[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated the α-tocopherol plasma concentrations in healthy free-ranging nestlings of the white-tailed
sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) (n = 32), osprey (Pandion haliaetus) (n = 39), northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) (n = 25), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) (n = 31), and honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) (n = 18) as well as of free-ranging adults of the white-tailed sea eagle (n = 10), osprey (n = 31), and northern goshawk (n = 45). α-Tocopherol plasma concentrations were determined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. α-Tocopherol
plasma concentrations in nestlings of osprey, white-tailed sea eagle, and northern goshawk did not differ significantly amongst
the species, but the common buzzard and honey buzzard nestlings had significantly lower α-tocopherol plasma concentrations
than nestlings of the other species (both P < 0.001). Adult male ospreys and white-tailed sea eagles had significantly higher α-tocopherol concentrations compared to
adult females (both P < 0.005). Adult ospreys and northern goshawks had significantly higher α-tocopherol plasma concentrations compared to their
nestlings (both P < 0.001). In adult female northern goshawks, plasma concentrations of α-tocopherol increased significantly before egg laying
(P < 0.001). These results demonstrate α-tocopherol plasma concentrations in birds of prey to be species specific and influenced
by age and reproductive status.
Keywordsα-Tocopherol–Birds of prey–Plasma concentration
European Journal of Wildlife Research 04/2012; 57(5):1043-1049. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated vitamin A compounds in the plasma of healthy free-ranging Central European raptors with different feeding strategies. Plasma samples of nestlings of white-tailed sea eagle [white-tailed sea eagle (WTSE), Haliaeetus albicilla) (n = 32), osprey (Pandion haliaetus) (n = 39), northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) (n = 25), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) (n = 31), and honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) (n = 18) and adults of WTSE (n = 10), osprey (n = 31), and northern goshawk (n = 45) were investigated with reversed-phase-high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). In WTSE, northern goshawks and common buzzards retinol were the main plasma component of vitamin A, whilst in ospreys and honey buzzards, 3,4-didehydroretinol predominated. The median of the retinol plasma concentration in the nestlings group ranged from 0.12 to 3.80 μm and in the adult group from 0.15 to 6.13 μm. Median plasma concentrations of 3,4-didehydroretinol in nestlings ranged from 0.06 to 3.55 μm. In adults, northern goshawks had the lowest plasma concentration of 3,4-didehydroretinol followed by WTSE and ospreys. The plasma of all investigated species contained retinyl esters (palmitate, oleate, and stearate). The results show considerable species-specific differences in the vitamin A plasma concentrations that might be caused by different nutrition strategies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Between September 1998 and December 2006, 87 injured or sick free-ranging white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Germany were admitted to the Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin. Most birds were adults (43%) followed by nestlings/fledglings (26%), immature birds (18%), and juveniles (13%). In all age groups more females than males were presented. Birds with trauma-associated injuries were most often admitted, followed by lead toxicosis and feather anomalies in fledglings. Collision with anthropogenic structures was the most common cause of injuries in all age classes. Lesions caused by intraspecific aggressions were mainly found in adults, whereas a generalized feather abnormality (pinching off syndrome) was diagnosed only in fledglings. Of all birds, 25% were released back to the wild, 21% died, and 54% were not releasable or were euthanatized.
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 01/2008; 21(4):265-74. · 0.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Generalized feather abnormalities are rarely documented in free-living birds. Pinching off syndrome (POS) is a feather abnormality in which all remiges and retrices become malformed and are lost during the nestling stage, rendering the bird unable to fly. To determine the frequency of occurrence and geographic distribution of this syndrome in white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Europe, we sent questionnaires to ornithologists in 19 countries within the European range of this species. We also searched for reported cases of sea eagles with feather abnormalities that met the criteria of POS. Overall, 32 nestlings or fledglings with POS were identified between 1975 and 2006. The geographic distribution of cases was primarily restricted to 4 European countries: Germany (17 cases), Poland (11 cases), the Czech Republic (3 cases), and Great Britain (1 case). Eleven eagles from Germany and 2 eagles from the Czech Republic were examined clinically. In 15 birds in which sex was determined, 8 were female and 7 were male. From 2000 to 2005, the 5-year incidence of POS in white-tailed sea eagles in Germany was 3.5 cases per 1000 birds. Although the etiology of this syndrome in wild sea eagles is unknown, our results support a possible genetic cause.
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 07/2007; 21(2):103-9. · 0.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) has colonized suburban and urban areas in Berlin, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe. Because of the high proportion of feral pigeons (Columba livia f. domestica) in their diet, urban goshawks are suspected to have a high infection rate with Trichomonas gallinae. Therefore, from 1998 to 2001, we examined 269 nestlings from 90 nests for infection with T. gallinae by culture of swabs taken from the oropharynx and checked their oropharynx for the presence of caseous lesions indicative of trichomonosis. In 80% of the nest sites (n=90), at least one nestling was infected. The nestling infection rate with T. gallinae was 69.7% (n=33) in 1998, 73.0% (n=89) in 1999, 55.8% (n=77) in 2000, and 62.9% (n=70) in 2001. In total, 65.1% of the northern goshawk nestlings were culture positive for T. gallinae. Prevalence increased with the age of nestlings (chi2=12.4, n=269, df=5, P=0.03) and tended to increase with brood size (chi2=9.345, n=269, df=4, P=0.053). Caseous lesions were present in 12 nestlings (4.5%), but only 10 of these were culture positive for T. gallinae. Two nestlings (0.7%) had large caseous lesions (diameter>1 cm) characteristic of late-stage trichomonosis and died shortly after examination. It is suggested that the combination of a high prevalence of T. gallinae with a low rate of pathologicic changes is the result of an evolutionary-adapted parasite-host relationship.
