Parental Care and Nesting Behavior of the Wood Thrush ( Hylocichla mustelina) Lisamarie Dittmar Advisor:  Dr. Kim Derricks...
Wood Thrush 19-21 cm Pink legs Black eye with white ring White breast with black spots 40-50 g Olive-brown back, wing, and...
Habitat <ul><li>Breeding: Eastern North American deciduous forests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From late April to mid September ...
General Behavior <ul><li>Forage on ground: eat mainly insects and some berries </li></ul><ul><li>Males are well known for ...
Natural Selection and Evolutionary Success <ul><li>Three requirements: </li></ul><ul><li>Phenotypic variation  among indiv...
<ul><li>Having offspring and passing on genes is the goal </li></ul><ul><li>There are many steps before success </li></ul>...
Life Cycle Migration & Arrival at  Breeding grounds Departure  from Breeding Grounds and Migration Wintering Incubation Ha...
Mating <ul><li>Males sing to attract females </li></ul><ul><li>Pair stays together for breeding season </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Nesting <ul><li>Open nesters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lowest: 2.0 m </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>highest: 11.7 m </li></ul></ul...
Egg Laying and Incubation <ul><li>Female typically lays 3 or 4 eggs, 1 egg a day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delayed onset of in...
Brooding <ul><li>Duration:10-11 days  </li></ul><ul><li>Time on nest decreases as young age </li></ul><ul><li>Nestlings op...
Fledging <ul><li>Young leave nest after 12 to 14 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explosive fledging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flig...
As you can see, there is a lot involved for a wood thrush to successfully reproduce. <ul><li>Other people have studied: </...
We are studying… <ul><li>Parental care and nesting behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How they affect nest success </li></ul><...
Parental Care <ul><li>Build nest </li></ul><ul><li>Incubate/brood </li></ul><ul><li>Sing and  </li></ul><ul><li>guard terr...
Predators
 
<ul><li>Not all pairs cooperate well </li></ul><ul><li>Most variability among pairs is due to the behavior of the male </l...
successful failed
<ul><li>If certain nesting behaviors increase nest success, then why don’t all males exhibit these behaviors?  </li></ul><...
Our Questions <ul><li>Do pairs that cooperate well have higher fitness? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the behavior of the mal...
Methods <ul><li>Began working at Oregon Ridge this summer on May 26  </li></ul><ul><li>First: find territories and locate ...
Where’s Waldo Wood Thrush?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nest Watches <ul><li>Observe all activity around nest for one hour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Record in field notebook </li></u...
Banding/Blood Samples <ul><li>Bait and trap male when nestlings are 9-11 days old </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mealworms, Potter ...
DNA Fingerprint Nestling 1 Nestling 2 Nestling 3 ♂ ♀
Nest Follow-up <ul><li>After fledging: </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for young on territory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begging   </l...
Analysis <ul><li>Summarize nest watches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time at nest by female, male, both or neither </li></ul></ul...
What have we done so far? <ul><li>458.25 hours in the field collectively </li></ul><ul><ul><li>206.72 (personally) </li></...
Future Plans <ul><li>Finish compiling and analyzing nest watch data </li></ul><ul><li>Run DNA testing on blood samples to ...
Significance <ul><li>Basic Research: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding the impact of natural selection on behavior </li>...
Sources <ul><li>Hoover, J.P., M.C. Brittingham.  1998.  Nest-Site Selection and Nesting Success of Wood Thrushes.  The Wil...
Thank You! <ul><li>I would like to thank Dr. Derrickson for the opportunity to work with him this summer, </li></ul><ul><l...
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Wood thrush power point

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  • Talk about appearance, size, weight 19 – 21 cm 40 – 50 g
  • Link to song Quote about songs
  • High investment from parent
  • Important to find a good mate! Male and female differ in potential for reproductive success Male: higher potential, but paternity not guaranteed Female: lower potential (output limited), but maternity is almost certain
  • Concealment/placement Solid nest
  • Length of inc breaks During breaks, the male may come to the nest and guard which can potentially reduce the chance of parasitism and predation
  • Have to keep providing food to young Cowbirds outcompete
  • Parents may continue to feed into next nest attempt
  • Behavioral Ecology of Intermittant Locomotion
  • Nest sanitation=fecal sac
  • Define “cooperate well” Male may withhold care Female investment
  • 2008
  • It would make sense for males to protect the nest
  • time
  • Sit &gt;10 m from nest
  • Certainty of paternity Will the male give less care if it is more likely that the young are not his? Potter’s trap?
