Golden Eagle Selection of Green Nest Material for Ectoparasite ControlIdaho Conference on Undergraduate Research
Acknowledgement of Funding SourcesThe project described was supported by National Science Foundation REU Site Award No. DBI: 1263167 to Boise State University, the USFWS, the BLM, and by Boise State University’s Raptor Research Center, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, and Division of Research and Economic Development.
AbstractEctoparasite infestation of nests and nestlings can induce physiological stress, anemia, higher risk of infection, and, in extreme cases, premature fledging and mortality for many avian species. Utilizing green nesting material (GNM) containing volatile, secondary metabolites to reduce ectoparasitism is a behavioral adaptation observed in some birds. Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in southwestern Idaho have been observed to decorate their nests with green plant material. We proposed that Golden Eagles select plant species with secondary metabolites from their territories to combat ectoparasite infestation of nests, particularly by Mexican Chicken Bugs (Haematosiphon indorous). To evaluate this, we identified GNM to species and estimated species-specific nest coverage, analyzed the concentration of polyphenolics and terpenes in GNM samples, and surveyed plant composition within territories to determine plant availability. This is the first project studying the ecology of Golden Eagles, GNM selection, and ectoparasitism.
Citation InformationLogan Treat, Benjamin Dudek, Jennifer Forbey, Britt Pendleton, et al.. "Golden Eagle Selection of Green Nest Material for Ectoparasite Control"
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jennifer_forbey/56/