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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed April 2015, Week 1-2

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

1. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Apr 9;12(4):3926-3943.

An Ecosystem-Service Approach to Evaluate the Role of Non-Native Species in Urbanized Wetlands.

Yam RS1, Huang KP2, Hsieh HL3, Lin HJ4, Huang SC5.
Author information:
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan.
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan.
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan.
Department of Life Sciences and Research Center for Global Change Biology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan.
Taiwan Wetland Society, Hsinchu City 300, Taiwan.


Natural wetlands have been increasingly transformed into urbanized ecosystems commonly colonized by stress-tolerant non-native species. Although non-native species present numerous threats to natural ecosystems, some could provide important benefits to urbanized ecosystems. This study investigated the extent of colonization by non-native fish and bird species of three urbanized wetlands in subtropical Taiwan. Using literature data the role of each non-native species in the urbanized wetland was evaluated by their effect (benefits/damages) on ecosystem services (ES) based on their ecological traits. Our sites were seriously colonized by non-native fishes (39%-100%), but <3% by non-native birds. Although most non-native species could damage ES regulation (disease control and wastewater purification), some could be beneficial to the urbanized wetland ES. Our results indicated the importance of non-native fishes in supporting ES by serving as food source to fish-eating waterbirds (native, and migratory species) due to their high abundance, particularly for Oreochromis spp. However, all non-native birds are regarded as "harmful" species causing important ecosystem disservices, and thus eradication of these bird-invaders from urban wetlands would be needed. This simple framework for role evaluation of non-native species represents a holistic and transferable approach to facilitate decision making on management priority of non-native species in urbanized wetlands.
PMID: 25860870 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

2. Ecol Evol. 2015 Mar;5(6):1205-13. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1423. Epub 2015 Feb 22.

Natural selection for earlier male arrival to breeding grounds through direct and indirect effects in a migratory songbird.

Velmala W1, Helle S2, Ahola MP3, Klaassen M4, Lehikoinen E2, Rainio K2, Sirkiä PM1, Laaksonen T2.
Author information:
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku Turku, FI-20014, Finland ; Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki P.O. Box 17, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland.
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku Turku, FI-20014, Finland.
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku Turku, FI-20014, Finland ; Natural Resources Institute Finland Itäinen Pitkäkatu 3, FI-20520, Turku, Finland.
Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology Droevendaalsesteeg 10, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands ; Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University Waurn Ponds, Vic., 3216, Australia.


For migratory birds, the earlier arrival of males to breeding grounds is often expected to have fitness benefits. However, the selection differential on male arrival time has rarely been decomposed into the direct effect of male arrival and potential indirect effects through female traits. We measured the directional selection differential on male arrival time in the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) using data from 6 years and annual number of fledglings as the fitness proxy. Using structural equation modeling, we were able to take into account the temporal structure of the breeding cycle and the hierarchy between the examined traits. We found directional selection differentials for earlier male arrival date and earlier female laying date, as well as strong selection differential for larger clutch size. These selection differentials were due to direct selection only as indirect selection for these traits was nonsignificant. When decomposing the direct selection for earlier male arrival into direct and indirect effects, we discovered that it was almost exclusively due to the direct effect of male arrival date on fitness and not due to its indirect effects via female traits. In other words, we showed for the first time that there is a direct effect of male arrival date on fitness while accounting for those effects that are mediated by effects of the social partner. Our study thus indicates that natural selection directly favored earlier male arrival in this flycatcher population.
PMID: 25859326 [PubMed]

3. Conserv Biol. 2015 Apr 9. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12493. [Epub ahead of print]

Declines in migrant shorebird populations from a winter-quarter perspective.

Simmons RE1, Kolberg H, Braby R, Erni B.
Author information:
DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa, 7701.


