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Título

Plumage yellowness predicts foraging ability in the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus

Autor García-Navas, Vicente ; Ferrer, Esperanza S.; Sanz, Juan José
Palabras clave carotenoids
coloration
feeding effort
good parent
nestling diet
Paridae
Fecha de publicación 2012
EditorJohn Wiley & Sons
Citación Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106: 418-429 (2012)
ResumenCarotenoid-based coloration in adult birds has been often regarded as an honest signal of individual quality. However, few studies have demonstrated a link between carotenoid display and the quantity or quality of resources provided to the offspring. The present study investigated the expression of a carotenoid-based ornament, the breast plumage yellowness of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, in relation to the level of parental provisioning effort and the amount of carotenoid-rich prey provided to the young. The study was conducted in two forest types (evergreen and deciduous), which also allowed an exploration of the possible existence of habitat effects on the coloration of breeding birds. It was found that plumage colour intensity (carotenoid chroma) correlated positively with nestling provisioning rates of both males and females, supporting the good parent hypothesis. In addition, carotenoid chroma was positively related with the proportion of Lepidoptera larvae brought to the nest in both sexes. Female but not male coloration was positively linked to breeding success (proportion of fledged young). Nestling coloration did not correlate with that of their parents, nor the frequency with which they were fed. Hue and lightness of nestling’s plumage correlated positively with body mass and tarsus length, respectively. The results obtained in the present study indicate that ventral plumage coloration in blue tits may advertise the ingested carotenoids (carotenoid foraging ability) and also their overall parental quality in terms of nestling provisioning rates. This suggests that plumage yellowness can be used as an indicator of foraging ability in this species.
Versión del editorhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01865.x/abstract
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/110417
DOI10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01865.x
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