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.

 

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

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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.