Heterogeneity Of Avian Breeding Habitat On Grazing Lands Of The Northern Great Plains, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Heterogeneity Of Avian Breeding Habitat On Grazing Lands Of The Northern Great Plains, Maggi S. Sliwinski
Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources
Native rangelands in the Great Plains are largely privately owned and used for beef production. Vegetation heterogeneity is important for maintaining biodiversity, but private land may be more homogenous than desired. My research had two components: 1) to examine whether a variety of grazing strategies created vegetation heterogeneity in a large, intact rangeland, and 2) to understand beef producers’ attitudes about vegetation heterogeneity.
First, I sampled vegetation structure, composition, and bird abundance at multiple plots on eleven management units in Cherry County, Nebraska. Units were managed with commonly used grazing strategies (e.g., short-duration grazing and season-long continuous grazing). I ...
The North American Whistling-Ducks, Pochards, And Stifftails, 2017 University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The North American Whistling-Ducks, Pochards, And Stifftails, Paul A. Johnsgard
Although the 12 species representing three waterfowl tribes described in this volume are not closely related, they fortuitously provide an instructive example of adaptive evolutionary radiation within the much larger waterfowl lineage (the family Anatidae), especially as to their divergent morphologies, life histories, and social behaviors.
The whistling-ducks (Dendrocygna), with three known North American species, are notable for their permanent pair-bonds, extended biparental family care, and strong social cohesion. In contrast, males of the five typical pochards of North American diving ducks (Aythya) establish monogamous pair-bonds that are maintained only long enough to assure that the female’s eggs are ...
P24. The Birds And The Beats: Perception Of A Beat In An Avian Model, 2017 Western University
P24. The Birds And The Beats: Perception Of A Beat In An Avian Model, Brendon Samuels
Western Research Forum
Background: Beat perception is a complex cognitive skill that enables humans to “feel” the beat in music, and is an essential component of synchronization of behavior and dance. The mechanisms in the human brain that facilitate beat perception are not entirely understood, and have only been studied thus far using non-invasive techniques. Some animals, such as songbirds, also seem to be able to detect a beat in rhythms, though this has never been formally tested independent of motor synchronization.
Methods: An operant experiment is used to assess if European starlings, a type of songbird, are capable of categorizing auditory rhythms ...
The Impact Of Various Predator Perceptions On Stress Response And Spatial Memory In Birds, 2017 The University of Western Ontario
The Impact Of Various Predator Perceptions On Stress Response And Spatial Memory In Birds, Chlöe S. N. Carter
Western Research Forum
The Impact of Various Predator Perceptions on Stress Response and Spatial Memory in Birds
This project will explore the impact of environmental stressors on the cognitive abilities of birds. Predator perception has been demonstrated to elicit a stress response by elevating stress hormones which can alter the behaviour of birds. The aim of this study is to observe if chronic stress from differently perceived threats of predation in an individual’s environment will lead to differences in the spatial memory abilities in two species of birds. I predict that chronic stress resulting from predator stimuli will impair the bird ...
The North American Perching And Dabbling Ducks: Their Biology And Behavior, 2017 University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The North American Perching And Dabbling Ducks: Their Biology And Behavior, Paul Johnsgard
This volume, the fourth in a series of books that collectively update and expand P. A. Johnsgard’s 1975 The Waterfowl of North America, summarizes research findings on this economically and ecologically important group of waterfowl. The volume includes the mostly tropical perching duck tribe Cairinini, of which two species, the muscovy duck and the wood duck, are representatives. Both species are adapted for foraging on the water surface, mostly on plant materials, but typically perch in trees and nest in elevated tree cavities or other elevated recesses. This volume also includes the dabbling, or surface-feeding, duck tribe Anatini, a ...
A Sonic Net Excludes Birds From An Airfield: Implications For Reducing Bird Strike And Crop Losses, 2017 College of William and Mary
A Sonic Net Excludes Birds From An Airfield: Implications For Reducing Bird Strike And Crop Losses, John P. Swaddle, Dana L. Moseley, Mark H. Hinders, Elizabeth P. Smith
Collisions between birds and aircraft cause billions of dollars of damages annually to civil, commercial, and military aviation. Yet technology to reduce bird strike is not generally effective, especially over longer time periods. Previous information from our lab indicated that filling an area with acoustic noise, which masks important communication channels for birds, can displace European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from food sources. Here we deployed a spatially controlled noise (termed a “sonic net”), designed to overlap with the frequency range of bird vocalizations, at an airfield. By conducting point counts, we monitored the presence of birds for four weeks before ...
