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OnderzoekGELIFESBPETieleman group

Why is it important to be clean?

The cost of nest sanitation in birds


Required education
Additional subjects
Starting date Flexible within the academic year 2015/2016, but recommended to start as soon as possible
Specifics This study will involve extensive field work (2-3 months) in the south of Spain, near the beautiful city of Granada
The cost of nest sanitation in birds
The cost of nest sanitation in birds

Project description

The removal of nestling feces by adults (nest sanitation) is a common parental behavior in birds. However, this behavior is still poorly understood despite being an important component of parental care, especially in altricial bird species. In this study we are investigating different selective pressures that could be responsible of nest sanitation. We are exploring different hypotheses regarding feces removal and ingestion (yes, nestling feces are frequently consumed by parents in some species too). We are also interested in studying some particular adaptations to these behaviors, such as the existence of fecal sacs (feces enclosed in a mucous covering). In order to respond our questions we mainly use experimental manipulations.

Contact information

For more information please contact: Juan Ibáñez-Álamo

More information

GELIFES - Behavioural & Physiological Ecology

Last modified:08 July 2016 11.35 p.m.