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Birds, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 7 articles

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13 pages, 1544 KiB  
Review
Vision-Based Design and Deployment Criteria for Power Line Bird Diverters
by Graham R. Martin
Birds 2022, 3(4), 410-422; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds3040028 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2801
Abstract
The design of bird diverters should be based upon the perception of birds, not the perception of humans, but until now it is human vision that has guided diverter design. Aspects of bird vision pertinent to diverter design are reviewed. These are applied [...] Read more.
The design of bird diverters should be based upon the perception of birds, not the perception of humans, but until now it is human vision that has guided diverter design. Aspects of bird vision pertinent to diverter design are reviewed. These are applied in an example that uses Canada Geese Branta canadensis as a putative worst-case example of a collision-prone species. The proposed design uses an achromatic checkerboard pattern of high contrast whose elements match the low spatial resolution of these birds when they are active under twilight light levels. The detectability of the device will be increased by movement, and this is best achieved with a device that rotates on its own axis driven by the wind. The recommended spacing of diverters along a power line is based upon the maximum width of the bird’s binocular field and the linear distance that it subtends at a distance sufficient to allow a bird to alter its flight path before possible impact. Given the worst-case nature of this example, other bird species should detect and avoid such a device. The basic design can be modified for use with specific target species if sufficient is known about their vision. Field trials of devices based on these design criteria are now required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Mortality Caused by Power Lines)
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8 pages, 1085 KiB  
Article
Discriminant Criteria for Field Sexing in the Eurasian Tree Sparrow by Combining Body Size and Plumage Features
by Sergio González, Francisco Morinha, Diego Villanúa, Lander Goñi and Guillermo Blanco
Birds 2022, 3(4), 402-409; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds3040027 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2326
Abstract
The Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) is a monomorphic passerine, for which it is impossible to differentiate between males and females based on external characteristics. Being a species frequently captured for ringing, having a reliable method to determine sex from conventional [...] Read more.
The Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) is a monomorphic passerine, for which it is impossible to differentiate between males and females based on external characteristics. Being a species frequently captured for ringing, having a reliable method to determine sex from conventional biometric measurements would facilitate its study and be very useful for the correct management and conservation of this declining species. In the present study, we used biometric measurements recorded in 66 individuals captured with mist nets in communal roosts in northern Spain during the winter and sexed them using molecular techniques. We conducted a discriminant function analysis (DFA) to derive equations that allowed us to determine the sex of the specimens from some of the measurements recorded in the field. Significant differences were found between males and females in wing length, third primary length, badge width and height and body weight. The DFA provided two functions that correctly classified the sex of 94.7% of the individuals using wing length and badge width, and 98.2% if weight was added to the analysis. Our results allow sexing from measurements that can be easily recorded in the field with the tools commonly used in banding sessions and without the need for additional training. Considerations of Bergmann’s and Allen’s rules on body size and the use of DFA in different populations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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19 pages, 3485 KiB  
Article
Bird Assemblages in a Peri-Urban Landscape in Eastern India
by Ratnesh Karjee, Himanshu Shekhar Palei, Abhijit Konwar, Anshuman Gogoi and Rabindra Kumar Mishra
Birds 2022, 3(4), 383-401; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds3040026 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2306
Abstract
Urbanization plays an important role in biodiversity loss across the globe due to natural habitat loss in the form of landscape conversion and habitat fragmentation on which species depend. To study the bird diversity in the peri-urban landscape, we surveyed four habitats—residential areas, [...] Read more.
