An automated system to control and manipulate the flight activity of captive birds

Costantini, D., Mirzai, N. and Metcalfe, N.B. (2012) An automated system to control and manipulate the flight activity of captive birds. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66(8), pp. 1195-1199. (doi: 10.1007/s00265-012-1362-z)

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Biologists have long been interested in the behavioural and physiological mechanisms that regulate flight. The manipulation of physical activity of birds under captive conditions, however, faces the experimenter with some technical problems. In this article, we describe a simple automated system that allows control and manipulation of the flight activity of captive birds and use it for the first time to induce blood oxidative stress in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Finches subjected to a short-term flight effort regime had an increase of plasma oxidative damage and a decrease of thiol concentration in red blood cells and of body mass, respectively. However, no change in red blood cell glutathione peroxidase was observed. This simple experiment shows that our automated system may be successfully used to induce changes in the physiological state of small birds.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Costantini, Dr David and Metcalfe, Professor Neil and Mirzai, Mr Nosrat
Authors: Costantini, D., Mirzai, N., and Metcalfe, N.B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Published Online:06 May 2012

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
506221Hormetic effects on oxidative stress response in zebra finchesDavid CostantiniNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/G013888/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED