked monthly over the entire state of Florida for a total period of 6 years) and considered factors such as sex and age of marked individuals. There was evidence of increased movement of juvenile Snail Kites during the post-decline period from most of the wetland regions used historically by Kites. Higher movement rates may contribute to an increase in the probability of mortality of young individuals and could contribute to the observed declines.

Alexandre Villers, Alexandre Millon, Frederic Jiguet, Jean-Michel Lett, Carole Attie, Manuel B. Morales and Vincent Bretagnolle

Populations of the Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax in the farmlands of Europe have declined greatly over the last century. In Western Europe, France now holds the only remaining migratory population, which currently numbers fewer than 300 displaying males. However, the movements of these birds are virtually unknown, in spite of the important implications of this information for the conservation of this species. We identified migratory movements and overwintering areas of French migratory populations, using wild individuals fitted with satellite or radio-transmitters. Little Bustards completed their migration journey over a relatively short time period (2–5 days), with nocturnal migration flights of 400–600 km per night. All birds overwintered in Iberia. In addition, we tested the consequences of captive rearing on migratory movements. French wild adults and French captive-bred juveniles behaved similarly with regard to migration, suggesting that hand-raising does not alter migratory movements. However, birds originating from eggs collected in Spain and reared in western France did not migrate, suggesting a genetic component to migratory behaviour. These results therefore suggest that a conservation strategy involving the release in France of birds hatched from eggs collected in Spain may imperil the expression of migratory movements of the French population. More generally, to maintain the integrity of native populations, the introduced individuals should mimic their migratory movements and behaviour.

The effects of fitting tracking devices on birds:

Fabián Casas, Ana Benítez-López, Jesús T. García, Carlos A. Martín, Javier Viñuela and Francois Mougeot

Capturing and marking free-living birds permits the study of important aspects of their biology but may have undesirable effects. Bird welfare should be a primary concern, so it is necessary to evaluate and minimize any adverse effects of procedures used. We assess short-term effects associated with the capture, handling and tagging with backpack-mounted transmitters of Pin-tailed Pterocles alchata and Black-bellied Pterocles orientalis Sandgrouse, steppe birds of conservation concern. There was a significantly higher mortality (15%) during the first week after capture than during the following weeks (< 2.5%) in Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, but no significant temporal mortality pattern in Black-bellied Sandgrouse. In Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, mortality rate during the first week increased with increasing relative transmitter and harness weight regardless of season, and with increasing handling time during the breeding season. There were no significant differences in mortality rate between study areas, type of tag, sex or age or an effect of restraint time. These results suggest the use of lighter transmitters (< 3% of the bird's weight) and a reduction of handling time (< 20 min), particularly during the breeding season, as essential improvements in procedure to reduce the mortality risk associated with the capture, handling and tagging of these vulnerable species.

Peter Dann, Leesa A. Sidhu, Roz Jessop, Leanne Renwick, Margaret Healy, Belinda Dettmann, Barry Baker and Edward A. Catchpole

Tagging is essential for many types of ecological and behavioural studies, and it is generally assumed that it does not affect the fitness of the individuals being examined. However, the tagging of birds has been shown to have negative effects on some aspects of their lives. Here we investigate the influence of tagging on apparent survival. We examined the effects of flipper bands and injected transponders on the apparent survival of adult Little Penguins by comparing the survival probabilities of 2483 Little Penguins marked at Phillip Island, Australia, between 1995 and 2001 in one of three ways: with bands, with transponders or with both. The design of the study and our method of analysis allowed us to estimate tag loss and ensured that tag loss did not bias the survival estimates. Birds marked with flipper bands had lower survival probabilities than those marked with transponders (with apparent survival probabilities in the first year after tagging of 75% for banded birds and 80% for birds fitted with transponders, and in subsequent years of 87% for banded birds and 91% for birds fitted with transponders). We estimated both band and transponder loss probabilities for the first time, and found that transponder loss probabilities were substantially higher than band loss probabilities, particularly in the first year after marking when the tag loss probability was 5% for transponders and 0.7% for bands. Survival probabilities were lower in the first year after marking than in subsequent years for all birds. Studies of penguins that have used flipper bands to identify individuals may have underestimated annual adult survival probabilities, as banded penguins were likely to have lower than average survival probabilities than those of unbanded birds. The higher annual survival probabilities of individuals marked with transponders indicate that this should be the preferred marking technique for Little Penguins. However, future studies will, like ours, need to consider the higher rates of transponder loss when estimating survival, possibly by double-tagging some birds.

