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Sample records for barn owl auditory

  1. Hunting increases adaptive auditory map plasticity in adult barn owls.

    PubMed

    Bergan, Joseph F; Ro, Peter; Ro, Daniel; Knudsen, Eric I

    2005-10-19

    The optic tectum (OT) of barn owls contains topographic maps of auditory and visual space. Barn owls reared with horizontally displacing prismatic spectacles (prisms) acquire a novel auditory space map in the OT that restores alignment with the prismatically displaced visual map. Although juvenile owls readily acquire alternative maps of auditory space as a result of experience, this plasticity is reduced greatly in adults. We tested whether hunting live prey, a natural and critically important behavior for barn owls, increases auditory map plasticity in adult owls. Two groups of naive adult owls were fit with prisms. The first group was fed dead mice during 10 weeks of prism experience, while the second group was required to hunt live prey for an identical period of time. When the owls hunted live prey, auditory maps shifted substantially farther (five times farther, on average) and the consistency of tuning curve shifts within each map increased. Only a short period of time in each day, during which the two groups experienced different conditions, accounts for this effect. In addition, increased map plasticity correlated with behavioral improvements in the owls' ability to strike and capture prey. These results indicate that the experience of hunting dramatically increases adult adaptive plasticity in this pathway.

  2. Moving Objects in the Barn Owl's Auditory World.

    PubMed

    Langemann, Ulrike; Krumm, Bianca; Liebner, Katharina; Beutelmann, Rainer; Klump, Georg M

    2016-01-01

    Barn owls are keen hunters of moving prey. They have evolved an auditory system with impressive anatomical and physiological specializations for localizing their prey. Here we present behavioural data on the owl's sensitivity for discriminating acoustic motion direction in azimuth that, for the first time, allow a direct comparison of neuronal and perceptual sensitivity for acoustic motion in the same model species. We trained two birds to report a change in motion direction within a series of repeating wideband noise stimuli. For any trial the starting point, motion direction, velocity (53-2400°/s), duration (30-225 ms) and angular range (12-72°) of the noise sweeps were randomized. Each test stimulus had a motion direction being opposite to that of the reference stimuli. Stimuli were presented in the frontal or the lateral auditory space. The angular extent of the motion had a large effect on the owl's discrimination sensitivity allowing a better discrimination for a larger angular range of the motion. In contrast, stimulus velocity or stimulus duration had a smaller, although significant effect. Overall there was no difference in the owls' behavioural performance between "inward" noise sweeps (moving from lateral to frontal) compared to "outward" noise sweeps (moving from frontal to lateral). The owls did, however, respond more often to stimuli with changing motion direction in the frontal compared to the lateral space. The results of the behavioural experiments are discussed in relation to the neuronal representation of motion cues in the barn owl auditory midbrain.

  3. Auditory Processing, Plasticity, and Learning in the Barn Owl

    PubMed Central

    Peña, José L.; DeBello, William M.

    2011-01-01

    The human brain has accumulated many useful building blocks over its evolutionary history, and the best knowledge of these has often derived from experiments performed in animal species that display finely honed abilities. In this article we review a model system at the forefront of investigation into the neural bases of information processing, plasticity, and learning: the barn owl auditory localization pathway. In addition to the broadly applicable principles gleaned from three decades of work in this system, there are good reasons to believe that continued exploration of the owl brain will be invaluable for further advances in understanding of how neuronal networks give rise to behavior. PMID:21131711

  4. Development of auditory sensitivity in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, Anna; Baxter, Caitlin; Hendrix, Alayna; Carr, Catherine E

    2017-07-08

    Adult barn owl hearing is acute, but development of this sense is not well understood. We, therefore, measured auditory brainstem responses in barn owls from before the onset of hearing (posthatch day 2, or P2) to adulthood (P69). The first consistent responses were detected at P4 for 1 and 2 kHz, followed by responses to 0.5 and 4 kHz at P9, and 5 kHz at P13. Sensitivity to higher frequencies increased with age, with responses to 12 kHz appearing about 2 months after hatching, once the facial ruff was mature. Therefore, these altricial birds achieve their sensitivity to sound during a prolonged period of development, which coincides with maturation of the skull and facial ruff (Haresign and Moiseff in Auk 105:699-705, 1988).

  5. A Dominance Hierarchy of Auditory Spatial Cues in Barn Owls

    PubMed Central

    Witten, Ilana B.; Knudsen, Phyllis F.; Knudsen, Eric I.

    2010-01-01

    Background Barn owls integrate spatial information across frequency channels to localize sounds in space. Methodology/Principal Findings We presented barn owls with synchronous sounds that contained different bands of frequencies (3–5 kHz and 7–9 kHz) from different locations in space. When the owls were confronted with the conflicting localization cues from two synchronous sounds of equal level, their orienting responses were dominated by one of the sounds: they oriented toward the location of the low frequency sound when the sources were separated in azimuth; in contrast, they oriented toward the location of the high frequency sound when the sources were separated in elevation. We identified neural correlates of this behavioral effect in the optic tectum (OT, superior colliculus in mammals), which contains a map of auditory space and is involved in generating orienting movements to sounds. We found that low frequency cues dominate the representation of sound azimuth in the OT space map, whereas high frequency cues dominate the representation of sound elevation. Conclusions/Significance We argue that the dominance hierarchy of localization cues reflects several factors: 1) the relative amplitude of the sound providing the cue, 2) the resolution with which the auditory system measures the value of a cue, and 3) the spatial ambiguity in interpreting the cue. These same factors may contribute to the relative weighting of sound localization cues in other species, including humans. PMID:20442852

  6. A dominance hierarchy of auditory spatial cues in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Witten, Ilana B; Knudsen, Phyllis F; Knudsen, Eric I

    2010-04-28

    Barn owls integrate spatial information across frequency channels to localize sounds in space. We presented barn owls with synchronous sounds that contained different bands of frequencies (3-5 kHz and 7-9 kHz) from different locations in space. When the owls were confronted with the conflicting localization cues from two synchronous sounds of equal level, their orienting responses were dominated by one of the sounds: they oriented toward the location of the low frequency sound when the sources were separated in azimuth; in contrast, they oriented toward the location of the high frequency sound when the sources were separated in elevation. We identified neural correlates of this behavioral effect in the optic tectum (OT, superior colliculus in mammals), which contains a map of auditory space and is involved in generating orienting movements to sounds. We found that low frequency cues dominate the representation of sound azimuth in the OT space map, whereas high frequency cues dominate the representation of sound elevation. We argue that the dominance hierarchy of localization cues reflects several factors: 1) the relative amplitude of the sound providing the cue, 2) the resolution with which the auditory system measures the value of a cue, and 3) the spatial ambiguity in interpreting the cue. These same factors may contribute to the relative weighting of sound localization cues in other species, including humans.

  7. Central projections of auditory nerve fibers in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Carr, C E; Boudreau, R E

    1991-12-08

    The central projections of the auditory nerve were examined in the barn owl. Each auditory nerve fiber enters the brain and divides to terminate in both the cochlear nucleus angularis and the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis. This division parallels a functional division into intensity and time coding in the auditory system. The lateral branch of the auditory nerve innervates the nucleus angularis and gives rise to a major and a minor terminal field. The terminals range in size and shape from small boutons to large irregular boutons with thorn-like appendages. The medial branch of the auditory nerve conveys phase information to the cells of the nucleus magnocellularis via large axosomatic endings or end bulbs of Held. Each medial branch divides to form 3-6 end bulbs along the rostrocaudal orientation of a single tonotopic band, and each magnocellular neuron receives 1-4 end bulbs. The end bulb envelops the postsynaptic cell body and forms large numbers of synapses. The auditory nerve profiles contain round clear vesicles and form punctate asymmetric synapses on both somatic spines and the cell body.

  8. Acoustic cues underlying auditory distance in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Kim, Duck O; Moiseff, Andrew; Turner, J Bradley; Gull, Justin

    2008-04-01

    We conclude that: (1) among several cues examined, the monaural cue of direct-to-reverberant (D/R) ratio in the ipsilateral ear provides the most information about sound-source distance; (2) interaural level difference (ILD) provides less information about sound-source distance; and (3) a comprehensive theory of three-dimensional auditory localization must incorporate the fact that all of the major acoustic cues change with distance. Neural mechanisms underlying auditory localization of distance are poorly understood. The present study was an initial step toward filling this gap in knowledge. The binaural room impulse responses of adult barn owls were measured. The sound source was placed at various distances (up to 80 cm) and azimuths (0-90 degrees) relative to the owl's head, with the elevation kept at 0 degrees . We determined the value of each cue for a 3-10 kHz band, and found that: (1) D/R ratio of signal amplitudes provided the most information about sound-source distance; (2) the ipsilateral D/R ratio represented distance more clearly than the contralateral or binaural-average D/R ratios; (3) ILD of direct signals increased with decreasing distance under certain conditions; (3) interaural time difference (ITD) of direct signals increased with decreasing distance at 90 degrees azimuth; and (4) the spectral patterns of ILD and the monaural direct signals changed with distance in complex ways.

  9. Adaptive plasticity in the auditory thalamus of juvenile barn owls.

    PubMed

    Miller, Greg L; Knudsen, Eric I

    2003-02-01

    Little is known about the capacity of the thalamus for experience-dependent plasticity. Here, we demonstrate adaptive changes in the tuning of auditory thalamic neurons to a major category of sound localization cue, interaural time differences (ITDs), in juvenile barn owls that experience chronic abnormal hearing. Abnormal hearing was caused by a passive acoustic filtering device implanted in one ear that altered the timing and level of sound differently at different frequencies. Experience with this device resulted in adaptive, frequency-dependent shifts in the tuning of thalamic neurons to ITD that mimicked the acoustic effects of the device. Abnormal hearing did not alter ITD tuning in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus, the primary source of input to the auditory thalamus. Therefore, the thalamus is the earliest stage in the forebrain pathway in which this plasticity is expressed. A visual manipulation, chronic prismatic displacement of the visual field, which causes adaptive changes in ITD tuning at higher levels in the forebrain, had no effect on thalamic ITD tuning. The results demonstrate that, during the juvenile period, auditory experience shapes neuronal response properties in the thalamus in a frequency-specific manner and suggest that this thalamic plasticity is driven by self-organizational forces and not by visual instruction.

  10. Auditory spatial discrimination by barn owls in simulated echoic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spitzer, Matthew W.; Bala, Avinash D. S.; Takahashi, Terry T.

