Document Detail

Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20880859     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Passerine birds have an extensive repertoire of olfactory receptor genes. However, the circumstances in which passerine birds use olfactory signals are poorly understood. The aim of this study is to investigate whether olfactory cues play a role in natal nest recognition in fledged juvenile passerines. The natal nest provides fledglings with a safe place for sleeping and parental food provisioning. There is a particular demand in colony-breeding birds for fledglings to be able to identify their nests because many pairs breed close to each other. Olfactory orientation might thus be of special importance for the fledglings, because they do not have a visual representation of the nest site and its position in the colony when leaving the nest for the first time. We investigated the role of olfaction in nest recognition in zebra finches, which breed in dense colonies of up to 50 pairs. We performed odour preference tests, in which we offered zebra finch fledglings their own natal nest odour versus foreign nest odour. Zebra finch fledglings significantly preferred their own natal nest odour, indicating that fledglings of a colony breeding songbird may use olfactory cues for nest recognition.
Barbara A Caspers; E Tobias Krause
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-09-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biology letters     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1744-957X     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Lett.     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-03-14     Completed Date:  2011-06-29     Revised Date:  2013-07-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101247722     Medline TA:  Biol Lett     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  184-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Behavioural Biology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Finches / physiology*
Nesting Behavior*
Population Density

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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