Help for research on red-winged blackbirds?
- Dear Bird Banders and Birders
For a research project I am looking for banders, researchers or other
ornithologists who are handling red-winged blackbirds during this
breeding season and would like to collect fecal samples from the males.
I am a grad student from the UK and work on different aspects of
reproduction in the New World Blackbirds (Icteridae), including the
evolution of sperm design. As part of this project I have collected
sperm from different populations of red-winged blackbirds and many
other icterid species over the last few years. Due to the genetic and
morphological diversity of redwings across North America, I now aim to
collect further samples from additional locations (and putative
subspecies) for a more detailed between-population study of the
variation of sperm traits in the redwing. California and surrounding
states are particularly interesting as there are thought to exist
different subspecies in that area, including the unique Central Valley
I am thus looking for enthusiastic bird banders and researchers who
would be able to collect fecal sperm samples from about 20 male
redwings of a given population during this breeding season. The
techniques are non-invasive and fairly simple. If you would like to
help, please contact me directly for further details. I will gladly
supply the required materials and give instructions on the methods. I
look forward to hearing from you and remain with many thanks in advance.
University of Sheffield, UK