Acoustic Space Is Affected By Anthropogenic Habitat Features: Implications For Avian Vocal Communication, 2017 College of William and Mary
Acoustic Space Is Affected By Anthropogenic Habitat Features: Implications For Avian Vocal Communication, Caitlin R. Kight, Mark H. Hinders, John P. Swaddle
Human-altered landscapes often include structural features, such as higher levels of impervious surface cover (ISC) and less vegetation, that are likely to affect the transmission of avian vocalizations. We investigated the relationships between human habitat modifications and signal transmission by measuring four acoustic parameters—persistence, reverberation, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of broadcast tones, as well as absolute ambient noise level—in each of 39 avian breeding territories across an anthropogenic disturbance gradient. Using a geographic information system, we quantified the amounts of different habitat features (e.g., ISC, grass, trees) at each site; a principal component analysis was used to ...
Increased Avian Diversity Is Associated With Lower Incidence Of Human West Nile Infection: Observation Of The Dilution Effect, 2017 College of William and Mary
Increased Avian Diversity Is Associated With Lower Incidence Of Human West Nile Infection: Observation Of The Dilution Effect, John P. Swaddle, Stavros E. Calos
Recent infectious disease models illustrate a suite of mechanisms that can result in lower incidence of disease in areas of higher disease host diversity–the ‘dilution effect’. These models are particularly applicable to human zoonoses, which are infectious diseases of wildlife that spill over into human populations. As many recent emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses, the mechanisms that underlie the ‘dilution effect’ are potentially widely applicable and could contribute greatly to our understanding of a suite of diseases. The dilution effect has largely been observed in the context of Lyme disease and the predictions of the underlying models have rarely ...
Constraints On Acoustic Signaling Among Birds Breeding In Secondary Cavities: The Effects Of Weather, Cavity Material, And Noise On Sound Propagation, John P. Swaddle, Caitlin R. Kight, Saji Perera, Eduardo Davila-Reyes, Shena Sikora
Increasing evidence suggests that anthropogenic noise from urbanization affects animal acoustic communication. We investigated whether the begging calls of nestling Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) varied along a disturbance gradient of ambient noise. Contrary to our prediction and the results of a previous study of nestling Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), we found that nestling Eastern Bluebirds did not increase the amplitude or structural characteristics—including frequency, rate, and duration—of their vocalizations in response to ambient noise. However, we found that prevalent temperature and humidity conditions attenuated begging calls. Specifically, in warmer, more humid weather, vocalizations of nestling Eastern Bluebirds attenuated ...
Starlings Can Categorize Symmetry Differences In Dot Displays, 2017 College of William and Mary
Starlings Can Categorize Symmetry Differences In Dot Displays, John P. Swaddle, Stephen Pruett-Jones
Fluctuating asymmetry is an estimate of developmental stability and, in some cases, the asymmetry of morphological traits can reflect aspects of individual fitness. As asymmetry can be a marker for fitness, it has been proposed that organisms could use morphological asymmetry as a direct visual cue during inter‐ and intraspecific encounters. Despite some experimental evidence to support this prediction, the perceptual abilities of animals to detect and respond to symmetry differences have been largely overlooked. Studying the ability of animals to perceive symmetry and factors that affect this ability are crucial to assessing whether fluctuating asymmetry could be used as ...
Anthropogenic Noise Is Associated With Reductions In The Productivity Of Breeding Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia Sialis), 2017 College of William and Mary
Anthropogenic Noise Is Associated With Reductions In The Productivity Of Breeding Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia Sialis), Caitlin R. Kight, Margaret S. Saha, John P. Swaddle
Although previous studies have related variations in environmental noise levels with alterations in communication behaviors of birds, little work has investigated the potential long-term implications of living or breeding in noisy habitats. However, noise has the potential to reduce fitness, both directly (because it is a physiological stressor) and indirectly (by masking important vocalizations and/or leading to behavioral changes). Here, we quantified acoustic conditions in active breeding territories of male Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis). Simultaneously, we measured four fitness indicators: cuckoldry rates, brood growth rate and condition, and number of fledglings produced (i.e., productivity). Increases in environmental noise ...
Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success And Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study With Adult- Or Lifetime-Exposure In Zebra Finch, 2017 Colorado State University - Pueblo
Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success And Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study With Adult- Or Lifetime-Exposure In Zebra Finch, Claire W. Varian-Ramos, John P. Swaddle, Daniel A. Cristol
Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems ...
