Title

Radio transmitters do not affect the body condition of Savannah Sparrows during the fall premigratory period

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2009

Abstract

Radio telemetry can be a valuable tool for studying the behavior, physiology, and demography of birds. We tested the assumption that radio transmitters have no adverse effects on body condition in an island population of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis). To assess possible changes in condition, 20 radiotagged and 25 nontagged Savannah Sparrows were captured and recaptured throughout the postfledging period. We used four measures of condition: mass, an index of fat free dry mass (measured via heavy water dilution), pectoral muscle depth (measured via ultrasound imaging), and an index of fat mass (measured via heavy water dilution). Using both a generalized linear modeling framework and paired design, we found no significant differences in the body condition of radiotagged and nontagged adults and juveniles. Thus, our results provide evidence that radiotransmitters have no effect on the condition of Savannah Sparrows during the premigratory period.

Journal

Journal of Field Ornithology

Volume

80

Issue

4

First Page

419

Last Page

426

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