    2003-03-01

    In humans, directional hearing in reverberant conditions is characterized by a ``precedence effect,'' whereby directional information conveyed by leading sounds dominates perceived location, and listeners are relatively insensitive to directional information conveyed by lagging sounds. Behavioral studies provide evidence of precedence phenomena in a wide range of species. The present study employs a discrimination paradigm, based on habituation and recovery of the pupillary dilation response, to provide quantitative measures of precedence phenomena in the barn owl. As in humans, the owl's ability to discriminate changes in the location of lagging sources is impaired relative to that for single sources. Spatial discrimination of lead sources is also impaired, but to a lesser extent than discrimination of lagging sources. Results of a control experiment indicate that sensitivity to monaural cues cannot account for discrimination of lag source location. Thus, impairment of discrimination ability in the two-source conditions most likely reflects a reduction in sensitivity to binaural directional information. These results demonstrate a similarity of precedence effect phenomena in barn owls and humans, and provide a basis for quantitative comparison with neuronal data from the same species.

  11. Auditory spatial discrimination by barn owls in simulated echoic conditions.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Matthew W; Bala, Avinash D S; Takahashi, Terry T

    2003-03-01

    In humans, directional hearing in reverberant conditions is characterized by a "precedence effect," whereby directional information conveyed by leading sounds dominates perceived location, and listeners are relatively insensitive to directional information conveyed by lagging sounds. Behavioral studies provide evidence of precedence phenomena in a wide range of species. The present study employs a discrimination paradigm, based on habituation and recovery of the pupillary dilation response, to provide quantitative measures of precedence phenomena in the barn owl. As in humans, the owl's ability to discriminate changes in the location of lagging sources is impaired relative to that for single sources. Spatial discrimination of lead sources is also impaired, but to a lesser extent than discrimination of lagging sources. Results of a control experiment indicate that sensitivity to monaural cues cannot account for discrimination of lag source location. Thus, impairment of discrimination ability in the two-source conditions most likely reflects a reduction in sensitivity to binaural directional information. These results demonstrate a similarity of precedence effect phenomena in barn owls and humans, and provide a basis for quantitative comparison with neuronal data from the same species.

  12. Development of the auditory brainstem of birds: comparison between barn owls and chickens.

    PubMed

    Kubke, M F; Carr, C E

    2000-09-01

    Birds have proved to be extremely useful models for the study of hearing function. In particular, chickens and barn owls have been widely used by a number of researchers to study diverse aspects of auditory function. These studies have benefited from the advantages offered by each of these two species, including differences of auditory specialization. Direct comparisons between chickens and barn owls become complicated when the degree of auditory specialization and their modes of development are brought into consideration. In this article we review the available literature on the development of the auditory brainstem of chickens and barn owls in the context of such differences. In addition, we present a time line constructed on the basis of common stages of structural differentiation, rather than chronological time. We suggest that such a time line should be considered when discussing comparative data between these two species. Such an approach should facilitate the interpretation of similarities and differences observed in the developmental processes of the auditory system of chickens and barn owls.

  13. Visual-auditory integration for visual search: a behavioral study in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Hazan, Yael; Kra, Yonatan; Yarin, Inna; Wagner, Hermann; Gutfreund, Yoram

    2015-01-01

    Barn owls are nocturnal predators that rely on both vision and hearing for survival. The optic tectum of barn owls, a midbrain structure involved in selective attention, has been used as a model for studying visual-auditory integration at the neuronal level. However, behavioral data on visual-auditory integration in barn owls are lacking. The goal of this study was to examine if the integration of visual and auditory signals contributes to the process of guiding attention toward salient stimuli. We attached miniature wireless video cameras on barn owls' heads (OwlCam) to track their target of gaze. We first provide evidence that the area centralis (a retinal area with a maximal density of photoreceptors) is used as a functional fovea in barn owls. Thus, by mapping the projection of the area centralis on the OwlCam's video frame, it is possible to extract the target of gaze. For the experiment, owls were positioned on a high perch and four food items were scattered in a large arena on the floor. In addition, a hidden loudspeaker was positioned in the arena. The positions of the food items and speaker were changed every session. Video sequences from the OwlCam were saved for offline analysis while the owls spontaneously scanned the room and the food items with abrupt gaze shifts (head saccades). From time to time during the experiment, a brief sound was emitted from the speaker. The fixation points immediately following the sounds were extracted and the distances between the gaze position and the nearest items and loudspeaker were measured. The head saccades were rarely toward the location of the sound source but to salient visual features in the room, such as the door knob or the food items. However, among the food items, the one closest to the loudspeaker had the highest probability of attracting a gaze shift. This result supports the notion that auditory signals are integrated with visual information for the selection of the next visual search target.

  14. Visual-auditory integration for visual search: a behavioral study in barn owls

    PubMed Central

    Hazan, Yael; Kra, Yonatan; Yarin, Inna; Wagner, Hermann; Gutfreund, Yoram

    2015-01-01

    Barn owls are nocturnal predators that rely on both vision and hearing for survival. The optic tectum of barn owls, a midbrain structure involved in selective attention, has been used as a model for studying visual-auditory integration at the neuronal level. However, behavioral data on visual-auditory integration in barn owls are lacking. The goal of this study was to examine if the integration of visual and auditory signals contributes to the process of guiding attention toward salient stimuli. We attached miniature wireless video cameras on barn owls’ heads (OwlCam) to track their target of gaze. We first provide evidence that the area centralis (a retinal area with a maximal density of photoreceptors) is used as a functional fovea in barn owls. Thus, by mapping the projection of the area centralis on the OwlCam’s video frame, it is possible to extract the target of gaze. For the experiment, owls were positioned on a high perch and four food items were scattered in a large arena on the floor. In addition, a hidden loudspeaker was positioned in the arena. The positions of the food items and speaker were changed every session. Video sequences from the OwlCam were saved for offline analysis while the owls spontaneously scanned the room and the food items with abrupt gaze shifts (head saccades). From time to time during the experiment, a brief sound was emitted from the speaker. The fixation points immediately following the sounds were extracted and the distances between the gaze position and the nearest items and loudspeaker were measured. The head saccades were rarely toward the location of the sound source but to salient visual features in the room, such as the door knob or the food items. However, among the food items, the one closest to the loudspeaker had the highest probability of attracting a gaze shift. This result supports the notion that auditory signals are integrated with visual information for the selection of the next visual search target. PMID

  15. Early auditory experience aligns the auditory map of space in the optic tectum of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I

    1983-11-25

    Auditory and visual space are mapped in the optic tectum of the barn owl. Normally, these maps of space are in close mutual alignment. Ear plugs inserted unilaterally in young barn owls disrupted the binaural cues that constitute the basis of the auditory map. Yet when recordings were made from the tecta of these birds as adults, the auditory and visual maps were in register. When the ear plugs were removed from these adult birds and binaural balance was restored, the auditory maps were shifted substantially relative to the visual maps and relative to the physical borders of the tecta. These results demonstrate that the neural connectivity that gives rise to the auditory map of space in the optic tectum can be modified by experience in such a way that spatial alignment between sensory modalities is maintained.

  16. An anatomical basis for visual calibration of the auditory space map in the barn owl's midbrain.

    PubMed

    Feldman, D E; Knudsen, E I

    1997-09-01

    The map of auditory space in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) of the barn owl is calibrated by visual experience during development. ICX neurons are tuned for interaural time difference (ITD), the owl's primary cue for sound source azimuth, and are arranged into a map of ITD. When vision is altered by rearing owls with prismatic spectacles that shift the visual field in azimuth, ITD tuning in the ICX shifts adaptively. In contrast, ITD tuning remains unchanged in the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICCls), which provides the principal auditory input to the ICX, suggesting that the projection from the ICCls to the ICX is altered by prism-rearing. In this study, the topography of the ICCls-ICX projection was assessed in normal and prism-reared owls by retrograde labeling using biotinylated dextran amine. In juvenile owls at the age before prism attachment, and in normal adults, labeling patterns were consistent with a topographic projection, with each ICX site receiving input from a restricted region of the ICCls with similar ITD tuning. In prism-reared owls, labeling patterns were systematically altered: each ICX site received additional, abnormal input from a region of the ICCls where ITD tuning matched the shifted ITD tuning of the ICX neurons. These results indicate that anatomical reorganization of the ICCls-ICX projection contributes to the visual calibration of the ICX auditory space map.

  17. Acetylcholinesterase staining differentiates functionally distinct auditory pathways in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Adolphs, R

    1993-03-15

    The aim of this study was to examine how the functional specialization of the barn owl's auditory brainstem might correlate with histochemical compartmentalization. The barn owl uses interaural intensity and time differences to encode, respectively, the vertical and azimuthal positions of sound sources in space. These two auditory cues are processed in parallel ascending pathways that separate from each other at the level of the cochlear nuclei. Sections through the auditory brainstem were stained for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) to examine whether nuclei that process different auditory cues stain differentially for this enzyme. Of the two cochlear nuclei, angularis showed more intense staining than nucleus magnocellularis. Nucleus angularis projects to all of the nuclei and subdivisions of nuclei that belong to the intensity processing pathway. Acetylcholinesterase stained all regions that contain terminal fields of nucleus angularis and thus provided discrimination between the time and intensity pathways. Moreover, staining patterns with acetylcholinesterase were complementary to those previously reported with an anti-calbindin antibody, which stains terminal fields of nucleus laminaris, and thus stains all the nuclei and subdivisions of nuclei that belong to the time pathway. Some of the gross staining patterns observed with AChE were similar to those reported with antibodies to glutamate decarboxylase. However, AChE is a more convenient and definitive marker in discriminating between these pathways than is calbindin or glutamate decarboxylase. Acetylcholinesterase staining of the intensity pathway in the owl may be related to encoding of sound intensity by spike rate over large dynamic ranges.

  18. Coding of sound pressure level in the barn owl's auditory nerve.

    PubMed

    Köppl, C; Yates, G

    1999-11-01

    Rate-intensity functions, i.e., the relation between discharge rate and sound pressure level, were recorded from single auditory nerve fibers in the barn owl. Differences in sound pressure level between the owl's two ears are known to be an important cue in sound localization. One objective was therefore to quantify the discharge rates of auditory nerve fibers, as a basis for higher-order processing of sound pressure level. The second aim was to investigate the rate-intensity functions for cues to the underlying cochlear mechanisms, using a model developed in mammals. Rate-intensity functions at the most sensitive frequency mostly showed a well-defined breakpoint between an initial steep segment and a progressively flattening segment. This shape has, in mammals, been convincingly traced to a compressive nonlinearity in the cochlear mechanics, which in turn is a reflection of the cochlear amplifier enhancing low-level stimuli. The similarity of the rate-intensity functions of the barn owl is thus further evidence for a similar mechanism in birds. An interesting difference from mammalian data was that this compressive nonlinearity was not shared among fibers of similar characteristic frequency, suggesting a different mechanism with a more locally differentiated operation than in mammals. In all fibers, the steepest change in discharge rate with rising sound pressure level occurred within 10-20 dB of their respective thresholds. Because the range of neural thresholds at any one characteristic frequency is small in the owl, auditory nerve fibers were collectively most sensitive for changes in sound pressure level within approximately 30 dB of the best thresholds. Fibers most sensitive to high frequencies (>6-7 kHz) showed a smaller increase of rate above spontaneous discharge rate than did lower-frequency fibers.

