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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28725401/sky-island-bird-populations-isolated-by-ancient-genetic-barriers-are-characterized-by-different-song-traits-than-those-isolated-by-recent-deforestation
#1
Chetana B Purushotham, V V Robin
Various mechanisms of isolation can structure populations and result in cultural and genetic differentiation. Similar to genetic markers, for songbirds, culturally transmitted sexual signals such as breeding song can be used as a measure of differentiation as songs can also be impacted by geographic isolation resulting in population-level differences in song structure. Several studies have found differences in song structure either across ancient geographic barriers or across contemporary habitat barriers owing to deforestation...
October 2016: Ecology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28725370/emlen-funnel-experiments-revisited-methods-update-for-studying-compass-orientation-in-songbirds
#2
Giuseppe Bianco, Mihaela Ilieva, Clas Veibäck, Kristoffer Öfjäll, Alicja Gadomska, Gustaf Hendeby, Michael Felsberg, Fredrik Gustafsson, Susanne Åkesson
Migratory songbirds carry an inherited capacity to migrate several thousand kilometers each year crossing continental landmasses and barriers between distant breeding sites and wintering areas. How individual songbirds manage with extreme precision to find their way is still largely unknown. The functional characteristics of biological compasses used by songbird migrants has mainly been investigated by recording the birds directed migratory activity in circular cages, so-called Emlen funnels. This method is 50 years old and has not received major updates over the past decades...
October 2016: Ecology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28724737/stress-hormones-predict-a-host-superspreader-phenotype-in-the-west-nile-virus-system
#3
Stephanie S Gervasi, Sarah C Burgan, Erik Hofmeister, Thomas R Unnasch, Lynn B Martin
Glucocorticoid stress hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT), have profound effects on the behaviour and physiology of organisms, and thus have the potential to alter host competence and the contributions of individuals to population- and community-level pathogen dynamics. For example, CORT could alter the rate of contacts among hosts, pathogens and vectors through its widespread effects on host metabolism and activity levels. CORT could also affect the intensity and duration of pathogen shedding and risk of host mortality during infection...
July 26, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28722762/rapid-depuration-of-mercury-in-songbirds-accelerated-by-feather-molt
#4
Margaret Whitney, Daniel Cristol
Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that affects avian reproduction and condition, in both aquatic and terrestrial species. Because Hg binds strongly to the keratin of growing feathers, molt is an important avenue for Hg elimination. We investigated the rate of depuration of Hg from songbird blood and organs (brain, kidney, liver, muscle) as a function of molt. We exposed 2 species of captive songbirds, European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), to environmentally relevant dietary Hg (1...
July 19, 2017: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28717221/individual-recognition-of-opposite-sex-vocalizations-in-the-zebra-finch
#5
Pietro B D'Amelio, Milena Klumb, Mauricio N Adreani, Manfred L Gahr, Andries Ter Maat
Individual vocal recognition plays an important role in the social lives of many vocally active species. In group-living songbirds the most common vocalizations during communal interactions are low-intensity, soft, unlearned calls. Being able to tell individuals apart solely from a short call would allow a sender to choose a specific group member to address, resulting in the possibility to form complex communication networks. However, little research has yet been carried out to discover whether soft calls contain individual identity...
July 17, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28712792/seasonal-plasticity-of-song-behavior-relies-on-motor-and-syntactic-variability-induced-by-a-basal-ganglia-forebrain-circuit
#6
Jorge Alliende, Nicolas Giret, Ludivine Pidoux, Catherine Del Negro, Arthur Leblois
The plasticity of nervous systems allows animals to quickly adapt to a changing environment. In particular, seasonal plasticity of brain structure and behavior is often critical to survival or mating in seasonal climates. Songbirds provide striking examples of seasonal changes in neural circuits and vocal behavior and have emerged as a leading model for adult brain plasticity. While seasonal plasticity and the well-characterized process of juvenile song learning may share common neural mechanisms, the extent of their similarity remains unclear...
July 13, 2017: Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28712469/subcortical-contributions-to-motor-speech-phylogenetic-developmental-clinical
#7
REVIEW
W Ziegler, H Ackermann
Vocal learning is an exclusively human trait among primates. However, songbirds demonstrate behavioral features resembling human speech learning. Two circuits have a preeminent role in this human behavior; namely, the corticostriatal and the cerebrocerebellar motor loops. While the striatal contribution can be traced back to the avian anterior forebrain pathway (AFP), the sensorimotor adaptation functions of the cerebellum appear to be human specific in acoustic communication. This review contributes to an ongoing discussion on how birdsong translates into human speech...
