Arrival timing and hematological parameters in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis)

Margret Iolani Hatch, Robert J. Smith, Jennifer C. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Early arrival at the breeding grounds for migratory birds is associated with greater reproductive success. According to the condition-dependent arrival hypothesis, only those individuals in superior physiological condition are able to bear the costs (e.g., poor environmental conditions, limited food availability) of early arrival. Condition has usually been measured in terms of energy reserves or mass but other physiological measures of condition such as hematocrit and immune function have been gaining attention. We examined several measures of condition and their association with date of first capture in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) arriving at breeding grounds in northeastern Pennsylvania. Earlier arrivals had higher hematocrit and H/L ratios and lower lymphocyte counts. Arrival date was also negatively associated with fat score. Fat score was positively related to hematocrit, total number of leukocytes, and number of lymphocytes, but the other hematological parameters were not associated with traditional measures of condition (keel score, fat score, or a body condition index). Our results provide some support for the condition-dependent arrival hypothesis and suggest that there may be immunological differences between early- and late-arriving birds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-552
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Volume151
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

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hematocrit
lymphocyte count
breeding sites
lipids
leukocyte count
food availability
body condition
environmental factors
birds
energy
reproductive success
migratory birds

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Hatch, Margret Iolani ; Smith, Robert J. ; Owen, Jennifer C. / Arrival timing and hematological parameters in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). In: Journal of Ornithology. 2010 ; Vol. 151, No. 3. pp. 545-552.
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Arrival timing and hematological parameters in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). / Hatch, Margret Iolani; Smith, Robert J.; Owen, Jennifer C.

In: Journal of Ornithology, Vol. 151, No. 3, 01.07.2010, p. 545-552.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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