Zebra Finches Update 3

This past week, I have continued to mass and observe the zebra finches as they grow and develop. I have run into some technical problems, but am working out the kinks in my protocol. For example, I have been struggling with recording their begging calls as the room they are housed in is too loud for a clear recording and when they are removed from the area, they seem to fear the new environment and are less likely to vocalize. I have found, however, that letting them acclimate to the novel environment for about an hour can help to increase their motivation for them to vocalize. Additionally, I have been watching the nest box cameras that I have set up and piecing together how much time the parents spend at the nest and how often feeding occurs. I will be continuing my project throughout the fall and at that point I will compare the data to the mercury treatment to see if there are fundamental differences in behavior.



The babies are growing up! This little guy is almost 10 days old in the picture


Here are two of them begging. They are stimulated with a red pen to mimic the parent tapping their beak. When they beg, they tilt their head back and gape.