Ainhoa Mateo-Moriones, Rafael Villafuerte and Pablo Ferreras

A better knowledge of chick survival rates is required to enable understanding of the population dynamics of gamebirds and to develop management measures to conserve their populations. The Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa is a highly valued game species in Spain but its populations have declined in recent decades. A lack of appropriate monitoring methods has been a limitation in gaining information on the mortality of Red-legged Partridge chicks. We developed methods for the effective radiotagging of chicks in captivity and applied these methods in the field in northern Spain to estimate survival during the first 5 months of life. The most effective method for radiotagging captive chicks between 3 and 8 days old involved gluing small tags directly to the skin in the interscapular space using cyanoacrylate adhesive. Backpack harness tags attached with elastic bands were the most effective method of radiotagging 4-week-old chicks. Predation was the main cause of chick mortality identified during the field experiments. Survival between hatching and 5 months of age was estimated to be 16–21%. The lowest survival rates occurred during the first 7 days of life (62–70% cumulative survival) and this period seems to be a major determinant in the life history of the species.

Monday, 30 March 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed. March 2015, Week 3

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).

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

PubMed Results
Items 1 - 20 of 24

1. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 26;10(3):e0122264. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122264.

Do Bird Assemblages Predict Susceptibility by E-Waste Pollution? A Comparative Study Based on Species- and Guild-Dependent Responses in China Agroecosystems.

Zhang Q1, Wu J2, Sun Y2, Zhang M1, Mai B2, Mo L2, Lee TM3, Zou F1.
Author information:
Guangdong Entomological Institute/South China Institute of Endangered Animals, Guangzhou, China.
Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology and Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America.


Indirect effects of electronic waste (e-waste) have been proposed as a causal factor in the decline of bird populations, but analyses of the severity impacts on community assembly are currently lacking. To explore how population abundance/species diversity are influenced, and which functional traits are important in determining e-waste susceptibility, here we surveyed breeding and overwintering birds with a hierarchically nested sampling design, and used linear mixed models to analyze changes in bird assemblages along an exposure gradient in South China. Total bird abundance and species diversity decreased with e-waste severity (exposed < surrounding < reference), reflecting the decreasing discharge and consequent side effects. Twenty-five breeding species exclusively used natural farmland, and nine species decreased significantly in relative abundance at e-waste polluted sites. A high pairwise similarity between exposed and surrounding sites indicates a diffuse effect of pollutants on the species assembly at local scale. We show that sensitivity to e-waste severity varies substantially across functional guild, with the prevalence of woodland insectivorous and grassland specialists declining, while some open farmland generalists such as arboreal frugivores, and terrestrial granivores were also rare. By contrast, the response of waterbirds, omnivorous and non-breeding visitors seem to be tolerable to a wide range of pollution so far. These findings underscore that improper e-waste dismantling results in a severe decline of bird diversity, and the different bird assemblages on polluted and natural farmlands imply species- and guild-dependent susceptibility with functional traits. Moreover, a better understanding of the impact of e-waste with different pollution levels, combined multiple pollutants, and in a food-web context on bird is required in future.
PMID: 25811881 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

2. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 26;10(3):e0119213. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119213.

Acquired Alterations of Hypothalamic Gene Expression of Insulin and Leptin Receptors and Glucose Transporters in Prenatally High-Glucose Exposed Three-Week Old Chickens Do Not Coincide with Aberrant Promoter DNA Methylation.

Rancourt RC1, Schellong K1, Ott R1, Bogatyrev S2, Tzschentke B2, Plagemann A1.
Author information:
Clinic of Obstetrics, Division of 'Experimental Obstetrics', Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, Germany.
Humboldt-University of Berlin, Institute of Biology, Berlin, Germany.



Prenatal exposures may have a distinct impact for long-term health, one example being exposure to maternal 'diabesity' during pregnancy increasing offspring 'diabesity' risk. Malprogramming of the central nervous regulation of body weight, food intake and metabolism has been identified as a critical mechanism. While concrete disrupting factors still remain unclear, growing focus on acquired epigenomic alterations have been proposed. Due to the independent development from the mother, the chicken embryo provides a valuable model to distinctively establish causal factors and mechanisms.


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of prenatal hyperglycemia on postnatal hypothalamic gene expression and promoter DNA methylation in the chicken.


