The post-fledging survival and movements of juvenile Barn

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The post-fledging survival and movements of juvenile Barn

Transcript Of The post-fledging survival and movements of juvenile Barn

Western University
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Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository
10-5-2018 10:00 AM
The post-fledging survival and movements of juvenile Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica): an automated telemetry approach
Dean R. Evans, The University of Western Ontario Supervisor: Hobson, Keith A., The University of Western Ontario A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Biology © Dean R. Evans 2018
Follow this and additional works at: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd Part of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Commons
Recommended Citation Evans, Dean R., "The post-fledging survival and movements of juvenile Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica): an automated telemetry approach" (2018). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 5791. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5791
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Abstract
For migratory songbirds, population dynamics are primarily influenced by juvenile or first year survival, but survival between fledging and fall migration is particularly important. Unfortunately, our knowledge of this post-fledging period is largely limited due to the difficulty of tracking juveniles outside the nest. For this thesis, I used automated radio telemetry to track the survival and post-fledging movements of 216 juvenile Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) from fledging up until departure for autumn migration in 2016-2017. Average apparent survival was 42% for both broods and nestlings in better body condition had higher survival. Nestlings from second broods migrated 21 days younger and moved less overall during the post-fledging period but had significantly higher daily post-fledging movements suggesting they might be trying to compensate for their shorter time near the breeding grounds. My results suggest that the post-fledging period is a critical period of survival and exploration for juvenile Barn Swallows.
Keywords: post-fledging survival, post-fledging movement, Barn Swallow, automated radio telemetry
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Co-Authorship Statement
This thesis was conceived and designed by Dean R. Evans with the help of Keith A. Hobson from Western University and Greg W. Mitchell from Environment and Climate Change Canada. The fieldwork was primarily conducted by Dean R. Evans with the help of Jackson W. Kusack, Greg W. Mitchell, and Michael D. Cadman of the Canadian Wildlife Service. All analysis and writing were conducted by Dean R. Evans. Keith A. Hobson and Greg W. Mitchell both helped with editing and feedback on writing. Any resulting publications will be published with Keith A. Hobson, Greg W. Mitchell, Jackson W. Kusack, and Mike Cadman.
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Dedication
This thesis is dedicated to my mother, Brenda McLean,
Whose love, strength, and determination will always inspire my existence and success. “We’re here for a good time not a long time” - Trooper
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Acknowledgments
This thesis was largely a collaborative project that could have not been completed without the help and support of many people. First and foremost, I would like to thank Keith A. Hobson and Greg W. Mitchell for their continued guidance and supervision throughout the duration of this thesis. Both of you have provided me with a wealth of knowledge that I will be forever grateful for. You both have made this thesis a very enjoyable experience. I would also like to thank Jackson W. Kusack, Michael D. Cadman, and Kaelyn Bumelis for your support in conducting this study. Jackson thank you for being there with me every step of the way providing constructive feedback on everything from study design and fieldwork to manuscript drafts. Mike your knowledge of songbirds is inspiring and was invaluable throughout the duration of this thesis. Kaelyn thank you for being so personable, especially with landowners (and their pets) and for making the field season run much more smoothly. A very special thank you to my family. Dad and Brittney thank you for your continued love and support. Andrew thank you for being by my side through many stressful days, all of this would have been impossible without you, your love, and your patience. To all the landowners for allowing me to study the beautiful Barn Swallow and/or supporting unsightly radio towers on your properties. To Bird Studies Canada for creating and maintaining the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. Funding and support for this project was provided by Environment Climate Change Canada, Western University, NSERC, and a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology. Thank you all.
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Table of Contents
Abstract ...................................................................................................................................... i Co-Authorship Statement.......................................................................................................... ii Dedication ................................................................................................................................ iii Acknowledgments.................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................... v List of Tables ......................................................................................................................... viii List of Figures .......................................................................................................................... ix List of Appendices ................................................................................................................... xi Chapter 1 ................................................................................................................................... 1 General Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1
Tracking Migratory Songbirds .......................................................................................... 1 The Post-fledging Period ................................................................................................... 4 Study Species..................................................................................................................... 7 Objectives & Hypotheses .................................................................................................. 8 References ....................................................................................................................... 11 Chapter 2 ................................................................................................................................. 20 Post-fledging survival of juvenile Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica): New insights from automated telemetry................................................................................................................ 20 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 20 Methods ........................................................................................................................... 23
(a) Study site and species ............................................................................................ 23 (b) Nest monitoring and radio tagging........................................................................ 23 (c) Molecular sexing ................................................................................................... 25 (d) Automated radio telemetry array........................................................................... 26 (e) Mark-recapture ...................................................................................................... 26 (f) Statistical analyses ................................................................................................. 28 Results ............................................................................................................................. 30 (a) Fledglings .............................................................................................................. 30 (b) Survival probability............................................................................................... 31
