Study

Effects of supplemental calcium on the growth rate of an insectivorous bird, the purple martin (Progne subis)

  • Published source details Poulin R.G. & Brigham R.M. (2001) Effects of supplemental calcium on the growth rate of an insectivorous bird, the purple martin (Progne subis). Écoscience, 8, 151-156.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide calcium supplements to increase survival or reproductive success

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide calcium supplements to increase survival or reproductive success

    A replicated, controlled study in 1997 in 15 experimental nests (containing 72 nestlings) and 14 control nests (containing 65 nestlings) in artificial nestboxes in Oklahoma, USA (Poulin & Brigham 2001) found that purple martin Progne subis nestlings were unaffected by calcium supplementation. Calcium-supplemented nestlings did not grow to a larger size or at a faster rate than control nestlings for any of the growth parameters measured in any brood size (on average 53.9 compared 54.6 g / nestling; 4.2 compared to 4.4 g / day respectively). Additionally wing, leg and tail sizes did not differ between calcium-supplemented and control nestlings (on average 29.4 and 29 mm; 15.9 and 15.9; 22.8 and 22.9 mm respectively). Brood sizes were experimentally manipulated to contain either 4 or 5 nestlings. Nestlings in half of the nests of each brood size were fed a 1 ml dose of liquid calcium with a pipette over 3 weeks. Control nestlings received a water placebo.

     

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