  19. Anatomical traces of juvenile learning in the auditory system of adult barn owls.

    PubMed

    Linkenhoker, Brie Ann; von der Ohe, Christina G; Knudsen, Eric I

    2005-01-01

    Early experience plays a powerful role in shaping adult neural circuitry and behavior. In barn owls, early experience markedly influences sound localization. Juvenile owls that learn new, abnormal associations between auditory cues and locations in visual space as a result of abnormal visual experience can readapt to the same abnormal experience in adulthood, when plasticity is otherwise limited. Here we show that abnormal anatomical projections acquired during early abnormal sensory experience persist long after normal experience has been restored. These persistent projections are perfectly situated to provide a physical framework for subsequent readaptation in adulthood to the abnormal sensory conditions experienced in early life. Our results show that anatomical changes that support strong learned neural connections early in life can persist even after they are no longer functionally expressed. This maintenance of silenced neural circuitry that was once adaptive may represent an important mechanism by which the brain preserves a record of early experience.

  20. Dynamics of visually guided auditory plasticity in the optic tectum of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Brainard, M S; Knudsen, E I

    1995-02-01

    1. In the optic tectum of normal barn owls, bimodal (auditory-visual) neurons are tuned to the values of interaural time difference (ITD) that are produced by sounds at the locations of their visual receptive fields (VRFs). The auditory tuning of tectal neurons is actively guided by visual experience during development: in the tectum of adult owls reared with an optically displaced visual field, neurons are tuned to abnormal values of ITD that are close to the values produced by sounds at the locations of their optically displaced VRFs. In this study we investigated the dynamics of this experience-dependent plasticity. 2. Owls were raised from shortly after eye-opening (14-22 days of age) with prismatic spectacles that displaced the visual field to the right or left. Starting at approximately 60 days of age, multiunit recordings were made to assess the tuning of tectal neurons to ITD presented via earphones. In the earliest recording sessions (ages 60-80 days), ITD tuning was often close to normal, even though the majority of the owls' previous experience was with an altered correspondence between ITD values and VRF locations. Subsequently, over a period of weeks, responses to the normal range of ITDs were gradually eliminated while responses to values of ITD corresponding with the optically displaced VRF were acquired. 3. At intermediate stages in this process, the ITD tuning at many sites became abnormally broad, so that responses were simultaneously present to both normal values of ITD and to values corresponding with the optically displaced VRF. At this stage the latencies and durations of newly acquired responses systematically exceeded the latencies and durations of the responses to normal values of ITD. 4. Dynamic changes in ITD tuning similar to those recorded in the optic tectum also occurred in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX), which provides the major source of ascending auditory input to the tectum. 5. These results suggest the

  1. Adaptation in the auditory midbrain of the barn owl (Tyto alba) induced by tonal double stimulation.

    PubMed

    Singheiser, Martin; Ferger, Roland; von Campenhausen, Mark; Wagner, Hermann

    2012-02-01

    During hunting, the barn owl typically listens to several successive sounds as generated, for example, by rustling mice. As auditory cells exhibit adaptive coding, the earlier stimuli may influence the detection of the later stimuli. This situation was mimicked with two double-stimulus paradigms, and adaptation was investigated in neurons of the barn owl's central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. Each double-stimulus paradigm consisted of a first or reference stimulus and a second stimulus (probe). In one paradigm (second level tuning), the probe level was varied, whereas in the other paradigm (inter-stimulus interval tuning), the stimulus interval between the first and second stimulus was changed systematically. Neurons were stimulated with monaural pure tones at the best frequency, while the response was recorded extracellularly. The responses to the probe were significantly reduced when the reference stimulus and probe had the same level and the inter-stimulus interval was short. This indicated response adaptation, which could be compensated for by an increase of the probe level of 5-7 dB over the reference level, if the latter was in the lower half of the dynamic range of a neuron's rate-level function. Recovery from adaptation could be best fitted with a double exponential showing a fast (1.25 ms) and a slow (800 ms) component. These results suggest that neurons in the auditory system show dynamic coding properties to tonal double stimulation that might be relevant for faithful upstream signal propagation. Furthermore, the overall stimulus level of the masker also seems to affect the recovery capabilities of auditory neurons.

  2. Auditory and multisensory responses in the tectofugal pathway of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Reches, Amit; Gutfreund, Yoram

    2009-07-29

    A common visual pathway in all amniotes is the tectofugal pathway connecting the optic tectum with the forebrain. The tectofugal pathway has been suggested to be involved in tasks such as orienting and attention, tasks that may benefit from integrating information across senses. Nevertheless, previous research has characterized the tectofugal pathway as strictly visual. Here we recorded from two stations along the tectofugal pathway of the barn owl: the thalamic nucleus rotundus (nRt) and the forebrain entopallium (E). We report that neurons in E and nRt respond to auditory stimuli as well as to visual stimuli. Visual tuning to the horizontal position of the stimulus and auditory tuning to the corresponding spatial cue (interaural time difference) were generally broad, covering a large portion of the contralateral space. Responses to spatiotemporally coinciding multisensory stimuli were mostly enhanced above the responses to the single modality stimuli, whereas spatially misaligned stimuli were not. Results from inactivation experiments suggest that the auditory responses in E are of tectal origin. These findings support the notion that the tectofugal pathway is involved in multisensory processing. In addition, the findings suggest that the ascending auditory information to the forebrain is not as bottlenecked through the auditory thalamus as previously thought.

  3. Incremental training increases the plasticity of the auditory space map in adult barn owls.

    PubMed

    Linkenhoker, Brie A; Knudsen, Eric I

    2002-09-19

    The plasticity in the central nervous system that underlies learning is generally more restricted in adults than in young animals. In one well-studied example, the auditory localization pathway has been shown to be far more limited in its capacity to adjust to abnormal experience in adult than in juvenile barn owls. Plasticity in this pathway has been induced by exposing owls to prismatic spectacles that cause a large, horizontal shift of the visual field. With prisms, juveniles learn new associations between auditory cues, such as interaural time difference (ITD), and locations in visual space, and acquire new neurophysiological maps of ITD in the optic tectum, whereas adults do neither. Here we show that when the prismatic shift is experienced in small increments, maps of ITD in adults do change adaptively. Once established through incremental training, new ITD maps can be reacquired with a single large prismatic shift. Our results show that there is a substantially greater capacity for plasticity in adults than was previously recognized and highlight a principled strategy for tapping this capacity that could be applied in other areas of the adult central nervous system.

  4. Reverse correlation analysis of auditory-nerve fiber responses to broadband noise in a bird, the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Bertrand; Köppl, Christine; Peña, Jose L

    2015-02-01

    While the barn owl has been extensively used as a model for sound localization and temporal coding, less is known about the mechanisms at its sensory organ, the basilar papilla (homologous to the mammalian cochlea). In this paper, we characterize, for the first time in the avian system, the auditory nerve fiber responses to broadband noise using reverse correlation. We use the derived impulse responses to study the processing of sounds in the cochlea of the barn owl. We characterize the frequency tuning, phase, instantaneous frequency, and relationship to input level of impulse responses. We show that, even features as complex as the phase dependence on input level, can still be consistent with simple linear filtering. Where possible, we compare our results with mammalian data. We identify salient differences between the barn owl and mammals, e.g., a much smaller frequency glide slope and a bimodal impulse response for the barn owl, and discuss what they might indicate about cochlear mechanics. While important for research on the avian auditory system, the results from this paper also allow us to examine hypotheses put forward for the mammalian cochlea.

  5. Learning Drives Differential Clustering of Axodendritic Contacts in the Barn Owl Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Thomas J.; Rodriguez-Contreras, Adrian; Trinh, Angela; Bailey, Robert; DeBello, William M.

    2008-01-01

    Computational models predict that experience-driven clustering of coactive synapses is a mechanism for information storage. This prediction has remained untested, because it is difficult to approach through time-lapse analysis. Here, we exploit a unique feature of the barn owl auditory localization pathway that permits retrospective analysis of prelearned and postlearned circuitry: owls reared wearing prismatic spectacles develop an adaptive microcircuit that coexists with the native one but can be analyzed independently based on topographic location. To visualize the clustering of axodendritic contacts (potential synapses) within these zones, coactive axons were labeled by focal injection of fluorescent tracer and their target dendrites labeled with an antibody directed against CaMKII (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II, α subunit). Using high-resolution confocal imaging, we measured the distance from each contact to its nearest neighbor on the same branch of dendrite. We found that the distribution of intercontact distances for the adaptive zone was shifted dramatically toward smaller values compared with distributions for either the maladaptive zone of the same animals or the adaptive zone of normal juveniles, which indicates that a dynamic clustering of contacts had occurred. Moreover, clustering in the normal zone was greater in normal juveniles than in prism-adapted owls, indicative of declustering. These data demonstrate that clustering is bidirectionally adjustable and tuned by behaviorally relevant experience. The microanatomical configurations in all zones of both experimental groups matched the functional circuit strengths that were assessed by in vivo electrophysiological mapping. Thus, the observed changes in clustering are appropriately positioned to contribute to the adaptive strengthening and weakening of auditory-driven responses. PMID:18596170

  6. Auditory tuning for spatial cues in the barn owl basal ganglia.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Y E; Knudsen, E I

    1994-07-01

    1. The basal ganglia are known to contribute to spatially guided behavior. In this study, we investigated the auditory response properties of neurons in the barn owl paleostriatum augmentum (PA), the homologue of the mammalian striatum. The data suggest that the barn owl PA is specialized to process spatial cues and, like the mammalian striatum, is involved in spatial behavior. 2. Single- and multiunit sites were recorded extracellularly in ketamine-anesthetized owls. Spatial receptive fields were measured with a free-field sound source, and tuning for frequency and interaural differences in timing (ITD) and level (ILD) was assessed using digitally synthesized dichotic stimuli. 3. Spatial receptive fields measured at nine multiunit sites were tuned to restricted regions of space: tuning widths at half-maximum response averaged 22 +/- 9.6 degrees (mean +/- SD) in azimuth and 54 +/- 22 degrees in elevation. 4. PA sites responded strongly to broadband sounds. When frequency tuning could be measured (n = 145/201 sites), tuning was broad, averaging 2.7 kHz at half-maximum response, and tended to be centered near the high end of the owl's audible range. The mean best frequency was 6.2 kHz. 5. All PA sites (n = 201) were selective for both ITD and ILD. ITD tuning curves typically exhibited a single, large "primary" peak and often smaller, "secondary" peaks at ITDs ipsilateral and/or contralateral to the primary peak. Three indices quantified the selectivity of PA sites for ITD. The first index, which was the percent difference between the minimum and maximum response as a function of ITD, averaged 100 +/- 29%. The second index, which represented the size of the largest secondary peak relative to that of the primary peak, averaged 49 +/- 23%. The third index, which was the width of the primary ITD peak at half-maximum response, averaged only 66 +/- 35 microseconds. 6. The majority (96%; n = 192/201) of PA sites were tuned to a single "best" value of ILD. The widths of ILD

