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Long stretches of sea and desert often interrupt the migration routes of small songbirds, whose fat reserves must be restored before these can be crossed as they provide no opportunity for refuelling. To investigate whether magnetic cues might enable inexperienced migratory birds to recognize a region where they need to replenish their body fat, we caught(More)
Cryptic prey coloration typically bears a resemblance to the habitat the prey uses. It has been suggested that coloration which visually matches a random sample of the background maximizes background matching. We studied this previously untested hypothesis, as well as another, little studied principle of concealment, disruptive coloration, and whether it(More)
Bird mortality is heavily affected by birds of prey. Under attack, take-off is crucial for survival and even minor mistakes in initial escape response can have devastating consequences. Birds may respond differently depending on the character of the predator's attack and these split-second decisions were studied using a model merlin (Falco columbarius) that(More)
IGF-I treatment has been shown to enhance cell genesis in the brains of adult GH- and IGF-I-deficient rodents; however, the influence of GH therapy remains poorly understood. The present study investigated the effects of peripheral recombinant bovine GH (bGH) on cellular proliferation and survival in the neurogenic regions (subventricular zone (SVZ), and(More)
Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) increase cell genesis in several regions of the brains of GH-IGF-I-deficient hypophysectomized rats. However, it is not known to what degree GH treatment stimulates adult cell genesis in pituitary-intact rodents. We investigated the effect of peripheral administration of bovine growth hormone(More)
In theory, survival rates and consequent population status might be predictable from instantaneous behavioural measures of how animals prioritize foraging vs. avoiding predation. We show, for the 30 most common small bird species ringed in the UK, that one quarter respond to higher predation risk as if it is mass-dependent and lose mass. Half respond to(More)
Environmental changes are responsible for the evolution of flexible physiology and the extent of phenotypic plasticity in the regulation of birds' organ size has not been appreciated until recently. Rapid reversible physiological changes during different life-history stages are virtually only known from long-distance migrants, and few studies have focused(More)
We performed a meta-analysis of over 90 data sets from delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) studies with 25 species (birds, mammals, and bees). In DMTS, a sample stimulus is first presented and then removed. After a delay, two (or more) comparison stimuli are presented, and the subject is rewarded for choosing the one matching the sample. We used data on(More)
Bird migration requires high energy expenditure, and long-distance migrants accumulate fat for use as fuel during stopovers throughout their journey. Recent studies have shown that long-distance migratory birds, besides accumulating fat for use as fuel, also show adaptive phenotypic flexibility in several organs during migration. The migratory routes of(More)
1. The effect of competition for a limiting resource on the population dynamics of competitors is usually assumed to operate directly through starvation, yet may also affect survival indirectly through behaviourally mediated effects that affect risk of predation. Thus, competition can affect more than two trophic levels, and we aim here to provide an(More)