15 Works

Life history and environment predict variation in testosterone across vertebrates

Jerry Husak, Matthew Fuxjager, Michele A. Johnson, Maren Vitousek, Jeremy Donald, Clinton David Francis, Wolfgang Goymann, Michaela Hau, Bonnie Kircher, Rosemary Knapp, Lynn B. Martin, Eliot Miller, Laura Schoenle & Tony Williams
Endocrine systems act as key intermediaries between organisms and their environments. This interaction leads to high variability in hormone levels, but we know little about the ecological factors that influence this variation within and across major vertebrate groups. We study this topic by assessing how various social and environmental dynamics influence testosterone levels across the entire vertebrate tree of life. Our analyses show that breeding season length and mating system are the strongest predictors of...

Exceptionally high apparent adult survival in three tropical species of plovers in Madagascar

William Jones, Luke Eberhart-Hertel, Robert Freckleton, Joseph Hoffmann, Oliver Krüger, Brett Sandercock, Orsolya Vincze, Sama Zefania & Tamás Székely
Adult survival is a key component of population dynamics and understanding variation in and the drivers of adult survival rates and longevity is critical for ecological and evolutionary studies, as well as for conservation biology and practice. Tropical species of landbirds are often selected to have higher adult survival due to high nest predation rates, but it is unclear if the same patterns occur in other avian lineages with different life history strategies. Here, we...

Offspring provisioning by extra-pair males in blue tits

Peter Santema & Bart Kempenaers
Most birds are socially monogamous with both parents providing offspring care, but sometimes individuals are observed to provision at a nest that is not their own. One possible explanation for this behaviour is that it is a fitness maximising strategy by males who have copulated with the female and hence potentially sired extra-pair offspring in the focal nest. Over a period of 8 years and among a total of 854 nests, we observed 12 blue...

Host personality predicts cuckoo egg rejection in Daurian redstarts Phoenicurus auroreus

Jinggang Zhang, Peter Santema, Jianqiang Li, Lixing Yang, Wenhong Deng & Bart Kempenaers
In species that are subject to brood parasitism, there is typically variation in individuals’ responses to parasitic eggs, with some rejecting the eggs while others do not. Whilst some factors, such as host age (breeding experience), the degree of egg matching and the level of perceived risk of brood parasitism have been shown to influence host decisions, a lot of the variation remains unexplained. The host personality hypothesis suggests that personality traits of the host...

Barred buttonquail males outlive females

Stefan Leitner, Roswitha Brighton & Cornelia Voigt
Sex differences in lifespan can vary considerably across species. Variance in lifespan depends on the progression of the mortality rate with age. Males are usually thought to have a shorter lifespan than females, which can be explained by sexual selection acting on secondary sexual traits that affect longevity. Such a bias in mortality between the sexes is also an indicator of the adult sex ratio. While there is evidence for this relationship from species with...

Limitations of acoustic monitoring at wind turbines to evaluate fatality risk of bats

Christian Voigt, Danilo Russo, Volker Runkel & Holger Goerlitz
Wind turbines (WTs) frequently kill bats worldwide. During environmental impact assessments, consultant ecologists often use automated ultrasonic detectors (AUDs) to estimate the activity and identity of bats in the zone of highest mortality risk at WTs in order to formulate mitigation schemes, such as increased curtailment speeds to prevent casualties. While acknowledging the potential of acoustic monitoring, we evaluate the limitations of AUDs for monitoring bats at WTs and highlight directions for future research. We...

Data from: Early origin of sweet perception in the songbird radiation

Yasuka Toda, Meng-Ching Ko, Qiaoyi Liang, Eliot Miller, Alejandro Rico-Guevara, Tomoya Nakagita, Ayano Sakakibara, Kana Uemura, Timothy Sackton, Takashi Hayakawa, Simon Yung Wa Sin, Yoshiro Ishimaru, Takumi Misaka, Pablo Oteiza, James Crall, Scott Edwards, Shuichi Matsumura & Maude Baldwin
Early events in the evolutionary history of a clade can shape the sensory systems of descendant lineages. Although the avian ancestor may not have had a sweet receptor, the widespread incidence of nectar-feeding birds suggests multiple acquisitions of sugar detection. In this study, we identify a single early sensory shift of the umami receptor (the T1R1-T1R3 heterodimer) that conferred sweet-sensing abilities in songbirds, a large radiation containing nearly half of all living birds. We demonstrate...

Sperm numbers on the perivitelline layers of blue tit eggs are repeatable within a clutch, but independent of the occurrence of extra-pair paternity

Peter Santema, Kim Teltscher & Bart Kempenaers
In many socially monogamous bird species, females produce offspring sired by males other than their social partner. A large body of research has aimed to elucidate the evolutionary causes and consequences of such extra-pair paternity, but relatively little is known about the underlying behaviour. The number of sperm on the egg’s perivitelline layers (PVL) is related to recent copulation activity and may thus give some insight into the female’s mating behaviour. We used a simple...