  7. The sensitive period for auditory localization in barn owls is limited by age, not by experience.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Knudsen, P F

    1986-07-01

    Early in life, the barn owl passes through a sensitive period during which it can interpret and make use of abnormal auditory cues for accurate sound localization. This capacity is lost at about 8 weeks of age, just after the head and ears reach adult size (knudsen et al. 1984a). The end of the sensitive period could be triggered either by an age-dependent process or by the exposure of the auditory system to stable or adult-like cues. To distinguish between these alternatives, we subjected baby owls to constant abnormal cues (chronic monaural occlusion) or to frequently changing abnormal cues (alternating monaural occlusion) throughout the sensitive period. In the first group of animals (n = 2), one ear was plugged continuously until 73 or 79 d of age, respectively, and then the earplug was switched to the opposite ear. Although these animals adjusted sound localization accuracy during the initial chronic monaural occlusion, they could not localize sounds at all after the earplug was switched to the opposite ear, and they remained unable to localize sounds as long as the opposite ear remained occluded (7 and 27 weeks, respectively). When the second monaural occlusion was finally removed, both birds localized sounds with errors that were similar to the errors they exhibited immediately after removal of the first monaural occlusion. One bird that was 127-d-old at the time the second earplug was removed corrected its localization error; the other bird, 250-d-old when the second earplug was removed, did not.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  8. Emergence of Multiplicative Auditory Responses in the Midbrain of the Barn Owl

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Brian J.; Peña, José Luis; Konishi, Masakazu

    2008-01-01

    Space-specific neurons in the barn owl’s auditory space map gain spatial selectivity through tuning to combinations of the interaural time difference (ITD) and interaural level difference (ILD). The combination of ITD and ILD in the subthreshold responses of space-specific neurons in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICx) is well described by a multiplication of ITD- and ILD-dependent components. It is unknown, however, how ITD and ILD are combined at the site of ITD and ILD convergence in the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICcl) and therefore whether ICx is the first site in the auditory pathway where multiplicative tuning to ITD-and ILD-dependent signals occurs. We used extracellular re-cording of single neurons to determine how ITD and ILD are combined in ICcl of the anesthetized barn owl (Tyto alba). A comparison of additive, multiplicative, and linear-threshold models of neural responses shows that ITD and ILD are combined nonlinearly in ICcl, but the interaction of ITD and ILD is not uniformly multiplicative over the sample. A subset (61%) of the neural responses is well described by the multiplicative model, indicating that ICcl is the first site where multiplicative tuning to ITD- and ILD-dependent signals occurs. ICx, however, is the first site where multiplicative tuning is observed consistently. A network model shows that a linear combination of ICcl responses to ITD–ILD pairs is sufficient to produce the multiplicative subthreshold responses to ITD and ILD seen in ICx. PMID:17615132

  9. Early life exposure to noise alters the representation of auditory localization cues in the auditory space map of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Efrati, Adi; Gutfreund, Yoram

    2011-05-01

    The auditory space map in the optic tectum (OT) (also known as superior colliculus in mammals) relies on the tuning of neurons to auditory localization cues that correspond to specific sound source locations. This study investigates the effects of early auditory experiences on the neural representation of binaural auditory localization cues. Young barn owls were raised in continuous omnidirectional broadband noise from before hearing onset to the age of ∼ 65 days. Data from these birds were compared with data from age-matched control owls and from normal adult owls (>200 days). In noise-reared owls, the tuning of tectal neurons for interaural level differences and interaural time differences was broader than in control owls. Moreover, in neurons from noise-reared owls, the interaural level differences tuning was biased towards sounds louder in the contralateral ear. A similar bias appeared, but to a much lesser extent, in age-matched control owls and was absent in adult owls. To follow the recovery process from noise exposure, we continued to survey the neural representations in the OT for an extended period of up to several months after removal of the noise. We report that all the noise-rearing effects tended to recover gradually following exposure to a normal acoustic environment. The results suggest that deprivation from experiencing normal acoustic localization cues disrupts the maturation of the auditory space map in the OT.

  10. Response of auditory units in the barn owl's inferior colliculus to continuously varying interaural phase differences.

    PubMed

    Moiseff, A; Haresign, T

    1992-06-01

    1. We studied the response of single units in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICc) of the barn owl (Tyto alba) to continuously varying interaural phase differences (IPDs) and static IPDs. Interaural phase was varied in two ways: continuously, by delivering tones to each ear that varied by a few hertz (binaural beat, Fig. 1), and discretely, by delaying in fixed steps the phase of sound delivered to one ear relative to the other (static phase). Static presentations were repeated at several IPDs to characterize interaural phase sensitivity. 2. Units sensitive to IPDs responded to the binaural beat stimulus over a broad range of delta f(Fig. 4). We selected a 3-Hz delta f for most of our comparative measurements on the basis of constraints imposed by our stimulus generation system and because it allowed us to reduce the influence of responses to stimulus onset and offset (Fig. 3A). 3. Characteristic interaural time or phase sensitivity obtained by the use of the binaural beat stimulus were comparable with those obtained by the use of the static technique (Fig. 5; r2 = 0.93, Fig. 6). 4. The binaural beat stimulus facilitated the measurement of characteristic delay (CD) and characteristic phase (CP) of auditory units. We demonstrated that units in the owl's inferior colliculus (IC) include those that are maximally excited by specific IPDs (CP = 0 or 1.0) as well as those that are maximally suppressed by specific IPDs (CP = 0.5; Figs. 7 and 8). 5. The selectivity of units sensitive to IPD or interaural time difference (ITD) were weakly influenced by interaural intensity difference (IID).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  11. Formation of temporal-feature maps in the barn owl's auditory system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempter, Richard

    2000-03-01

    Computational maps are of central importance to the brain's representation of the outside world. The question of how maps are formed during ontogenetic development is a subject of intense research (Hubel & Wiesel, Proc R Soc B 198:1, 1977; Buonomano & Merzenich, Annu Rev Neurosci 21:149, 1998). The development in the primary visual cortex is in principle well explained compared to that in the auditory system, partly because the mechanisms underlying the formation of temporal-feature maps are hardly understood (Carr, Annu Rev Neurosci 16:223, 1993). Through a modelling study based on computer simulations in a system of spiking neurons a solution is offered to the problem of how a map of interaural time differences is set up in the nucleus laminaris of the barn owl, as a typical example. An array of neurons is able to represent interaural time differences in an orderly manner, viz., a map, if homosynaptic spike-based Hebbian learning (Gerstner et al, Nature 383:76, 1996; Kempter et al, Phys Rev E 59:4498, 1999) is combined with a presynaptic propagation of synaptic modifications (Fitzsimonds & Poo, Physiol Rev 78:143, 1998). The latter may be orders of magnitude weaker than the former. The algorithm is a key mechanism to the formation of temporal-feature maps on a submillisecond time scale.

  12. Auditory Responses in the Barn Owl's Nucleus Laminaris to Clicks: Impulse Response and Signal Analysis of Neurophonic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Hermann; Brill, Sandra; Kempter, Richard; Carr, Catherine E.

    2009-01-01

    We used acoustic clicks to study the impulse response of the neurophonic potential in the barn owl's nucleus laminaris. Clicks evoked a complex oscillatory neural response with a component that reflected the best frequency measured with tonal stimuli. The envelope of this component was obtained from the analytic signal created using the Hilbert transform. The time courses of the envelope and carrier waveforms were characterized by fitting them with filters. The envelope was better fitted with a Gaussian than with the envelope of a gamma-tone function. The carrier was better fitted with a frequency glide than with a constant instantaneous frequency. The change of the instantaneous frequency with time was better fitted with a linear fit than with a saturating nonlinearity. Frequency glides had not been observed in the bird's auditory system before. The glides were similar to those observed in the mammalian auditory nerve. Response amplitude, group delay, frequency, and phase depended in a systematic way on click level. In most cases, response amplitude decreased linearly as stimulus level decreased, while group delay, phase, and frequency increased linearly as level decreased. Thus the impulse response of the neurophonic potential in the nucleus laminaris of barn owls reflects many characteristics also observed in responses of the basilar membrane and auditory nerve in mammals. PMID:19535487

  13. Functional Delay of Myelination of Auditory Delay Lines in the Nucleus Laminaris of the Barn Owl

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Shih-Min; Carr, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    In the barn owl, maps of interaural time difference (ITD) are created in the nucleus laminaris (NL) by interdigitating axons that act as delay lines. Adult delay line axons are myelinated, and this myelination is timely, coinciding with the attainment of adult head size, and stable ITD cues. The proximal portions of the axons become myelinated in late embryonic life, but the delay line portions of the axon in NL remain unmyelinated until the first postnatal week. Myelination of the delay lines peaks at the third week posthatch, and myelinating oligodendrocyte density approaches adult levels by one month, when the head reaches its adult width. Migration of oligodendrocyte progenitors into NL and the subsequent onset of myelination may be restricted by a glial barrier in late embryonic stages and the first posthatch week, since the loss of tenascin-C immunoreactivity in NL is correlated with oligodendrocyte progenitor migration into NL. PMID:17918244

  14. Experience alters the spatial tuning of auditory units in the optic tectum during a sensitive period in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I

    1985-11-01

    The auditory spatial tuning of bimodal (auditory-visual) units in the optic tectum of the barn owl was altered by raising animals with one ear occluded. Changes in spatial tuning were assessed by comparing the location of a unit's auditory best area with that of its visual receptive field. As shown previously, auditory best areas are aligned with visual receptive fields in the tecta of normal birds (Knudsen, E. I. (1982) J. Neurosci. 2: 1177-1194). It was demonstrated in this study that, when birds were raised with one ear occluded, best areas and visual receptive fields were aligned only as long as the earplug was in place. When the earplug was removed, best areas and visual receptive fields became misaligned, indicating that a change in auditory spatial tuning had taken place during the period of occlusion. However, in a bird that received an earplug as an adult, no such alterations in auditory spatial tuning were observed; even after 1 year of monaural occlusion, auditory best areas and visual receptive fields were misaligned so long as the earplug was in place, and were aligned when the earplug was removed. These results suggest that exposure to abnormal localization cues modifies the auditory spatial tuning of tectal units only during a restricted, sensitive period early in development. After the earplug was removed from a juvenile bird that had been raised with an occluded ear, the initial misalignment between auditory best areas and visual receptive fields decreased gradually over a period of weeks. In contrast, when earplugs were removed from two adult birds that had been raised with monaural occlusions, auditory-visual misalignments persisted for as long as measurements were made, which was up to 1 year after earplug removal. These data indicate that auditory cues become permanently associated with locations in visual space during a critical period which draws to a close at about the age when the animal reaches adulthood. Horseradish peroxidase was

  15. Vernier acuity in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Harmening, Wolf M; Göbbels, Katrin; Wagner, Hermann

    2007-03-01

    Vernier acuity thresholds were obtained psychophysically in three adult barn owls with vertical bars and sinusoidal gratings. A minimal displacement threshold of 0.58 arcmin was observed with the bar stimulus under binocular viewing conditions. The mean binocular bar threshold was 2.51 arcmin. Bar thresholds were lower than grating thresholds. Monocular thresholds, obtained in one bird only, were typically higher than binocular thresholds. With grating acuity being about 3.75 arcmin in this species, we conclude that the findings reported here indicate that vernier acuity is hyperacute in the barn owl. The data presented here are the first demonstration of vernier acuity thresholds in birds.