July 13, 2017: Trends in Neurosciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28710647/impacts-of-sublethal-mercury-exposure-on-birds-a-detailed-review
#8
Margaret C Whitney, Daniel A Cristol
Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant known to accumulate in, and negatively affect, fish-eating and oceanic bird species, and recently demonstrated to impact some terrestrial songbirds to a comparable extent. It can bioaccumulate to concentrations of >1 μg/g in tissues of prey organisms such as fish and insects. At high enough concentrations, exposure to mercury is lethal to birds. However, environmental exposures are usually far below the lethal concentrations established by dosing studies...
July 15, 2017: Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28700095/smaller-beaks-for-colder-winters-thermoregulation-drives-beak-size-evolution-in-australasian-songbirds
#9
Nicholas R Friedman, Lenka Harmáčková, Evan P Economo, Vladimír Remeš
Birds' beaks play a key role in foraging, and most research on their size and shape has focused on this function. Recent findings suggest that beaks may also be important for thermoregulation, and this may drive morphological evolution as predicted by Allen's rule. However, the role of thermoregulation in the evolution of beak size across species remains largely unexplored. In particular, it remains unclear whether the need for retaining heat in the winter or dissipating heat in the summer plays the greater role in selection for beak size...
July 12, 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28695216/from-perception-to-action-in-songbird-production-dynamics-of-a-whole-loop
#10
Ana Amador, Santiago Boari, Gabriel B Mindlin
Birdsong emerges when a set of highly interconnected brain areas manage to generate a complex output. This consists of precise respiratory rhythms as well as motor instructions to control the vocal organ configuration. In this way, during birdsong production, dedicated cortical areas interact with life-supporting ones in the brainstem, such as the respiratory nuclei. We discuss an integrative view of this interaction together with a widely accepted "top-down" representation of the song system. We also show that a description of this neural network in terms of dynamical systems allows to explore songbird production and processing by generating testable predictions...
June 2017: Current opinion in systems biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28690346/contrasting-habitat-associations-of-sagebrush-steppe-songbirds-in-the-intermountain-west
#11
Robert A Miller, Laura Bond, Patrick N Migas, Jay D Carlisle, Gregory S Kaltenecker
Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe is one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems, as the result of many factors including grazing, development, fire, and invasion of exotic plants. Threats to sagebrush steppe are expected to increase because of climate change and further human development. Many songbirds use sagebrush steppe opportunistically, but a few obligate species are dependent on it. To quantify the habitat associations of three sagebrush obligates, the Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), Sagebrush Sparrow (Artemisiospiza nevadensis), and Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri), and nine other songbird species that use this habitat, we surveyed across a broad region of Idaho...
March 2017: Western Birds
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28688298/maternal-transfer-of-mercury-to-songbird-eggs
#12
Joshua T Ackerman, C Alex Hartman, Mark P Herzog
We evaluated the maternal transfer of mercury to eggs in songbirds, determined whether this relationship differed between songbird species, and developed equations for predicting mercury concentrations in eggs from maternal blood. We sampled blood and feathers from 44 house wren (Troglodytes aedon) and 34 tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) mothers and collected their full clutches (n = 476 eggs) within 3 days of clutch completion. Additionally, we sampled blood and feathers from 53 tree swallow mothers and randomly collected one egg from their clutches (n = 53 eggs) during mid to late incubation (6-10 days incubated) to evaluate whether the relationship varied with the timing of sampling the mother's blood...
July 5, 2017: Environmental Pollution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28684465/avian-thermoregulation-in-the-heat-resting-metabolism-evaporative-cooling-and-heat-tolerance-in-sonoran-desert-songbirds
#13
Eric Krabbe Smith, Jacqueline J O'Neill, Alexander R Gerson, Andrew E McKechnie, Blair O Wolf
We examined thermoregulatory performance in seven Sonoran Desert passerine bird species varying in body mass from 10 to 70g - Lesser Goldfinch, House Finch, Pyrrhuloxia, Cactus Wren, Northern Cardinal, Abert's Towhee and Curve-billed Thrasher. Using flow-through respirometry we measured daytime resting metabolism, evaporative water loss and body temperature at air temperatures (Tair) between 30° and 52°C. We found marked increases in resting metabolism above the upper critical temperature (Tuc), which for six of the seven species fell within a relatively narrow range (36...
