An Index to Estimate the Wing Area in A Small Passerine, Using the Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) As A Case Study

Open access

An Index to Estimate the Wing Area in A Small Passerine, Using the Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) As A Case Study

In this paper we suggest two new indices that can be used to estimate passerines' wing area. The first is a simplified index that considers wing pointedness and the width of each primary, the second is an extended index that also considers the length of the forearm. Using the Blue Tit as an example, we show that the sum of the width of all remiges is correlated with the maximum length of the folded wing (rp = 0.42, p = 0.020, N = 30). The length of the ulna is correlated with the maximum length of the folded wing (rp = 0.56, p = 0.005, N = 24). The two indices were derived from measurements of the wing length and the wing formula of birds caught at ringing stations. The indices can be used to analyse materials the stations have collected over the past 50 years. We also discuss how these indices can be applied in intra- and interspecific comparisons and to data collected using different standard methods.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Alonso D. Arizaga J. 2006. Biometrics of Citril Finch Serinus citrinella in the west Pyrenees and the influence of feather abrasion on biometric data.Ring. & Migr. 23: 116-124.

  • Andersson M. 1994. Sexual Selection. Princeton Univ. Press Princeton New Jersey.

  • Arizaga J. Campos F. Alonso D. 2006. Variations in wing morphology among subspecies might reflect different migration distances in Bluethroat.Ornis Fenn. 83: 162-169.

  • Badyaev A. V. Landeen E. A. 2007. Developmental evolution of sexual ornamentation: model and a test of feather growth and pigmentation.Integr. Comp. Biol. 47: 221-233.

  • Bairlein F. 1995. Manual of field methods. European-African Song Migration Network Wilhelmshaven.

  • Bortolotti G. R. Blas J. Negro J. J. Tella J. L. 2006. A complex plumage pattern as an honest social signal.Anim. Behav. 72: 423-430.

  • Busse P. 1967. Application of the numerical indexes of the wing-shape.Not. Orn. 8: 1-8.

  • Busse P. 1984. Key to sexing and ageing of European Passerines. Beitr. Naturk. Niedersachsens 37 Suppl.

  • Busse P. 2000. Bird station manual. SE European Bird Migration Network University of Gdańsk Gdańsk.

  • Calmaestra R. G. Moreno E. 2001. A phylogenetically-based analysis on the relationship between wing morphology and migratory behaviour in passeriformes.Ardea 89: 407-416.

  • Chandler C. R. Mulvihill R. S. 1988. The use of wing shape indices: an evaluation.Ornis Scand. 19: 212-216.

  • Chatterjee S. 1997. The Rise of Birds: 225 Million Years of Evolution. The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press Baltimore and London.

  • Evered D. S. 1990. Measures of wing area and wing span from wing formula data.Auk 107: 784-787.

  • Fernandez-Juricic E. Blumstein D. T. Abrica G. Manriquez L. Adams L. B. Adams R. Daneshard M. Rodriguez-Prieto I. 2006. Effects of body mass size and morphology on antipredator escape and post-escape responses: a comparative study with birds.Evol. Ecol. Res. 8: 731-752.

  • Fiedler W. 2005. Ecomorphology of the External Flight Apparatus of Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) with Different Migration Behavior.Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1046: 253-263.

  • Ginn H. B. Melville D. S. 1983. Moult in Birds. BTO Guide 19 Tring UK.

  • Grégoire A. McFarlane M. L. Faivre B. Evans M. R. Cherry M. I. 2007. Patterns of morphological variation in two sexually dimorphic bird species with different tail shapes.Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 91: 437-443.

  • Hołyński R. 1965. The methods of analysis of wing-formula variability.Not. Orn. 6: 21-25.

  • Jenni L. Winkler R. 1989. The feather-length of small passerines: a measurement for wing-length in live birds and museum skins.Bird Study 36: 1-15.

  • Jenni L. Winkler R. 1994. Moult and Ageing of European Passerines. Acad. Press New York.

  • Kipp F. 1959. Der Handflügel-Index als flugbiologisches Mass.Vogelwarte 20: 77-86.

  • Lockwood R. Swaddle J. P. Rayner J. M. V. 1998. Avian wingtip shape reconsidered: wingtip shape indices and morphological adaptations to migration.J. Avian Biol. 29: 273-292.

  • Marchetti K. Price T. Richman A. 1995. Correlates of Wing Morphology with Foraging Behaviour and Migration Distance in the Genus Phylloscopus.J. Avian Biol. 26: 177-181.

  • McCloskey J. T. Thompson J. E. 2000. Aging and sexing common snipe using discriminant analysis.J. Wildl. Manage. 64: 960-969.

  • Møller A. P. Hedenström A. 1999. Comparative evidence for costs of secondary sexual characters: adaptive vane emargination of ornamented feathers in birds.J. Evol. Biol 12: 296-305.

  • Mönkkönen M. 1995. Do migrant birds have more pointed wings?: a comparative study.Evol. Ecol. 9: 520-528.

  • Moreno E. Barbosa A. Carrascal L. M. 1997. Should congruence between intra- and interspecific ecomorphological relationship be expected? A case study with the great tit Parus major.Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 264: 533-539.

  • Norberg U. M. 1979. Morphology of the wing legs and tail of three coniferous tits the goldcrest and the treecreeper in relation to locomotor pattern and feeding station selection.Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 287: 131-165.

  • Peiro I. G. Robledano F. Esteve M. A. 2006. The effect of age and sex on wing morphology and body size of the Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus in relation to complete moult.Ring. & Migr. 23: 101-106.

  • Pennycuick C. J. 1989. Bird flight performance: a practical calculation manual. Oxford Univ. Press Oxford.

  • Perez-Tris J. Ramirez A. Telleria J. L. 2003. Are Iberian Chaffchaffs Phylloscopus (collybita) brehmii long-distance migrants? An analysis of flight related morphology.Bird Study 50: 146-152.

  • Senar J. C. Lleonart J. Metcalfe N. B. 1994. Wing-shape variation between resident and transient wintering Siskins Carduelis spinus.J. Avian Biol. 25: 50-54.

  • Svensson L. 1992. Identification guide to European Passerines. Stockholm.

  • Swaddle J. P Lockwood R. 1998. Morphological adaptations to predation risk in passerines.J. Avian Biol. 29: 172-176.

  • Tennekes H. 1996. The Simple Science of Flight: From Insects to Jumbo Jets. MIT Press Cambridge.

  • Tucker V. A. 1995. Drag reduction by wing tip slots in a gliding Harris' hawk Parabuteo unicinctus.J. Exp. Biol. 198: 775-781.

  • Yong W. Moore F. R. 1994. Flight morphology energetic condition and the stopover biology of migrating thrushes.Auk 111: 683-692.

  • Videler J. J. 2006. Avian Flight. Oxford Univ. Press Oxford.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 310 181 3
PDF Downloads 108 79 0