Blood Mercury Levels Of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications For The Evolution Of Mercury Resistance, 2017 College of William and Mary
Blood Mercury Levels Of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications For The Evolution Of Mercury Resistance, Kenton A. Buck, Claire W. Varian-Ramos, Daniel A. Cristol, John P. Swaddle
Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) on standardized diets ranging from 0.0–2.4 μg/g methylmercury. We applied a ...
The Feasibility Of Counting Songbirds Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, 2017 Gettysburg College
The Feasibility Of Counting Songbirds Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Andrew M. Wilson, Janine M. Barr, Megan E. Zagorski
Environmental Studies Faculty Publications
Obtaining unbiased survey data for vocal bird species is inherently challenging due to observer biases, habitat coverage biases, and logistical constraints. We propose that combining bioacoustic monitoring with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology could reduce some of these biases and allow bird surveys to be conducted in less accessible areas. We tested the feasibility of the UAV approach to songbird surveys using a low-cost quadcopter with a simple, lightweight recorder suspended 8 m below the vehicle. In a field experiment using playback of bird recordings, we found that small variations in UAV altitude (it hovered at 28, 48, and 68 ...
Using Species Distribution Models To Define Nesting Habitat Of The Eastern Metapopulation Of Double-Crested Cormorants, 2016 The Scripps Research Institute
Using Species Distribution Models To Define Nesting Habitat Of The Eastern Metapopulation Of Double-Crested Cormorants, Kate L. Sheehan, Samuel T. Esswein, Brian S. Dorr, Greg K. Yarrow, Ron J. Johnson
Brian S Dorr
The Rise Of Double-Crested Cormorants, 2016 USDA National Wildlife Research Center
The Rise Of Double-Crested Cormorants, Brian S. Dorr, David G. Fielder
Brian S Dorr
Habitat Quality Modeling For Bird Species At Furman University, 2016 Furman University
Habitat Quality Modeling For Bird Species At Furman University, Emma Cook
Earth and Environmental Sciences Presentations
In rapidly urbanizing areas, such as Greenville County in Upstate South Carolina, it is important to study habitat use and quality across land cover types in order to maximize conservation. Habitat fragmentation is a threat to many species of birds in areas with increasing development, especially those species that utilize larger forest patches for nesting and foraging. While land cover type and patch size are extremely important factors in determining habitat quality for birds, recent research has shown that the matrix of surrounding landscape proves to be very important as well. The landscape matrix, sometimes called landscape mosaic, considers the ...
Barn Owls (Tyto Alba) Crossing The Road - Examining The Interplay Among Occupancy, Behavior, Habitat Selection, And Roadway Mortality In Southern Idaho, Tempe Regan
Boise State University Theses and Dissertations
Barn Owls (Tyto alba) are killed by vehicle collisions in greater numbers than any other North American bird of prey. Interstate-84 (I-84) in southern Idaho, USA has among the world’s highest known rates of Barn Owl-vehicle collisions. Little is known about Barn Owl occupancy in this region, so it is unclear if owls are killed in proportion to their abundance, or if they are equally abundant in segments with lower mortality and somehow escape collisions. Furthermore, studies of Barn Owl movements and behavior are limited. I was interested in understanding (1) factors that affect Barn Owl occupancy in two ...
Stopover On Galapagos During Autumn Migration Of Bobolinks (Dolichonyx Oryzivorus), 2016 University of New England
Stopover On Galapagos During Autumn Migration Of Bobolinks (Dolichonyx Oryzivorus), Noah G. Perlut, Rosalind Renfrew
Environmental Studies Faculty Publications
The Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) is the only landbird species that is known to stop every year in Galapagos while migrating; however, its stopover ecology while on the islands is unknown. In October 2015, we searched for and captured Bobolinks in the highlands of San Cristóbal. We found Bobolinks in two fields, separated by 9.15 km, at ∼425 m elevation. Average daily counts of Bobolinks on these two fields were 3.2 ± 1.8 and 4.8 ± 2.3 individuals. We caught nine individuals; body mass and fat reserves varied from 22.5–40.0 g and no fat reserves ...
Using Citizen Science And Remote Sensing Data To Model Hummingbird Migration, 2016 University of Maine
Using Citizen Science And Remote Sensing Data To Model Hummingbird Migration, Sarah R. Supp, Laura J. Graham, Frank A. La Sorte, Tina A. Cormier, Gil Bohrer, Donald Powers, Susan Wethington, Kevin Guay, Patrick Jantz, Scott Goetz, Catherine H. Graham
Annual Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research
No abstract provided.