Presentation Title

Effects of Declining Food Availability on Vocalizations and Migratory Restlessness in Male Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus)

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Surge 171

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Although many bird species are known to vocalize during migration, the role and use of vocalizations by facultative migrants is poorly studied. This study examined the influence of food availability on male pine siskins, known facultative migrants. Specifically, we examined whether pine siskins that experience a food reduction vocalize more and whether this was associated with migratory restlessness. Control and food limited birds were observed during the period of food restriction to record the frequency of vocalizations and their locomotor activity was monitored using passive infrared sensors. Individuals were observed for ten minutes after a five-minute acclimation period, vocalizations being categorized as “soft calls”, “zhree calls”, “song”, and “other calls” based on previous research on pine siskin vocalizations. We found that food limited birds vocalized more than control birds during the period of food restriction, producing significantly more “soft calls” than any other categorized call, and that they showed a significant increase in daytime locomotor activity. These results suggest that food deprivation is an influential factor on vocalization and activity patterns of facultative migrants and suggests that vocalizations may be used to convey public information related to potential resource abundance.

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Nov 12th, 2:15 PM Nov 12th, 2:30 PM

Effects of Declining Food Availability on Vocalizations and Migratory Restlessness in Male Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus)

Surge 171

Although many bird species are known to vocalize during migration, the role and use of vocalizations by facultative migrants is poorly studied. This study examined the influence of food availability on male pine siskins, known facultative migrants. Specifically, we examined whether pine siskins that experience a food reduction vocalize more and whether this was associated with migratory restlessness. Control and food limited birds were observed during the period of food restriction to record the frequency of vocalizations and their locomotor activity was monitored using passive infrared sensors. Individuals were observed for ten minutes after a five-minute acclimation period, vocalizations being categorized as “soft calls”, “zhree calls”, “song”, and “other calls” based on previous research on pine siskin vocalizations. We found that food limited birds vocalized more than control birds during the period of food restriction, producing significantly more “soft calls” than any other categorized call, and that they showed a significant increase in daytime locomotor activity. These results suggest that food deprivation is an influential factor on vocalization and activity patterns of facultative migrants and suggests that vocalizations may be used to convey public information related to potential resource abundance.