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Birds, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2023) – 9 articles

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17 pages, 2606 KiB  
Perspective
Ten Principles for Bird-Friendly Forestry: Conservation Approaches in Natural Forests Used for Timber Production
by Nico Arcilla and Māris Strazds
Birds 2023, 4(2), 245-261; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020021 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3821
Abstract
Bird–forestry relationships have been the subject of research and conservation initiatives for decades, but there are few reviews of resulting recommendations for use by forest managers. We define “bird-friendly forestry” as forest management that applies recommendations from research seeking to reconcile logging with [...] Read more.
Bird–forestry relationships have been the subject of research and conservation initiatives for decades, but there are few reviews of resulting recommendations for use by forest managers. We define “bird-friendly forestry” as forest management that applies recommendations from research seeking to reconcile logging with bird conservation in natural forests used for timber production. We reviewed relevant studies to synthesize 10 principles of bird-friendly forestry: (1) protect and enhance vertical structure through uneven-aged silviculture; (2) leave abundant dead wood in different decay stages; (3) maintain residual large green trees; (4) create and maintain sufficient amounts of uncut reserves and corridors; (5) maximize forest interior by retaining large contiguous forest tracts in landscapes with sufficient functional connectivity; (6) maintain buffers along streams, rivers, and wetlands cultural and urban landscapes; (7) maintain horizontal stand structure and enhance vegetation diversity by creating canopy gaps; (8) extend the temporal scale of logging cycles; (9) minimize post-logging disturbance to forests, particularly during the bird breeding season; and (10) manage for focal species and guilds. These principles may serve as guidelines in developing bird-friendly management plans customized for regional priority species, with a clearly articulated vision and quantitative objectives through which success can be measured. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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9 pages, 1242 KiB  
Communication
Highly Conserved Microchromosomal Organization in Passeriformes Birds Revealed via BAC-FISH Analysis
by Marcelo Santos de Souza, Suziane Alves Barcellos, Victoria Tura, Vera Lúcia Bobrowski, Analía Del Valle Garnero, Ricardo José Gunski, Darren K. Griffin and Rafael Kretschmer
Birds 2023, 4(2), 236-244; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020020 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1385
Abstract
Passeriformes birds are widely recognized for their remarkable diversity, with over 5700 species described so far. Like most bird species, they possess a karyotype characteristic of modern birds, which includes a bimodal karyotype consisting of a few pairs of macrochromosomes and many pairs [...] Read more.
Passeriformes birds are widely recognized for their remarkable diversity, with over 5700 species described so far. Like most bird species, they possess a karyotype characteristic of modern birds, which includes a bimodal karyotype consisting of a few pairs of macrochromosomes and many pairs of microchromosomes. Although the karyotype is typically 2n = 80, the diploid number can atypically vary greatly, ranging from 56 to approximately 100 chromosomes. In this study, we aimed to understand the extent of conservation of the karyotype’s organizational structure within four species of this group using Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes via Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (BAC-FISH) with microchromosome probes from Chicken (Gallus gallus) or Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) per microchromosomes (GGA10-28, except GGA16). By examining the chromosome complement of four passerine species—the Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus), Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), Southern House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), and Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens)—we discovered a new chromosome number for Southern House Wren. Through FISH experiments, we were able to observe the same pattern of microchromosome organization as in the common ancestor of birds. As a result, we propose a new diploid number for Southern House Wren and confirm the conservation status of microchromosome organization, which may confer evolutionary advantages to this group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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11 pages, 1134 KiB  
Article
Permanent Ad-lib Feeders Decrease the Survival of Wintering Great Tits (Parus major)
by Tatjana Krama, Ronalds Krams, Sergejs Popovs, Giedrius Trakimas, Markus J. Rantala, Todd M. Freeberg and Indrikis A. Krams
Birds 2023, 4(2), 225-235; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020019 - 15 May 2023
Viewed by 2522
Abstract
The optimal body mass hypothesis posits that the body reserves of wintering birds are balanced between the risk of starvation and predation. In this study, we tested whether the body mass of wintering Great Tits (Parus major) was higher under conditions [...] Read more.
