Project Title

Does urbanization affect female and male guarding behavior in European Starlings?

Academic department under which the project should be listed

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Sarah Guindre-Parker

No Human Subjects

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Does urbanization affect female and male guarding behavior in European Starlings?

Authors:

Nikita Jain 1

Sarah Guindre-Parker 1

1 Kennesaw State University

Urbanization drastically impacts biodiversity and can create stress for populations experiencing life in urban centers. In free living European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), adults of both sexes provide for and guard the young during their development to independence (called fledging). It’s remains unclear whether urbanization changes guarding behavior of adults due to increased threats in urban areas. We used a multi-site dataset collected on free-living birds of both sexes to identify if there was a larger percentage of time spent guarding the nest in the urban setting than the rural one. More specifically, we wanted to see if the dangers and threats of the urban environment induced a need for greater nest defense by adult starlings. We also examine the difference in the behavior of parents to urbanization by sex—since males usually are more territorial, we hypothesize that males may guard the nest most in urban areas compared to rural males or compared to females. We will discuss how these results may help us design cities that are more bird-friendly.

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Does urbanization affect female and male guarding behavior in European Starlings?

Does urbanization affect female and male guarding behavior in European Starlings?

Authors:

Nikita Jain 1

Sarah Guindre-Parker 1

1 Kennesaw State University

Urbanization drastically impacts biodiversity and can create stress for populations experiencing life in urban centers. In free living European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), adults of both sexes provide for and guard the young during their development to independence (called fledging). It’s remains unclear whether urbanization changes guarding behavior of adults due to increased threats in urban areas. We used a multi-site dataset collected on free-living birds of both sexes to identify if there was a larger percentage of time spent guarding the nest in the urban setting than the rural one. More specifically, we wanted to see if the dangers and threats of the urban environment induced a need for greater nest defense by adult starlings. We also examine the difference in the behavior of parents to urbanization by sex—since males usually are more territorial, we hypothesize that males may guard the nest most in urban areas compared to rural males or compared to females. We will discuss how these results may help us design cities that are more bird-friendly.