Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird

Caspers B, Krause ET (2011)
Biology Letters 7(2): 184-186.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Passerine birds have an extensive repertoire of olfactory receptor genes. However, the circumstances in which passerine birds use olfactory signals are poorly understood. The aim of this study is to investigate whether olfactory cues play a role in natal nest recognition in fledged juvenile passerines. The natal nest provides fledglings with a safe place for sleeping and parental food provisioning. There is a particular demand in colony-breeding birds for fledglings to be able to identify their nests because many pairs breed close to each other. Olfactory orientation might thus be of special importance for the fledglings, because they do not have a visual representation of the nest site and its position in the colony when leaving the nest for the first time. We investigated the role of olfaction in nest recognition in zebra finches, which breed in dense colonies of up to 50 pairs. We performed odour preference tests, in which we offered zebra finch fledglings their own natal nest odour versus foreign nest odour. Zebra finch fledglings significantly preferred their own natal nest odour, indicating that fledglings of a colony breeding songbird may use olfactory cues for nest recognition.
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Caspers B, Krause ET. Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird. Biology Letters. 2011;7(2):184-186.
Caspers, B., & Krause, E. T. (2011). Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird. Biology Letters, 7(2), 184-186.
Caspers, B., and Krause, E. T. (2011). Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird. Biology Letters 7, 184-186.
Caspers, B., & Krause, E.T., 2011. Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird. Biology Letters, 7(2), p 184-186.
B. Caspers and E.T. Krause, “Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird”, Biology Letters, vol. 7, 2011, pp. 184-186.
Caspers, B., Krause, E.T.: Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird. Biology Letters. 7, 184-186 (2011).
Caspers, Barbara, and Krause, E. Tobias. “Odour-based natal nest recognition in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a colony-breeding songbird”. Biology Letters 7.2 (2011): 184-186.
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