Wings of tropical finches

interspecific differences in shape are consistent with levels of mobility, but moult and feather fault patterns are more complex

Donald C. Franklin, Sarah Legge, Anja Skroblin, Joanne Heathcote, Kimberly Maute, Douglas J. Schaefer, Stephen T. Garnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    1 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Birds’ wings reflect their life histories, suggesting evolutionary selection for wing shapes and moult strategies. Compared to sedentary species, long-distance migrants have narrower wings (for fast, efficient flight); they have fewer feather faults and avoid moulting flight feathers during migration (to optimise flight surface performance). It is unclear whether these patterns apply to species that fly short-intermediate distances, like tropical nomads. We compared wing shape, feather faulting, and flight-feather moult across five finch species from northern Australia with varying mobility: Pictorella Mannikins (Heteromunia pectoralis) and Gouldian Finches (Erythrura gouldiae) are highly mobile, nomadic at regional scales; Long-tailed Finches (Poephila acuticauda) and Double-barred Finches (Taeniopygia bichenovii) are sedentary with local nomadism; Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton) are sedentary. More mobile species had narrower wings and higher wing loading than relatively sedentary species, and less feather faulting. Variation in moult strategies was complex, but mobile species carried out moult fast, in a short time window, and moulted a single feather at a time. Unexpectedly, Gouldian Finch wings were more suited for fast efficient flight than Pictorella Mannikin wings, and yet they had more feather faulting. Differences in mobility may be a key dimension of niche separation that allows these species to co-exist.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)370-381
    Number of pages12
    JournalEmu: austral ornithology
    Volume117
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017

    Fingerprint

    molt
    feather
    feathers
    molting
    flight
    faulting
    Taeniopygia
    migratory behavior
    niche
    niches
    life history
    bird
    birds
    Erythrura gouldiae

    Cite this

    Franklin, Donald C. ; Legge, Sarah ; Skroblin, Anja ; Heathcote, Joanne ; Maute, Kimberly ; Schaefer, Douglas J. ; Garnett, Stephen T. / Wings of tropical finches : interspecific differences in shape are consistent with levels of mobility, but moult and feather fault patterns are more complex. In: Emu: austral ornithology. 2017 ; Vol. 117, No. 4. pp. 370-381.
    @article{05804ffeb7ae47cead08564ef1327962,
    title = "Wings of tropical finches: interspecific differences in shape are consistent with levels of mobility, but moult and feather fault patterns are more complex",
    abstract = "Birds’ wings reflect their life histories, suggesting evolutionary selection for wing shapes and moult strategies. Compared to sedentary species, long-distance migrants have narrower wings (for fast, efficient flight); they have fewer feather faults and avoid moulting flight feathers during migration (to optimise flight surface performance). It is unclear whether these patterns apply to species that fly short-intermediate distances, like tropical nomads. We compared wing shape, feather faulting, and flight-feather moult across five finch species from northern Australia with varying mobility: Pictorella Mannikins (Heteromunia pectoralis) and Gouldian Finches (Erythrura gouldiae) are highly mobile, nomadic at regional scales; Long-tailed Finches (Poephila acuticauda) and Double-barred Finches (Taeniopygia bichenovii) are sedentary with local nomadism; Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton) are sedentary. More mobile species had narrower wings and higher wing loading than relatively sedentary species, and less feather faulting. Variation in moult strategies was complex, but mobile species carried out moult fast, in a short time window, and moulted a single feather at a time. Unexpectedly, Gouldian Finch wings were more suited for fast efficient flight than Pictorella Mannikin wings, and yet they had more feather faulting. Differences in mobility may be a key dimension of niche separation that allows these species to co-exist.",
    keywords = "Feather fault, Gouldian Finch, moult strategy, nomadic bird, tropical savannah, wing shape",
    author = "Franklin, {Donald C.} and Sarah Legge and Anja Skroblin and Joanne Heathcote and Kimberly Maute and Schaefer, {Douglas J.} and Garnett, {Stephen T.}",
    year = "2017",
    month = "10",
    day = "2",
    doi = "10.1080/01584197.2017.1361790",
    language = "English",
    volume = "117",
    pages = "370--381",
    journal = "Emu",
    issn = "0158-4197",
    publisher = "CSIRO Publishing",
    number = "4",

    }

    Wings of tropical finches : interspecific differences in shape are consistent with levels of mobility, but moult and feather fault patterns are more complex. / Franklin, Donald C.; Legge, Sarah; Skroblin, Anja; Heathcote, Joanne; Maute, Kimberly; Schaefer, Douglas J.; Garnett, Stephen T.