To temporarily induce high-glucose exposure in chicken embryos, 0.5 ml glucose solution (30 mmol/l) were administered daily via catheter into a vessel of the chorioallantoic egg membrane from days 14 to 17 of incubation. At three weeks of postnatal age, body weight, total body fat, blood glucose, mRNA expression (INSR, LEPR, GLUT1, GLUT3) as well as corresponding promoter DNA methylation were determined in mediobasal hypothalamic brain slices (Nucleus infundibuli hypothalami). Although no significant changes in morphometric and metabolic parameters were detected, strongly decreased mRNA expression occurred in all candidate genes. Surprisingly, however, no relevant alterations were observed in respective promoter methylation.


Prenatal hyperglycemia induces strong changes in later hypothalamic expression of INSR, LEPR, GLUT1, and GLUT3 mRNA. While the chicken provides an interesting approach for developmental malprogramming, the classical expression regulation via promoter methylation was not observed here. This may be due to alternative/interacting brain mechanisms or the thus far under-explored bird epigenome.
PMID: 25811618 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3. Am Nat. 2015 Apr;185(4):443-451. Epub 2015 Feb 17.

Color Patterns of Closely Related Bird Species Are More Divergent at Intermediate Levels of Breeding-Range Sympatry.

Martin PR1, Montgomerie R, Lougheed SC.
Author information:
Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada.


Closely related species of birds often differ markedly in their color patterns. Here we examine the influence of breeding-range overlap (breeding sympatry) on the evolution of color pattern differences in a sample of closely related bird species. We used a sister-lineage method to analyze 73 phylogenetically independent comparisons among 246 species and 39 families of birds worldwide. We found that divergence of color patterns among closely related species was greater between sympatric than between allopatric lineages, but only at intermediate levels of sympatry (50%-80% breeding-range overlap). This pattern suggests that closely related species incur costs at intermediate levels of sympatry if they exhibit similar color patterns-costs that could include hybridization, interspecific aggression, competition for signaling space, or ecological interactions that secondarily influence color patterns. The decline in color pattern divergence with further increase in sympatry suggests either the relaxation of divergent selection, increased impediment of gene flow, or an increased role for counteracting selection at higher levels of sympatry. We also found that the differences in color pattern between sympatric and allopatric sister species were greatest at lower latitudes. The global scale and broad taxonomic coverage in our study suggest that the divergence of color patterns between sympatrically breeding closely related species is widespread in birds.
PMID: 25811081 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

4.Bioinspir Biomim. 2015 Mar 25;10(2):025001. doi: 10.1088/1748-3190/10/2/025001.

Folding in and out: passive morphing in flapping wings.

Stowers AK1, Lentink D.
Author information:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


We present a new mechanism for passive wing morphing of flapping wings inspired by bat and bird wing morphology. The mechanism consists of an unactuated hand wing connected to the arm wing with a wrist joint. Flapping motion generates centrifugal accelerations in the hand wing, forcing it to unfold passively. Using a robotic model in hover, we made kinematic measurements of unfolding kinematics as functions of the non-dimensional wingspan fold ratio (2-2.5) and flapping frequency (5-17 Hz) using stereo high-speed cameras. We find that the wings unfold passively within one to two flaps and remain unfolded with only small amplitude oscillations. To better understand the passive dynamics, we constructed a computer model of the unfolding process based on rigid body dynamics, contact models, and aerodynamic correlations. This model predicts the measured passive unfolding within about one flap and shows that unfolding is driven by centrifugal acceleration induced by flapping. The simulations also predict that relative unfolding time only weakly depends on flapping frequency and can be reduced to less than half a wingbeat by increasing flapping amplitude. Subsequent dimensional analysis shows that the time required to unfold passively is of the same order of magnitude as the flapping period. This suggests that centrifugal acceleration can drive passive unfolding within approximately one wingbeat in small and large wings. Finally, we show experimentally that passive unfolding wings can withstand impact with a branch, by first folding and then unfolding passively. This mechanism enables flapping robots to squeeze through clutter without sophisticated control. Passive unfolding also provides a new avenue in morphing wing design that makes future flapping morphing wings possibly more energy efficient and light-weight. Simultaneously these results point to possible inertia driven, and therefore metabolically efficient, control strategies in bats and birds to morph or recover within a beat.
PMID: 25807583 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for IOP Publishing Ltd.

5. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 25;10(3):e0119919. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119919. eCollection 2015.

Perceptual strategies of pigeons to detect a rotational centre-a hint for star compass learning?

