Daily energy expenditure of male barn swallows correlates with tail-streamer length: handicap-mediated foraging strategies

R L Nudds, K A Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Daily energy expenditure (DEE) of male barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), measured using the doubly labelled water technique, correlated with streamer length. Contrary to predictions derived from previous findings, neither a positive linear nor a u-shaped relationship was found between DEE and streamer length. Instead, an n-shaped curve showed that the highest DEE corresponded to an intermediate streamer length of 119 mm. A model incorporating estimates of resting metabolism and flight energy expenditure from aerodynamics models suggested that variation in individual tail dynamics was the most likely explanation for the observed DEE. We suggest that streamer length is coupled to foraging strategy, because tail dynamics control flight performance, which in turn influences flight behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S160-S163
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Volume271
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2004

Keywords

  • sexual selection
  • flight
  • tail streamer
  • Hirundo rustica
  • energetics
  • doubly labelled water
  • HIRUNDO-RUSTICA
  • REPRODUCTIVE EFFORT
  • BIRDS TAILS
  • FLIGHT
  • PERFORMANCE
  • EFFICIENCY
  • SELECTION
  • COST

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Daily energy expenditure of male barn swallows correlates with tail-streamer length: handicap-mediated foraging strategies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this