David Winkler

David Winkler
Cornell University | CU · Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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204
Publications
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Publications

Publications (204)
Article
Climate change can decouple resource supply from consumer demand, with the potential to create phenological mismatches driving negative consequences on fitness. However, the underlying ecological mechanisms of phenological mismatches between consumers and their resources have not been fully explored. Here, we use long-term records of aquatic and te...
Article
Many aspects of bird migration are necessarily innate. However, the extent of deterministic genetic control, environmental influence, and individual decision making in the control of migration remains unclear. Globally, few cases of rapid and dramatic life-history changes resulting in novel migration strategies are known. An example is latitudinal...
Article
In response to a warming planet with earlier springs, migratory animals are adjusting the timing of essential life stages. Although these adjustments may be essential for keeping pace with resource phenology, they may prove insufficient, as evidenced by population declines in many species. However, even when species can match the tempo of climate c...
Article
Animals must balance various costs and benefits when deciding when to breed. The costs and benefits of breeding at different times have received much attention, but most studies have been limited to investigating short‐term season‐to‐season fitness effects. However, breeding early, versus late, in a season may influence lifetime fitness over many y...
Article
Early‐life conditions can have substantial effects on the ways animals respond to stressors as adults. In particular, thermal conditions during development affect juveniles' responses to stressors, and there is evidence that these effects may extend into adulthood. However, these effects remain poorly understood, especially in free‐living organisms...
Article
In many cooperatively breeding taxa, nonbreeding subordinates, or helpers, use extra‐territorial forays to discover dispersal opportunities. Such forays are considered energetically costly and foraying birds face aggression from conspecific members of the territories they visit. In contrast, breeders in cooperatively breeding taxa are expected to f...
Article
Extra‐pair paternity (EPP) is a widespread phenomenon in birds. Researchers have long hypothesized that EPP must confer a fitness advantage to extra‐pair offspring (EPO), but empirical support for this hypothesis is definitively mixed. This could be because genetic benefits of EPP only exist in a subset of environmental contexts to which a populati...
Article
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It is widely assumed that colonizing species thrive because they lack natural enemies in their new range, increasing their survival and reproductive success. Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) started to breed in South America around 1980 and since then have dramatically increased their population size and geographic range, in stark contrast to the de...
Article
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During migration, animals may experience high rates of mortality, but costs of migration could also be manifested through non-lethal carry-over effects that influence individual success in subsequent periods of the annual cycle. Using tracking data collected from light-level geolocators, we estimated total spring migration distance (from the last w...
Article
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Extra-pair paternity rates vary markedly across avian taxa, but patterns of variation in this trait have been obscured by a paucity of data on closely related species, especially those spanning broad environmental gradients. Here we compare variation in extra-pair paternity rates among five species in the widespread swallow genus Tachycineta. Rates...
Article
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Conditions during early life can have dramatic effects on adult characteristics and fitness. However, we still know little about the mechanisms that mediate these relationships. Telomere shortening is one possibility. Telomeres are long sequences of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes. They shorten naturally throughout an individual's life, an...
Article
1.Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are connected through reciprocal fluxes of energy and nutrients that can subsidize consumers. Past research on reciprocal aquatic‐terrestrial subsidies to consumers has generally focused on subsidy quantity while ignoring major differences in the nutritional composition of aquatic and terrestrial resources. Beca...
Article
There have been an increasing number of observations of itinerancy in migratory songbirds, where individuals move among 2 or more widely separated areas during the “stationary” nonbreeding season. Knowledge of such movements and an understanding of what drives them are important for predicting how migratory populations will respond to environmental...
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Basic natural history and behavioural data are lacking for the majority of broadbills and pittas (Eurylaimidae, Calyptomenidae and Pittidae). We present a series of observations on these birds made during two visits to Tawau Hills Park, Sabah, Malaysia. During this period, we detected changes in temporal presence, detectability or vocal behaviour i...
Article
Organisms are frequently exposed to challenges during development, such as poor weather and food shortage. Such challenges can initiate the hormonal stress response, which involves secretion of glucocorticoids. Although the hormonal stress response helps organisms deal with challenges, long-term exposure to high levels of glucocorticoids can have m...
