Opportunistic use of a wool-like artificial material as lining of Tit (Paridae) nests

Surgey, Joanne, du Feu, Christopher R. and Deeming, D. Charles (2012) Opportunistic use of a wool-like artificial material as lining of Tit (Paridae) nests. The Condor, 114 (2). pp. 385-392. ISSN 0010-5422

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/cond.2012.110111

#170_Surgey_et_al._Condor.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The lining material is a key element of bird nests primarily serving as insulation for the adult, eggs and/or chicks but collection of such material will have an energetic cost. This study investigated the nest building effort of four species of tit (Paridae) in an English wood by determining the use of colored, wool-like artificial nest lining material over the period 2000-2010. The distances that birds carried the material from source to nest was recorded for each nest as an indirect measure of the energetic cost of collection of nest material by individual birds. Birds did not always use nest material from the nearest source to their nest and some birds collected material from 2, 3 or 4 well-separated sources. There was no detectable color preference in choice of material and few birds would travel more than 200 m to gather the material. Use of the material appeared to depend on the species. Within defined areas around material dispensers not all individual Great Tits (Parus major) used the artificial material and, for all species examined, the proportion of birds using the material declined with increasing distance between source and nest. Use of artificial material suggested that selection of nest materials was probably opportunistic but also reflected the preference of these species for a wool-like nest-lining.

Keywords:bird, nesting, colour
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C142 Reproductive Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:5597
Deposited On:18 May 2012 16:59

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