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Using an Electronic Monitoring System to Link Offspring Provisioning and Foraging Behavior of a Wild Passerine

Mariette, Mylene M., Pariser, Emma C., Gilby, Amanda J., Magrath, Michael J.L., Pryke, Sarah R. and Griffith, Simon C. 2011, Using an Electronic Monitoring System to Link Offspring Provisioning and Foraging Behavior of a Wild Passerine, Auk, vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 26-35, doi: 10.1525/auk.2011.10117.

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Title Using an Electronic Monitoring System to Link Offspring Provisioning and Foraging Behavior of a Wild Passerine
Author(s) Mariette, Mylene M.
Pariser, Emma C.
Gilby, Amanda J.
Magrath, Michael J.L.
Pryke, Sarah R.
Griffith, Simon C.
Journal name Auk
Volume number 128
Issue number 1
Start page 26
End page 35
Total pages 10
Publisher University of California Press
Place of publication Berkeley, Calif.
Publication date 2011
ISSN 0004-8038
1938-4254
Keyword(s) Distance
Foraging cost
Nest visitation rate
Nestling provisioning
Parental care
PIT-tag
Taeniopygia guttata
Zebra Finch
Summary Although the costs of parental care are at the foundations of optimal-parental-investment theory, our understanding of the nature of the underlying costs is limited by the difficulty of measuring variation in foraging effort. We simultaneously measured parental provisioning and foraging behavior in a free-living population of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) using an electronic monitoring system. We fitted 145 adults with a passive transponder tag and remotely recorded their visits to nest boxes and feeders continuously over a 2-month period. After validating the accuracy of this monitoring system, we studied how provisioning and foraging activities varied through time (day and breeding cycle) and influenced the benefits (food received by the offspring) and costs (interclutch interval) of parental care. The provisioning rates of wild Zebra Finches were surprisingly low, with an average of only one visit per hour throughout the day. This was significantly lower than those reported for this model species in captivity and for most other passerines in the wild. Nest visitation rate only partially explained the amount of food received by the young, with parental foraging activity, including the minimum distance covered on foraging trips, being better predictors. Parents that sustained higher foraging activity and covered more distance during the first breeding attempt took longer to renest. These results demonstrate that in some species matching foraging activity with offspring provisioning may provide a better estimate of the true investment that individuals commit to a reproductive attempt.
Language eng
DOI 10.1525/auk.2011.10117
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, University of California Press
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30059338

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.