Shortlisted entries 2013

The energetic costs of walking in birds

The energetic costs of walking in birdsThe energetic costs of walking in birds Ting-Hin Tang When we think of locomotion in birds, we often focus on flight. Many birds, in fact, walk to forage for food. Furthermore, the young of some bird species, e.g. ducks and geese, are capable of walking immediately from hatching. These young birds must walk considerable distances with their parents to find food. Walking is, however, an energetically costly form of locomotion. In light of increasing landscape fragmentation, a decrease in the connectivity of food-rich areas for birds would be expected. Reduction in accessibility to food and increased foraging distance may increase energetic costs – affecting the growth rate of juveniles and thus their survival. Currently, knowledge of energetic costs of walking in juveniles is lacking and my project aims to fill this gap. Only once the energy costs during development is understood, can we begin to understand the bigger picture towards how habitat change affects the energetic costs of locomotion. ← Previous Entry | Next Entry →