Season, anthocyanin supplementation, and flight training have mixed effects on the antioxidant system of migratory European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

Abigail Frawley, Kristen J. DeMoranville, Katherine M. Carbeck, Lisa Trost, Amadeusz Bryła, Maciej Dzialo, Edyta T. Sadowska, Ulf Bauchinger, Barbara J. Pierce & Scott McWilliams
Migratory birds engage in two periods of endurance flight annually as they travel between summer breeding and overwintering grounds, and such endurance flights likely incur oxidative costs. These costs may differ between fall and spring migration, especially for females who must prepare for breeding and egg laying in spring. The objective of this study of a migratory bird was to test proposed hypotheses about how key components of the female’s antioxidant system differ in response...

Inferring whole-organism metabolic rate from red blood cells in birds

Kasja Malkoc, Stefania Casagrande & Michaela Hau
Metabolic rate is a key ecological variable that quantifies the energy expenditure needed to fuel almost all biological processes in an organism. Metabolic rates are typically measured at the whole-organism level (woMR) with protocols that can elicit stress responses due to handling and confinement, potentially biasing resulting data. Improved, non-stressful methodology would be especially valuable for measures of field metabolic rate, which quantifies the energy expenditure of free-living individuals. Recently, techniques to measure cellular metabolic...

Influence of the haemosporidian Leucocytozoon spp. over reproductive output in a wild Neotropical passerine, the Thorn-tailed Rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda

Elfego Cuevas, Carolina Orellana-Peñailillo, Esteban Botero-Delgadillo, Pamela Espíndola-Hernández, Rodrigo A. Vásquez & Verónica Quirici
Life-history theory predicts that hosts may adjust the costs of parasites by altering their reproductive effort. Haemosporidian parasites can affect the reproductive output of wild birds in multiple ways. Thorn-tailed Rayaditos Aphrastura spinicauda breeding in Navarino Island, Southern Chile (55°-40° S) experience high prevalence of the haemosporidian Leucocytozoon spp., which opens the possibility of exploring how these parasites may affect reproductive output in a Neotropical bird species. We compared several variables describing reproductive output (laying...

Flight training and dietary antioxidants have mixed effects on the oxidative status of multiple tissues in a female migratory songbird

Abigail Frawley, Kristen DeMoranville, Katherine Carbeck, Lisa Trost, Amadeusz Bryła, Maciej Dzialo, Edyta Sadowska, Ulf Bauchinger, Barbara Pierce & Scott McWilliams
Birds, like other vertebrates, rely on a robust antioxidant system to protect themselves against oxidative imbalance caused by energy-intensive activities such as flying. Such oxidative challenges may be especially acute for females during spring migration, since they must pay the oxidative costs of flight while preparing for reproduction; however, little previous work has examined how the antioxidant system of female spring migrants responds to dietary antioxidants and the oxidative challenges of regular flying. We fed...

Analysis of within-individual variation in extrapair paternity in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) shows low repeatability and little effect of changes in neighborhood

Kristina Beck, Mihai Valcu & Bart Kempenaers
Many studies investigated variation in the frequency of extrapair paternity (EPP) among individuals. However, our understanding of within-individual variation in EPP remains limited. Here, we comprehensively investigate variation in EPP at the within-individual level in a population of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Our study is based on parentage data comprising >10 000 genotyped offspring across 11 breeding seasons. First, we examined the repeatability of the occurrence of EPP, the number of extrapair offspring, the number...

Social network position predicts male mating success in a small passerine

Kristina Beck, Damien Farine & Bart Kempenaers
Individuals differ in the quantity and quality of associations with conspecifics. The resulting variation in the positions that individuals occupy within their social environment can affect several aspects of life history, including reproductive behavior. While research increasingly shows how social factors can predict dyadic mating patterns (i.e. who will breed with whom), much less is known about how an individual’s social position affects it’s overall likelihood to acquire mating partner(s). We studied social networks of...

Sequence structure mining, white browed sparrow weaver

Alena Lemazina
This dataset contains data for sequence analysis described in the paper: “Lemazina et al., (2021) The multifaceted vocal duets of White-browed sparrow weavers are based on complex duetting rules. Journal of Avian Biology, doi: 10.1111/jav.02703”. In our study, we recorded duet songs produced by six wild P. mahali pairs in South Africa. Our study further reveals the existence of answering rules in P. mahali, adhered to by both sexes. Even though answering rules can be...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Jagiellonian University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Cornell University
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • University of Bath
  • University of Washington
  • University of Pretoria