  16. Binaural tuning of auditory units in the forebrain archistriatal gaze fields of the barn owl: local organization but no space map.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Y E; Knudsen, E I

    1995-07-01

    We identified a region in the archistriatum of the barn owl forebrain that contains neurons sensitive to auditory stimuli. Nearly all of these neurons are tuned for binaural localization cues. The archistriatum is known to be the primary source of motor-related output from the avian forebrain and, in barn owls, contributes to the control of gaze, much like the frontal eye fields in monkeys. The auditory region is located in the medial portion of the archistriatum, at the level of the anterior commissure, and is within the region of the archistriatum from which head saccades can be elicited by electrical microstimulation (see preceding companion article, Knudsen et al., 1995). Free-field measurements revealed that auditory sites have large, spatial receptive fields. However, within these large receptive fields, responses are tuned sharply for sound source location. Dichotic measurements showed that auditory sites are tuned broadly for frequency and that the majority are tuned to particular values of interaural time differences and interaural level differences, the principal cues used by barn owls for sound localization. The tuning of sites to these binaural cues is essentially independent of sound level. The auditory properties of units in the medial archistriatum are similar to those of units in the optic tectum, a structure that also contributes to gaze control. Unlike the optic tectum, however, the auditory region of the archistriatum does not contain a single, continuous auditory map of space. Instead, it is organized into dorsoventral clusters of sites with similar binaural (spatial) tuning. The different representations of auditory space in closely related structures in the forebrain (archistriatum) and midbrain (optic tectum) probably reflect the fact that the forebrain contributes to a wide variety of sensorimotor tasks more complicated than gaze control.

  17. Rodenticides in British barn owls.

    PubMed

    Newton, I; Wyllie, I; Freestone, P

    1990-01-01

    Out of 145 Barn Owls found dead through accidents (66%), starvation (32%), shooting (2%) and poisoning (<1%), 10% contained residues of rodenticides, difenacoum or brodifacoum, in their livers. Difenacoum was in the range 0.005-0.106 microg g(-1) fresh weight, and brodifacoum was in the range 0.019-0.515 microg g(-1). Minimum levels of detection were about 0.005 microg g(-1) for both chemicals. Mice fed for 1 day on food containing difenacoum and brodifacoum died after 2-11 days. Within these mice residues were present at greater concentration in the liver than in the rest of the carcass. The mean mass of residue in a whole 35g mouse was estimated at 10.17 microg (range 4.73-20.65 microg) for difenacoum and 15.36 microg (range 8.07-26.55) for brodifacoum. Such poisoned mice were fed to Barn Owls for successive periods of 1, 3 and 6 days. All six owls fed on difenacoum-dosed mice survived all three treatments, in which up to an estimated 101.7 microg of difenacoum was consumed, and the coagulation times of their blood returned to near normal in less than 5-23 days. Four of the six owls fed on brodifacoum-dosed mice died 6-17 days after the 1-day treatment, but the survivors also survived the 3-day and 6-day treatments. Those that died had each eaten 3 mice, with a combined weight of about 105g and a total brodifacoum content of about 46.07 microg, which was equivalent to a dose of 0.150-0.182 mg kg(-1) of owl body weight. After death these owls had 0.63-1.25 micro g(-1) of brodifacoum in their livers. Blood from the survivors would not coagulate at 9 days post-treatment, but did so at 16 days in one bird and between 38 and 78 days in the other. It is concluded that: (1) Barn Owls in Britain are now widely exposed to second-generation rodenticides; (2) not all owls exposed to these chemicals are likely to receive a lethal dose; (3) brodifacoum is more toxic to owls than difenacoum; and (4) while there is yet no evidence that rodenticides have had any appreciable

  18. Responses of neurons in the auditory pathway of the barn owl to partially correlated binaural signals.

    PubMed

    Albeck, Y; Konishi, M

    1995-10-01

    1. Extracellular single-unit recording in anesthetized barn owls was used to study neuronal response to dichotic stimuli of variable binaural correlation (BC). Recordings were made in the output fibers of nucleus laminaris (NL), the anterior division of the ventral lateral lemniscal nucleus (VLVa), the core of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICcC), the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICcLS), and the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICx). 2. The response of all neurons sensitive to interaural time difference (ITD) varied with BC. The relationship between BC and impulse number fits a linear, a parabolic, or a ramp model. A linear or parabolic model fits most neurons in low-level nuclei. Higher order neurons in ICx did not respond to noise bursts with strong negative binaural correlation, creating a ramp-like response to BC. 3. A neuron's ability to detect ITD varied as a function of BC. Conversely, a neuron's response to BC changed with ITD. Neurons in NL, VLVa, and ICcC show almost periodic ITD response curves. In these neurons peaks and troughs of ITD response curves diminished as BC decreased, creating a flat ITD response when BC = 0. When BC was set to -1, the most favorable ITD became the least favorable one and vice versa. The ITD response curve of ICx neurons usually has a single dominant peak. The response of those neurons to a negatively correlated noise pair (BC = -1) showed two ITD peaks, flanking the position of the primary peak. 4. The parabolic BC response of NL neurons fits the prediction of the cross-correlation model, assuming half-wave rectification of the sound by the cochlea. Linear response is not predicted by the model. However, the parabolic and the linear neurons probably do not belong to two distinct groups as the difference between them is not statistically significant. Thus, the cross-correlation model provides a good description of the binaural response not only in NL but also in

  19. Adaptive plasticity of the auditory space map in the optic tectum of adult and baby barn owls in response to external ear modification.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Esterly, S D; Olsen, J F

    1994-01-01

    1. This study demonstrates the influence of experience on the establishment and maintenance of the auditory map of space in the optic tectum of the barn owl. Auditory experience was altered either by preventing the structures of the external ears (the facial ruff and preaural flaps) from appearing in baby barn owls (baby ruff-cut owls) or by removing these structures in adults (adult ruff-cut owls). These structures shape the binaural cues used for localizing sounds in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. 2. The acoustic effects of removing the external ear structures were measured using probe tube microphones placed in the ear canals. In both baby and adult ruff-cut owls, the spatial pattern of binaural localization cues was dramatically different from normal: interaural level difference (ILD) changed with azimuth instead of with elevation, the rate of change of ILD across space was decreased relative to normal, and the rate of change of interaural time difference (ITD) across frontal space was increased relative to normal. 3. The neurophysiological representations of ITD and ILD in the optic tectum were measured before and > or = 3 mo after ruff removal in adults and beginning at 4.5 months of age in baby ruff-cut owls. Multiunit tuning to ITD and to ILD was measured using dichotic stimulation in ketamine-anesthetized owls. The tectal maps of ITD and ILD were reconstructed using visual receptive field location as a marker for recording site location in the optic tectum. 4. Adjustment of the tectal map of ITD to the altered spatial pattern of acoustic ITD was essentially complete in adults as well as in baby ruff-cut owls. This adjustment changed the magnification of ITD across the tectum, with resultant changes in ITD tuning at individual tectal sites of up to approximately 25 microseconds (approximately 5% of the physiological range) relative to normal values. 5. Adaptation of the tectal ILD map to the ruff-cut spatial pattern of acoustic ILD was

  20. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Taschenberger, G; Manley, G A

    1997-08-01

    Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAE) were studied in a bird, the barn owl. They were found in 79% of the ears investigated, and each emitting ear generated on average 1.9 emissions. Their peak sound-pressure levels lay between -5.8 and 10.3 dB, and their centre frequencies between 2.3 and 10.5 kHz. The SOAE originated primarily in the upper quarter of the animal's hearing range, and derived from a specialized area previously described as being within an auditory fovea. Indeed, 93% of the emissions had centre frequencies above 7.5 kHz. The median of the frequency distances between neighbouring SOAE was 406 Hz (0.058 oct). The 3 dB bandwidth of the emissions depended on their amplitude above the noise: for SOAE whose level exceeded 10 dB above the noise floor, the 3 dB bandwidths ranged between 4.5 and 11.4 Hz. SOAE frequencies were temperature sensitive. Raising the temperature shifted the emissions to higher frequencies, and vice versa (the frequency shifted on average 0.039 oct/degrees C). External tones could suppress the level of SOAE, an effect that was highly tuned. For SOAE with frequencies between 2.5 and 10.5 kHz, the Q(10dB) values of 2 dB iso-suppression tuning curves (STC) varied from 1.07 to 10.40. The best thresholds of 2 dB STC were generally below 15 dB SPL.

  1. Propagation of barn owls in captivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maestrelli, J.R.

    1973-01-01

    Some aspects of the biology and life history of native birds often are more readily obtained in captivity than in the field. This is particularly true in evaluating the effects of pesticides or other pollutants on birds, because establishing cause-and-effect relationships requires experimental studies. Few wild species have been bred in captivity with sufficient success to permit the large-scale studies that are needed. This paper reports successful efforts to breed Barn Owls (Tyto alba prolinicola) in captivity and presents biological data concerning reproduction.

  2. How barn owls (Tyto alba) visually follow moving voles (Microtus socialis) before attacking them.

    PubMed

    Fux, Michal; Eilam, David

    2009-09-07

    The present study focused on the movements that owls perform before they swoop down on their prey. The working hypothesis was that owl head movements reflect the capacity to efficiently follow visually and auditory a moving prey. To test this hypothesis, five tame barn owls (Tyto alba) were each exposed 10 times to a live vole in a laboratory setting that enabled us to simultaneously record the behavior of both owl and vole. Bi-dimensional analysis of the horizontal and vertical projections of movements revealed that owl head movements increased in amplitude parallel to the vole's direction of movement (sideways or away from/toward the owl). However, the owls also performed relatively large repetitive horizontal head movements when the voles were progressing in any direction, suggesting that these movements were critical for the owl to accurately locate the prey, independent of prey behavior. From the pattern of head movements we conclude that owls orient toward the prospective clash point, and then return to the target itself (the vole) - a pattern that fits an interception rather than a tracking mode of following a moving target. The large horizontal component of head movement in following live prey may indicate that barn owls either have a horizontally narrow fovea or that these movements serve in forming a motion parallax along with preserving image acuity on a horizontally wide fovea.

