Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

723

Date

2012

Date of Award

11-27-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Biology

Committee Chair

Stephan J Schoech

Committee Member

David A Freeman

Committee Member

Matthew J Parris

Abstract

In birds, altricial young depend upon adults for food and protection during the first few weeks of life. Begging is hypothesized to communicate an honest signal of a nestling's nutritional needs. I investigated two factors that may influence rate and duration of begging: 1) a nestling's corticosterone (CORT) levels, and 2) food availability. I examined the role of CORT in Florida scrub-jay nestlings through manipulation of CORT levels on days 8-11 post-hatch. I studied the role of food availability by indirectly supplementing all nestlings within a brood through their parents. I quantified nestling and adult behaviors using high definition video. CORT-treatment did not influence begging behaviors in nestlings in comparison to control nest mates. However, when the average of all nestlings with a CORT-treated nest was examined, I found an overall elevated begging rate compared to supplemented nestlings. I found minimal support for an effect of supplemental food on nestling and adult behaviors.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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