  • Single locus probe
  • Show sheet
  • hauber
  • Wood thrush power point

    1. 1. Parental Care and Nesting Behavior of the Wood Thrush ( Hylocichla mustelina) Lisamarie Dittmar Advisor: Dr. Kim Derrickson, Biology
    2. 2. Wood Thrush 19-21 cm Pink legs Black eye with white ring White breast with black spots 40-50 g Olive-brown back, wing, and tail feathers, rusty head
    3. 3. Habitat <ul><li>Breeding: Eastern North American deciduous forests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From late April to mid September </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wintering: Central American lowlands </li></ul><ul><li>Where to look: ground to the low canopy </li></ul><ul><li>Nest: low story to low canopy </li></ul>
    4. 4. General Behavior <ul><li>Forage on ground: eat mainly insects and some berries </li></ul><ul><li>Males are well known for their song </li></ul><ul><ul><li>morning and early evening from May to August </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use phrases in different combinations </li></ul></ul>(http:// www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=32 )
    5. 5. Natural Selection and Evolutionary Success <ul><li>Three requirements: </li></ul><ul><li>Phenotypic variation among individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic basis of variation </li></ul><ul><li>Differential reproductive success due to trait possessed </li></ul>Not all individuals express the same trait Traits are linked to genes that can be passed on to offspring Having a specific trait makes an individual more likely to have offspring that will survive Evolution = change in a population over time Natural selection = mechanism for evolution
    6. 6. <ul><li>Having offspring and passing on genes is the goal </li></ul><ul><li>There are many steps before success </li></ul>Life Cycle!
    7. 7. Life Cycle Migration & Arrival at Breeding grounds Departure from Breeding Grounds and Migration Wintering Incubation Hatching Mating Egg laying Brooding Fledging
    8. 8. Mating <ul><li>Males sing to attract females </li></ul><ul><li>Pair stays together for breeding season </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bigamy (Johnson Roth Kleiner and Bartlett 1991) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Nesting <ul><li>Open nesters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lowest: 2.0 m </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>highest: 11.7 m </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Length of time to build: 3 to 6 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Female builds while male mate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>guards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Light colored leaves </li></ul><ul><li>Sticks and stems </li></ul><ul><li>Mud </li></ul><ul><li>Rootlets </li></ul>Photo by Rita Buettner
    10. 10. Egg Laying and Incubation <ul><li>Female typically lays 3 or 4 eggs, 1 egg a day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delayed onset of incubation (3rd or 4th day) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Average incubation period: 12.7 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimum temperature: 37-38 °C (98.6-100.4 °F) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brood patch only in females </li></ul><ul><li>Chance of parasitism </li></ul>Photo by Rita Buettner
    11. 11. Brooding <ul><li>Duration:10-11 days </li></ul><ul><li>Time on nest decreases as young age </li></ul><ul><li>Nestlings open eyes on day 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Nestlings thermoregulate after 6-7 days </li></ul><ul><li>Feeding starts: 15 minutes to one day after hatching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>soft bodied invertebrates or fruits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>both male and female feed </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Fledging <ul><li>Young leave nest after 12 to 14 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explosive fledging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flight improves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wings strengthen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tails grow, needed for higher flights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Parents still feed for about 2 weeks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move to edge </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. As you can see, there is a lot involved for a wood thrush to successfully reproduce. <ul><li>Other people have studied: </li></ul><ul><li>Nest placement (Hoover and Brittingham 1998) and concealment (Johnson 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Territory selection (Hoover Brittingham and Goodrich 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Flight patterns to nest (Kramer and McLaughlin 2001) </li></ul>What can the wood thrush do?
    14. 14. We are studying… <ul><li>Parental care and nesting behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How they affect nest success </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The male and female have different roles in caring for the nest </li></ul>
    15. 15. Parental Care <ul><li>Build nest </li></ul><ul><li>Incubate/brood </li></ul><ul><li>Sing and </li></ul><ul><li>guard territory </li></ul>Protect nest Nest sanitation Feed young ♀ ♂
    16. 16. Predators
    17. 18. <ul><li>Not all pairs cooperate well </li></ul><ul><li>Most variability among pairs is due to the behavior of the male </li></ul><ul><li>Female’s role is less flexible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs to lay eggs, incubate, brood </li></ul></ul>How does the behavior of the male affect the fitness of the pair?
