Experimental facilitation of heat loss affects work rate and innate immune function in a breeding passerine bird

Fredrik Andreasson, Arne Hegemann, Andreas Nord & Jan-Åke Nilsson
The capacity to get rid of excess heat produced during hard work is a possible constraint on parental effort during reproduction (heat dissipation limit [HDL] theory). We released hard-working blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) from this constraint by experimentally removing ventral plumage. We then assessed if this changed their reproductive effort (feeding rate and nestling size) and levels of self-maintenance (change in body mass and innate immune function). Feather-clipped females reduced the number of feeding visits...
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