Many long-distance migrating shorebird (i.e., sandpipers, plovers, flamingos, oystercatchers) populations are declining. Although regular shorebird monitoring programs exist worldwide, most estimates of shorebird population trends and sizes are poor or nonexistent. We built a state-space model to estimate shorebird population trends. Compared with more commonly used methods of trend estimation, state-space models are more mechanistic, allow for the separation of observation and state process, and can easily accommodate multivariate time series and nonlinear trends. We fitted the model to count data collected from 1990 to 2013 on 18 common shorebirds at the 2 largest coastal wetlands in southern Africa, Sandwich Harbour (a relatively pristine bay) and Walvis Bay (an international harbor), Namibia. Four of the 12 long-distance migrant species declined since 1990: Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), Little Stint (Calidris minuta), Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), and Red Knot (Calidris canutus). Populations of resident species and short-distance migrants increased or were stable. Similar patterns at a key South African wetland suggest that shorebird populations migrating to southern Africa are declining in line with the global decline, but local conditions in southern Africa's largest wetlands are not contributing to these declines. State-space models provide estimates of population levels and trends and could be used widely to improve the current state of water bird estimates.
© 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.
PMID: 25858334 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

4. Pathog Dis. 2015 Feb;73(1):1-9. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftu016. Epub 2014 Dec 4.

Chlamydia psittaci in ducks: a hidden health risk for poultry workers.

Vorimore F1, Thébault A2, Poisson S2, Cléva D3, Robineau J4, de Barbeyrac B5, Durand B6, Laroucau K7.
Author information:
University of Paris-Est, ANSES, Animal Health Laboratory, Bacterial Zoonoses Unit, F-94706 Maisons-Alfort, France.
University of Paris-Est, ANSES, DERNS, F-94701 Maisons-Alfort, France.
Veterinary Practice, F-85140 L'Oie, France.
SAS Breheret, F-49510 La Poitevinière, France.
University of Bordeaux, French National Reference Centre for Chlamydial Infections, F-33076 Bordeaux, France.
University of Paris-Est, ANSES, Epidemiology Unit, F-94701 Maisons-Alfort, France.
University of Paris-Est, ANSES, Animal Health Laboratory, Bacterial Zoonoses Unit, F-94706 Maisons-Alfort, France


Chlamydia psittaci is a zoonotic pathogen associated primarily with avian chlamydiosis also referred as psittacosis. Human psittacosis can lead to severe cases of respiratory disease. The mule duck is one of the main bird hybrids associated with human cases of psittacosis in France. In order to better understand the epidemiology of avian chlamydiosis, monitoring studies were performed in both breeder flocks and mule duck flocks. Surveys conducted in one professional duck bredding organization revealed little shedding in breeder flocks, whereas heavy but asymptomatic C. psittaci shedding was observed in most of the mule duck flocks, mostly when birds were reared in open range conditions on farms. Human cases of psittacosis linked to duck breeder flocks and their progeny led to detection of heavy shedders in all the suspected flocks despite no birds showing clinical signs. Offspring of one of the infected female flocks was analyzed and also proved to be infected by C. psittaci. Field studies suggest that C. psittaci infections in duck farms involve horizontal and probably vertical transmission but that the environment also plays an important role in maintaining infection on farms. In the light of the widespread occurrence of C. psittaci on duck farms, it has become urgent to clearly identify sources of contamination in order to take appropriate field management measures to minimize worker exposure.
© FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
PMID: 25854003 [PubMed - in process]

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5. Heredity (Edinb). 2015 Apr 8. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2015.27. [Epub ahead of print]

Chromosomal patterns of diversity and differentiation in creepers: a next-gen phylogeographic investigation of Certhia americana.

Manthey JD1, Klicka J2, Spellman GM3.
Author information:
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA.
2 [1] Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA [2] Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Center for the Conservation of Biological Resources, School of Natural Sciences, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD, USA.


