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Seasonal adjustments in nest cup lining in Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus.

Mainwaring, Mark C. and Hartley, Ian R. (2008) Seasonal adjustments in nest cup lining in Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus. Ardea, 96 (2). pp. 278-282. ISSN 0373-2266

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Abstract

Nest building requires parental investment and we should expect to find trade-offs between building and other behaviours or demands. For example, species breeding in temperate zones face the seasonal shift from spring to summer and might alter their nest construction in relation to environmental conditions as the season progresses. We quantified seasonal variation in the length of the nest building period, nest mass, composition, Hen Flea Ceratophyllus gallinae abundance and egg production in nestbox breeding Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus. The nest building period decreased seasonally, possibly indicating individual adjustment of optimal time of reproduction. Despite this, there was no seasonal trend in overall nest mass, although nest composition did change. The mass of the nests’ moss base and Hen Flea abundance showed no seasonal variation, but there was a seasonal decline in the mass of the cup lining material, suggesting that female Blue Tits selectively adjust the cup lining component of their nests to reflect increasing ambient temperatures in order to create an optimal microclimate for the developing embryos and nestlings.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Ardea
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 33943
Deposited By: Dr Ian R Hartley
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2010 16:38
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2013 20:17
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/33943

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