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Title

Beak colouration of starling (Sturnus unicolor) males [dataset]

AuthorsAzcárate-García, Manuel; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena ; Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina ; Tomás, Gustavo ; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Soler, Juan José ; Díaz-Lora, Silvia
KeywordsBeak colour
Body condition
Interacting signals
Multiple signals
Ornamental feathers length
Sexually dimorphic characters
Issue Date22-Mar-2020
PublisherDIGITAL.CSIC
CitationAzcárate-García, Manuel; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena ; Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina ; Tomás, Gustavo ; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Soler, Juan José ; Díaz-Lora, Silvia; 2020; Beak colouration of starling (Sturnus unicolor) males [dataset]; DIGITAL.CSIC; http://dx.doi.org/10.20350/digitalCSIC/12497
DescriptionStudy area and study species The study was conducted during the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 in a south-eastern region of Spain (Hoya de Guadix, 37º15’N, 3º01’W), where nest-boxes attached to tree trunks or walls at 3–4 m above-ground are available for starlings to breed in (for further information on the study area see Soler et al. (2017)). In the studied starling population, the reproductive season starts in early April and most individuals lay a second clutch during May-June. The most common clutch size is 62 plants to the nest, which have been shown to have antimicrobial-beneficial functions4-5 eggs. Here, we will focus on the colouration of the base of the beak, a trait with a more marked sexual differentiation as we can see in its reflectance at different wavelengths (Fig. 1). Fieldwork and experimental procedure In this population, courtship activity (e.g. singing, introducing fresh green plants and feathers in nest boxes) starts in February, more than one month before egg laying (pers. obs.). During this period, some birds roost in nest-boxes and we take advantage ofthis fact for conducting yearly bird trapping sessions in the study area (twice a year between February and mid-March). One hour before dawn, we closed the entrance of all nest boxes in the study area, and immediately after dawn, we captured by hand all individuals found roosting inside. Captured birds were kept individually in clean cotton bags hanging from a stick to keep birds quiet, and were released immediately after sampling. The maximum time that a captured starling was in the bag did never exced three hours. We explored the possible effect of time that birds were kept in the bag on bird colouration and body condition measures of the males that we recaptured by classifying them as being kept in the bag less than 1 hour (N(males) = 10), between 1 and 2 hours (N = 5), and between 2 and 3 hours (N = 7). After controlling for the effect of date of first and last capture, time between captures, treatment and size of throat feathers in the first capture, results showed that retaining time 184 in first captures did not significantly affect blue, red-yellow, or brightness colouration of the beak of males (F1,15 < 2.66, P > 0.124), nor body condition (F1, 10 = 2.19, P = 0.170) in subsequent captures. It neither had any apparent long-term consequences (see Ruiz-Rodríguez et al. (2015)), nor imply apparent negative effects on breeding performance of captured birds (Soler et al. 2008)
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/204845
DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.20350/digitalCSIC/12497
ReferencesAzcárate-García, Manuel ; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena; Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina; Díaz-Lora, Silvia; Tomás, Gustavo; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Soler, Juan José. Beak colouration of starling (Sturnus unicolor) males depends on the length of their throat feathers. Behavioral ecology (2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/araa037 http://hdl.handle.net/10261/204810
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