With methods for sequencing thousands of loci for many individuals, phylogeographic studies have increased inferential power and the potential for applications to new questions. In songbirds, strong patterns of inter-chromosomal synteny, the published genome of a songbird and the ability to obtain thousands of genetic loci for many individuals permit the investigation of differentiation between and diversity within lineages across chromosomes. Here, we investigate patterns of differentiation and diversity in Certhia americana, a widespread North American songbird, using next-generation sequencing. Additionally, we reassess previous phylogeographic studies within the group. Based on ~30 million sequencing reads and more than 16 000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 41 individuals, we identified a strong positive relationship between genetic differentiation and chromosome size, with a negative relationship between genetic diversity and chromosome size. A combination of selection and drift may explain these patterns, although we found no evidence for selection. Because the observed genomic patterns are very similar between widespread, allopatric clades, it is unlikely that selective pressures would be so similar across such different ecological conditions. Alternatively, the accumulation of fixed differences between lineages and loss of genetic variation within lineages due to genetic drift alone may explain the observed patterns. Due to relatively higher recombination rates on smaller chromosomes, larger chromosomes would, on average, accumulate fixed differences between lineages and lose genetic variation within lineages faster, leading to the patterns observed here in C. americana.Heredity advance online publication, 8 April 2015; doi:10.1038/hdy.2015.27.
PMID: 25853518 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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6. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 8;10(4):e0124917. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124917. eCollection 2015.

Features of the Retinotopic Representation in the Visual Wulst of a Laterally Eyed Bird, the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

Michael N1, Löwel S2, Bischof HJ3.
Author information:
Department of Systems Neuroscience, Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB), Göttingen, Germany.
Department of Systems Neuroscience, Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.
Verhaltensforschung, Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany.


The visual wulst of the zebra finch comprises at least two retinotopic maps of the contralateral eye. As yet, it is not known how much of the visual field is represented in the wulst neuronal maps, how the organization of the maps is related to the retinal architecture, and how information from the ipsilateral eye is involved in the activation of the wulst. Here, we have used autofluorescent flavoprotein imaging and classical anatomical methods to investigate such characteristics of the most posterior map of the multiple retinotopic representations. We found that the visual wulst can be activated by visual stimuli from a large part of the visual field of the contralateral eye. Horizontally, the visual field representation extended from -5° beyond the beak tip up to +125° laterally. Vertically, a small strip from -10° below to about +25° above the horizon activated the visual wulst. Although retinal ganglion cells had a much higher density around the fovea and along a strip extending from the fovea towards the beak tip, these areas were not overrepresented in the wulst map. The wulst area activated from the foveal region of the ipsilateral eye, overlapped substantially with the middle of the three contralaterally activated regions in the visual wulst, and partially with the other two. Visual wulst activity evoked by stimulation of the frontal visual field was stronger with contralateral than with binocular stimulation. This confirms earlier electrophysiological studies indicating an inhibitory influence of the activation of the ipsilateral eye on wulst activity elicited by stimulating the contralateral eye. The lack of a foveal overrepresentation suggests that identification of objects may not be the primary task of the zebra finch visual wulst. Instead, this brain area may be involved in the processing of visual information necessary for spatial orientation.
Free Article
PMID: 25853253 [PubMed - in process]

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7. J Anim Ecol. 2015 Apr 8. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12377. [Epub ahead of print]

Antagonistic effect of helpers on breeding male and female survival in a cooperatively breeding bird.

Paquet M1, Doutrelant C, Hatchwell BJ, Spottiswoode CN, Covas R.
Author information:
CEFE-CNRS, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293, Montpellier, France; Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


