If you think the sparrow in question has a wing bar but the descriptions of the birds under this category clearly do not fit, then move down to the “Faint or No Wing Bar” list of birds and try again. Among the main parasites in birds are chewing lice (also called feather lice; order Phthiraptera, formerly Mallophaga). Correlations of the difference in measured traits between preferred and nonpreferred males, with the difference in rating for preferred and nonpreferred males. Sparrows were housed in 8 outdoor aviaries of 12 m3 each, located in Moraleda de Zafayona (lat 37°11′N, long 3°57′W). Nevertheless, females seem to have some capacity to use other (unknown) traits in addition to wing bar to determine male louse load, given that, when the male with the largest wing bar (due to experimental manipulation) was heavily parasitized, females preferred the less parasitized male, despite a smaller wing bar. 1995), which has been shown also for the white wing bar of the house sparrow (Poston et al. Female has streaked brown back; grayish head; pale supercilium; buff-white underparts; small bill. Male has dark rufous crown; black throat patch. Flight: Several rapid wing beats and then a pause. 2003; Hanssen et al. Is melanin a defense against feather-feeding lice? By choosing less parasitized males, females also choose healthy males, which may be more proficient delivering parental care to offspring, although they may also be the ones that show polygamy (Hamilton 1990; Hill 1991; Price et al. Wing-bar size was not significantly correlated with tarsus length (r = −0.03, P = 0.82) or body condition (r = 0.17, P = 0.19) but was correlated with bib size (r = 0.32, P = 0.01). Male Chaffinch The adult male is slightly larger than the female and has a black forehead, blue-grey crown and nape; rich pinkish-brown face and under parts, fading to white … These authors suggested that white spots honestly signal resistance against lice because chewing lice feed primarily on white feathers, which are softer (Kose et al. Given that environmental light may affect female perception (Théry 2006), the experiment was performed outside, under the same natural light conditions and regime as for wild sparrows. "sparrow" with parallel white wing bar - south Poland. The clear, “bouncing-ball” trill of the Field Sparrow is a familiar summer sound in brushy fields and roadsides of the East and Midwest. The line indicates the regression fit. Bib and wing-bar color are not significantly correlated (Václav 2006), suggesting that these 2 sexually selected traits signal different aspects of the phenotype of the house sparrows. All this information suggests that this signal is used in female mate choice. All rights reserved. White patches might honestly signal resistance against chewing lice because these parasites prefer to feed on white feathers (Kose et al. Recent studies, by contrast, have shown that the development of white plumage is not cost free, and birds reared on protein-poor diets develop white patches of smaller sizes than do well-fed birds (McGlothlin et al. (Feather wear or lighting could cause the bird to look like it has a wing bar.) The most highly rated male by the female was considered the preferred male. Cardboard barriers prevented the males from seeing each other, without limiting female movements. Although evidence of female preference for males with whiter or larger white patches has been found in other bird species (review in Pryke 2007; also see Montgomerie et al. The Russet Sparrow has warm rufous upperparts; gray underparts. By feeding on feathers, these parasites deteriorate the quality of the plumage, provoking small holes on feathers (Møller 1991; Vas et al. Sketch of the experimental cage of mate choice. Their bill is pink or yellow. Female and juvenile house sparrows are dusky brown with greyish-white undersides and dull-brown, but streaked backs. Vol. Rump: When the wings are slightly drooped or the bird is in flight, the plain gray rump is easily visible. 1995), which has been shown also for the white wing bar of the house sparrow (Poston et al. The standard error is in brackets. 