Alert B1, Michalik A1, Helduser S2, Mouritsen H1, Güntürkün O2.
Author information:
Institut für Biologie und Umweltwissenschaften, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, D-26111, Oldenburg, Germany; Research Centre Neurosensory Science, University of Oldenburg, D-26111, Oldenburg, Germany.
Department of Psychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Biopsychology, Ruhr-University Bochum, D-44780, Bochum, Germany.


Birds can rely on a variety of cues for orientation during migration and homing. Celestial rotation provides the key information for the development of a functioning star and/or sun compass. This celestial compass seems to be the primary reference for calibrating the other orientation systems including the magnetic compass. Thus, detection of the celestial rotational axis is crucial for bird orientation. Here, we use operant conditioning to demonstrate that homing pigeons can principally learn to detect a rotational centre in a rotating dot pattern and we examine their behavioural response strategies in a series of experiments. Initially, most pigeons applied a strategy based on local stimulus information such as movement characteristics of single dots. One pigeon seemed to immediately ignore eccentric stationary dots. After special training, all pigeons could shift their attention to more global cues, which implies that pigeons can learn the concept of a rotational axis. In our experiments, the ability to precisely locate the rotational centre was strongly dependent on the rotational velocity of the dot pattern and it crashed at velocities that were still much faster than natural celestial rotation. We therefore suggest that the axis of the very slow, natural, celestial rotation could be perceived by birds through the movement itself, but that a time-delayed pattern comparison should also be considered as a very likely alternative strategy.
Free Article
PMID: 25807499 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Public Library of Science

6. J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2015 Mar 25:1-16. [Epub ahead of print]

Companion Rabbit and Companion Bird Management Practices Among a Representative Sample of Guardians in Victoria, Australia.

Howell TJ1, Mornement K, Bennett PC.
Author information:
1 Anthrozoology Research Group, School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University , Bendigo , Victoria , Australia.


Although companion animal management practices used by caregivers can influence the welfare of the companion animals, there is little existing information about the ways in which people attempt to meet their companion animals' needs. A representative sample of rabbit guardians (n = 93, representing 63,000 people) and bird guardians (n = 203, representing 157,000 people) in Victoria, Australia, completed an online survey. Items were related to the environmental, diet/exercise, behavioral, social, and health management practices used by guardians. Guardians sometimes meet their companion animals' welfare needs, but they do not always engage in best practices. Most (79%) bird guardians reported that they interacted with their birds daily, but only 68% of rabbit guardians did the same. Likewise, 32% of rabbit guardians and 55% of bird guardians never had their companion animals vaccinated. These results may be used for educational campaigns for improving companion animal welfare.
PMID: 25807325 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Icon for Atypon

7. Parasitology. 2015 Mar 25:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

Molecular characterization of Trichomonas gallinae isolates recovered from the Canadian Maritime provinces' wild avifauna reveals the presence of the genotype responsible for the European finch trichomonosis epidemic and additional strains.

McBurney S1, Kelly-Clark WK1, Forzán MJ1, Lawson B2, Tyler KM3, Greenwood SJ4.
Author information:
Department of Pathology & Microbiology,Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island,550 University Avenue,Charlottetown,PE,C1A 4P3,Canada Prince Edward Island,Canada.
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London,Regents Park,London NW1 4RY,UK.
Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia,Norwich NR4 7TJ,UK.
Department of Biomedical Sciences,Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island,550 University Avenue,Charlottetown,PE,C1A 4P3,Canada Prince Edward Island,Canada.


Finch trichomonosis, caused by Trichomonas gallinae, emerged in the Canadian Maritime provinces in 2007 and has since caused ongoing mortality in regional purple finch (Carpodacus purpureus) and American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) populations. Trichomonas gallinae was isolated from (1) finches and rock pigeons (Columbia livia) submitted for post-mortem or live-captured at bird feeding sites experiencing trichomonosis mortality; (2) bird seed at these same sites; and (3) rock pigeons live-captured at known roosts or humanely killed. Isolates were characterized using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and iron hydrogenase (Fe-hyd) gene sequences. Two distinct ITS types were found. Type A was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain and was isolated from finches and a rock pigeon with trichomonosis; apparently healthy rock pigeons and finches; and bird seed at an outbreak site. Type B was obtained from apparently healthy rock pigeons. Fe-hyd sequencing revealed six distinct subtypes. The predominant subtype in both finches and the rock pigeon with trichomonosis was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain A1. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in Fe-hyd sequences suggest there is fine-scale variation amongst isolates and that finch trichomonosis emergence in this region may not have been caused by a single spill-over event.
PMID: 25804862 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Icon for Cambridge University Press

8. Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere. 2015 Mar 25;43(3). [Epub ahead of print]

First detection of Macrorhabdus ornithogaster in wild Eurasian Siskins (Carduelis spinus) in Germany. A case study.