1.Cooperatively breeding species are typically long-lived and hence, according to theory, are expected to maximise their lifetime reproductive success through maximising survival. Under these circumstances, the presence of helpers could be used to lighten the effort of current reproduction for parents to achieve higher survival. 2.In addition, individuals of different sexes and ages may follow different strategies, but whether male and female breeders and individuals of different ages benefit differently from the presence of helpers has often been overlooked. Moreover only one study that investigated the relationship between parental survival and the presence of helpers used Capture-Mark-Recaptures analyses (CMR). These methods are important since they allow us to account for the non-detection of individuals that are alive in the population but not detected, and thus the effects on survival and recapture probability to be disentangled. 3.Here we used multi-event CMR methods to investigate whether the number of helpers was associated with an increase in survival probability for male and female breeders of different ages in the sociable weaver Philetairus socius. In this species, both sexes reduce their feeding rate in presence of helpers. We therefore predicted that the presence of helpers should increase the breeders' survival in both sexes, especially early in life when individuals potentially have more future breeding opportunities. In addition, sociable weaver females reduce their investment in eggs in the presence of helpers, so we predicted a stronger effect of helpers on female than male survival. 4.As expected we found that females had a higher survival probability when breeding with more helpers. Unexpectedly, however, male survival probability decreased with increasing number of helpers. This antagonistic effect diminished as the breeders grew older. 5.These results illustrate the complexity of fitness costs and benefits underlying cooperative behaviours and how these may vary with the individuals' sex and age. They also highlight the need for further studies on the sex-specific effects of helpers on survival. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25850564 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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8. PLoS Biol. 2015 Apr 7;13(4):e1002120. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002120. eCollection 2015.

Effects of spring temperatures on the strength of selection on timing of reproduction in a long-distance migratory bird.

Visser ME1, Gienapp P1, Husby A2, Morrisey M3, de la Hera I4, Pulido F5, Both C6.
Author information:
Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway; Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Dyers Brae House, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom.
Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands; Department of Zoology and Animal Cell Biology, Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands; Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands; Animal Ecology Group, Center for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Climate change has differentially affected the timing of seasonal events for interacting trophic levels, and this has often led to increased selection on seasonal timing. Yet, the environmental variables driving this selection have rarely been identified, limiting our ability to predict future ecological impacts of climate change. Using a dataset spanning 31 years from a natural population of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca), we show that directional selection on timing of reproduction intensified in the first two decades (1980-2000) but weakened during the last decade (2001-2010). Against expectation, this pattern could not be explained by the temporal variation in the phenological mismatch with food abundance. We therefore explored an alternative hypothesis that selection on timing was affected by conditions individuals experience when arriving in spring at the breeding grounds: arriving early in cold conditions may reduce survival. First, we show that in female recruits, spring arrival date in the first breeding year correlates positively with hatch date; hence, early-hatched individuals experience colder conditions at arrival than late-hatched individuals. Second, we show that when temperatures at arrival in the recruitment year were high, early-hatched young had a higher recruitment probability than when temperatures were low. We interpret this as a potential cost of arriving early in colder years, and climate warming may have reduced this cost. We thus show that higher temperatures in the arrival year of recruits were associated with stronger selection for early reproduction in the years these birds were born. As arrival temperatures in the beginning of the study increased, but recently declined again, directional selection on timing of reproduction showed a nonlinear change. We demonstrate that environmental conditions with a lag of up to two years can alter selection on phenological traits in natural populations, something that has important implications for our understanding of how climate can alter patterns of selection in natural populations.
Free Article
PMID: 25848856 [PubMed - in process]

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9. J Evol Biol. 2015 Apr 4. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12638. [Epub ahead of print]

Selection and evolutionary potential of spring arrival phenology in males and females of a migratory songbird.

Tarka M1, Hansson B, Hasselquist D.
Author information:
Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Realfagsbygget, NTNU, 7491, Trondheim, Norway.


