alexa Use of trace elements in feathers of sand martin Riparia riparia for identifying moulting areas
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Author(s): Tibor Szp, Anders Pape Mller, Judit Vallner, Bla Kovcs, David Norman

Abstract Share this page

We investigated whether trace elements in tail feathers of an insectivorous and long-distance migratory bird species could be used to identify moulting areas and hence migratory pathways. We analysed tail feathers from birds of different age and sex collected from a range of different breeding sites across Europe. The site of moult had a large effect on elemental composition of feathers of birds, both at the European and African moulting sites. Analysis of feathers of nestlings with known origin suggested that the elemental composition of feathers depended largely upon the micro-geographical location of the colony. The distance between moulting areas could not explain the level of differences in trace elements. Analysis of feathers grown by the same individuals on the African wintering grounds and in the following breeding season in Europe showed a large difference in composition indicating that moulting site affects elemental composition. Tail feathers moulted in winter in Africa by adults breeding in different European regions differed markedly in elemental composition, indicating that they used different moulting areas. Analysis of tail feathers of the same adult individuals in two consecutive years showed that sand martins in their first and second wintering season grew feathers with largely similar elemental composition, although the amounts of several elements in tail feathers of the older birds was lower. There was no difference between the sexes in the elemental composition of their feathers grown in Africa. Investigation of the trace element composition of feathers could be a useful method for studying similarity among groups of individuals in their use of moulting areas.

This article was published in Wiley online library and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version