The optimal body mass hypothesis posits that the body reserves of wintering birds are balanced between the risk of starvation and predation. In this study, we tested whether the body mass of wintering Great Tits (Parus major) was higher under conditions of less predictable food resources. We compared body mass, body mass index, the speed at take-off, and apparent survival of Great Tit adult males wintering in small urban areas either near feeders providing permanent access to food for months or near feeders providing irregular access to food. Body mass and body mass index were greater, while take-off speed and apparent survival were lower, in birds wintering near permanent feeders than birds wintering near irregular feeders. Thus, urban birds, with their predictable access to high energy food, did not follow the fattening strategy predicted by the optimal body mass hypothesis. This study shows that regular excess amounts of high-energy food may affect urban birds’ physiological and behavioral strategies in a non-adaptive way. We recommend irregular feeding of wintering birds and the placing of feeders in places that are safe against attacking predators. Full article
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12 pages, 779 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Use of Dairies as Overnight Roosts by Common Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)
by Callan Lichtenwalter, Karen Steensma, Marcos Marcondes, Kyle Taylor, Craig McConnel and Amber Adams Progar
Birds 2023, 4(2), 213-224; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020018 - 2 May 2023
Viewed by 1787
Abstract
The Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is an invasive bird species in North America that can cause damage to dairies. Starlings roost in structures on dairies overnight, defecating on cows, feed, and supplies. To target roosts for effective deterrence, farmers must know [...] Read more.
The Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is an invasive bird species in North America that can cause damage to dairies. Starlings roost in structures on dairies overnight, defecating on cows, feed, and supplies. To target roosts for effective deterrence, farmers must know what times of the year starling populations are greatest. To test seasonality, two data sets were analyzed. First, birds were counted for 20–30 min at sunrise and sunset on 10 Whatcom County, Washington dairies over four weeks in September and October of 2016. Starling counts were greater in the last week of observations than in weeks one, two, and three. Second, birds were counted at sunset for four weeks during winter 2021 and spring and summer 2022 at two dairies in the Palouse region of Washington State and Idaho. As temperature and minutes of daylight decreased, bird abundance increased. There was also an effect of season, with more birds counted in winter and spring than in summer. These data sets combined suggest a seasonal use of dairies as night roosts by starlings. With this information, farmers in the United States will know to contact wildlife managers in the summer, so a starling deterrence strategy can be developed before roosts are established in the fall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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11 pages, 1157 KiB  
Article
Stopover Ecology of the European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur), a Threatened Migratory Bird Species, after the Crossing of an Extended Ecological Barrier
by Christos Barboutis, Anastasios Bounas, Elisabeth Navarrete and Thord Fransson
Birds 2023, 4(2), 202-212; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020017 - 26 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2217
Abstract
Migratory routes, important stopover sites and wintering grounds for the Turtle Dove, a declining trans-Saharan migratory bird, are known mainly for populations in western and central Europe, but very little is known about birds using the eastern migration flyway. By combining long-term ringing [...] Read more.
Migratory routes, important stopover sites and wintering grounds for the Turtle Dove, a declining trans-Saharan migratory bird, are known mainly for populations in western and central Europe, but very little is known about birds using the eastern migration flyway. By combining long-term ringing data, tracking data and citizen science data, a comprehensive picture of the stopover ecology of the Turtle Dove’s spring migration in the eastern Mediterranean is presented. Furthermore, a quantitative estimate of the number of birds that migrate over Greece during the spring migration is given. Approximately 16% of the European population migrates through Greece, passing through as early as the end of March, with the passage lasting up to the end of May. On average, the species arrives depleted after the crossing of the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, with no systematic refuelling event taking place in North Africa. Both tracking and ringing data indicate that the birds undergo an extensive stopover after the barrier crossing (as much as close to three weeks). Turtle Doves additionally show significant body mass gain during their stay, indicating the potential importance of stopover sites after the Mediterranean Sea for the conservation of the species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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12 pages, 1947 KiB  
Article
Fruit Color Preference of Frugivorous Birds in an Agroecosystem in Southcentral Mindanao, Philippines
by Navel Kyla B. Balasa, Jirriza O. Roquero, Asraf K. Lidasan, Lothy F. Casim, Angelo Rellama Agduma and Krizler Cejuela Tanalgo
Birds 2023, 4(2), 190-201; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020016 - 24 Apr 2023
Viewed by 3434
Abstract
The removal of fruit is a consequence of plant–animal interactions, and is a vital step in the natural regeneration cycle of plant populations. This research aimed to determine the effect of fruit color and local landscape on plant–bird interactions in an agroecosystem in [...] Read more.