The timing of annual life-history events impacts survival and reproduction of all organisms. A changing environment can perturb phenological adaptations and an important question is if populations can evolve fast enough to track the environmental changes. Yet, little is known about selection and evolutionary potential of traits determining the timing of crucial annual events. Migratory species, which travel between different climatic regions, are particularly affected by global environmental changes. To increase our understanding of evolutionary potential and selection in timing traits, we investigated the quantitative genetics of arrival date at the breeding ground using a multigenerational pedigree of a natural great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) population. We found significant heritability of 16.4% for arrival date and directional selection for earlier arrival in both sexes acting through reproductive success, but not through lifespan. Mean arrival date advanced with 6 days over 20 years, which is in exact accordance with our predicted evolutionary response based on breeder's equation. However, this phenotypic change is unlikely to be caused by microevolution, because selection seems mainly to act on the non-genetic component of the trait. Furthermore, demographic changes could also not account for the advancing arrival date. Instead, a strong correlation between spring temperatures and population mean arrival date suggests that phenotypic plasticity best explains the advancement of arrival date in our study population. Our study dissects the evolutionary and environmental forces that shape timing traits and thereby increases knowledge of how populations cope with rapidly changing environments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25847825 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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10. Parasite Immunol. 2015 Apr 4. doi: 10.1111/pim.12191. [Epub ahead of print]

Immune responses of wild birds to emerging infectious diseases.

Staley M1, Bonneaud C.
Author information:
Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 36849, U.S.A.


Over the past several decades, outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in wild birds have attracted worldwide media attention, either because of their extreme virulence or because of alarming spillovers into agricultural animals or humans. The pathogens involved have been found to infect a variety of bird hosts ranging from relatively few species (e.g., Trichomonas gallinae) to hundreds of species (e.g., West Nile Virus). Here we review and contrast the immune responses that wild birds are able to mount against these novel pathogens. We discuss the extent to which these responses are associated with reduced clinical symptoms, pathogen load and mortality, or conversely, how they are sometimes linked to worsened pathology and reduced survival. We then investigate how immune responses to EIDs can evolve over time in response to pathogen-driven selection using the illustrative case study of the epizootic outbreak of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in wild North American house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We highlight the need for future work to take advantage of the substantial inter- and intra-specific variation in disease progression and outcome following infections with EID to elucidate the extent to which immune responses confer increased resistance through pathogen clearance or may instead heighten pathogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25847450 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

11. Sci Total Environ. 2015 Apr 3;521-522C:315-325. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.073. [Epub ahead of print]

Quantification of potential exposure of gray partridge (Perdix perdix) to pesticide active substances in farmlands.

Bro E1, Millot F2, Decors A3, Devillers J 4.
Author information:
National Game and Wildlife Institute (ONCFS), Research Department, Saint Benoist, BP 20, F 78 612 Le Perray en Yvelines Cedex, France. Electronic address:
National Game and Wildlife Institute (ONCFS), Research Department, Saint Benoist, BP 20, F 78 612 Le Perray en Yvelines Cedex, France. Electronic address:
National Game and Wildlife Institute (ONCFS), Research Department, Saint Benoist, BP 20, F 78 612 Le Perray en Yvelines Cedex, France. Electronic address:
Centre de Traitement de l'Information Scientifique (CTIS), 3 chemin de la Gravière, 69140 Rillieux La Pape, France. Electronic address:


Estimating exposure of wild birds to plant protection products is of key importance in the risk assessment process evaluating their harmful potential. In this paper, we propose an ecologically-relevant methodology to estimate potential exposure to active substances (ASs) of a farmland focal bird, the gray partridge Perdix perdix. It is based on bird habitat use of fields at the time of pesticide applications. It accounts for spatio-temporal heterogeneity at population and landscape scales. We identify and quantify the potential exposure to 179 ASs of 140 clutches during pre-laying, laying, and incubation phases, and of 75 coveys. The data come from a large scale field study combining radiotelemetry and a farmer survey. They were collected in 12 different representative sites. The proportion of clutches potentially exposed to a given chemical was ≥5% for 32 ASs; prothioconazole and epoxiconazole ranking first. 71% of clutches were potentially exposed to ≥1 AS and 67% to ≥2 ASs. Mixtures involved 2 to 22 ASs. They emerged from commercial formulations, tank mixtures, bird habitat use, and combinations. ASs were fungicides (53%), herbicides (25%), and insecticides (16%) used on a variety of crops in April-June, when ground-nesting birds are breeding. The European Food Safety Authority conclusions report a long-term first-tier toxicity-to-exposure ratio (TERlt) <5 for 11 out of 19 documented ASs, and higher-tier TERlt <5 for 5 out of 10 ASs. This suggests a potential risk for bird reproduction in farmlands. Globally 13% of coveys were potentially exposed to 18 ASs during the first month (1-4 coveys per AS). The use of our field data in future research and risk assessment is discussed.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Free Article
PMID: 25847175 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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12. Eur J Neurosci. 2015 Apr 7. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12885. [Epub ahead of print]

