Feather Corticosterone Measurements of Greater Flamingos Living under Different Forms of Flight Restraint

Deflighting zoo birds is a practice that receives increasing criticism due to its presumed incompatibility with animal welfare. To our knowledge, this is the first approach to address this problem in a scientific way. To do this, we compared feather corticosterone (CORTf) from Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus, n = 151) of different flight status (i.e., […]

Ultraviolet colour perception in European starlings and Japanese quail

Whereas humans have three types of cone photoreceptor, birds have four types of single cones and, unlike humans, are sensitive to ultraviolet light (UV, 320-400 nm). Most birds are thought to have either a violet-sensitive single cone that has some sensitivity to UV wavelengths (for example, many non-passerine species) or a single cone that has […]

The use of classical and operant conditioning in training aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantea) for venipuncture and other husbandry issues

A variety of nonhuman animals in zoo and research settings have been the subjects of classical and operant conditioning techniques. Much of the published work has focused on mammals, husbandry training, and veterinary issues. However, several zoos are training reptiles and birds for similar procedures, but there has been little of this work published. Using […]

History and future of comparative analyses in sleep research

The comparative methods of evolutionary biology are a useful tool for investigating the functions of sleep. These techniques can help determine whether experimental results, derived from a single or few species, apply broadly across a specified group of animals. In this way, comparative analysis is a powerful complement to experimentation. The variation in the time […]

Remote monitoring of parental incubation conditions in the greater sandhill crane

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430140209.abs To monitor incubation conditions in nests of greater sandhill cranes, a radiotrans-mitting egg was built using six temperature sensors, a position sensor, and a light sensor. Sensor readings were received, along with time of observations, and stored in a computer. The egg was used to monitor incubation in nests of six pairs of […]

The effects of cage volume and cage shape on the condition and behaviour of captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

Cage size is widely recognised as an important determinant of captive animal welfare, but in contrast, cage shape has received far less attention. Husbandry recommendations for flying birds state that cages should be long in shape because this allows greater potential for flight. However, so far no studies have investigated the impact of cage shape […]

Visual pigments and oil droplets from six classes of photoreceptor in the retinas of birds

Microspectrophotometric examination of the retinal photoreceptors of the budgerigar (shell parakeet), Melopsittacus undulatus (Psittaciformes) and the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata (Passeriformes), demonstrate the presence of four, spectrally distinct classes of single cone that contain visualpigments absorbing maximally at about 565, 507, 430–445 and 360–380 nm. The three longer-wave cone classes contain coloured oildroplets acting as […]

Temperature effects on locomotion and activity bioenergetics of amphibians, reptiles, and birds

1) Large temperature differences have a measurable effect on ectothermic power consumption both at rest and during locomotion, yet this question remains to be satisfactorily addressed in ecological studies looking at optimal foraging strategy and performance. 2) Acclimation may influence the enzyme complement present in ectotherms and this could influence the energetic cost and efficiency […]

Western scrub-jay funerals: cacophonous aggregations in response to dead conspecifics

All organisms must contend with the risk of injury or death; many animals reduce this danger by assessing environmental cues to avoid areas of elevated risk. However, little is known about how organisms respond to one of the most salient visual cues of risk: a dead conspecific. Here we show that the sight of a […]

Parents take both size and conspicuousness into account when feeding nestlings in dark cavity nests

Parent birds respond to a variety of cues from their offspring when provisioning them with food. Bright flange colours and large body size are two traits of offspring that many parents seem to favour, but little is known about how such traits interact. By experimentally altering the difference in mass between nestmates while concurrently blackening […]