Journal of wildlife diseases 04/2005; 41(2):304-9. · 1.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is a top predator in the terrestrial food web of large parts of the Holarctic. Due to its sedentary nature and well-investigated feeding ecology, it represents the most suitable bird of prey species in continental Europe for monitoring environmental pollutants. We analyzed the levels of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), and nonessential heavy metals in organ samples of 62 free-ranging northern goshawks found dead or injured in Germany from 1995 to 2001. Our results indicate significant differences in the contaminant burden of northern goshawks between three regions in Germany. Presumably, these differences were caused by different application periods and legislative restrictions before the German reunion, especially for the use of DDT in agriculture and forestry. Extraordinarily high residues of PCBs and DDE, the main metabolite of DDT, were found mainly in livers of northern goshawks inhabiting Berlin. Body condition is highly negatively correlated with the contamination level of the individual, especially for the persistent and lipophilic organochlorines and for mercury. PCB concentrations in hepatic tissue increase rapidly with age, and birds in their first summer had significantly lower levels than birds in their first winter or older. Adult female northern goshawks from Berlin had significantly higher hepatic concentrations of most of the higher-chlorinated PCBs and of cadmium than males from the same region. Cadmium residues were in general higher in renal tissue than in hepatic tissue, and cadmium levels in kidneys increased with age. Lead concentrations indicative of acute lead poisoning were detected in one bird and suggested in two others. All other heavy metal concentrations were low and represent background levels for birds of prey in Germany.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 08/2003; 45(1):128-35. · 2.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most temperate zone passerines defend territories during the breeding season. Commonly the size of these territories is estimated by plotting the singing locations of the males. However, an individual's activities need not be restricted to the area used for singing. So far, only little quantitative information has been available to determine how the singing territory relates to the activity range of male songbirds. Here, we present a study in which we used radio-tracking techniques to collect quantitative data on the spatial behaviour of 11 male territorial Nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos). The results show that the singing territories made up only about 50% of the activity ranges. Nevertheless, males spent over 90% of the time within the singing territory. Singing territories almost never overlapped but activity ranges overlapped in all cases with the activity range of at least one neighbour. Males intruded into neighbouring territories throughout the season but the longest excursions were made before and during the female fertile period. The time spent for forays correlated significantly with song rate and territories of males with higher song rates in turn were less frequently the object of forays by other males. Song rate can be indicative of male quality, so that our findings strongly suggest that foray behaviour is related to male quality in nightingales.Mnnliche Singvgel markieren mit ihrem Gesang ein Revier. Empirische Studien zeigen allerdings, dass Mnnchen und Weibchen das Revier verlassen und in Reviere von Nachbarn eindringen. Solche Ausflge sind vor allem in dichteren Habitaten schwierig zu beobachten, so dass fr die meisten Vogelarten kaum Datenmaterial fr die Raumnutzung auerhalb der Gesangsreviere vorliegt. In dieser Studie haben wir ber den Verlauf der Brutsaison 11 mnnliche territoriale Nachtigallen telemetriert. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die Aktionstradien im Mittel doppelt so gro waren, wie die Gesangsreviere und dass die Mnnchen ca. 8% der Zeit auerhalb der Gesangsreviere verbracht haben. Dabei berlappten die Aktionsrume benachbarter Mnnchen deutlich. Die Mnnchen drangen vor allem vor und whrend der fertilen Phasen der Weibchen in Nachbarreviere vor. Darber hinaus drangen Mnnchen mit hherer Gesangsaktivitt signifikant lnger in Nachbarreviere ein, als Mnnchen mit geringerer Gesangsaktivitt. Reviere von Mnnchen mit hherer Gesangsaktivitt wurden dabei auch signifikant seltener von anderen Mnnchen besucht. Da die Gesangsaktivitt mit der Qualitt eines Mnnchens zusammenhngen kann, weisen die Ergebnisse darauf hin, dass qualitativ bessere Mnnchen mehr in Nachbarreviere eindringen als qualitativ schlechtere Mnnchen und die Reviere der qualitativ besseren Mnnchen auch weniger hufig von Rivalen besucht werden. Dass solche Ausflge von Mnnchen fr Versuche zu auerpaarlichen Kopulationen genutzt werden, ist anzunehmen, muss aber noch geklrt werden. Die rumlichen Beziehungen territorialer Mnnchen reflektieren darber hinaus vermutlich Aspekte der sozialen Beziehungen.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Red List and checklist of the breeding birds of Berlin, second list (17.11.03)) This second Red Data List of the breeding birds of Berlin includes 178 species, which are classified by criteria developed according to the IUCN for the evaluation of breeding birds of Germany, and adapted for the situation of Berlin. Excluded from assessment are irregular breeders and introduced species. The population trends of nearly all common species are qualified for 1975 to 1999. However, for rarer species well known population data of 2000 to 2002 are in- cluded in the trend estimate. With this concept species are categorised as follows: 0 (EW) = 30 species (17 %), 1 (CR) = 14 species (8 %), 2 (EN) = 13 species (7 %), 3 (VU) = 10 species (6 %), R (SU) = 4 species (2 %), V (NT) = 22 species (12 %). Hence, a total of 71 species (40 %) is listed in the categories 0 - R, of which the main portion is due to non-passeriformes (51 species, passeriformes 20 species). 22 species in category V with an uncertain perspective (NT) are added. Only 68 (38 %) of the assessed species are currently of no concern (LC). To con- serve a rich breeding avifauna, special types of habitat have to be retained and developed for their ecological value, especially several types of wetlands, but also fallow land with poorly developed vegetation.