  3. Evoked cochlear potentials in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Köppl, Christine; Gleich, Otto

    2007-06-01

    Gross electrical responses to tone bursts were measured in adult barn owls, using a single-ended wire electrode placed onto the round window. Cochlear microphonic (CM) and compound action potential (CAP) responses were evaluated separately. Both potentials were physiologically vulnerable. Selective abolishment of neural responses at high frequencies confirmed that the CAP was of neural origin, while the CM remained unaffected. CAP latencies decreased with increasing stimulus frequency and CAP amplitudes were correlated with known variations in afferent fibre numbers from the different papillar regions. This suggests a local origin of the CAP along the tonotopic gradient within the basilar papilla. The audiograms derived from CAP and CM threshold responses both showed a broad frequency region of optimal sensitivity, very similar to behavioural and single-unit data, but shifted upward in absolute sensitivity. CAP thresholds rose above 8 kHz, while CM responses showed unchanged sensitivity up to 10 kHz.

  4. Evolutionary conservation of Kv3.1 in the barn owl Tyto alba.

    PubMed

    Kullmann, Lars; Schlüter, Tina; Wagner, Hermann; Nothwang, Hans Gerd

    2013-01-01

    For prey capture in the dark, the barn owl Tyto alba has evolved into an auditory specialist with an exquisite capability of sound localization. Adaptations include asymmetrical ears, enlarged auditory processing centers, the utilization of minute interaural time differences, and phase locking along the entire hearing range up to 10 kHz. Adaptations on the molecular level have not yet been investigated. Here, we tested the hypothesis that divergence in the amino acid sequence of the voltage-gated K(+) channel Kv3.1 contributes to the accuracy and high firing rates of auditory neurons in the barn owl. We therefore cloned both splice variants of Kcnc1, the gene encoding Kv3.1. Both splice variants, Kcnc1a and Kcnc1b, encode amino acids identical to those of the chicken, an auditory generalist. Expression analyses confirmed neural-restricted expression of the channel. In summary, our data reveal strong evolutionary conservation of Kcnc1 in the barn owl and point to other genes involved in auditory specializations of this animal. The data also demonstrate the feasibility to address neuroethological questions in organisms with no reference genome by molecular approaches. This will open new avenues for neuroethologists working in these organisms. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Otoacoustic interrelationships of the barn owl

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Manley, Geoffrey A.; Köppl, Christine

    2015-12-01

    Significant debate still exists about the biophysical mechanisms at work in otoacoustic emission (OAE) generation and how such may differ between mammals and non-mammals given gross morphological differences (e.g., existence of basilar membrane traveling waves, degree of tectorial membrane coupling). To further elucidate general principles at work, we examined the barn owl for interrelationships between spontaneous emissions (SOAEs) and those evoked using a single tone (SFOAEs). First, most ears exhibited SOAEs as a stable periodic `rippling' whose peak-to-peak spacing was relatively constant (˜0.4 kHz). Some ears showed substantially larger narrowband peaks, although their statistical distributions were highly noisy. Second, significant interactions between a low-level tone and SOAE activity were observed via an interference pattern as the tone frequency was swept. Using a suppression paradigm to extract SFOAEs as the residual, the magnitude exhibited a stable pattern of peaks and valleys unique to each ear. Third, SFOAE phase exhibited significant accumulation as frequency was swept, with a phase-gradient delay of approximately 2 ms that was constant across frequency. The amount of SFOAE phase accumulation between adjacent SOAE peaks tended to cluster about an integral number of cycles, as previously observed for humans. Taken together, our data suggest that the principles underlying how active hair cells work together (e.g., entrainment, phase coherence) are shared between widely different inner ear morphologies, leading to the generation of OAEs with similar properties.

  6. Microsatellite markers characterized in the barn owl (Tyto alba) and of high utility in other owls (Strigiformes: AVES).

    PubMed

    Klein, Akos; Horsburgh, Gavin J; Küpper, Clemens; Major, Agnes; Lee, Patricia L M; Hoffmann, Gyula; Mátics, Róbert; Dawson, Deborah A

    2009-11-01

    We have identified 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the barn owl (Tyto alba), five from testing published owl loci and 10 from testing non-owl loci, including loci known to be of high utility in passerines and shorebirds. All 15 loci were sequenced in barn owl, and new primer sets were designed for eight loci. The 15 polymorphic loci displayed two to 26 alleles in 56-58 barn owls. When tested in 10 other owl species (n = 1-6 individuals), between four and nine loci were polymorphic per species. These loci are suitable for studies of population structure and parentage in owls. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. In-flight corrections in free-flying barn owls (Tyto alba) during sound localization tasks.

    PubMed

    Hausmann, Laura; Plachta, Dennis T T; Singheiser, Martin; Brill, Sandra; Wagner, Hermann

    2008-09-01

    Barn owls localize a stationary auditory target with high accuracy. They might also be able to hit a target that is intermittently moving while the owl is approaching. If so, there should be a critical delay before strike initiation, up to which the owl can adapt its flight path to a new stimulus position. In this study, this critical stimulus delay was determined in a three-dimensional free-flight paradigm. Barn owls localized a pulsed broadband noise while sitting on a perch in total darkness. This initial signal stopped with the owl's take-off and an in-flight stimulus (target sound), lasting 200 ms, was introduced at variable time delays (300-1200 ms) during the approximate flight time of 1300 ms. The owls responded to the in-flight signal with a corrective head and body turn. The percentage of trials in which correction turns occurred (40-80%) depended upon the individual bird, but was independent of the stimulus delay within a range of 800 ms after take-off. Correction turns strongly decreased at delays >or=800 ms. The landing precision of the owls, defined as their distance to the in-flight speaker, did not decrease with increasing stimulus delay, but decreased if the owl failed to perform a correction turn towards that speaker. Landing precision was higher for a short (50 cm) than for a large (100 cm) distance between the initial and the new target. Thus, the ability of barn owls to adapt their flight path to a new sound target depends on the in-flight stimulus delay, as well as on the distance between initial and novel targets.

  8. Envelope contributions to the representation of interaural time difference in the forebrain of barn owls.

    PubMed

    Tellers, Philipp; Lehmann, Jessica; Führ, Hartmut; Wagner, Hermann

    2017-07-05

    Birds and mammals use the interaural time difference (ITD) for azimuthal sound localization. While barn owls can use the ITD of the stimulus carrier frequency over nearly their entire hearing range, mammals have to utilize the ITD of the stimulus envelope to extend the upper frequency limit of ITD-based sound localization. ITD is computed and processed in a dedicated neural circuit that consists of two pathways. In the barn owl, ITD representation is more complex in the forebrain than in the midbrain pathway due to the combination of two inputs that represent different ITDs. We speculated that one of the two inputs includes an envelope contribution. To estimate the envelope contribution, we recorded ITD response functions for correlated and anti-correlated noise stimuli in the barn owl's auditory arcopallium. Our findings indicate that barn owls, like mammals, represent both carrier and envelope ITD of overlapping frequency ranges, supporting the hypothesis that carrier and envelope ITD based localization are complementary beyond a mere extension of the upper frequency limit. Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology.

  9. Morphometry of auricular feathers of barn owls (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Koch, U R; Wagner, H

    2002-02-01

    In all owl species, the facial plumage forms a parabolic dish, the facial ruff, which is most conspicuous in the the barn owl (Tyto alba). The center of the ruff is formed by auricular feathers. Such feathers are also found on the preaural flaps which cover the ear openings, and in the region of the beak. In this study, we compare the different types of auricular feathers of the barn owl with contour feathers from the neck. Auricular feathers are characterised by an open vane structure and fewer barbs as compared to contour feathers. Auricular feathers also have fewer distal and proximal barbules than contour feathers. The open vane of the auricular feather results from an acute angle between the barb and the basis of the barbules, and from the extension of the pennula parallel to the barbs. These reductions are differently expressed in the three different types of auricular feathers investigated here and correspond with their function (protecting the ruff from dust).

  10. Variability reduction in interaural time difference tuning in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Brian J; Konishi, Masakazu

    2008-08-01

    The interaural time difference (ITD) is the primary auditory cue used by the barn owl for localization in the horizontal direction. ITD is initially computed by circuits consisting of axonal delay lines from one of the cochlear nuclei and coincidence detector neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL). NL projects directly to the anterior part of the dorsal lateral lemniscal nucleus (LLDa), and this area projects to the core of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICcc) in the midbrain. To show the selectivity of an NL neuron for ITD requires averaging of responses over several stimulus presentations for each ITD. In contrast, ICcc neurons detect their preferred ITD in a single burst of stimulus. We recorded extracellularly the responses of LLDa neurons to ITD in anesthetized barn owls and show that this ability is already present in LLDa, raising the possibility that ICcc inherits its noise reduction property from LLDa.

  11. How the owl resolves auditory coding ambiguity

    PubMed Central

    Mazer, James A.

    1998-01-01

    The barn owl (Tyto alba) uses interaural time difference (ITD) cues to localize sounds in the horizontal plane. Low-order binaural auditory neurons with sharp frequency tuning act as narrow-band coincidence detectors; such neurons respond equally well to sounds with a particular ITD and its phase equivalents and are said to be phase ambiguous. Higher-order neurons with broad frequency tuning are unambiguously selective for single ITDs in response to broad-band sounds and show little or no response to phase equivalents. Selectivity for single ITDs is thought to arise from the convergence of parallel, narrow-band frequency channels that originate in the cochlea. ITD tuning to variable bandwidth stimuli was measured in higher-order neurons of the owl’s inferior colliculus to examine the rules that govern the relationship between frequency channel convergence and the resolution of phase ambiguity. Ambiguity decreased as stimulus bandwidth increased, reaching a minimum at 2–3 kHz. Two independent mechanisms appear to contribute to the elimination of ambiguity: one suppressive and one facilitative. The integration of information carried by parallel, distributed processing channels is a common theme of sensory processing that spans both modality and species boundaries. The principles underlying the resolution of phase ambiguity and frequency channel convergence in the owl may have implications for other sensory systems, such as electrolocation in electric fish and the computation of binocular disparity in the avian and mammalian visual systems. PMID:9724807

  12. A Pulse-type Hardware Level Difference Detection Model Based on Sound Source Localization Mechanism in Barn Owl

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakurai, Tsubasa; Sekine, Yoshifumi

    Auditory information processing is very important in the darkness where vision information is extremely limited. Barn owls have excellent hearing information processing function. Barn owls can detect a sound source in the high accuracy of less than two degrees in both of the vertical and horizontal directions. When they perform the sound source localization, the barn owls use the interaural time difference for localization in the horizontal plane, and the interaural level difference for localization in the vertical plane. We are constructing the two-dimensional sound source localization model using pulse-type hardware neuron models based on sound source localization mechanism of barn owl for the purpose of the engineering application. In this paper, we propose a pulse-type hardware model for level difference detection based on sound source localization mechanism of barn owl. Firstly, we discuss the response characteristics of the mathematical model for level difference detection. Next we discuss the response characteristics of the hardware mode. As a result, we show clearly that this proposal model can be used as a sound source localization model of vertical direction.

