Radio-transmitters do not affect seasonal productivity of female Golden-winged Warblers
Investigating the potential effects of handling and marking techniques on study animals is important for correct interpretation of research results and to effect progress in data-collection methods. Few investigators have compared the reproductive output of radio-tagged and non-radio-tagged songbirds, and no one to date has examined the possible effect of radio-tagging adult songbirds on the survival of their fledglings. In 2011 and 2012, we compared several parameters of reproductive output of two groups of female Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) breeding in Minnesota, including 45 females with radio-transmitters and 73 females we did not capture, handle, or mark. We found no difference between groups in clutch sizes, hatching success, brood sizes, length of incubation and nestling stages, fledging success, number of fledglings, or survival of fledglings to independence. Thus, radio-tags had no measurable impact on the productivity of female Golden-winged Warblers. Our results build upon previous studies where investigators have reported no effects of radio-tagging on the breeding parameters of songbirds by also demonstrating no effect of radio-tagging through the post-fledging period and, therefore, the entire breeding season.
|Radio-transmitters do not affect seasonal productivity of female Golden-winged Warblers
|Journal of Field Ornithology
|Coop Res Unit Leetown
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