Meeting Abstract

109.1  Saturday, Jan. 7  The buzz about food: songbird physiology in response to increased availability of a natural food source. WILCOXEN, Travis E*; HORN, David J; CERNY, Jared; HOGAN, Brianna; HUBBLE, Cody; HUBER, Sarah; KNOTT, Madeline; ROBERTSON, Abigail; SALIK, Faaria; Millikin University; Millikin University; Millikin University; Millikin University; Millikin University; Millikin University; Millikin University; Millikin University; Millikin University twilcoxen@millikin.edu

The emergence of periodical cicadas serves as a substantial resource pulse for avian insectivores large enough to consume the cicadas. The true value of such a sudden increase in food availability to free-living birds remains unknown, and in previous studies, some species that consume periodical cicadas actually show population declines in subsequent years at sites where cicadas had emerged in the previous year. We examined body condition, nutritional condition and measures of immune, reproductive, and stress physiology in songbird species before and after simultaneous emergence of 13-year and 17-year periodical cicadas. We also compared individuals from these sites to a site with no cicadas 15 km from the nearest study site with cicadas. Our results demonstrate that there are a number of physiological processes that appear to be influenced by this resource pulse, however, certain changes in response to this increase in food availability appear to be species-specific.