Publications

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novel picornavirus associated with avian keratin disorder in alaskan birds.avian keratin disorder (akd), characterized by debilitating overgrowth of the avian beak, was first documented in black-capped chickadees (poecile atricapillus) in alaska. subsequently, similar deformities have appeared in numerous species across continents. despite the widespread distribution of this emerging pathology, the cause of akd remains elusive. as a result, it is unknown whether suspected cases of akd in the afflicted species are causally linked, and the impacts of this pathology at th ...201627460795
mountain chickadees discriminate between potential cache pilferers and non-pilferers.evolution of complex cognition in animals has been linked to complex social behaviour. one of the costs of sociality is increased competition for food which may be reduced by food caching, but cache theft may undermine the benefits of caching. in birds, sophisticated food-caching-related cognition has been demonstrated only for corvids and attributed to their highly social behaviour. many non-corvid food-caching species exhibit similar complex social behaviour and here i provide experimental evi ...200817939981
nuthatches eavesdrop on variations in heterospecific chickadee mobbing alarm calls.many animals recognize the alarm calls produced by other species, but the amount of information they glean from these eavesdropped signals is unknown. we previously showed that black-capped chickadees (poecile atricapillus) have a sophisticated alarm call system in which they encode complex information about the size and risk of potential predators in variations of a single type of mobbing alarm call. here we show experimentally that red-breasted nuthatches (sitta canadensis) respond appropriate ...200717372225
nuthatches vary their alarm calls based upon the source of the eavesdropped signals.animal alarm calls can contain detailed information about a predator's threat, and heterospecific eavesdropping on these signals creates vast communication networks. while eavesdropping is common, this indirect public information is often less reliable than direct predator observations. red-breasted nuthatches (sitta canadensis) eavesdrop on chickadee mobbing calls and vary their behaviour depending on the threat encoded in those calls. whether nuthatches propagate this indirect information in t ...202031988279
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