Air movement affects insulatory values of nests constructed by Old World Warblers

Dickinson, Amy, Goodman, Adrian and Deeming, Charles (2019) Air movement affects insulatory values of nests constructed by Old World Warblers. Journal of Thermal Biology, 81 . pp. 194-200. ISSN 0306-4565

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Avian nests provide a location for incubation, and in many cases rearing of nestlings. These energetically demanding
activities have meant that nest insulation has been the subject of many studies but few to date have
dealt with how variation among species in nest construction materials could affect nest insulation. This study
investigated the insulation of nests constructed by three species of Old Word warblers (Sylviidae), which vary in
size and composition. Insulatory values, i.e. difference in cooling rate of temperature loggers placed inside and
outside a nest, and internal cooling rates within the nest cup were determined using temperature loggers under
still-air and moving-air conditions. Insulatory values determined in still-air conditions of a laboratory were
significantly different among nests of the different species but not when the values were determined within the
smaller volume of a wind tunnel. Moving-air increased insulatory values by an order of magnitude but also
increased internal cooling rates in all species. Insulatory values were positively correlated with the nest base
thickness. Moving-air increased the cooling rate of the external temperature logger much more than the internal
logger, which inflated the insulatory value of a nest wall in moving-air. Reasons for these results may reflect the
thermal properties of the materials individually or in combination. Future testing of nest insulation should be
under standard conditions that limit air movement but the role of the nest location in situ should be investigated
in future research.

Keywords:Air movement, Nest construction
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C140 Developmental/Reproductive Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:35534
Deposited On:11 Apr 2019 08:30

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