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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

Lipid Stores in Plumage Morphs and Sexes of White-throated Sparrows During Migration

White-throated Sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) are short distance migratory passerines that pass along the southern shore of Lake Ontario each spring and fall. This species displays two distinct color morphs, which are genetically determined and exhibit different social behaviors. There is a white-striped version and a tan-striped version. The two color morphs pair disassociatively and produce equal proportions of white-striped and tan-striped offspring during the mating season. However, despite being born in equal proportions, more white-striped males return to the breeding grounds than tan-striped males, and more tan-striped females return than white-striped females. The apparent differential survival between color morphs and sexes may be the result of different behaviors associated with migration. Since adequate fat reserves are an essential component to a successful migration, we investigated whether the distinct color morphs and sexes carried different amounts of fat during both fall and spring migration.

Presenters: Timothy Crockett (Graduate Student)
Kristina Klees (Undergraduate Student)
Sarah Lazazzero (Graduate Student)
Brendan McCabe (Graduate Student)
Saskia Windig (Graduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 140 Lennon
Time: 2 pm (Session III)

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