  13. Head-related transfer functions of the barn owl: measurement and neural responses.

    PubMed

    Keller, C H; Hartung, K; Takahashi, T T

    1998-04-01

    Sounds arriving at the eardrum are filtered by the external ear and associated structures in a frequency and direction specific manner. When convolved with the appropriate filters and presented to human listeners through headphones, broadband noises can be precisely localized to the corresponding position outside of the head (reviewed in Blauert, 1997). Such a 'virtual auditory space' can be a potentially powerful tool for neurophysiological and behavioral work in other species as well. We are developing a virtual auditory space for the barn owl, Tyto alba, a highly successful auditory predator that has become a well-established model for hearing research. We recorded catalogues of head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) from the frontal hemisphere of 12 barn owls and compared virtual and free sound fields acoustically and by their evoked neuronal responses. The inner ca. 1 cm of the ear canal was found to contribute little to the directionality of the HRTFs. HRTFs were recorded by inserting probetube microphones to within about 1 or 2 mm of the eardrum. We recorded HRTFs at frequencies between 2 and 11 kHz, which includes the frequencies most useful to the owl for sound localization (3-9 kHz; Konishi, 1973). Spectra of virtual sounds were within +/- 1 dB of amplitude and +/- 10 degrees of phase of the spectra of free field sounds measured near to the eardrum. The spatial pattern of responses obtained from neurons in the inferior colliculus were almost indistinguishable in response to virtual and to free field stimulation.

  14. Monaural occlusion alters sound localization during a sensitive period in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Esterly, S D; Knudsen, P F

    1984-04-01

    Sound localization was disrupted in young barn owls by chronically plugging one ear. Owls that were younger than 8 weeks of age at the time of ear plugging recovered normal localization accuracy while plugged, whereas those that were older than 8 weeks at the time of ear plugging did not. The end of the sensitive period for the adjustment of sound localization accuracy coincides with the maturation of the head and ears, suggesting that the exposure of the auditory system to stable, adult-like acoustic cues could play a role in bringing the sensitive period to a close. The results demonstrate that, early in development, associations between auditory cues and locations in space can be altered by experience.

  15. Properties of low-frequency head-related transfer functions in the barn owl (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Hausmann, Laura; von Campenhausen, Mark; Wagner, Hermann

    2010-09-01

    The barn owl (Tyto alba) possesses several specializations regarding auditory processing. The most conspicuous features are the directionally sensitive facial ruff and the asymmetrically arranged ears. The frequency-specific influence of these features on sound has consequences for sound localization that might differ between low and high frequencies. Whereas the high-frequency range (>3 kHz) is well investigated, less is known about the characteristics of head-related transfer functions for frequencies below 3 kHz. In the present study, we compared 1/3 octaveband-filtered transfer functions of barn owls with center frequencies ranging from 0.5 to 9 kHz. The range of interaural time differences was 600 micros at frequencies above 4 kHz, decreased to 505 micros at 3 kHz and increased again to about 615 micros at lower frequencies. The ranges for very low (0.5-1 kHz) and high frequencies (5-9 kHz) were not statistically different. Interaural level differences and monaural gains increased monotonically with increasing frequency. No systematic influence of the body temperature on the measured localization cues was observed. These data have implications for the mechanism underlying sound localization and we suggest that the barn owl's ears work as pressure receivers both in the high- and low-frequency ranges.

  16. Spatial contrast sensitivity and grating acuity of barn owls.

    PubMed

    Harmening, Wolf M; Nikolay, Petra; Orlowski, Julius; Wagner, Hermann

    2009-07-22

    The eyes of barn owls (Tyto alba pratincola) display very little aberrations, and have thus excellent optical quality. In a series of behavioral experiments, we tested whether this presumably beneficial feature is also reflected at a perceptual level in this species. As fundamental indicators for visual performance, the spatial contrast sensitivity function (CSF) and grating acuity were measured in two barn owls with psychophysical techniques. Stimulus luminance was 2.7 cd/m(2). The CSF found here renders the typical band-limited, inverted U-shaped function, with a low maximum contrast sensitivity of 8-19 at a spatial frequency of 1 cyc/deg. Grating acuity was estimated from the CSF high frequency cut-off and yielded 3.0-3.7 cyc/deg. In a second experiment, in which contrast was held constant and spatial frequency was varied, grating acuity was measured directly (2.6-4.0 cyc/deg). These results put barn owls at the very low end of the visual acuity spectrum of birds, and demonstrate that visual resolution and sensitivity cannot be predicted by optical considerations alone.

  17. From optics to attention: visual perception in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Harmening, Wolf M; Wagner, Hermann

    2011-11-01

    Barn owls are nocturnal predators which have evolved specific sensory and morphological adaptations to a life in dim light. Here, some of the most fundamental properties of spatial vision in barn owls are reviewed. The eye with its tubular shape is rigidly integrated in the skull so that eye movements are very much restricted. The eyes are oriented frontally, allowing for a large binocular overlap. Accommodation, but not pupil dilation, is coupled between the two eyes. The retina is rod dominated and lacks a visible fovea. Retinal ganglion cells form a marked region of highest density that extends to a horizontally oriented visual streak. Behavioural visual acuity and contrast sensitivity are poor, although the optical quality of the ocular media is excellent. A low f-number allows high image quality at low light levels. Vernier acuity was found to be a hyperacute percept. Owls have global stereopsis with hyperacute stereo acuity thresholds. Neurons of the visual Wulst are sensitive to binocular disparities. Orientation based saliency was demonstrated in a visual-search experiment, and higher cognitive abilities were shown when the owl's were able to use illusory contours for object discrimination.

  18. Auditory brainstem responses in the Eastern Screech Owl: An estimate of auditory thresholds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brittan-Powell, Elizabeth F.; Lohr, Bernard; Hahn, D. Caldwell; Dooling, Robert J.

    2005-07-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR), a measure of neural synchrony, was used to estimate auditory sensitivity in the eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). The typical screech owl ABR waveform showed two to three prominent peaks occurring within 5 ms of stimulus onset. As sound pressure levels increased, the ABR peak amplitude increased and latency decreased. With an increasing stimulus presentation rate, ABR peak amplitude decreased and latency increased. Generally, changes in the ABR waveform to stimulus intensity and repetition rate are consistent with the pattern found in several avian families. The ABR audiogram shows that screech owls hear best between 1.5 and 6.4 kHz with the most acute sensitivity between 4-5.7 kHz. The shape of the average screech owl ABR audiogram is similar to the shape of the behaviorally measured audiogram of the barn owl, except at the highest frequencies. Our data also show differences in overall auditory sensitivity between the color morphs of screech owls.

  19. Auditory brainstem responses in the Eastern Screech Owl: an estimate of auditory thresholds.

    PubMed

    Brittan-Powell, Elizabeth F; Lohr, Bernard; Hahn, D Caldwell; Dooling, Robert J

    2005-07-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR), a measure of neural synchrony, was used to estimate auditory sensitivity in the eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). The typical screech owl ABR waveform showed two to three prominent peaks occurring within 5 ms of stimulus onset. As sound pressure levels increased, the ABR peak amplitude increased and latency decreased. With an increasing stimulus presentation rate, ABR peak amplitude decreased and latency increased. Generally, changes in the ABR waveform to stimulus intensity and repetition rate are consistent with the pattern found in several avian families. The ABR audiogram shows that screech owls hear best between 1.5 and 6.4 kHz with the most acute sensitivity between 4-5.7 kHz. The shape of the average screech owl ABR audiogram is similar to the shape of the behaviorally measured audiogram of the barn owl, except at the highest frequencies. Our data also show differences in overall auditory sensitivity between the color morphs of screech owls.

  20. Auditory brainstem responses in the Eastern Screech Owl: An estimate of auditory thresholds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brittan-Powell, E.F.; Lohr, B.; Hahn, D.C.; Dooling, R.J.

    2005-01-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR), a measure of neural synchrony, was used to estimate auditory sensitivity in the eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). The typical screech owl ABR waveform showed two to three prominent peaks occurring within 5 ms of stimulus onset. As sound pressure levels increased, the ABR peak amplitude increased and latency decreased. With an increasing stimulus presentation rate, ABR peak amplitude decreased and latency increased. Generally, changes in the ABR waveform to stimulus intensity and repetition rate are consistent with the pattern found in several avian families. The ABR audiogram shows that screech owls hear best between 1.5 and 6.4 kHz with the most acute sensitivity between 4?5.7 kHz. The shape of the average screech owl ABR audiogram is similar to the shape of the behaviorally measured audiogram of the barn owl, except at the highest frequencies. Our data also show differences in overall auditory sensitivity between the color morphs of screech owls.

  1. Sound localization by barn owls in a simulated echoic environment.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Matthew W; Takahashi, Terry T

    2006-06-01

    We examined the accuracy and precision with which the barn owl (Tyto alba) turns its head toward sound sources under conditions that evoke the precedence effect (PE) in humans. Stimuli consisted of 25-ms noise bursts emitted from two sources, separated horizontally by 40 degrees, and temporally by 3-50 ms. At delays from 3 to 10 ms, head turns were always directed at the leading source, and were nearly as accurate and precise as turns toward single sources, indicating that the leading source dominates perception. This lead dominance is particularly remarkable, first, because on some trials, the lagging source was significantly higher in amplitude than the lead, arising from the directionality of the owl's ears, and second, because the temporal overlap of the two sounds can degrade the binaural cues with which the owl localizes sounds. With increasing delays, the influence of the lagging source became apparent as the head saccades became increasingly biased toward the lagging source. Furthermore, on some of the trials at delays > or = 20 ms, the owl turned its head, first, in the direction of one source, and then the other, suggesting that it was able to resolve two separately localizable sources. At all delays <50 ms, response latencies were longer for paired sources than for single sources. With the possible exception of response latency, these findings demonstrate that the owl exhibits precedence phenomena in sound localization similar to those in humans and cats, and provide a basis for comparison with neurophysiological data.

  2. Temporal Map Formation in the Barn Owl's Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leibold, Christian; Kempter, Richard; van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2001-12-01

    Barn owls provide an experimentally well-specified example of a temporal map, a neuronal representation of the outside world in the brain by means of time. Their laminar nucleus exhibits a place code of interaural time differences, a cue which is used to determine the azimuthal location of a sound stimulus, e.g., prey. We analyze a model of synaptic plasticity that explains the formation of such a representation in the young bird and show how in a large parameter regime a combination of local and nonlocal synaptic plasticity yields the temporal map as found experimentally. Our analysis includes the effect of nonlinearities as well as the influence of neuronal noise.