Urbanization plays an important role in biodiversity loss across the globe due to natural habitat loss in the form of landscape conversion and habitat fragmentation on which species depend. To study the bird diversity in the peri-urban landscape, we surveyed four habitats—residential areas, cropland, water bodies, and sal forest; three seasons—monsoon, winter, and summer in Baripada, Odisha, India. We surveyed from February 2018 to January 2019 using point counts set along line transects; 8 transects were established with a replication of 18 each. During the survey, 6963 individuals of 117 bird species belonged to 48 families and 98 genera in the study area, whereas cropland showed rich avian diversity. Based on the non-parametric multidimensional scale (NMDS) and one-way ANOVA, bird richness and abundance differed significantly among the habitats. Cropland showed higher species richness than other habitats; however, water bodies showed more abundance than others. The similarity of bird assemblage was greater between residential areas and cropland than forest and water bodies based on similarity indices. Among seasons, we observed the highest bird species richness in winter and the highest similarity of species richness in monsoon and summer. In conclusion, our study reported that agricultural and degraded landscapes like cropland play important roles in conserving bird diversity in peri-urban landscapes. Our findings highlighted and identified the problems that affect the local biodiversity (e.g., birds) in the peri-urban landscape. It can assist the local government in urban planning and habitat management without affecting the local biodiversity, including birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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9 pages, 5892 KiB  
Communication
Observation of an Attempted Forced Copulation within a Captive Flock of Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus)
by Paul Rose
Birds 2022, 3(4), 374-382; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds3040025 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2054
Abstract
Flamingos (Phoenicopteriformes) are obligate colonial species that nest in large colonies, with monogamous pairs rearing a single chick following a synchronised group courtship display. Within this relatively simplistic behavioural description, deviations from these social and reproductive norms are apparent. Same sex pairings, multi-bird [...] Read more.
Flamingos (Phoenicopteriformes) are obligate colonial species that nest in large colonies, with monogamous pairs rearing a single chick following a synchronised group courtship display. Within this relatively simplistic behavioural description, deviations from these social and reproductive norms are apparent. Same sex pairings, multi-bird relationships and extra pair copulations are documented in the literature. Flamingos display highly sexually selected characteristics of plumage colour, carotenoid accumulation and diversity of display movements that underpin mate choice decisions. The brightest birds in best body condition are more successful at breeding. Therefore, documented mate guarding of female birds by male partners, is a relevant response to maximise investment in a pair bond. Limited information that describes the action of forced copulation by the male flamingo and the response of the female bird is available in the literature. This paper describes an occurrence of an attempted forced copulation by an older male Greater Flamingo to a younger female bird. Such behaviour may be an artefact of the captive environment, and limited mate choice when compared to the sizes of wild flocks, or it could be regularly apparent in the wild and therefore worthy of more scrutiny and empirical study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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15 pages, 1413 KiB  
Article
Blood Metabolites and Profiling Stored Adipose Tissue Reveal the Differential Migratory Strategies of Eurasian Reed and Sedge Warblers
by Pedro M. Araújo, Ivan Viegas, Luis P. Da Silva, Pedro B. Lopes, Ludgero C. Tavares and Jaime A. Ramos
Birds 2022, 3(4), 359-373; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds3040024 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1567
Abstract
The overall speed of bird migration is limited by the amount of fuel stores acquired during the initial phases of migration. The ability to mobilize fat is crucial for migratory birds that can exhibit different migratory strategies. Birds mobilize triglycerides during nocturnal flight [...] Read more.