Legler M1, Stelter R, Jung A, Wohlsein P, Kummerfeld N.
Author information:
Dr. Marko Legler, Clinic for Exotic Pets, Reptiles and Birds, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bünteweg 9, 30559 Hannover, Germany, Email:



The colonization of the gastric ascomycetous yeast Macrorhabdus (M.) ornithogaster could be associated with a chronic wasting disease in several bird species in captivity. The prevalence and clinical relevance of M. ornithogaster in wild birds is unknown in detail.


In the wintering season 2012/13 injured Eurasian Siskins (Carduelis spinus, n = 8) from the area of Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany were examined microbiologically and pathologically.


In six out of eight injured Eurasian Siskins M. ornithogaster were detected. The yeast was diagnosed microscopically in wet smears from the gastric isthmus and/or in faecal samples. Histopathological examination (n = 4) of the macroscopically slightly enlarged proventriculus in infected birds demonstrated the growth of M. ornithogaster in the mucosal surface and in the ducts of the glands without an inflammatory reaction. As a possible sign of a lowered fitness, all six infected siskins had a reduced body weight (mean: 11.8 ± 1.64 g) in the lower normal weight range compared to the two injured Eurasian Siskins without M. ornithogaster (15.0 g) as well as to data from the literature. Concurrent intestinal bacterial infections comprised Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens or Salmonella Typhimurium, that are regarded as an abnormal bacterial flora for Eurasian Siskins.


Infections with M. ornithogaster can be found in the wild population of Eurasian Siskins in Germany. The frequent occurrence of secondary bacterial infections associated with M. ornithogaster infections should be considered in the treatment and rehabilitation of finches.
PMID: 25804259 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Icon for Schattauer Verlag

9. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 24;10(3):e0121672. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121672. eCollection 2015.

Characterization of the avian trojan gene family reveals contrasting evolutionary constraints.

Petrov P1, Syrjänen R1, Smith J2, Gutowska MW2, Uchida T3, Vainio O1, Burt DW2.
Author information:
Institute of Diagnostics, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; Nordlab Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland; Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
Division of Genetics and Genomics, The Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS, University of Edinburgh, Roslin, United Kingdom.
Institute of Diagnostics, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.


"Trojan" is a leukocyte-specific, cell surface protein originally identified in the chicken. Its molecular function has been hypothesized to be related to anti-apoptosis and the proliferation of immune cells. The Trojan gene has been localized onto the Z sex chromosome. The adjacent two genes also show significant homology to Trojan, suggesting the existence of a novel gene/protein family. Here, we characterize this Trojan family, identify homologues in other species and predict evolutionary constraints on these genes. The two Trojan-related proteins in chicken were predicted as a receptor-type tyrosine phosphatase and a transmembrane protein, bearing a cytoplasmic immuno-receptor tyrosine-based activation motif. We identified the Trojan gene family in ten other bird species and found related genes in three reptiles and a fish species. The phylogenetic analysis of the homologues revealed a gradual diversification among the family members. Evolutionary analyzes of the avian genes predicted that the extracellular regions of the proteins have been subjected to positive selection. Such selection was possibly a response to evolving interacting partners or to pathogen challenges. We also observed an almost complete lack of intracellular positively selected sites, suggesting a conserved signaling mechanism of the molecules. Therefore, the contrasting patterns of selection likely correlate with the interaction and signaling potential of the molecules.
Free Article
PMID: 25803627 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Public Library of Science

10. PeerJ. 2015 Mar 19;3:e853. doi: 10.7717/peerj.853. eCollection 2015.

Patterns of evolution of MHC class II genes of crows (Corvus) suggest trans-species polymorphism.

Eimes JA1, Townsend AK2, Sepil I3, Nishiumi I4, Satta Y1.
Author information:
Department of Evolutionary Studies of Biosystems, Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI) , Hayama , Japan.
Department of Biology, Hamilton College , Clinton, NY , USA.
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford , Oxford , UK.
Department of Zoology, National Museum of Nature and Science , Tsukuba , Japan.


