Please wait...




28 November 2017


UTC 2115 – 0100
Moderator: Amélie Roberto Charron @ARobertoCharron


UTC 2115 | Caren Cooper @CoopSciScoop
UTC 1200 | Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, US

The value of birdwatchers for bird conservation: myths, limits, & frontiers of citizen science

Birdwatchers make species checklists, monitoring nests, band/ring birds, collect specimens and artifacts, transcribe text, and other tasks that help ornithological research and conservation. Strategies that leverage citizen science for avian conservation span spatial and temporal scales, and range from the use of volunteer data to inform policy and management to the expectation that sharing observations will motivate personal conservation behaviors and collective action. I’ll explore the social and ecological dimensions of citizen science, discuss myths and limits of data quality and data fitness for intended use, the skewed nature of volunteer engagement, best practices for implementing citizen science and resources for doing so, and speculate on promising frontiers in citizen science for ornithology.

Caren Cooper is an associate professor at North Carolina State University, appointed in the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Leadership in Public Science with her research lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Karen is author of Citizen Science: How Ordinary People Are Changing the Face of Discovery.


UTC 2145 | Mario Pesendorfer @mbpesendorfer
UTC 1200 | Cornell Lab of Ornithology, US

Aggression among food-hoarding birds drives competition among tree species

Scatter-hoarding birds are dispersers for large-seeded trees, because they transport seeds over long distances and cache them in the ground throughout the landscape. This mutualistic interaction is highly context-dependent, as mast-seeding in such trees results in high annual variation in seed crops, which drives competition among bird species. We investigated how aggressive interactions among seed-hoarding bird species affected seed fate dynamics in a community of mast-seeding oaks in coastal California. We found that aggression by Acorn Woodpeckers, primary seed predators, drives off California Scrub-jays, who are key seed dispersers, but only when their less-preferred oaks have acorns.

UTC 2200 | Dave Slager @dlslager
UTC 1200 | University of Washington, US

Genomic insights into the evolutionary history of the Northwestern Crow

The species status of Northwestern Crow Corvus caurinus has always been controversial. At the contact zone with American Crow C. brachyrhynchos, morphological similarities and behavioural plasticity have long obscured their true distributions and degree of assortative mating. Mitochondrial DNA and nuclear genomic ddRAD loci reveal a broad introgression zone along the coasts of Washington and British Columbia. The estimated mtDNA divergence time is consistent with Northwestern and American Crows evolving independently during the Pleistocene and now undergoing secondary contact. Thorough admixture along a broad introgression zone clarifies that these crows are conspecific under the biological species concept.

UTC 2215 | Stepfanie M. Aguillon @s_m_aguillon
UTC 1200 | Cornell Lab of Ornithology, US

Using a unique bird to understand how dispersal shapes spatial patterns of genetic diversity

Isolation-by-distance is a commonly observed pattern in nature, yet to date no study has demonstrated precisely how it is generated through dispersal. We take advantage of the unique biology and long-term monitoring of the Florida Scrub-Jay to explore how isolation-by-distance patterns are created. We show how extremely limited dispersal leads to close genealogical relatives living closer together geographically. We then use dispersal and coalescent simulations to show that the expected patterns of isolation-by-distance match those that we observe empirically in the population. Thus, we gain a fairly complete understanding of how dispersal shapes spatial patterns of genetic diversity.

UTC 2230 | Kelsey B. McCune @kbrenmc
UTC 1200 | University of Washington, US

Positive assortment by personality in Mexican Jays but not California Scrub-Jays

Positive assortment by personality has been shown in chimpanzee and human social networks. Theoretical simulations predict cooperation among unrelated individuals will be higher when there is positive assortment by some trait. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the boldness personality trait in wild populations of social, cooperative Mexican Jays, and asocial uncooperative California Scrub-Jays. We found evidence for group-level similarity in boldness such that Mexican Jays had significantly more similar boldness scores to group mates, whereas California Scrub-Jay boldness scores were not similar between mates. These data are the first to show positive assortment by personality related to cooperative behaviour in birds.

UTC 2245 | Izan Chalen @IzanCP
UTC 1200 | Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), US

Physiological and behavioural stress of birds in urban landscapes

Animal living at urban environments have the challenge of physiological and behavioural adaptation in order to continue in those landscapes. Not all species adapt in the same way, some are displaced as urbanization increases. Corticosterone is used in several studies as an indicator of adaptation to new environments. Urban exploiters species seems to have the same levels of glucocorticoids in rural and urban environments, which reflects good adaptation, but urban avoider’s species have abnormal level of glucocorticoids, reflecting poor adaptation. Some species take advantage of anthropogenic structures and human provided resources. Urban birds seems to have less efficient immunological response, making those birds vulnerable to infections and parasites. In this review work, we report direct effects of urbanization over bird’s physiology, behaviour and parasitic relationships.

UTC 2300 | Kristina Fialko @kyfialko
UTC 1200 | University of Chicago, US

The motion patterns of wing-flick displays in Phylloscopus warblers

Display behaviours in aggressive interactions are vital for individuals to visually assess the quality of a competitor prior to a costly physical fight. Birds such as Phylloscopus warblers use territorial display behaviours with conspecifics prior to physical altercations. However, the perceptual abilities of birds and humans are distinct. For example, birds and humans differ significantly in their critical flicker fusion frequencies, meaning that our perception of rapid movements is completely different from that of a bird. Using a high-speed video camera, I quantified the wing-flick movement of several species of Phylloscopus to analyse the biomechanics of territorial display behaviours.

