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Grow, baby bird, grow!

With Sarah Winnicki @skwinniki

Join Sarah for her #ORNITHOLODAY to learn about how #PrairieBabies manage to #GrowBirdGrow!

Baby birds may grow at varying rates and develop individual body parts at different stages in their development—this variation is present not only between birds of different species but also between members of the same species or even between siblings in the same nest! We want to understand the relationship between this development and variation in nestlings’ natal environments. Do nestlings with more food grow faster or leave the nest earlier? Do individuals who suffer from higher nest predator risk invest more in the growth of structures that help them escape predators rather than other body parts? Do brood parasites like cowbirds (that lay their eggs in other birds’ nests) affect the growth and development of host offspring? We assessed these questions and more in a community of threatened grassland bird species whose growth environments are particularly extreme.

Sarah will be tweeting between 0900 – 1800 CST | 1400 – 1100 UTC.

Image credits

All © Sarah Winnicki