Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Northern birds are fatter!

04.04.2006


“The further birds migrate north for the summer, the faster they put on weight”, says Dr Williams (Simon Fraser University, Canada) who has been tracking migrating birds for several years. “This research may have implications for the designation of protected areas which will ensure birds can complete their spring and autumn migrations.” Dr Williams will present his research on Tuesday 4th April at the Society for Experimental Biology’s Annual Main Meeting in Canterbury [session A4].



“Our data can be used to assess habitat quality and the importance of specific sites for migratory birds, and this can contribute to decisions about whether migratory sites are protected and which sites are prioritised for protection”, explains Williams.

Two techniques were used to study Western Sandpipers on their spring journey along the Pacific ‘Flyway’ from Mexico to Alaska: 80 birds were fitted with radio-telemetry tracking devices and a further 400 had blood samples taken to give measurements of fattening rate. Williams found that birds fatten more rapidly as they move further north – as they get closer to the breeding grounds - and that the longer the birds spend hanging around at San Francisco Bay (one of the more southerly refuelling sites), the lower their fattening rates.


Such differences in fattening rates cannot simply be explained by differences in the availability of food. “Our current thinking is that the difference in fattening could be caused by differences in behaviour (birds simply feed more intensively in the north) or changes in physiology that the birds experience as they move further north”, says Williams. “We know there are major differences in gut structure and digestive enzymes between non-migrating and migrating birds, so there might also be similar alterations in migrating bird’s physiology further north, which allow more efficient digestion.”

Lucy Moore | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lancaster.ac.uk
http://www.sebiology.org.uk/Meetings/pageview.asp?S=2&mid=88

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>