A distinguishing characteristic of genes that code for the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is that alleles often share more similarity between, rather than within species. There are two likely mechanisms that can explain this pattern: convergent evolution and trans-species polymorphism (TSP), in which ancient allelic lineages are maintained by balancing selection and retained by descendant species. Distinguishing between these two mechanisms has major implications in how we view adaptation of immune genes. In this study we analyzed exon 2 of the MHC class IIB in three passerine bird species in the genus Corvus: jungle crows (Corvus macrorhynchos japonensis) American crows (C. brachyrhynchos) and carrion crows (C. corone orientalis). Carrion crows and American crows are recently diverged, but allopatric, sister species, whereas carrion crows and jungle crows are more distantly related but sympatric species, and possibly share pathogens linked to MHC IIB polymorphisms. These patterns of evolutionary divergence and current geographic ranges enabled us to test for trans-species polymorphism and convergent evolution of the MHC IIB in crows. Phylogenetic reconstructions of MHC IIB sequences revealed several well supported interspecific clusters containing all three species, and there was no biased clustering of variants among the sympatric carrion crows and jungle crows. The topologies of phylogenetic trees constructed from putatively selected sites were remarkably different than those constructed from putatively neutral sites. In addition, trees constructed using non-synonymous substitutions from a continuous fragment of exon 2 had more, and generally more inclusive, supported interspecific MHC IIB variant clusters than those constructed from the same fragment using synonymous substitutions. These phylogenetic patterns suggest that recombination, especially gene conversion, has partially erased the signal of allelic ancestry in these species. While clustering of positively selected amino acids by supertyping revealed a single supertype shared by only jungle and carrion crows, a pattern consistent with convergence, the overall phylogenetic patterns we observed suggest that TSP, rather than convergence, explains the interspecific allelic similarity of MHC IIB genes in these species of crows.
PMCID: PMC4369332 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25802816 [PubMed]
Related citations
Icon for PeerJ, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central

11. Trop Biomed. 2015 Mar;32(1):11-6.

Prevalence of Ascaridia galli in white leghorn layers and Fayoumi-Rhode Island red crossbred flock at government poultry farm Dina, Punjab, Pakistan.

Hafiz AB1, Muhammad AR2, Muhammad AA3, Imran AK4, Abdul A4, Zahid M5, Shaukat HM5.
Author information:
Government Poultry Farm Dina, Punjab, Pakistan.
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Sub-campus Dera Ghazi Khan), Pakistan.
Poultry Research Institute, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.
Faculty of Medicine and Allied Medical Sciences, Isra University, Islamabad, Pakistan.


Poultry farming not only provides high nutritious food but also creates employment opportunity for rural masses. Documented evidences elaborates that helminth parasitism is most deciduous problem of chickens especially in developing world. Ascaridia (A.) galli, a nematode of small intestine, has been considered as the most common and important parasite of chicken. The present study was carried out to investigate prevalence and severity of A. galli in White Leghorn layers (housing type: battery cage and deep litter, 50 each) and Fayoumi-Rhode Island Red crossbred (male and female: 50 each) flock rearing at Government Poultry Farm, Dina, Punjab, Pakistan. Two hundred faecal samples were examined by using standard parasitological and McMaster egg counting technique. The overall prevalence was 24.5% at farm, 13% in White leghorn layer (battery cage=2%, deep litter=24%) and 36% in Fayoumi-Rhode Island Red (male=34%, female=38%). It was also observed that White leghorn layer rearing in deep litter had more severe infection (EPG=1920) of A. galli compare with battery cages birds (EPG=500). Parasite prevalence was significantly related with sex (P<0.05) in Fayoumi-Rhode Island Red and male birds had less number of average parasites (0.34±0.47) as compared to females (0.38±0.490). Additionally, female birds were under serious threat of infection (EPG=2270) compared with its counterpart (EPG=1250). Given the high infection rates, particular attention should be paid to management and provision of feed supplement to White leghorn layer housing in deep litter and female bird of Fayoumi-Rhode Island Red crossbred.
Free Article
PMID: 25801250 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine

12. Cell Rep. 2015 Mar 19. pii: S2211-1247(15)00235-1. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.02.058. [Epub ahead of print]

Origins and Impacts of New Mammalian Exons.