Article
Latitudinal differences in timing of breeding are well documented but how such differences carry over to influence timing of events in the annual cycle of migratory birds is not well understood. We examined geographical variation in timing of events throughout the year using light-level geolocator tracking data from 133 migratory tree swallows (Tac...
Article
1.Individuals often vary markedly in their ability to cope with stressors, but the drivers of this variation remain poorly understood. Many studies have tested relationships among individual variation in glucocorticoid levels and the response to challenges – often finding inconsistent patterns; however, few have addressed whether variation in the c...
Article
Blood sampling is a frequently used method of collecting genetic and physiological data in natural populations, and understanding the possible impact of blood sampling on individuals and populations is important, both for the welfare of study organisms and to avoid introducing bias into analyses using bled individuals. Most studies of birds have re...
Article
Full-text available
The availability of small, lightweight tracking devices enhances our ability to study birds during mobile phases of their lives. Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor, a model species of wild songbird, are well-studied during their breeding season; but our understanding of their biology at other times of the year, when they are not tied to the fixed lo...
Article
Swallows and martins (Aves: Hirundinidae) are well-studied with respect to their breeding biology, but major aspects of their individual aerial movement behavior and ecology are poorly understood. Atmospheric conditions can strongly influence both the availability and distribution of flying insects that aerial insectivores rely upon. Because aerial...
Article
The "good-genes" hypothesis to explain female extra-pair mating states that females benefit from this behavior by acquiring better genes for their offspring. Despite extensive research, results are mixed, and the predictions of the good-genes hypothesis have been met in fewer than half of published papers. One possible explanation for this lack of...
Article
Ecologists studying bird foraging ecology have generally focused on food quantity over quality. Emerging work suggests that food quality, in terms of highly unsaturated omega‐3 fatty acids (HUFA), can have equally important effects on performance. HUFA, which are present in aquatic primary producers, are all but absent in vascular plants, and HUFA...
Preprint
Full-text available
Organisms are frequently exposed to challenges during development, such as poor weather and food shortage. Such challenges can initiate the hormonal stress response, which involves secretion of glucocorticoids. Although the hormonal stress response helps organisms deal with challenges, long-term exposure to high levels of glucocorticoids can have m...
Article
Acutely stressful experiences can have profound and persistent effects on phenotype. Across taxa, individuals differ remarkably in their susceptibility to stress. However, the mechanistic causes of enduring stress effects, and of individual differences in stress susceptibility, are poorly understood. Here, we tested whether brief, acute increases i...
Article
Full-text available
Glucocorticoid hormones are important regulators of metabolic processes, and of the behavioral and physiological responses to stressors. Within-population variation in circulating glucocorticoids has been linked with both reproductive success and survival, but the presence and direction of relationships vary. Although conceptual models suggest the...
Article
Determining demographic rates in wild animal populations and understanding why rates vary are important challenges in population ecology and conservation. Whereas reproductive success is reported frequently for many songbird species, there are relatively few corresponding estimates of annual survival for widespread populations of the same migratory...
Article
Full-text available
Telomeres are highly conserved regions of DNA that protect the ends of linear chromosomes. The loss of telomeres can signal an irreversible change to a cell's state, including cellular senescence. Senescent cells no longer divide and can damage nearby healthy cells, thus potentially placing them at the crossroads of cancer and ageing. While the epi...
Article
Determining how migratory animals are spatially connected between breeding and non-breeding periods is essential for predicting the effects of environmental change and for developing optimal conservation strategies. Yet, despite recent advances in tracking technology, we lack comprehensive information on the spatial structure of migratory networks...
Article
In their 2015 Current Biology paper, Streby et al. [1] reported that Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera), which had just migrated to their breeding location in eastern Tennessee, performed a facultative and up to “>1,500 km roundtrip” to the Gulf of Mexico to avoid a severe tornadic storm. From light-level geolocator data, wherein geogra...
Article
Food availability and quality are both critical for growing young animals. In nature, swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) and other aerial insectivores feed on both aquatic insects, which are rich in omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) and terrestrial insects, which contain considerably lower amounts of omega-3 HUFA. Carnivorous mammals and fi...