The overall speed of bird migration is limited by the amount of fuel stores acquired during the initial phases of migration. The ability to mobilize fat is crucial for migratory birds that can exhibit different migratory strategies. Birds mobilize triglycerides during nocturnal flight thus increasing circulating fatty acids and glycerol to meet the metabolic demands of flight. Eurasian Reed (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and Sedge (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) Warblers were captured at Portuguese stopover sites during spring and autumn migration. These species were selected based on their different migration strategies and dietary preferences during migration. Blood metabolites and fat composition were analyzed to determine their nutritional states. Sedge Warblers had higher blood triglyceride and glycerol levels during post-flight fasting than in non-fasting periods. Furthermore, Sedge Warblers had higher triglyceride and glycerol levels than Eurasian Reed Warblers in both post-flight fasting and non-fasting condition. The differences found may reflect distinct approaches in re-feeding activity (e.g., feeding intensely) associated with the number of stopovers during migratory cycle. Dietary preferences affect the fat composition available for oxidation during long-term exercise in migratory flight. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of subcutaneous fat composition revealed that Sedge Warblers presented higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid levels than Eurasian Reed Warblers. The distinct lipidic profiles observed and differences in feeding ecology may explain the different migration strategies of these species. Overall and despite their ecological similarity, our study species showed pronounced differences in blood metabolites levels and subcutaneous fatty acids composition, likely attributed to the migratory strategy and foraging preferences during their migratory cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2021)
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18 pages, 1241 KiB  
Article
Monk Parakeet’s (Myiopsitta monachus) Ecological Parameters after Five Decades of Invasion in Santiago Metropolis, Chile
by Cristóbal Briceño, Matilde Larraechea and Sergio Alvarado
Birds 2022, 3(4), 341-358; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds3040023 - 09 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2860
Abstract
Monk Parakeets are considered one of the most invasive bird species given its unique capacity among psittacines to build their own communal nests. Originally introduced as pets in houses from where they escaped or were released, they are currently considered invasive in more [...] Read more.
Monk Parakeets are considered one of the most invasive bird species given its unique capacity among psittacines to build their own communal nests. Originally introduced as pets in houses from where they escaped or were released, they are currently considered invasive in more than 20 countries worldwide. This is the case in Chile, where Monk Parakeets were introduced during the 1970s. Between 2016 and 2019 we searched Monk Parakeets’ nests structures in the Santiago metropolis region. We identified 1458 Monk Parakeets’ communal nests on 546 trees belonging to 34 tree species. Ninety-one percent of the occupied trees were also introduced. Paraná pine and cedar of Lebanon were the tree species with highest abundance of nests, averaging more than four nests/tree/species, with 23 and 18 maximum number of nests, respectively. Tasmanian blue gum and black locust were selected by parakeets more often than expected, based on availability. From all trees, 24.6% denoted health problems and 47.3% were pruned. The average nest height was 14.2 m and nests were observed mainly in secondary branches (59.3%). The occupancy rate was 89.7% and was associated to nest height and type of branch. During two reproductive seasons we quantified eggs and nestlings in chambers averaging 4.5 and 4.2, respectively. We provide a rough population size estimate and the characteristics of Monk Parakeets nest and tree selectivity, aiming to characterize several decades of a neglected urban invasion to warrant strategies for improved management measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2021)
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21 pages, 7730 KiB  
Article
Bird Communities and the Rehabilitation of Al Karaana Lagoons in Qatar
by Ayaterahman Draidia, Momina Tareen, Nuran Bayraktar, Emily R. A. Cramer and Kuei-Chiu Chen
Birds 2022, 3(4), 320-340; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds3040022 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1965
Abstract
Qatar, a peninsular country in the Persian Gulf, is significant to avian species due to its location along the African–Eurasian Flyway, a key migratory path. Receiving untreated domestic and industrial liquid waste from Qatar in the past, Al Karaana Lagoons have since been [...] Read more.
Qatar, a peninsular country in the Persian Gulf, is significant to avian species due to its location along the African–Eurasian Flyway, a key migratory path. Receiving untreated domestic and industrial liquid waste from Qatar in the past, Al Karaana Lagoons have since been reconstructed as an artificial wetland to address the growing environmental concern posed by contamination build-up. This study documents the changes in biodiversity at Al Karaana Lagoons following their environmental remediation. Data collected (2015 and 2017) by Ashghal (Public Works Authority) prior to project implementation was analyzed alongside data collected independently following project completion (2019–2021). There was a marked increase in bird biodiversity following remediation, including substantial use by migratory species and resident breeders. Further analysis of water quality data of the TSE (treated sewage effluent) ponds shows that they are eutrophic but still support substantial bird life. The project’s success demonstrates how reclaimed lands can provide important habitats to local and migratory birds and encourages similar restoration efforts in the future in both Qatar and elsewhere. We call for the continued monitoring of the site and the implementation of guidelines for the use of the site that balance human activities and habitat quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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