Merkin JJ1, Chen P2, Alexis MS3, Hautaniemi SK2, Burge CB4.
Author information:
Departments of Biology and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
Research Programs Unit, Genome-Scale Biology and Institute of Biomedicine, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.
Departments of Biology and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Program in Computational and Systems Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
Departments of Biology and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Program in Computational and Systems Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address:


Mammalian genes are composed of exons, but the evolutionary origins and functions of new internal exons are poorly understood. Here, we analyzed patterns of exon gain using deep cDNA sequencing data from five mammals and one bird, identifying thousands of species- and lineage-specific exons. Most new exons derived from unique rather than repetitive intronic sequence. Unlike exons conserved across mammals, species-specific internal exons were mostly located in 5' UTRs and alternatively spliced. They were associated with upstream intronic deletions, increased nucleosome occupancy, and RNA polymerase II pausing. Genes containing new internal exons had increased gene expression, but only in tissues in which the exon was included. Increased expression correlated with the level of exon inclusion, promoter proximity, and signatures of cotranscriptional splicing. Altogether, these findings suggest that increased splicing at the 5' ends of genes enhances expression and that changes in 5' end splicing alter gene expression between tissues and between species.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Free Article
PMID: 25801031 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Icon for Elsevier Science

13. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 23;10(3):e0119674. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119674. eCollection 2015.

The response of farmland bird communities to agricultural intensity as influenced by its spatial aggregation.

Teillard F1, Jiguet F2, Tichit M1.
Author information:
INRA-AgroParisTech, UMR 1048 SAD APT, Paris, France.
MNHN-CNRS-UPMC, UMR 7204 CRBPO, Paris, France.


The shape of the relationship between biodiversity and agricultural intensity determines the range of intensities that should be targeted by conservation policies to obtain the greatest environmental benefits. Although preliminary evidence of this relationship exists, the influence of the spatial arrangement of intensity on biodiversity remains untested. We conducted a nationwide study linking agricultural intensity and its spatial arrangement to a farmland bird community of 22 species. Intensity was described with a continuous indicator based on Input Cost per hectare, which was relevant for both livestock and crop production. We used the French Breeding Bird Survey to compute several descriptors of the farmland bird community along the intensity gradient and tested for the significance of an interaction effect between intensity and its spatial aggregation on these descriptors. We found that the bird community was comprised of both winner and loser species with regard to intensity. The community composition descriptors (trophic level, specialisation, and specialisation for grassland indices) displayed non-linear relationships to intensity, with steeper slopes in the lower intensity range. We found a significant interaction effect between intensity and its spatial aggregation on the grassland specialisation index of the bird community; the effect of agricultural intensity was strengthened by its spatial aggregation. We suggest that an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of conservation policies exists by targeting measures in areas where intensity is moderate to low and aggregated. The effect of the aggregation of agricultural intensity on biodiversity should be considered in other scales and taxa when developing optimal policy targeting and intensity allocation strategies.
Free Article
PMID: 25799552 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Public Library of Science

14. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 23;10(3):e0119906. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119906. eCollection 2015.

Birds flush early and avoid the rush: an interspecific study.

Samia DS1, Blumstein DT2.
Author information:
Laboratory of Theoretical Ecology and Synthesis, Department of Ecology, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.


Since 1986, studies about the escape decisions made by prey are grounded in optimal escape theory (OET) which states that prey will initiate escape when the risk of remaining and the costs of leaving are equal. However, a recent hypothesis, Flush Early and Avoid the Rush (FEAR), acknowledged that the cost of monitoring approaching predators might be a ubiquitous cost. The FEAR hypothesis predicts that prey will generally flee soon after they detect a predator so as to minimize the costs incurred by monitoring the predator. Knowing whether animals flee to reduce monitoring costs is of applied interest because wildlife managers use escape behavior to create set-back zones to reduce human-wildlife conflict. Here we provide the most comprehensive assessment of the FEAR hypothesis using data collected from 178 bird species representing 67 families from two continents. The FEAR hypothesis explains escape behavior in 79% of studied species. Because the FEAR hypothesis is a widespread phenomenon that drives escape behavior in birds, alert distance must be systematically incorporated into the design of set-back zones to protect vulnerable species.
Free Article
PMID: 25799238 [PubMed - in process]

Icon for Public Library of Science

15. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 23;10(3):e0120933. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120933. eCollection 2015.

Two Novel Vocalizations Are Used by Veeries (Catharus fuscescens) during Agonistic Interactions.

Belinsky KL1, Nemes CE2, Schmidt KA3.
Author information:
  • 1Biology Department, State University of New York New Paltz, New Paltz, New York, United States of America.
  • 2Department of Biology, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, United States of America.
  • 3Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas United States of America.

