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Common Yellowthroat feathers needed for research project


Ellen Paul

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I am contacting the list to see if anyone might be able to assist us with a study of developing body feathers in common yellowthroats. We have found that males with larger black masks are more attractive to females and have 'better' immune (MHC) genes, so now we want to find out if those genes are active in the developing mask feathers, and expressed more in males with bigger masks. In other words, are females choosing males with bigger masks because it indicates that they are healthy and, thus, their offspring will have 'good' immune genes as well? We can look at this by plucking a few growing feathers and examining gene expression in the feather tips. However, we need a fairly large sample of molting males (30 or so), and this is where we need your help.

If anyone is catching significant numbers of molting yellowthroats (5+ males) in late August or September and would like to help out, we would be most grateful, and your contribution would be acknowledged in any publication. We are specifically looking for banders who would be willing to pluck a few growing (very small) feathers from the breast, mask and back, take a few pictures of the same bird and then send us the feathers and photos. We will pay for shipping etc.

If you think you might be able to help, please send an email directly to me, and I can provide more details. There are some papers on my web site (see the publication section) if you want to read about what we are doing: pantherfile.uwm.edu/pdunn/www/

Thanks,
Peter


Peter Dunn
Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201 USA

pantherfile.uwm.edu/pdunn/www/

414-229-2253
pdunn@uwm.edu
 

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