Journal of Ornithology

http://link.springer.com/journal/10336

List of Papers (Total 247)

Phylogeny, migration and life history: filling the gaps in the origin and biogeography of the Turdus thrushes

Although the biogeographic history of thrushes (Turdidae) has been extensively studied, a concise discussion of this topic is still lacking. Therefore, in this study we aimed to investigate: (1) the evolutionary origin of the migratory behaviour of the Turdus thrushes in a biogeographic context including (2) trans-Atlantic dispersal events, (3) possible colonization routes into...

Comparison of digital video surveys with visual aerial surveys for bird monitoring at sea

The increasing demand for robust marine bird abundance and distribution assessments coupled with technological advances has led to the development of digital survey techniques for birds. Although digital surveys for bird monitoring are becoming a standard method in some countries, their strengths and weaknesses and comparability with traditional visual surveys remain...

Montagu’s Harrier breeding parameters in relation to weather, colony size and nest protection schemes: a long-term study in Extremadura, Spain

On the basis of long-term (2001–2017) and extensive data (> 1700 breeding attempts), we assess factors influencing breeding parameters in Montagu’s Harrier (Circus pygargus), a medium-sized ground-nesting semi-colonial raptor breeding in cereal fields, in a study area in its core distribution range (Extremadura, Spain). We evaluated annual and long-term variation in breeding...

Exogenous testosterone does not modulate aggression in sex-role-reversed female Barred Buttonquails, Turnix suscitator

In sex-role-reversed species, females are typically the more competitive sex, defending territories and access to mates, while males take care of the young, often without any help from the female. In males of species with traditional sex roles, testosterone levels generally rise during the breeding season and modulate territorial and aggressive behaviour. Similarly, testosterone...

Family size dynamics in wintering geese

Many bird populations are made up of social units with differences in size and social status. Of these, the family and flock structure of geese Anserini are among the better known. However, how the association of juvenile geese with their parents in families influences the migration timing and space-use of populations, as well as the events leading to juvenile independence are...

The structure and context of male and female song in White-throated Dippers

Female song in birds is more widespread than previously thought but remains poorly studied. Relatively few researchers have compared the structure and function of female song with that of conspecific males, especially in non-duetting species. Here we investigate male and female song in the White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus; hereafter ‘Dipper’), a highly territorial and...

Temporal changes in abundance exhibit less spatial structure than abundance itself in North American birds

Species abundance is often spatially structured such that, within a species’ distribution, abundance peaks at one or more areas and declines from those points. Abundance may also increase or decrease over time, but the spatial structure of temporal changes in abundance has been infrequently examined. Here we use count data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) to...

Does cavity reuse affect timing of reproduction and fledgling success in the Black Woodpecker?

Nesting in old cavities may be adaptive for birds as it may offer an advantage of earlier laying and higher fitness through more recruiting offspring. Black Woodpeckers frequently use old cavities, which gives the opportunity to test how this behavior affects the timing and the success of reproduction. In this paper, we have tested a prediction that excavating a new cavity causes...

Progression in the bacterial load during the breeding season in nest boxes occupied by the Blue Tit and its potential impact on hatching or fledging success

The Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus prefer to use nest boxes to raise their young rather than nests in natural tree cavities. However, nest boxes provide a warm, humid microclimate that is favourable to the growth of rich bacterial communities. In this study we investigated how the bacterial community developed throughout the breeding season and whether it had any effect on egg or...

Temperature and aridity determine body size conformity to Bergmann’s rule independent of latitudinal differences in a tropical environment

Bergmann’s rule, defined as the tendency for endotherms to be larger in colder environments, is a biophysical generalization of body size variation that is frequently tested along latitudinal gradients, even though latitude is only a proxy for temperature variation. We test whether variation in temperature and aridity determine avian body size conformity to Bergmann’s rule...

Habitat correlates of Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola abundance in a declining resident population

In Europe, woodland bird populations have been declining since at least the 1970s, and in Britain, around one third of woodland bird species have undergone declines over this period. Habitat change has been highlighted as a possible cause, but for some species clear evidence of this is lacking owing to an incomplete knowledge of the species’ habitat requirements. Here, we analyse...

Fecal sacs do not increase nest predation in a ground nester

Most altricial birds remove their nestlings’ feces from the nest, but the evolutionary forces driving this behavior are poorly understood. A possible adaptive explanation for this could be that birds avoid the attraction of nest predators to their nests due to the visual or olfactory cues produced by feces (nest predation hypothesis). This hypothesis has received contrasting...

