Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Condition Dependence of Nestling Mouth Colour and the Effect of Supplementing Carotenoids on Parental Behaviour in the Hihi (Notiomystis cincta)

John G. Ewen, Rose Thorogood, Filiz Karadas and Phillip Cassey
Oecologia
Vol. 157, No. 2 (Aug., 2008), pp. 361-368
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40309620
Page Count: 8
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
Condition Dependence of Nestling Mouth Colour and the Effect of Supplementing Carotenoids on Parental Behaviour in the Hihi (Notiomystis cincta)
Preview not available

Abstract

Carotenoids are integument pigments that often reflect foraging efficiency, disease resistance and body condition. In contrast to the widespread attention this relationship has received in adult birds, the condition dependence of nestling colouration remains an understudied component of animal communication. Here we assess the condition dependence of carotenoid pigmentation in nestling hihi (Notiomystis cincta, an endangered New Zealand bird) and examine the influence of carotenoid supplementation on nestling quality and parental visitation rates. Our results show that carotenoids provided to breeding adult hihi were transferred to their offspring and resulted in an intensified orange-yellow flange colour. After accounting for carotenoid supplementation the parameter that most consistently explained variation in nestling flange colour was nestling tarsus length at 23 days, indicating condition dependence of this trait. We did not, however, detect direct effects of carotenoid supplementation on nestling mass or immune response (or any other fitness parameter measured). Carotenoid supplementation did, however, result in an increased paternal provisioning rate.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[361]
    [361]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
363
    363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
364
    364
  • Thumbnail: Page 
365
    365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
366
    366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
367
    367
  • Thumbnail: Page 
368
    368