    In: Emu: austral ornithology, Vol. 117, No. 4, 02.10.2017, p. 370-381.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Wings of tropical finches

    T2 - interspecific differences in shape are consistent with levels of mobility, but moult and feather fault patterns are more complex

    AU - Franklin, Donald C.

    AU - Legge, Sarah

    AU - Skroblin, Anja

    AU - Heathcote, Joanne

    AU - Maute, Kimberly

    AU - Schaefer, Douglas J.

    AU - Garnett, Stephen T.

    PY - 2017/10/2

    Y1 - 2017/10/2

    N2 - Birds’ wings reflect their life histories, suggesting evolutionary selection for wing shapes and moult strategies. Compared to sedentary species, long-distance migrants have narrower wings (for fast, efficient flight); they have fewer feather faults and avoid moulting flight feathers during migration (to optimise flight surface performance). It is unclear whether these patterns apply to species that fly short-intermediate distances, like tropical nomads. We compared wing shape, feather faulting, and flight-feather moult across five finch species from northern Australia with varying mobility: Pictorella Mannikins (Heteromunia pectoralis) and Gouldian Finches (Erythrura gouldiae) are highly mobile, nomadic at regional scales; Long-tailed Finches (Poephila acuticauda) and Double-barred Finches (Taeniopygia bichenovii) are sedentary with local nomadism; Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton) are sedentary. More mobile species had narrower wings and higher wing loading than relatively sedentary species, and less feather faulting. Variation in moult strategies was complex, but mobile species carried out moult fast, in a short time window, and moulted a single feather at a time. Unexpectedly, Gouldian Finch wings were more suited for fast efficient flight than Pictorella Mannikin wings, and yet they had more feather faulting. Differences in mobility may be a key dimension of niche separation that allows these species to co-exist.

    AB - Birds’ wings reflect their life histories, suggesting evolutionary selection for wing shapes and moult strategies. Compared to sedentary species, long-distance migrants have narrower wings (for fast, efficient flight); they have fewer feather faults and avoid moulting flight feathers during migration (to optimise flight surface performance). It is unclear whether these patterns apply to species that fly short-intermediate distances, like tropical nomads. We compared wing shape, feather faulting, and flight-feather moult across five finch species from northern Australia with varying mobility: Pictorella Mannikins (Heteromunia pectoralis) and Gouldian Finches (Erythrura gouldiae) are highly mobile, nomadic at regional scales; Long-tailed Finches (Poephila acuticauda) and Double-barred Finches (Taeniopygia bichenovii) are sedentary with local nomadism; Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton) are sedentary. More mobile species had narrower wings and higher wing loading than relatively sedentary species, and less feather faulting. Variation in moult strategies was complex, but mobile species carried out moult fast, in a short time window, and moulted a single feather at a time. Unexpectedly, Gouldian Finch wings were more suited for fast efficient flight than Pictorella Mannikin wings, and yet they had more feather faulting. Differences in mobility may be a key dimension of niche separation that allows these species to co-exist.

    KW - Feather fault

    KW - Gouldian Finch

    KW - moult strategy

    KW - nomadic bird

    KW - tropical savannah

    KW - wing shape

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85052892215&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1080/01584197.2017.1361790

    DO - 10.1080/01584197.2017.1361790

    M3 - Article

    VL - 117

    SP - 370

    EP - 381

    JO - Emu

    JF - Emu

    SN - 0158-4197

    IS - 4

    ER -