Article
Full-text available
Species migratory patterns have typically been studied through individual observations and historical records. In this work, we adopt a data driven approach to modelling the presence of the North American Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor, throughout the Eastern United States, using data collected through the eBird project at Cornell University's L...
Article
Full-text available
The natural history of most Pittidae is understudied, but the breeding biology of the genus Erythropitta, a recently recognised grouping of red-bellied pittas, is especially poorly known. We monitored and video-recorded a Black-crowned Pitta E. ussheri nest in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, during the nestling period and found that the male had a higher...
Article
Full-text available
Changes to weather patterns under a warming climate are complex: while warmer temperatures are expected virtually worldwide, decreased mean precipitation is expected at mid-latitudes. Migratory birds depend on broad-scale weather patterns to inform timing of movements, but may be more susceptible to local weather patterns during sedentary periods....
Article
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Measuring individual-based movements in free-ranging animals is relevant to our understanding of many basic ecological principles (migration, competition, optimal foraging) but has been difficult to realize in a small size. 2.We have developed a freely available, open-source, non-invasive datalogger that can measure an animal's altitude or elevatio...
Article
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Phenotypic flexibility is a central way that organisms cope with challenging and changing environments. As endocrine signals mediate many phenotypic traits, heritable variation in hormone levels, or their context-dependent flexibility, could present an important target for selection. Several studies have estimated the heritability of circulating gl...
Article
Full-text available
We used high precision computed tomography (CT) and traditional radiography to study the nasal conchae, complex structures within the nasal cavity that condition air via countercurrent heat exchange. Air conditioning in the conchae assists thermoregulation and water balance, both of which pose challenges for many birds. We hypothesized that hot and...
Article
When bird populations spread, long-distance pioneering populations are often backfilled by a more slowly advancing front [1-3]. The Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica, a globally distributed passerine [4, 5], expanded its breeding range an exceptional 7,000 km when it began breeding 35 years ago in its regular wintering range in Argentina [6], subsequent...
Article
Full-text available
Once-abundant aerial insectivores, such as the Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), have declined steadily in the past several decades, making it imperative to understand all aspects of their ecology. Aerial insectivores forage on a mixture of aquatic and terrestrial insects that differ in fatty acid composition, specifically long-chain omega-3 poly...
Presentation
Once-abundant aerial insectivores, such as Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), have declined steadily in the past several decades, making it imperative to understand all aspects of their ecology. Aerial insectivores forage on a mixture of aquatic and terrestrial insects that differ in fatty acid composition, specifically long-chain omega-3 polyuns...
Article
Full-text available
Annual routines of migratory birds inferred from archival solar geolocation devices have never before been confirmed using GPS technologies. A female black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa captured on the breeding grounds in The Netherlands in 2013 and recaptured in 2014 was outfitted with both an Intigeo geolocator and an UvA-BiTS GPS-tracker. T...
Article
Full-text available
Negative density-dependence is generally studied within a single trophic level, thereby neglecting its effect on higher trophic levels. The 'functional response' couples a predator's intake rate to prey density. Most widespread is a type II functional response, where intake rate increases asymptotically with prey density; this predicts the highest...
Data
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A simulated example illustrating inadequacy of standard frequentist regressions for comparison of individual and population rates of seasonal clutch size decline.
Data
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Using this code, please, provide reference to https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.12368 Karagicheva, J., Liebers, M., Rakhimberdiev, E., Hallinger, K.K., Saveliev, A. and Winkler, D.W., 2016. Differences in size between first and replacement clutches match the seasonal decline in single clutches in Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor. Ibis, 158(3), pp.607-61...
Data
Data from https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.12368 Karagicheva, J., Liebers, M., Rakhimberdiev, E., Hallinger, K.K., Saveliev, A. and Winkler, D.W., 2016. Differences in size between first and replacement clutches match the seasonal decline in single clutches in Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor. Ibis, 158(3), pp.607-613.
