BTCon17 – Day 2, Session 2

09:00 Tom Finch
Coauthors: Simon Butler (University of East Anglia), Aldina Franco (University of East Anglia), Will Cresswell (University of St Andrews)
Low migratory connectivity is common in long-distance migrant birds

Estimating how much migrant populations spread out and mix during the non-breeding season (migratory connectivity) is essential for understanding population dynamics in the face of global change.

09:15 Ellie Devenish-Nelson
University of Chester; University of Edinburgh
Coauthors: Howard Nelson (University of Chester); Doug Weidemann (BirdsCaribbean); Jason Townsend (Hamilton College)
Research effort in Caribbean endemic forest-dependent birds

Global bias in research means many tropical species have little ecological data. A review of Caribbean forest-dependent endemic birds found taxonomic and subject biases in research. Data quality metrics revealed poor quality population trend estimates for most species. Our results suggest a need to focus on management-relevant research.

09:30 Nina O’Hanlon
University of the Highlands and Islands
Coauthor: Ruedi Nager (University of Glasgow)
  Resource availability and its effect on breeding success of a generalist gull species

If resource availability is altered by anthropogenic land-use change, generalists may switch to lower quality resources. For gulls, this may mean a shift from marine to terrestrial resources. We looked whether the resources available to gulls near their colony influenced the food they consumed and whether this had any effect on breeding success.

09:45 Elina Mäntylä
Freie Universität Berlin
  Visual cues of systemically herbivore-damaged pine branches attract insectivorous birds

Two pine branches were inside airtight, see-through Plexiglas cylinders. One branch was systemically herbivore-induced by pine sawfly larvae (no damaged needles) and one was intact control. Great and blue tits visited first the cylinder with the herbivore-induced branch. Therefore, the visual cues of the needles were enough to attract the birds.

10:00 Alex Evans
University of Leeds
Coauthor: Graham N Askew
  The mechanical efficiency of the avian pectoralis during flight

Flight is an essential but energetically expensive activity for many birds. Estimates of avian flight costs from aerodynamic models have relied on assumed values of flight muscle efficiency. Using in vitro muscle techniques, we determine the relationship between the efficiency of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) pectoralis and flight speed.

10:15 Ruth Dunn
University of Liverpool
Coauthor: @jon_seabirds
A year in the life of a seabird

Marine ecosystems are exhibiting profound changes; top marine predators are particularly sensitive. We will quantify the behavioural and energetic budgets of seabirds throughout the annual cycle to identify times and locations of high stress, undertaking timely analyses into the ecology of protected species and the resilience of marine ecosystems.