Catecholaminergic contributions to vocal communication signals.

Matheson LE1, Sakata JT.
Author information:
Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, H3A 1B1, Canada.


Social context affects behavioral displays across a variety of species. For example, social context acutely influences the acoustic and temporal structure of vocal communication signals such as speech and birdsong. Despite the prevalence and importance of such social influences, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying the social modulation of communication. Catecholamines are implicated in the regulation of social behavior and motor control, but the degree to which catecholamines influence vocal communication signals remains largely unknown. Using a songbird, the Bengalese finch, we examined the extent to which the social context in which song is produced affected immediate early gene expression (EGR-1) in catecholamine-synthesising neurons in the midbrain. Further, we assessed the degree to which administration of amphetamine, which increases catecholamine concentrations in the brain, mimicked the effect of social context on vocal signals. We found that significantly more catecholaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (but not the central grey, locus coeruleus or subcoeruleus) expressed EGR-1 in birds that were exposed to females and produced courtship song than in birds that produced non-courtship song in isolation. Furthermore, we found that amphetamine administration mimicked the effects of social context and caused many aspects of non-courtship song to resemble courtship song. Specifically, amphetamine increased the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing, the repetition of vocal elements and the degree of sequence completions. Taken together, these data highlight the conserved role of catecholamines in vocal communication across species, including songbirds and humans.
© 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
PMID: 25847067 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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13. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Dec;28(4):330-5. doi: 10.1647/2013-070.

Fatal Envenomation of a Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) From Eastern Yellow Jacket Wasps (Vespula maculifrons).

Suedmeyer WK, Trupkiewicz JG.


A 37-year-old, female Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) presented with severe facial angioedema, bilateral corneal and palpebral edema, nictitating membrane paralysis, bradycardia, bradypnea, hypothermia, and numerous stingers and remnants of eastern yellow jacket wasps (Vespula maculifrons) attached to the feathers of the head, palpebrae, and conjunctiva. Evaluation of 2 complete blood cell counts and results of plasma chemical analysis and serum protein electrophoresis revealed severe increases in creatinine phosphokinase and aspartate aminotransferase activity, electrolyte disturbances, and moderate increases in levels of α1, α2, β1, and γ immunoglobulins when compared with reference interval values and conspecifics. Despite intensive treatment, the bird died 19 hours after presentation. Results of histologic evaluation of tissues were compatible with envenomation. Response to envenomation in avian species is not documented but should be considered in birds presenting with angioedema.
PMID: 25843472 [PubMed - in process]

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14. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Dec;28(4):316-21. doi: 10.1647/2013-073.

Antemortem Diagnosis and Successful Treatment of Pulmonary Candidiasis in a Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis).

Proença LM, Mayer J, Schnellbacher R, Sanchez S, Huang CT, Brown H, Jiménez D, Stelmach D, Divers SJ.