Article
Full-text available
Negative density-dependence is generally studied within a single trophic level, thereby neglecting its effect on higher trophic levels. The ‘functional response’ couples a predator’s intake rate to prey density. Most widespread is a type II functional response, where intake rate increases as ymptotically with prey density; this predicts the highest...
Article
Geographic patterns of variation in life-history traits have puzzled researchers for decades. However, the widely accepted idea that mating systems exhibit a tropical-temperate latitudinal trend, with extra-pair mating systems being the norm among temperate species and genetic monogamy the norm among tropical species, is supported by sparse data, p...
Article
Full-text available
The seasonal decline in clutch size in birds can be a response to the environmentally conditioned decrease in prospects for offspring or a consequence of a lower physical ability of late-breeding females. To find out which of the explanations apply in Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor, we assessed whether replacement clutch size in this species is...
Article
Full-text available
For seasonal migrants, non-breeding regions can play different roles in the ecology of their annual cycles: as stopover habitat, overwintering habitat, or as a combination in which some individuals stop-over and others over-winter. Such functional variations can lead to variation in occupancy dynamics and migration phenology to these different regi...
Article
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Background: Solar archival tags (henceforth called geolocators) are tracking devices deployed on animals to reconstruct their long-distance movements on the basis of locations inferred post hoc with reference to the geographical and seasonal variations in the timing and speeds of sunrise and sunset. The increased use of geolocators has created a n...
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Facultative heterothermy, or torpor, has been demonstrated in different clades of the Apodidae, proposed as a mechanism to reduce energetic demand in response to different physiological cues. In a small tropical Southeast Asian swiftlet species, the Silver-rumped Spinetail (Rhaphidura leucopygialis), we measured the facultative heterothermic respon...
Article
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The metabolism of birds is finely tuned to their activities and environments, and thus research on avian systems can play an important role in understanding organismal responses to environmental changes. At present, however, the physiological monitoring of bird metabolism is limited by the inability to take real-time measurements of key metabolites...
Article
This study assesses, through the first systematic field observations of winter foraging of Tachycineta bicolor (Tree Swallow), whether swallow foraging on the fruits of Morella cerifera (Southern Wax Myrtle) is correlated to air temperature. We observed Tree Swallows in central Florida for 53 days between 3 November 2011 and 14 January 2012. Tree S...
Article
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The confluence of advancements in microelectronic components and vibrational energy harvesting has opened the possibility of remote sensor units powered solely from the motion of their hosts. There are numerous applications of such systems, including the development of modern wildlife tracking/data-logging devices. These 'bio-logging' devices are t...
Article
Full-text available
Intermittent female incubation, where eggs are left unattended periodically while the female forages, is common among passerines. In extremely cold environments, unattended eggs may be at risk of freezing or exposed to suboptimal developmental temperatures. Our aim was to examine incubation behaviour of Chilean Swallows nesting in a cold environmen...
Article
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In many species, naïve first-time migrants undertake migration without adults, supposedly on the basis of a ‘simple’ vector programme that combines an innate directional preference with a temporal programme that specifies distance. In strongly dimorphic species in which the sexes show distinct ecological requirements, the innate mechanisms of navig...
Article
One of the greatest feats of avian migration is the non-stop crossing of extensive areas of inhospitable habitat such as deserts and seas. Differences in spring and autumn migration routes have been reported in species that cross such barriers, and are thought to have evolved in response to seasonal variation in prevailing wind direction. We tested...
Article
Latitudinal variation in avian life histories can be summarized as a slow–fast continuum, termed the ‘pace of life’, that encompasses patterns in life span, reproduction, and rates of development among tropical and temperate species. Much of the variation in avian pace of life is tied to differences in rates of long-term metabolic energy expenditur...
Article
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In a study of almost 16 000 nest records from seven swallow species across the entire Western Hemisphere, clutch sizes decline with relative laying date in each population, but the slope of this decline grows steeper with increasing distance from the equator. Late-laying birds at all latitudes lay clutches of similar sizes, suggesting that latitudi...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory vertebrates adjust their movements in response to environmental change. Throughout their migrations, they gather information, integrate environmental and internal state data, and make decisions about the timing and orientation of migratory movements. Understanding this class of animal decision-making has both basic and applied interest be...