Start Date

April 2021

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Christine Maher, PhD

Keywords

Black-capped chickadees, Chickadee behavior, Seed preference, Foraging behavior, Social interaction

Abstract

All animals must make decisions on where to find, select, capture, and eat food. These factors contribute to a species’ food preference, such as making decisions on what food to eat based on calories. Optimal foraging theory predicts how an animal behaves when searching for food, including optimization of food type, patch choice, time spent in patches, and movement. All animals also make decisions based on predation risk by avoiding predators and making trade-offs on time spent searching for, pursuing, and handling food. The objective of my study is to examine food preference of black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus). Birds may rely on calories per seed when looking for food sources. Therefore, I predict that chickadees will eat a larger number of black oil sunflower seeds compared to striped sunflower seeds, do to the relative higher energy level of the black sunflower seeds; and that the number of chickadees will be higher in the presence of black oil sunflower seeds compared to striped sunflower seeds. The study will be conducted in Waldoboro, Maine. I will place 130 g of black oil sunflower seeds and of striped sunflower seeds into separate bird feeders. I will weigh the number of seeds remaining after 2 hours, count the number of birds present at each bird feeder, and count the number of birds that fly away with a seed. I will watch the chickadees in 30-min intervals each day for 7 days. I will present results indicating what type of food is preferred.

Open Access?

1

Share

COinS
 
Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Black-Capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus) Food Preference

All animals must make decisions on where to find, select, capture, and eat food. These factors contribute to a species’ food preference, such as making decisions on what food to eat based on calories. Optimal foraging theory predicts how an animal behaves when searching for food, including optimization of food type, patch choice, time spent in patches, and movement. All animals also make decisions based on predation risk by avoiding predators and making trade-offs on time spent searching for, pursuing, and handling food. The objective of my study is to examine food preference of black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus). Birds may rely on calories per seed when looking for food sources. Therefore, I predict that chickadees will eat a larger number of black oil sunflower seeds compared to striped sunflower seeds, do to the relative higher energy level of the black sunflower seeds; and that the number of chickadees will be higher in the presence of black oil sunflower seeds compared to striped sunflower seeds. The study will be conducted in Waldoboro, Maine. I will place 130 g of black oil sunflower seeds and of striped sunflower seeds into separate bird feeders. I will weigh the number of seeds remaining after 2 hours, count the number of birds present at each bird feeder, and count the number of birds that fly away with a seed. I will watch the chickadees in 30-min intervals each day for 7 days. I will present results indicating what type of food is preferred.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus