Temporal variation and reliability of blood parasite levels in captive Yellowhammer males Emberiza citrinella
1997 (English)In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 28, no 4, 325-330 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The temporal variation of blood parasites in captive Yellowhammer males was studied in order to investigate possible costs of parasites. Birds were caught in the wild in early April and kept in aviaries during the study period. Blood samples were taken, body mass measured, and moult was scored twelve times for the same individuals from April to October. Blood parasites were detectable in smears during the whole study period with an intensity peak coinciding with breeding in the wild. Young birds had more parasites and a consistently higher body mass than older birds. There was no relationship between parasite intensity and mass in older birds but possibly one in young birds. Parasites did not seem to affect moult in either age class. Repeatability of parasite counts of smears from the same individual was very high and smears are therefore a reliable method for estimating parasite intensity. We conclude that blood parasites are probably most severe during, but occur in their hosts long after, the breeding season. Possible costs of parasites outside the breeding season require further study.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 28, no 4, 325-330 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268361DOI: 10.2307/3676946ISI: A1997YH43400008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268361DiVA: diva2:876649