The removal of fruit is a consequence of plant–animal interactions, and is a vital step in the natural regeneration cycle of plant populations. This research aimed to determine the effect of fruit color and local landscape on plant–bird interactions in an agroecosystem in Southcentral Mindanao, Philippines. We set out 1500 artificial fruit models in ten sampling locations within an agroecosystem. We measured the difference in the proportion of predated/removed (%) fruit models and the risk between sites, fruit color, and predators. Approximately a quarter (24.53%) of the artificial fruit models deployed were predated, and the proportion of predation was significantly higher in the red fruit models (mean = 18.74 ± 9.84) compared to the green fruit models (mean = 11.67 ± 6.17). Birds were the most dominant predators compared to mammals and arthropods, and contributed to at least 60% of the predation of red fruits. Our findings are consistent with previous evidence showing birds’ preferences for darker fruit colors. Although landscape variables did not significantly affect fruit predation, tree cover may help increase these interactions. Overall, our study showed that agroecosystems can still support species of frugivorous birds, as indicated by high fruit predation rates, particularly by birds that can permeate different layers of the agroecosystem. Our findings demonstrate an important implication for habitat quality management within agroecosystems. Enriching agroecosystems with pioneer trees with dark-colored fleshy fruits is a sustainable greening strategy that would benefit frugivores and producers in this system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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11 pages, 1160 KiB  
Article
Arabian Partridge Abundance and Limiting Factors at the Northern Boundary of Its Range
by Alaaeldin Soultan, Moayyed Sher Shah, Ahmed Mohammed Almalki, Stephen Browne and Nico Arcilla
Birds 2023, 4(2), 179-189; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020015 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2628
Abstract
The Arabian Partridge (Alectoris melanocephala), is an endemic bird species of the Arabian Desert that lives in groups and inhabits rocky hillsides with patchy vegetation. Throughout their range, Arabian Partridges contend with hunting and habitat destruction, factors that may limit their [...] Read more.
The Arabian Partridge (Alectoris melanocephala), is an endemic bird species of the Arabian Desert that lives in groups and inhabits rocky hillsides with patchy vegetation. Throughout their range, Arabian Partridges contend with hunting and habitat destruction, factors that may limit their distribution and abundance. Although the abundance of this species has been assumed to be stable, no actual estimate of its population size has been undertaken. We assessed the distribution and estimated the abundance of the Arabian Partridge at the northern boundary of its range in Saudi Arabia. The estimated density and abundance of the Arabian Partridge in Harrat Uwayrid Biosphere Reserve was 25.6 (6.16 SE) birds/km2 and ~118 individuals, respectively, with higher numbers of individuals in less disturbed sites and near rocky outcrops and hillsides. In sites where hunting occurred, as indicated by the presence of hunting shelters, partridge numbers were extremely low or absent. Our study provides the first quantitative assessment of the Arabian Partridge at the northern limit of its range and highlights the need to reduce threats from hunting, livestock grazing, and feral donkeys and to undertake conservation measures to mitigate factors associated with partridge decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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8 pages, 1166 KiB  
Communication
Power Laws Govern the Abundance Distribution of Birds by Rank
by Sergio Da Silva and Raul Matsushita
Birds 2023, 4(2), 171-178; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020014 - 7 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Only a few bird species are abundant. Understanding the abundance distribution of bird species is critical for conservation efforts because rare species may be more vulnerable to habitat loss, climate change, and other threats. According to new data, a log left-skewed distribution, rather [...] Read more.
Only a few bird species are abundant. Understanding the abundance distribution of bird species is critical for conservation efforts because rare species may be more vulnerable to habitat loss, climate change, and other threats. According to new data, a log left-skewed distribution, rather than a lognormal distribution, better adjusts to the abundance distribution of bird species. We look at the rank abundance distribution rather than the species abundance distribution that use the same data and find three power laws: for the top four species; for the abundant species minus the top four; and for the rare species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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12 pages, 1426 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Population Trends of House Sparrow and Eurasian Tree Sparrow in Spain
by Elena Ramos-Elvira, Eva Banda, Juan Arizaga, David Martín and José I. Aguirre
Birds 2023, 4(2), 159-170; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4020013 - 25 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2929
Abstract
Urban areas are constantly increasing, which can cause an effect in bird populations since human activities lead to nature alterations. Populations of House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) have been decreasing in Spain according to [...] Read more.
Urban areas are constantly increasing, which can cause an effect in bird populations since human activities lead to nature alterations. Populations of House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) have been decreasing in Spain according to the latest national censuses in Spain. In this study, we tried to assess the population trend over more than two decades using ringing data from Spanish constant effort sites, as well as to determine the population and breeding success proxy in relation to habitat composition at landscape level. We analysed the data and confirmed the decreasing trend in the two species. However, Eurasian Tree Sparrow showed signs of increasing presence in urban areas. Furthermore, the productivity remained stable over sampling sites and years, meaning that the causes of the decreasing populations are affecting both adult and juvenile individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2022–2023)
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