UTC 2315 | BREAK

UTC 2330 | Jordan Rutter @JERutter
UTC 1200 | American Ornithological Society &
UTC 1200 | Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, US

‘Man’s best friend’: A threat to shorebirds?

Dog disturbance on beaches is a well-documented threat to breeding and non-breeding shorebirds but little guidance exists to address this problem. This review synthesized previous research on the impact of dogs on shorebirds to identify effective strategies to reduce dog-related threats to this group of birds. Research demonstrates that dog disturbance is a global issue that is not biased toward specific bird-taxa, bird-age, season, or other aspects of the full annual life cycle. Studies have also investigated a diversity of disturbance categories (e.g. humans, dogs, and humans with dogs) and determined that most human activities affect shorebirds; however, any activity that additionally involves a dog is almost always a greater threat to birds. For example, research reported that dogs increase bird stress levels, lower foraging time and decrease breeding success. Strategies to reduce dog impacts to shorebirds include partial or full closure of beaches to humans, strict leash laws, and creation of ‘dog parks’ on or adjacent to beaches. To date, no study has developed and tested effective outreach and education programs to target dog owners on beaches and such an effort is needed to complement existing management and conservation programs. Because many shorebird species are declining at alarming rates globally, reducing threats from dogs should be a priority for most shorebird conservation efforts.

UTC 2345 | Brandon P. M. Edwards @bedwards144
UTC 1200 | University of Guelph, Canada

Modelling breeding success of Piping Plovers using an environmental agent-based model

The Piping Plover Charadrius melodus is an endangered species native to North America. In Ontario, Canada, breeding piping plovers face a great deal of disturbance from humans. This is especially evident on tourist-centric beaches such as Sauble Beach in South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario. To understand the cumulative effects of these disturbances, a type of spatially explicit agent-based model was developed. The model allows for addition or subtraction of stressors to observe how piping plovers in a simulated environment react. Analysis of these results can be used to inform future management decisions and practices.

UTC 0000 | TJ Clark @ teejclark1873
UTC 1200 | University of Glasgow, UK

Estimating the population size and habitat preferences of the Sooty Shearwater in the Falkland Islands

The Sooty Shearwater is declining globally, yet populations are increasing in the Falkland Islands. The reason for this trend is not well understood, and there is a lack of systematic population estimates. To address this, we gathered data on burrow density and occupancy as well as habitat variables to estimate habitat preferences and population size. Our estimates suggest that the population is growing and much larger than previously thought, providing a baseline for future population estimates. Furthermore, population growth may be a result of tussac grass re-growth, information that will be useful for guiding conservation of this species worldwide.

UTC 0015 | Elizabeth A. Hobson @HobsonEA
UTC 1200 | Santa Fe Institute, US

Global patterns of pet trade in monk parakeets and connections to species invasions

The global pet trade market moves thousands of animals around the world every year. Understanding this market and how trade has shifted over time can provide important insight into the invasion history of pet species. We consider patterns of global trade in Monk Parakeets. Using CITES trade data from 1981-2015, we found the extent of global trade, the countries involved, and the diversity of the global Monk Parakeet market changed over time. As existing markets closed due to changes in governmental restrictions, analysis of trade networks provides insight into how new markets are developed.

UTC 0030 | Nicole J. Wood @WildlifeBioGal
UTC 1200 | Central Michigan University, US

Impacts of the invasive mute swan to the coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes

Mute Swans are an invasive species to North America. The population of Mute Swans has exploded in the Great Lakes Basin. The impacts of the mute swans on the ecology of the Great Lakes coastal wetlands was documented across tropic levels. Researchers looked at fish, invertebrate, and submerged aquatic vegetation populations, as well as the water quality of the wetlands in various coastal wetlands. These impacts are discussed to help fully assess the damage invasive Mute Swans are having in the Great Lakes.

UTC 0045 | Sara P. Bombaci @SPBombaci
UTC 1200 | Colorado State University, US

Restoring biodiversity using fenced mammal-free sanctuaries: implications for bird communities and seed dispersal

Many birds on islands are threatened by invasive mammal predators. In New Zealand, conservation organizations have constructed a network of ‘mammal-free sanctuaries’, which exclude invasive mammals with predator-proof fencing and provide opportunities to conserve native birds. We assessed the effectiveness of these sanctuaries for restoring bird communities and bird-mediated seed dispersal. We compared the density and diversity of birds, foraging rates, and the densities of bird-dispersed seeds between mammal-free sanctuaries and paired unprotected sites. We found 0.5-4.0 times higher densities of native bird species, higher bird diversity, higher foraging rates, and higher densities of bird-dispersed seeds in sanctuaries compared to unprotected sites.

UTC 0100 | BREAK

All times are given as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and you will have to check what this corresponds to your local time to follow presentations live. See here for UTC clock and local time converter.

#BOU17TC conference links

Tweeting guidelines
Session 1 (commences UTC 1200, 28 November)
Session 2 (commences UTC 1600, 28 November)
Session 3 (commences UTC 2115, 28 November)
Session 4 (commences UTC 0130, 29 November)
Session 5 (commences UTC 0500, 29 November)
Session 6 (commences UTC 0800, 29 November)
Abstracts (PDF)
Frequently asked questions

BOU17TC contacts

Get in touch with #BOU17TC organisers via Twitter or email:
Steve Dudley @stevedudley_ or email Steve
Nina O’Hanlon @Nina_OHanlon or email Nina

Find us on . . .

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

£0.000 items