    18. 19. successful failed
    19. 20. <ul><li>If certain nesting behaviors increase nest success, then why don’t all males exhibit these behaviors? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is there so much variability? </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t all males act like the best males? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Neighbors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predators </li></ul></ul>Photo by Rita Buettner
    20. 21. Our Questions <ul><li>Do pairs that cooperate well have higher fitness? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the behavior of the male affect the fitness of a pair? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do males vary so much in parental care? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What affects their behavior? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do males behave differently because they suspect that may have been cuckold? </li></ul></ul>
    21. 22. Methods <ul><li>Began working at Oregon Ridge this summer on May 26 </li></ul><ul><li>First: find territories and locate nests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen for songs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch for birds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Determine nest stage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Building? Egg Laying? Incubation? Nestling? </li></ul></ul>
    22. 23. Where’s Waldo Wood Thrush?
    23. 31. Nest Watches <ul><li>Observe all activity around nest for one hour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Record in field notebook </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Behavior of parent at nest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are they? What are they doing? For how long? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foraging, singing, preening, orientation on nest </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Behavior of neighbors on surrounding territories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wood thrush neighbors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When do they start and end songs? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Predators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where? For how long? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Abiotic factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>temperature, sunlight, precipitation </li></ul></ul>
    24. 32. Banding/Blood Samples <ul><li>Bait and trap male when nestlings are 9-11 days old </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mealworms, Potter trap </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Band male and take small blood sample </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avian red blood cells are nucleated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add lysis buffer to sample </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Take nestlings from nest, band and take small blood sample </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Return to nest (explosive fledging) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul></ul>
    25. 33. DNA Fingerprint Nestling 1 Nestling 2 Nestling 3 ♂ ♀
    26. 34. Nest Follow-up <ul><li>After fledging: </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for young on territory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tail length used to approximate age </li></ul><ul><li>Determine nest measurements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Height </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concealment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>About 2 weeks later, locate new nest </li></ul>
    27. 35. Analysis <ul><li>Summarize nest watches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time at nest by female, male, both or neither </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Look for relationship between nest success and parental care </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially from male </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is what they did in 2008 </li></ul></ul>
    28. 36. What have we done so far? <ul><li>458.25 hours in the field collectively </li></ul><ul><ul><li>206.72 (personally) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>251.53 (Dr. Derrickson) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>17 territories </li></ul><ul><li>36 nests monitored </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So far this season: 19 failed; 13 fledged at least 1 nestling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4 nests active </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Still have 1.5 weeks left for nests to be initiated </li></ul><ul><li>152 hour-long nest watches collectively </li></ul><ul><li>Collected blood samples from males and nestlings </li></ul>
    29. 37. Future Plans <ul><li>Finish compiling and analyzing nest watch data </li></ul><ul><li>Run DNA testing on blood samples to see if there is a relationship between “bad” males and paternity </li></ul>
    30. 38. Significance <ul><li>Basic Research: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding the impact of natural selection on behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applied Research: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The candle is burning at both ends for the Wood Thrush” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important for understanding survival of the bird </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How a Wood Thrush changes its behavior as an environment is changing </li></ul></ul>
    31. 39. Sources <ul><li>Hoover, J.P., M.C. Brittingham. 1998. Nest-Site Selection and Nesting Success of Wood Thrushes. The Wilson Bulletin 110:3:375-383. </li></ul><ul><li>Hoover, J.P., M.C. Brittingham, L.J. Goodrich. 1995. Effects of forest patch size on nesting success of Wood Thrushes. The Auk 112:1:146-155. </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson, R.K., R.R. Roth, S.E. Kleiner, C.R. Bartlett. 1991. A case of polygyny in the Wood Thrush. The Wilson Bulletin 103:3:509-510. </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson, M.S. 1997. The effect of age on nest concealment and its complimentary effect on production of Wood Thrush. The Wilson Bulletin 109:1:68-73. </li></ul><ul><li>Kramer, D.L., R.L. McLaughlin. 2001. The Behavioral Ecology of Intermittent Locomotion. American Zoologist 41:2:137-153. </li></ul><ul><li>Roth, R.R., M.S. Johnson, T.J. Underwood. 1996. Wood Thrush. Birds of North America . Gill FB, Poole A, editors. Philadelphia: Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Company; 10: no 246. </li></ul>
    32. 40. Thank You! <ul><li>I would like to thank Dr. Derrickson for the opportunity to work with him this summer, </li></ul><ul><li>And acknowledge support from the Hauber Summer Research Fellowship Endowment. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for your time! </li></ul>Any questions?

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