Journal of Ornithology

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

List of Papers (Total 252)

Urbanisation and nest building in birds: a review of threats and opportunities

The world is urbanising rapidly, and it is predicted that by 2050, 66% of the global human population will be living in urban areas. Urbanisation is characterised by land-use changes such as increased residential housing, business development and transport infrastructure, resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation. Over the past two decades, interest has grown in how...

Phenotypic and genetic characterization of the East Siberian Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus yakutensis Ticehurst, 1935) in relation to the European subspecies

Long-distance migrants with transcontinental breeding ranges are of particular interest for the study of local adaptation and geographic differentiation in birds. We compared phenotypes and genotypes between Far East Siberian Willow Warblers Phylloscopus trochilus yakutensis Ticehurst, 1935 with the European subspecies P. t. trochilus Linnaeus, 1758 and P. t. acredula Linnaeus...

Comparison between lek counts and bioacoustic recording for monitoring Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.)

Bioacoustics is the study of animal sounds. The importance of bioacoustics for biological research and the survey and monitoring of bird populations is becoming increasingly recognized. This is particularly the case for the capture of long-term data on rare species that are prone to disturbance or are otherwise difficult to survey. The global population of the Western...

A physiological perspective on the ecology and evolution of partial migration

Billions of animals migrate between breeding and non-breeding areas worldwide. Partial migration, where both migrants and residents coexist within a population, occurs in most animal taxa, including fish, insects, birds and mammals. Partial migration has been hypothesised to be the most common form of migration and to be an evolutionary precursor to full migration. Despite...

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...

Review of the diet specialisation of the Blue-cheeked bee-eater (Merops persicus)

Ecological specialisation, e.g. in terms of prey preferences, can have important implications for population biology. Bee-eaters are considered diet specialists; they hunt aerial insects, particularly hymenopterans. However, the Blue-cheeked bee-eater (Merops persicus) has been considered a special case, as it preferentially feeds upon dragonflies (Odonata). Here we review...

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...