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(c) Migration probability............................................................................................. 32 (d) Recapture probability ............................................................................................ 32 Discussion........................................................................................................................ 33 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 37 References ....................................................................................................................... 38 Figures ............................................................................................................................. 46 Chapter 3 ................................................................................................................................. 50 The Post-fledging movements of juvenile Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) ....................... 50 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 50 Methods ........................................................................................................................... 53 (a) Study Site and Species........................................................................................... 53 (b) Nest monitoring and radio tagging........................................................................ 53 (c) Molecular sexing ................................................................................................... 55 (d) Automated radio telemetry array........................................................................... 55 (e) Data analysis.......................................................................................................... 55 (f) Statistical analysis.................................................................................................. 56 Results ............................................................................................................................. 58 Discussion........................................................................................................................ 59 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 63 References ....................................................................................................................... 65 Tables............................................................................................................................... 71 Figures ............................................................................................................................. 75 Chapter 4 ................................................................................................................................. 78 General Discussion ................................................................................................................. 78 Key Findings.................................................................................................................... 78 (a) Post-fledging survival and movements between broods ....................................... 78 (b) Age effects on post-fledging survival and movement........................................... 79 (c) The importance of body condition for post-fledging survival and movement ...... 81 (d) Sex effects on post-fledging survival and movement ........................................... 81 Conservation Implications ............................................................................................... 82 Study assumptions and limitations .................................................................................. 83 Future Directions ............................................................................................................. 84
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Conclusions ..................................................................................................................... 85 References ....................................................................................................................... 86 Appendices.............................................................................................................................. 91 Curriculum Vitae .................................................................................................................. 109
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List of Tables
Table 3-1. Model selection results showing stepwise deletion of non-significant terms to determine the best general additive mixed effect model explaining cumulative daily distance moved in 2016 and 2017. P-value refers to the significance of the deleted term. ................. 71 Table 3-2. Summary of the generalized additive mixed model predicting cumulative daily distance moved of juvenile Barn Swallows during the post-fledging period in southern Ontario for 2016 and 2017...................................................................................................... 72 Table 3-3. Model selection results showing stepwise deletion of non-significant terms to determine the best linear mixed effect model explaining cumulative distance moved in 2016 and 2017.................................................................................................................................. 73 Table 3-4. Summary of the linear mixed model predicting cumulative distance traveled of juvenile Barn Swallows during the post-fledging period in southern Ontario for 2016 and 2017......................................................................................................................................... 74
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List of Figures
Figure 2-1. The location of study sites (black/white dots) and Motus automated radio receiving towers (red dots) within (a) southern Ontario, (b) Norfolk County, and (c) Wellington County in 2016 and 2017. Towers labeled with a specific year in Wellington County were only active that year and unlabeled towers were active both years................... 46 Figure 2-2. Predicted daily apparent survival probability for juvenile Barn Swallows in average condition during the post-fledging period in southern Ontario for (a) 2016 and (b) 2017. Daily apparent survival estimates are from the top model and grey areas represent the standard error. Dashed vertical line shows the average transition from parental care to independence as calculated with average fledge age plus the estimated length of parental care from Grüebler and Naef-Daenzer (2010b).............................................................................. 47 Figure 2-3. Predicted cumulative survival (solid red line) and cumulative migration from first brooded (dashed green line) and second brooded (dashed blue line) juvenile Barn Swallows in southern Ontario during the post-fledging period of (a) 2016 and (b) 2017. Cumulative survival and cumulative migrated were calculated with the top model and cumulative survival is based off of individuals in average condition. Grey areas represent standard error of the cumulative estimate. Dashed vertical line shows the average transition from parental care to independence as calculated with average fledge age plus the estimated length of parental care from Grüebler and Naef-Daenzer (2010b). ........................................ 48 Figure 2-4. Predicted average daily apparent survival probability for juvenile Barn Swallows with different body condition in southern Ontario for (a) 2016 and (b) 2017. Range of body condition values represent the true range of radio tagged individuals in our study and the grey areas represent the standard error. .......................................................................................... 49
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Barn SwallowsThesisSurvivalOntarioKeith