An adult male sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis) was evaluated because of lethargy, ruffled feathers, and decreased appetite. Physical examination revealed hypothermia, dehydration, dyspnea, and crop distention. Results of a complete blood cell count revealed a marked inflammatory leukogram, and cytologic examination of a crop swab sample identified gram-negative bacilli and occasional yeast organisms. Radiographs demonstrated an opaque, ill-defined, soft tissue structure in the caudal coelom just cranial to the renogonadal silhouette, loss of serosal detail, and splenomegaly. Endoscopic examination revealed a pale, granuloma-like structure within the caudal aspect of the left lung, splenomegaly, and an enlarged proventriculus. Intraoperative cytologic examination of a biopsy sample of the lesion demonstrated yeast organisms, and a subsequent culture of the biopsy sample revealed Candida albicans . The bird was treated intraoperatively with intralesional amphotericin B. Postoperative treatment consisted of meloxicam, trimethoprim sulfa, amphotericin B by nebulization, and systemic itraconazole and fluconazole. The bird made a complete recovery, was discontinued from all medications, and has remained asymptomatic for 6 months. Although rare, pulmonary candidiasis should be on the list of differential diagnoses for any respiratory infection in birds. Endoscopic biopsy, cytology, and fungal culture were valuable in making the diagnosis.
PMID: 25843470 [PubMed - in process]

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15. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Dec;28(4):309-15. doi: 10.1647/2013-059.

Immunohistochemical Study of Aquaporins in an African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) With Hydrocephalus.

Blasco E, Martorell J, De la Fuente C, Pumarola M.


A 5-month-old African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) was examined after 3 weeks of weakness, ataxia, mental depression, and seizures. Results of a complete blood cell count and plasma biochemical analysis were unremarkable. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a severe bilateral hydrocephalus. The bird failed to improve with supportive care, and the owner requested euthanasia. Necropsy findings were severe bilateral hydrocephalus with no evidence of cerebrospinal fluid obstruction. Histologic examination of the brain revealed microspongiosis, edema, gliosis, and neuronal chromatolysis of surrounding periventricular tissue. Aquaporins (AQP) and astrocytes were examined to elucidate the participation of these water channel proteins and glial cells in the pathophysiology and resolution of hydrocephalus. Results showed AQP4 and glial fibrillary acidic protein were overexpressed, especially near the ventricles, but expression of AQP1 was decreased. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of AQP immunolabeling in hydrocephalus in avain species.
PMID: 25843469 [PubMed - in process]

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16. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Dec;28(4):304-8. doi: 10.1647/2013-038.

Coracoid fractures in wild birds: a comparison of surgical repair versus conservative treatment.

Scheelings TF.


Medical records of wild bird admissions to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville Sanctuary were analyzed for cases of unilateral coracoid fractures with known final outcomes. Forty-seven birds, comprising 13 species, fit these criteria. Of those birds, 18 were treated conservatively with analgesia and cage rest without coaptation bandaging, and 29 were treated with surgical correction of the fracture. Of the conservatively managed birds, 89% (16 of 18) were released back into the wild. Conversely, 34% (10 of 29) of the surgically managed birds were released. Treatment success for release differed significantly between treatment groups (P < .001). Intraoperative death from concurrent trauma was the major reason that surgically treated birds were not released. Given the high risks associated with surgical treatment and the high success rate of conservative management, cage rest without surgery appears prudent when managing coracoid injuries in birds.
PMID: 25843468 [PubMed - in process]

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17. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Sep;28(3):242-50. doi: 10.1647/2013-048R1.

Coelomic Granulomatous Fat Necrosis (Lipogranulomatosis) in an Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba).

Oglesbee B, Lightner B, Oglesbee M.


A 28-year-old, female umbrella cockatoo (Cacatua alba) was evaluated because of lethargy, anorexia, regurgitation, and coelomic swelling of 6 month's duration, which corresponded to cessation of egg laying. Radiographs and ultrasound examination demonstrated extensive deposits of coelomic fat and an enlarged oviduct. Exploratory celiotomy demonstrated copious amounts of firm, nodular fat completely surrounding the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in extensive chronic adhesions between intestinal loops. Free yolk was present in the cranial left coelom, yolk coelomitis was diagnosed, and a salpingohysterectomy was performed. Two days after surgery, the bird stopped passing feces and began regurgitating after eating, and a colonic obstruction was demonstrated via contrast radiography. Euthanasia was elected, and necropsy revealed an obstruction of the distal colon caused by extraluminal compression by adhesions of firm, nodular fat. Histologic examination demonstrated extensive fat necrosis with granulomatous inflammation, characterized by cords of necrotic fat surrounded by multinucleated giant cells and epithelioid macrophages with scattered lymphocytes and plasma cells and rare heterophils. The clinical signs, gross lesions, and histologic lesions are characteristic of massive fat necrosis (lipogranulomatosis) in ruminants and mesenteric panniculitis in humans and companion mammals. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of this disease in psittacine birds.
PMID: 25843325 [PubMed - in process]

