Citation
No difference in male Northern Cardinal plumage color between Rural and Urban Environments

Material Information

Title:
No difference in male Northern Cardinal plumage color between Rural and Urban Environments
Creator:
Kristie Drzewiecki
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Cardinal
Plumage
Color
Male
Environment

Notes

Abstract:
In this study, we explored variation in the sexual signals of two populations of male Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) by analyzing their plumage color. The red plumage color of cardinals is a result of carotenoid pigments that must be obtained from their diet. We compared rural (Rice Creek Field Station, Oswego) and urban (Barry Park, Syracuse) environments because differences in plumage color may be a result of variation in food availability in these areas.
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Collected for SUNY Oswego Institutional Repository by the online self-submittal tool. Submitted by Kristie Drzewiecki.

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Source Institution:
SUNY Oswego Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
SUNY Oswego Institution
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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No difference in male Northern Cardinal plumage color between Rural and Urban Environments By: Kristie Drzewiecki

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Question Does male Northern Cardinal ( Cardinalis cardinalis ) plumage color vary between rural and urban environments?

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Introduction Previous studies analyzed: Different food resources and foraging behaviors between rural and urban environments ( Giraudeau et al. 2018) Red plumage color is a sexual signal composed of carotenoid pigments from food ( Giraudeau et al. 2018 ) Sexual signaling is affected by relationship between body condition and plumage brightness in rural environments (Jones et al. 2010) Our goal: Compare plumage hue, chroma, and brightness between rural and urban environments, accounting for the unique UV sensitive avian visual system

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Methods: Fieldwork Banded cardinals at Rice Creek Field Station (RCFS, rural) and Barry Park (BP, urban) Collected ten feathers from chest and back Recorded morphological data for each cardinal Sample sizes: RCFS = 24 , BP = 10 cardinals

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Methods: Lab Work Mounted feathers Reflectance spectrophotometer for measuring feather samples from 300 700 nm Analyzed reflectance curves using a mathematical model of the avian visual system: Hue: position of color in the avian color space Chroma: distance from the achromatic center to the color in the avian color space Brightness: total reflectance as perceived by the bird

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Results Chest or back feathers between RCFS and BP revealed overlap in reflectance curves and colors plotted in the avian color space

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Results No significant difference found in chest hue, chroma, or brightness between RCFS and BP (t test: all p>0.05) No significant difference found in back hue or brightness between RCFS and BP (t test: both p>0.05). Slight, but significant difference in chroma (t test: p<0.001)

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Conclusions There was little to no variation in male plumage color between rural and urban populations. 1 Food availability and carotenoid intake may be similar at these sites. 2 There was a slight difference in back chroma, which warrants further investigation. 3

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Future Work Increase sample sizes Increase Directly measure food availability (vegetation census, behavioral observations) Measure Test for relationships between age, body size/shape and plumage color Test Conduct photo analyses of other potential color signals, including females ( Figure 6 ) Conduct

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Future Work Figure 6. Female Northern Cardinal plumage color photo analysis

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References Giraudeau, M., Toomey, M. B., Hutton, P., & Mcgraw, K. J. (2018). Behavioral Ecology 29: 1307 1315. Jones, T. M., Rodewald, A. D., & Shustack, D. P. (2010). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122: 326 333.