News News

Differences in selection of microhabitats and nest materials in three ground-nesting birds

Camouflage is a widespread strategy to avoid predation and is of particular importance for animals with reduced mobility or those in exposed habitats. Camouflage often relies on matching the visual appearance of the background, and selecting fine-scale backgrounds that complement an individual's appearance is an effective means of optimising camouflage. It was investigated whether there was an active selection of microhabitats and nest materials in three ground-nesting birds (pied avocet, Kentish plover, and little tern) to camouflage their eggs using avian visual modelling. Plovers and avocets selected substrates in which their eggs were better camouflaged, and that choice was done at an individual level. Terns have lighter, less spotted eggs, and while they did select lighter background than the other species, their eggs were a poor match to their backgrounds. The worse matching of the tern eggs was likely due to a compromise between thermal protection and camouflage because they breed later, when temperatures are higher. Finally, the addition of nest materials improved egg camouflage in terms of luminance, although the materials reduced pattern matching, which may be associated with the different roles that the nest materials play. Active selection of substrates at an individual level may be crucial to improve nest success in species that nest in exposed sites. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Gómez et al (2018) Individual egg camouflage is influenced by microhabitat selection and use of nest materials in ground-nesting birds. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:142 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-018-2558-7

 


Average (0 Votes)

Latest News Latest News

Global geographic patterns in the colours and sizes of animal dispersed fruits

Fruit colours attract animal seed dispersers, yet the causes of fruit colour diversity remain controversial. The lack of knowledge of large?scale spatial patterns in fruit colours has limited our...

Recent shift in the pigmentation phenotype of a wild Neotropical primate

The colors of primates are among the most diverse phenotypes in mammals. These colors are mostly produced by the deposition of melanin pigments in hairs. Many species show considerable variability...

Impact of historical vs. anthropogenic factors on processes of genetic fragmentation

Impact of historical vs. anthropogenic factors on processes of genetic fragmentation
Inferring the demographic history of species is fundamental for understanding their responses to past...

Birds present worse body conditions in more urbanized areas

Human landscape transformation, especially urbanization, strongly affects ecosystems worldwide. Both urban stressors and parasites have negative effects on organism health, however the potential...