Unexpected dietary preferences of Eurasian Spoonbills in the Dutch Wadden Sea: spoonbills mainly feed on small fish not shrimp

After an historical absence, over the last decades Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia leucorodia have returned to breed on the barrier islands of the Wadden Sea. The area offers an abundance of predator-free nesting habitat, low degrees of disturbance, and an extensive intertidal feeding area with increasing stocks of brown shrimp Crangon crangon, the assumed main prey of P...

Prospects and pitfalls of using feathers as a temporal archive of stress events and environmental pollutants: a review and case study

Methods to assess environmental pollution and stress responses in birds with scarcely invasive or non-invasive sampling are highly sought after in ecology and conservation. For several years now, feathers have been promoted as non-invasive tools to assess stress physiology and environmental pollution in birds. This has mainly been applied in whole feathers, but more recently also...

Indirect evidence for body size reduction in a flightless island bird after human colonisation

Rhynochetos orarius has been described from Holocene fossils as the sister species of the smaller extant Kagu Rhynochetos jubatus, a bird endemic to New Caledonia. However, we argue that there has never been evidence justifying the description of R. orarius. Additionally, for biogeographical reasons it seems unlikely that two Kagu species would have evolved in New Caledonia. We...

Tits as bryologists: patterns of bryophyte use in nests of three species cohabiting a primeval forest

Numerous birds use bryophytes as nest construction material but the species used and their biology remain largely unknown. Therefore, questions related to the selectivity of birds in their bryophyte use, and why they use/ignore particular species, remain unanswered. We studied the composition of bryophytes, including both mosses (Bryophyta) and liverworts (Marchantiophyta), in...

Avian transcriptomics: opportunities and challenges

Recent developments in next-generation sequencing technologies have greatly facilitated the study of whole transcriptomes in model and non-model species. Studying the transcriptome and how it changes across a variety of biological conditions has had major implications for our understanding of how the genome is regulated in different contexts, and how to interpret adaptations and...

Ambient temperature impacts the effect of experimental immunisation of Great Tit and Eurasian Blue Tit females on the PHA response of their offspring

The immune system is a particularly costly activity that competes with other functions of an organism, such as reproduction, although research is lacking on the importance of environmental factors for the parental investment in offspring immunity. This study examines whether ambient temperature impacts the effect of a sheep red blood cell (SRBC) challenge of the adult female’s...

Leukocyte profiles indicate nutritional, but not moulting stress in a migratory shorebird, the Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

The relative ratio of the two main leukocyte types, heterophils (H) and lymphocytes (L), is known to change proportionally to the concentrations of stress hormones in the circulating blood. Thus, analysis of leukocyte profiles serves as a reliable proxy of stress in vertebrates, as high H/L ratios indicate stronger stress response. Moult and migration are among the most...

The importance of post-translocation monitoring of habitat use and population growth: insights from a Seychelles Warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) translocation

Translocations are a valuable tool within conservation, and when performed successfully can rescue species from extinction. However, to label a translocation a success, extensive post-translocation monitoring is required, ensuring the population is growing at the expected rate. In 2011, a habitat assessment identified Frégate Island as a suitable island to host a Seychelles...

Hybrids and mixed pairs of Syrian and Great-spotted Woodpeckers in urban populations

The population structures of sympatric Syrian and Great-spotted Woodpeckers (SW and GW, respectively) in urban areas of Poland were investigated with respect to the occurrence of mixed pairs and hybrids. It was estimated that 5.3% of pairs were mixed and that these interspecific pairs mainly comprised SW or hybrid females and GW males. In total, 3.6% of observed individuals and 6...

The breeding performance of raptors in urban landscapes: a review and meta-analysis

Global urbanisation is rapidly increasing and can have profound impacts on wild flora and fauna. For many species, the impacts are detrimental and irreversible, whereas others are able to colonise and apparently thrive in these novel, human-made environments. Raptors are particularly susceptible to changes in the environment due to their position at the end of the food chain, yet...

Genetic confirmation of the species status of Jabouilleia naungmungensis

Species assessment of allopatric taxa is problematic. Here we consider the case of the Naung Mung Scimitar Babbler (Jabouilleia naungmungensis) from northern Myanmar. This bird was recognized as a new species in its original description, but was subsequently considered to be a subspecies of J. danjoui. We review the procedures used to make this assessment, and consider them in...