July 6, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28681379/cortical-inter-hemispheric-circuits-for-multimodal-vocal-learning-in-songbirds
#14
Amy K Paterson, Sarah W Bottjer
Vocal learning in songbirds and humans is strongly influenced by social interactions based on sensory inputs from several modalities. Songbird vocal learning is mediated by cortico-basal ganglia circuits that include the SHELL region of LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), but little is known concerning neural pathways that could integrate multimodal sensory information with SHELL circuitry. In addition, cortical pathways that mediate the precise coordination between hemispheres required for song production have been little studied...
July 6, 2017: Journal of Comparative Neurology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28680638/migratory-blackpoll-warblers-setophaga-striata-make-regional-scale-movements-that-are-not-oriented-toward-their-migratory-goal-during-fall
#15
J Morgan Brown, Philip D Taylor
BACKGROUND: Regional scale movement patterns of songbirds are poorly known largely due to difficulties tracking small organisms at broad scales. Using an array of over 100 automated radio telemetry towers, we followed Blackpoll Warblers (Setophaga striata) during fall migration in the Gulf of Maine region, and assessed how their regional scale movement pathways varied with age, distance to natal origin, and capture date. RESULTS: Many individuals had movement paths that were not oriented towards their migratory goal ('indirect movement patterns'), regardless of age, distance to natal origin, or time of season...
2017: Movement Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28665031/heritable-variation-in-circulating-glucocorticoids-and-endocrine-flexibility-in-a-free-living-songbird
#16
Jocelyn M Stedman, Kelly K Hallinger, David W Winkler, Maren N Vitousek
Phenotypic flexibility is a central way that organisms cope with challenging and changing environments. As endocrine signals mediate many phenotypic traits, heritable variation in hormone levels, or their context-dependent flexibility, could present an important target for selection. Several studies have estimated the heritability of circulating glucocorticoid levels under acute stress conditions, but little is known about the potential for either baseline hormone levels or rapid endocrine flexibility to evolve...
June 30, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28652943/diverse-habitat-use-during-two-life-stages-of-the-critically-endangered-bahama-oriole-icterus-northropi-community-structure-foraging-and-social-interactions
#17
Melissa R Price, William K Hayes
Our ability to prevent extinction in declining populations often depends on effective management of habitats that are disturbed through wildfire, logging, agriculture, or development. In these disturbed landscapes, the juxtaposition of multiple habitat types can be especially important to fledglings and young birds, which may leave breeding grounds in human-altered habitat for different habitats nearby that provide increased foraging opportunities, reduced competition, and higher protection from predators. In this study, we evaluated the importance of three habitat types to two life stages of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi), a synanthropic songbird endemic to Andros, The Bahamas...
2017: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28651571/expression-and-phylogenetic-analyses-reveal-paralogous-lineages-of-putatively-classical-and-non-classical-mhc-i-genes-in-three-sparrow-species-passer
#18
Anna Drews, Maria Strandh, Lars Råberg, Helena Westerdahl
BACKGROUND: The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) plays a central role in immunity and has been given considerable attention by evolutionary ecologists due to its associations with fitness-related traits. Songbirds have unusually high numbers of MHC class I (MHC-I) genes, but it is not known whether all are expressed and equally important for immune function. Classical MHC-I genes are highly expressed, polymorphic and present peptides to T-cells whereas non-classical MHC-I genes have lower expression, are more monomorphic and do not present peptides to T-cells...
June 26, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28638318/maturation-behavioral-activation-and-connectivity-of-adult-born-medium-spiny-neurons-in-a-striatal-song-nucleus
#19
Jennifer Kosubek-Langer, Lydia Schulze, Constance Scharff
Neurogenesis continues in the adult songbird brain. Many telencephalic song control regions incorporate new neurons into their existing circuits in adulthood. One song nucleus that receives many new neurons is Area X. Because this striatal region is crucial for song learning and song maintenance the recruitment of new neurons into Area X could influence these processes. As an entry point into addressing this possibility, we investigated the maturation and connectivity within the song circuit and behavioral activation of newly generated Area X neurons...
2017: Frontiers in Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28636887/temporal-dynamics-of-the-hpa-axis-linked-to-exploratory-behavior-in-a-wild-european-songbird-parus-major
#20
Alexander T Baugh, Sarah C Davidson, Michaela Hau, Kees van Oers
Variation in the reactivity of the endocrine stress axis is thought to underlie aspects of persistent individual differences in behavior (i.e. animal personality). Previous studies, however, have focused largely on estimating baseline or peak levels of glucocorticoids (CORT), often in captive animals. In contrast, the temporal dynamics of the HPA axis-how quickly it turns on and off, for example-may better indicate how an individual copes with stressors. Moreover, these HPA components might be correlated, thereby representing endocrine suites...
June 19, 2017: General and Comparative Endocrinology
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