1999). Male Chaffinch The adult male is slightly larger than the female and has a black forehead, blue-grey crown and nape; rich pinkish-brown face and under parts, fading to white … White wing bars are restricted to males, less apparent in winter, and conspicuously displayed during the courtship (Summers-Smith 1988; Cramp 1998; Anderson 2006). Female duller; lacks chestnut patch; yellow throat patch pale or nonexistant. Thus, the ability to have bigger wing bars may indicate a higher resistance against chewing lice as well as feather-degrading bacteria. Moreover, if sexual ornaments signal heritable resistance against parasites, females choosing more ornamented males would acquire indirect (genetic) fitness benefits, as their offspring will inherit the resistance against parasites, increasing their fitness (Hamilton and Zuk 1982; Hillgarth and Wingfield 1997; Møller et al. Swamp Sparrow no wing bar or eye ring, clear breast, rufous wings, black eyeline broader at back of head, gray above and below eye, reddish brown crown, central - eastern U.S. & west coast Given that sexual ornaments are frequently costly to produce or bear (Andersson 1994), less parasitized individuals would have more resources to invest in the development of sexual ornaments (e.g., Hõrak et al. In the whole sample of males, unmanipulated wing-bar size was negatively correlated with the number of feather holes (Pearson correlation, r = −0.33, P = 0.03, n = 61; Figure 2). In control birds, the manipulation did not significantly alter bar size (t15 = 0.14; P = 0.89; Table 1). Males have dark chestnut upperparts with black streaks on back and scapulars, a conspicuous white wing bar on their upperwing. Both bib and wing bar are conspicuously displayed during courtship (Cramp 1998), suggesting that they intervene in mate choice. 2006), and the bib is under sexual selection, mainly intrasexual (review in Anderson 2006), although intersexual selection may operate under certain circumstances (Griggio and Hoi 2010). Consequently, wing-bar size is negatively correlated with the number of feather holes caused by chewing lice (Moreno-Rueda 2005). Nonetheless, this result should be considered with caution, as it is correlative and the sample size was low. Search for other works by this author on: The contagion indicator hypothesis for parasite-mediated sexual selection, Biology of the ubiquitous house sparrow. 2008), suggesting that white patches are also more susceptible to damage of feather-degrading bacteria. All work was performed with the permissions of the Andalusian government. 2006), immune system (Hanssen et al. In birds, many studies have shown a correlation among the load of different parasites and the magnitude of sexual signals such as song or plumage (reviews in Garamszegi 2005; Griffith and Pryke 2006). 2004; Gunderson et al. Correlation of the difference in tarsus length between preferred and nonpreferred males, with the difference in rating between preferred and nonpreferred males. G.M.-R. was funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Granada (Perfeccionamiento de doctores). We measured body mass with an electronic balance to the nearest of 0.1 g, wing length with a ruler to the nearest of 0.5 mm, and tarsus length with a digital caliper to the nearest of 0.01 mm, of males used in this study. For example, in the rock dove (Columba livia), females evaluated male louse load according to male display behavior, with more parasitized males offering less elaborate displays (Clayton 1990). This latter result suggests that females preferred males with low louse loads, and they seem to be able to detect louse load, to a degree, independently of wing-bar size. Therefore, despite the apparent simplicity of white plumage, it seems to be costly to produce and maintain. Results of a RM-ANOVA for female rating according to manipulated wing-bar size, controlling for the differences in morphological traits and louse load between control and experimental males. And recent results suggest that sparrows with larger uropygial glands, and thus with fewer feather holes, molt slower (Moreno-Rueda, submitted), thereby allowing them to develop a larger and whiter wing bar (Vágási et al. Heritable true fitness and bright birds: a role for parasites? Part B, Experimental design and data analysis for biologists, Experimentally increased badge size increases male competition and reduces male parental care in the collared flycatcher, Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Health, Melanin pigments negatively correlates with plumage preening effort in barn owls, Female plumage spottiness signals parasite resistance in the barn owl (, Symbiotic bacteria living in hoopoes uropygial gland prevent feather degradation, Female wing plumage reflects reproductive success in Common Goldeneye, Chemical warfare? Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. Individuals with larger white patches should have a well-developed uropygial gland (larger uropygial gland usually implies more secretion; Pap et al. In statistical models, we checked for homoscedasticity as well as for normality of the residuals (Quinn and Keough 2002). Flight feathers are brown and edged with darker brown, tail is dark brown and the rump is grayish.