  • Abstract

    Avian vocalizations are common examples of the complex signals used by animals to negotiate during agonistic interactions. In this study, we used two playback experiments to identify agonistic signals in a songbird species with several acoustically complex songs and calls, the veery. In the first experiment, we compared veery singing behavior in response to simulated territorial intrusions including playback of three variations of veery song: 1) song alone as a control, 2) songs with added whisper calls, and 3) songs with introductory notes removed. In the second experiment, we used multimodal stimuli including songs, whisper calls and songs with introductory notes removed, along with a robotic veery mount. Focal males readily responded to all of the playback stimuli, approached the speaker and/or robotic mount, and vocalized. Male veeries gave more whisper calls, and sang more songs without the introductory note in response to all types of playback. However, veeries responded similarly to all types of stimuli presented, and they failed to physically attack the robotic mount. These results indicate that rival veeries use two different types of novel vocalizations: whisper calls and songs lacking the introductory note as agonistic signals, but do not allow us to discern the specific functions of these two vocalizations.
    Free Article
    PMID: 25798825 [PubMed - in process]

    Icon for Public Library of Science

    16. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2015 Mar 19. pii: S1055-7903(15)00061-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.03.005. [Epub ahead of print]

    Phylogeny and biogeography of the New World siskins and goldfinches: Rapid, recent diversification in the Central Andes.

    Beckman EJ1, Witt CC2.
    Author information:
    Museum of Southwestern Biology and Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA. Electronic address:
    Museum of Southwestern Biology and Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA.


    Time-calibrated molecular phylogenies can help us to understand the origins of the diverse and unique Andean avifauna. Previous studies have shown that the tempo of diversification differed between the Andes and adjacent lowland regions of South America. Andean taxa were found to have speciated more recently and to have avoided the decelerated diversification that is typical of Neotropical lowland clades. The South American siskins, a Pleistocene finch radiation, may typify this Andean pattern. We investigated the phylogenetic biogeography of all the New World siskins and goldfinches in new detail. To understand the specific role of the Andes in siskin diversification, we asked: (1) Was diversification faster in Andean siskin lineages relative to non-Andean ones? (2) Did siskin lineages move into and out of the Andes at different rates? We found that siskin lineages in the Andes had higher diversification rates and higher outward dispersal rates than siskin lineages outside the Andes. We conclude that páramo expansion and contraction in response to Pleistocene climatic cycles caused accelerated diversification and outward dispersal in Andean siskins. The younger average age of bird species in the Andes compared to lowland South America may be attributable to bursts of recent diversification in siskins and several other vagile, open-habitat clades.
    Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    PMID: 25796324 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    Icon for Elsevier Science

    17. Exp Parasitol. 2015 Mar 17. pii: S0014-4894(15)00058-2. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2015.03.005. [Epub ahead of print]

    Morphological and molecular characterization of Eimeria haematodi, coccidian parasite (Apicomplexa:Eimeriidae) in a rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus).

    Yang R1, Brice B2, Ryan U3.
    Author information:
    School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150. Electronic address:
    Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, 120 Gilchrist Road, Lesmurdie, Western Australia, 6076.
    School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150.


    Eimeria haematodi was first described in 1977 from the rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) in Papua New Guinea. In the present study, we re-describe this coccidian species morphologically and molecularly from a rainbow lorikeet bird in Western Australia (WA). The oocysts were ovoid to slightly piriform and measured 28.5 to 37.8 by 25.8 to 33.0 µm (33.3 by 28.1 µm). Oocyst wall was approximately 1.5 µm thick and bilayered. Micropyle (5 to 7 µm) and oocyst residuum (8.0 to 10.0 µm) present; polar granule was absent. Sporocysts ellipsoidal, 11.8 to 13.6 by 8.0 to 9.6 µm (12.2 by 8.3 µm), with thin convex Stieda body and granular sporocyst residuum (4.0 to 5.0 µm). Molecular characterization of E. haematodi was conducted at 18S ribosomal RNA and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase gene (COI) loci. At the 18S ribosomal RNA locus, E. haematodi shared 98.1% genetic similarity to E. alabamensis from cattle in New South Wales, Australia. At COI locus, E. haematodi was closest (92.3% similarity) to E. praecox from domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) from Canada and China.
    Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    PMID: 25795281 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    Icon for Elsevier Science