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18. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Sep;28(3):232-9. doi: 10.1647/2013-052.

Branchial Cyst With Carcinoma in an Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba).

Baine K, Nobrega-Lee M, Jones MP, Steeil J, McCleery B, Ramsay E, Schumacher J, Hecht S.


A 16-year-old female umbrella cockatoo (Cacatua alba) was presented for a fluctuant, right-sided cervical mass that extended from the caudolateral edge of the right mandible to the coelomic inlet. Results of initial diagnostic tests were consistent with a cystic mass containing hemorrhage. Surgical exploration and removal of the mass was done, but because the hyoid apparatus was incorporated in the base of the cyst, complete surgical excision was not possible. Histopathologic results were consistent with a branchial cyst with carcinoma. Five months after surgery, the cockatoo exhibited intermittent periorbital swelling and epistaxis, and cytologic results of a fluid aspirate from the right infraorbital sinus were consistent with carcinoma. Results of magnetic resonance imaging revealed extensive abnormal T2 and short-tau inversion-recovery hyperintense tissue associated with the right side of the head and neck, infiltrating between muscle planes and extending into the right retro-orbital tissue and nasal cavity. At 7 months after surgery, the bird was severely dyspneic and was euthanatized. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the diagnosis, management, and histologic characteristics associated with a branchial cyst with carcinoma in an animal.
PMID: 25843323 [PubMed - in process]

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20. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Sep;28(3):216-24. doi: 10.1647/2013-033.

Circulating Fat-Soluble Vitamin Concentrations and Nutrient Composition of Aquatic Prey Eaten by American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus palliatus) in the Southeastern United States.

Carlson-Bremer D, Norton TM, Sanders FJ, Winn B , Spinks M, Glatt BA, Mazzaro L, Jodice P, Chen TC, Dierenfeld ES.


The American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus palliatus) is currently listed as a species of high concern by the United States Shorebird Conservation Plan. Because nutritional status directly impacts overall health and reproduction of individuals and populations, adequate management of a wildlife population requires intimate knowledge of a species' diet and nutrient requirements. Fat-soluble vitamin concentrations in blood plasma obtained from American oystercatchers and proximate, vitamin, and mineral composition of various oystercatcher prey species were determined as baseline data to assess nutritional status and nutrient supply. Bird and prey species samples were collected from the Cape Romain region, South Carolina, USA, and the Altamaha River delta islands, Georgia, USA, where breeding populations appear relatively stable in recent years. Vitamin A levels in blood samples were higher than ranges reported as normal for domestic avian species, and vitamin D concentrations were lower than anticipated based on values observed in poultry. Vitamin E levels were within ranges previously reported for avian groups with broadly similar feeding niches such as herons, gulls, and terns (eg, aquatic/estuarine/marine). Prey species (oysters, mussels, clams, blood arks [Anadara ovalis], whelks [ Busycon carica ], false angel wings [ Petricola pholadiformis ]) were similar in water content to vertebrate prey, moderate to high in protein, and moderate to low in crude fat. Ash and macronutrient concentrations in prey species were high compared with requirements of carnivores or avian species. Prey items analyzed appear to meet nutritional requirements for oystercatchers, as estimated by extrapolation from domestic carnivores and poultry species; excesses, imbalances, and toxicities-particularly of minerals and fat-soluble vitamins-may warrant further investigation.
PMID: 25843321 [PubMed - in process]

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