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Heterogeneity Of Avian Breeding Habitat On Grazing Lands Of The Northern Great Plains, Maggi S. Sliwinski 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, Paul A. Johnsgard 2017 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

The North American Whistling-Ducks, Pochards, And Stifftails, Paul A. Johnsgard

Zea E-Books

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, Brendon Samuels 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, Chlöe S. N. Carter 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

Background

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, Paul Johnsgard 2017 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

The North American Perching And Dabbling Ducks: Their Biology And Behavior, Paul Johnsgard

Zea E-Books

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, John P. Swaddle, Dana L. Moseley, Mark H. Hinders, Elizabeth P. Smith 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

John Swaddle

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, Caitlin R. Kight, Mark H. Hinders, John P. Swaddle 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

John 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, John P. Swaddle, Stavros E. Calos 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

John Swaddle

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 2017 College of William and Mary

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

John Swaddle

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, John P. Swaddle, Stephen Pruett-Jones 2017 College of William and Mary

Starlings Can Categorize Symmetry Differences In Dot Displays, John P. Swaddle, Stephen Pruett-Jones

John Swaddle

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), Caitlin R. Kight, Margaret S. Saha, John P. Swaddle 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

John 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, Claire W. Varian-Ramos, John P. Swaddle, Daniel A. Cristol 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

John Swaddle

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, Kenton A. Buck, Claire W. Varian-Ramos, Daniel A. Cristol, John P. Swaddle 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

John 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, Andrew M. Wilson, Janine M. Barr, Megan E. Zagorski 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 ...


Review Of Bird Brain: An Exploration Of Avian Intelligence By Nathan Emery, Alan B. Bond 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Review Of Bird Brain: An Exploration Of Avian Intelligence By Nathan Emery, Alan B. Bond

Avian Cognition Papers

Over the past 30 years, the study of bird behavior has been completely transformed by the ongoing revolution in cognitive psychology, opening up wholly new perspectives on the mental processes underlying such areas as foraging decisions, social intelligence, problem solving, memory encoding, and communication. Although these studies have contributed to a number of recent popular books, until now there has been no attempt to integrate avian cognition and recent findings in avian neuroanatomy and endocrinology into a single account that is attractive and accessible to a general readership. It is a steep challenge, but Nathan Emery has undertaken it in ...


Testing Alternative Hypotheses For The Cause Of Population Declines: The Case Of The Red-Headed Woodpecker, Walter D. Koenig, Eric L. Walters, Paul G. Rodewald 2017 Old Dominion University

Testing Alternative Hypotheses For The Cause Of Population Declines: The Case Of The Red-Headed Woodpecker, Walter D. Koenig, Eric L. Walters, Paul G. Rodewald

Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

The Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) has experienced strong population declines during the past 3 decades. Using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data, we investigated 4 hypotheses that may explain this decline, including: (1) interspecific competition with native Red-bellied Woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) and nonnative European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris); (2) predation by Cooper's Hawks (Accipiter cooperii) and Sharp-shinned Hawks (Accipiter striatus); (3) climate change; and (4) changes in forested area within their range. In analyses of both the breeding and overwintering periods, our results indicated a role of increased accipiter populations in driving Red-headed ...


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 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

When organisms with similar phenotypes have conflicting management and conservation initiatives, approaches are needed to differentiate among subpopulations or discrete groups. For example, the eastern metapopulation of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) has a migratory phenotype that is culled because they are viewed as a threat to commercial and natural resources, whereas resident birds are targeted for conservation. Understanding the distinct breeding habitats of resident versus migratory cormorants would aid in identification and management decisions. Here, we use species distribution models (SDM: Maxent) of cormorant nesting habitat to examine the eastern P. auritus metapopulation and the predicted breeding sites of ...


The Rise Of Double-Crested Cormorants, Brian S. Dorr, David G. Fielder 2016 USDA National Wildlife Research Center

The Rise Of Double-Crested Cormorants, Brian S. Dorr, David G. Fielder

Brian S Dorr


For centuries, people have viewed cormorants negatively. In classical literature, the word cormorant represented greed and gluttony. However, natural resource professionals have long recognized the ecological value of all wildlife, and cormorants are no exception. For example, as an upper trophic-level predator in aquatic systems, cormorants are useful indicators of  environmental pollution and may contribute to limiting invasive prey populations. But over the last 40 years a major surge in the population of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) — a large, long-lived, fish-eating water bird and one of six species of North American cormorants — has led to negative interactions with other ...


Bursian Et Al 2017 Overview Of Avian Toxicity Dwh Nrda Ees.Pdf, Steven Bursian, C R. Alexander, Dave Cacela, Fred L. Cunningham, Karen M. Dean, Brian S. Dorr, Chris K. Ellis, Celine A. Goddard-Codding, Chris G. Guglielamo, Katie C. Hanson-Dorr, Kendal E. Harr, Katherine A. Healy, Michael J. Hooper, Katherine E. Horak, John P. Isanhart, L V. Kennedy, Jane E. Link, Ivan Maggini, J K. Moye, C R. Perez, Chris A. Pritsos, Susan A. Shriner, K A. Trust, Pete L. Tuttle 2016 Michigan State University

Bursian Et Al 2017 Overview Of Avian Toxicity Dwh Nrda Ees.Pdf, Steven Bursian, C R. Alexander, Dave Cacela, Fred L. Cunningham, Karen M. Dean, Brian S. Dorr, Chris K. Ellis, Celine A. Goddard-Codding, Chris G. Guglielamo, Katie C. Hanson-Dorr, Kendal E. Harr, Katherine A. Healy, Michael J. Hooper, Katherine E. Horak, John P. Isanhart, L V. Kennedy, Jane E. Link, Ivan Maggini, J K. Moye, C R. Perez, Chris A. Pritsos, Susan A. Shriner, K A. Trust, Pete L. Tuttle

Brian S Dorr

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 establishes liability for injuries to natural resources because of the release or threat of release of oil. Assessment of injury to natural resources resulting from an oil spill and development and implementation of a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement or acquisition of natural resources to compensate for those injuries is accomplished through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)process. The NRDA process began within a week of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred on April 20,2010. During the spill, more than 8500 dead and impaired birds representing at least 93 avian ...


Habitat Quality Modeling For Bird Species At Furman University, Emma Cook 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 ...


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