  3. Preservation of Spectrotemporal Tuning Between the Nucleus Laminaris and the Inferior Colliculus of the Barn Owl

    PubMed Central

    Christianson, G. Björn; Peña, José Luis

    2008-01-01

    Performing sound recognition is a task that requires an encoding of the time-varying spectral structure of the auditory stimulus. Similarly, computation of the interaural time difference (ITD) requires knowledge of the precise timing of the stimulus. Consistent with this, low-level nuclei of birds and mammals implicated in ITD processing encode the ongoing phase of a stimulus. However, the brain areas that follow the binaural convergence for the computation of ITD show a reduced capacity for phase locking. In addition, we have shown that in the barn owl there is a pooling of ITD-responsive neurons to improve the reliability of ITD coding. Here we demonstrate that despite two stages of convergence and an effective loss of phase information, the auditory system of the anesthetized barn owl displays a graceful transition to an envelope coding that preserves the spectrotemporal information throughout the ITD pathway to the neurons of the core of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. PMID:17314241

  4. Neuroethology of prey capture in the barn owl (Tyto alba L.).

    PubMed

    Wagner, Hermann; Kettler, Lutz; Orlowski, Julius; Tellers, Philipp

    2013-01-01

    Barn owls are a model system for studying prey capture. These animals can catch mice by hearing alone, but use vision whenever light conditions allow this. The silent flight, the frontally oriented eyes, and the facial ruffs are specializations that evolved to optimize prey capture. The auditory system is characterized by high absolute sensitivity, a use of interaural time difference for azimuthal sound-localization over almost the total hearing range up to at least 9 kHz, and the use of interaural level difference for elevational sound localization in the upper frequency range. Response latencies towards auditory targets were shortened by covert attention, while overt attention helped to orient towards salient visual objects. However, only 20% of the fixation movements could be explained by the saliency of the fixated objects, suggesting a top-down control of attention. In a visual-search experiment the birds turned earlier and more often towards and spent more time at salient objects. The visual system also exhibits high absolute sensitivity, while the spatial resolution is not particularly high. Last but not least, head movements may be classified as fixations, translations, and rotations combined with translations. These motion primitives may be combined to complex head-movement patterns. With the expected easy availability of genetic techniques for specialists in the near future and the possibility to apply the findings in biomimetic devices prey capture in barn owls will remain an exciting field in the future.

  5. Comparison of midbrain and thalamic space-specific neurons in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Pérez, María Lucía; Peña, José Luis

    2006-02-01

    Spatial receptive fields of neurons in the auditory pathway of the barn owl result from the sensitivity to combinations of interaural time (ITD) and level differences across stimulus frequency. Both the forebrain and tectum of the owl contain such neurons. The neural pathways, which lead to the forebrain and tectal representations of auditory space, separate before the midbrain map of auditory space is synthesized. The first nuclei that belong exclusively to either the forebrain or the tectal pathways are the nucleus ovoidalis (Ov) and the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICx), respectively. Both receive projections from the lateral shell subdivision of the inferior colliculus but are not interconnected. Previous studies indicate that the owl's tectal representation of auditory space is different from those found in the owl's forebrain and the mammalian brain. We addressed the question of whether the computation of spatial cues in both pathways is the same by comparing the ITD tuning of Ov and ICx neurons. Unlike in ICx, the relationship between frequency and ITD tuning had not been studied in single Ov units. In contrast to the conspicuous frequency independent ITD tuning of space-specific neurons of ICx, ITD selectivity varied with frequency in Ov. We also observed that the spatially tuned neurons of Ov respond to lower frequencies and are more broadly tuned to ITD than in ICx. Thus there are differences in the integration of frequency and ITD in the two sound-localization pathways. Thalamic neurons integrate spatial information not only within a broader frequency band but also across ITD channels.

  6. Tonotopic and somatotopic representation in the nucleus basalis of the barn owl, Tyto alba.

    PubMed

    Wild, J M; Kubke, M F; Carr, C E

    2001-01-01

    We have investigated the somatosensory and auditory representations in the nucleus basalis of the barn owl. In pigeons and finches, the nucleus basalis contains a representation of the beak and an auditory area. In the barn owl, the nucleus basalis also contains a complete somatotopic map of the head and body (as in the budgerigar), with a tonotopically organized auditory area in close proximity to the representation of the facial ruff and the preaural area. Recordings within and around the nucleus basalis revealed predominantly (about 80%) contralateral responses to somatic stimulation. The somatotopic map was oriented with the head down and rostral. Penetrations revealed an over-representation of the feet in dorsal basalis, followed by the rest of the body and wings more ventrally. Towards more rostral positions in nucleus basalis, responses from the head and beak predominated ventrally. The auditory response area was encountered below the region that responded to stimulation of the facial ruff and preaural flap regions and above a region responsive to beak stimulation. Auditory responses were tonotopically organized, with low best frequencies dorsal. Some penetrations yielded predominantly monaural responses with a fairly broad dynamic range, similar to those recorded from the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (LLV) and the cochlear nucleus angularis, whereas other penetrations contained predominantly binaural responses sensitive to interaural time differences (ITD). The physiological responses could be predicted on the basis of auditory projections to the nucleus basalis. An injection of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) in the auditory region of nucleus basalis retrogradely labeled cells in both the caudal and rostral parts of the intermediate lateral lemniscal nucleus (LLIc and LLIr), and a few cells in the anterior part of the dorsal lateral lemniscal nucleus (LLDa, previously known as nucleus ventralis lemnisci lateralis, pars anterior, or VLVa) and

  7. Quantitative TEM analysis of the barn owl basilar papilla.

    PubMed

    Fischer, F P

    1994-02-01

    The morphology of the barn owl's basilar papilla was quantitatively analyzed using TEM methods. The hair-cell (HC) parameters studied in the basal two-thirds of the papilla are remarkably constant. This large portion represents an extended high frequency area, or fovea [Köppl et al. (1993) J. Comp. Physiol. A 171, 695-704]. In the apical third of the papilla, in contrast, these parameters change regularly, as they do in other avian species. The HC in the most neural position remain morphologically more similar along the entire length of the papilla than do neighbouring cell rows. In the behaviourally most important frequency range (4-9 kHz), the afferent innervation of these neural HC is very dense and is reminiscent of the situation in mammals. Differences in HC morphology also indicate a specialization of the extreme apex of the papilla in the barn owl. Avian HC morphology is not correlated with a specific place along the basilar papilla but rather with the best frequency. Based on the body of recent quantitative morphological data on avian HC structure, a modified definition of HC types in birds is suggested (while keeping introduced terms): THC (tall hair cells) are defined as all those HC with afferent (and normally also efferent) innervation. SHC (short hair cells) are the (more specialized) HC without afferent innervation; obviously their function is restricted to the papilla itself.

  8. Representation of interaural time difference in the central nucleus of the barn owl's inferior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Wagner, H; Takahashi, T; Konishi, M

    1987-10-01

    This paper investigates the role of the central nucleus of the barn owl's inferior colliculus in determination of the sound-source azimuth. The central nucleus contains many neurons that are sensitive to interaural time difference (ITD), the cue for azimuth in the barn owl. The response of these neurons varies in a cyclic manner with the ITD of a tone or noise burst. Response maxima recur at integer multiples of the period of the stimulating tone, or, if the stimulus is noise, at integer multiples of the period corresponding to the neuron's best frequency. Such neurons can signal, by means of their relative spike rate, the phase difference between the sounds reaching the left and right ears. Since an interaural phase difference corresponds to more than one ITD, these neurons represent ITD ambiguously. We call this phenomenon phase ambiguity. The central nucleus is tonotopically organized and its neurons are narrowly tuned to frequency. Neurons in an array perpendicular to isofrequency laminae form a physiological and anatomical unit; only one ITD, the array-specific ITD, activates all neurons in an array at the same relative level. We, therefore, may say that, in the central nucleus, an ITD is conserved in an array of neurons. Array-specific ITDs are mapped and encompass the entire auditory space of the barn owl. Individual space-specific neurons of the external nucleus, which receive inputs from a wide range of frequency channels (Knudsen and Konishi, 1978), are selective for a unique ITD. Space-specific neurons do not show phase ambiguity when stimulated with noise (Takahashi and Konishi, 1986). Space-specific neurons receive inputs from arrays that are selective for the same ITD. The collective response of the neurons in an array may be the basis for the absence of phase ambiguity in space-specific neurons.

  9. The Binaural Interaction Component in Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Presents few Differences to Mammalian Data.

    PubMed

    Palanca-Castan, Nicolas; Laumen, Geneviève; Reed, Darrin; Köppl, Christine

    2016-12-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR) is an evoked potential that reflects the responses to sound by brainstem neural centers. The binaural interaction component (BIC) is obtained by subtracting the sum of the monaural ABR responses from the binaural response. Its latency and amplitude change in response to variations in binaural cues. The BIC is thus thought to reflect the activity of binaural nuclei and is used to non-invasively test binaural processing. However, any conclusions are limited by a lack of knowledge of the relevant processes at the level of individual neurons. The aim of this study was to characterize the ABR and BIC in the barn owl, an animal where the ITD-processing neural circuits are known in great detail. We recorded ABR responses to chirps and to 1 and 4 kHz tones from anesthetized barn owls. General characteristics of the barn owl ABR were similar to those observed in other bird species. The most prominent peak of the BIC was associated with nucleus laminaris and is thus likely to reflect the known processes of ITD computation in this nucleus. However, the properties of the BIC were very similar to previously published mammalian data and did not reveal any specific diagnostic features. For example, the polarity of the BIC was negative, which indicates a smaller response to binaural stimulation than predicted by the sum of monaural responses. This is contrary to previous predictions for an excitatory-excitatory system such as nucleus laminaris. Similarly, the change in BIC latency with varying ITD was not distinguishable from mammalian data. Contrary to previous predictions, this behavior appears unrelated to the known underlying neural delay-line circuitry. In conclusion, the generation of the BIC is currently inadequately understood and common assumptions about the BIC need to be reconsidered when interpreting such measurements.

  10. Relative size of auditory pathways in symmetrically and asymmetrically eared owls.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristián; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Wylie, Douglas R

    2011-01-01

    Owls are highly efficient predators with a specialized auditory system designed to aid in the localization of prey. One of the most unique anatomical features of the owl auditory system is the evolution of vertically asymmetrical ears in some species, which improves their ability to localize the elevational component of a sound stimulus. In the asymmetrically eared barn owl, interaural time differences (ITD) are used to localize sounds in azimuth, whereas interaural level differences (ILD) are used to localize sounds in elevation. These two features are processed independently in two separate neural pathways that converge in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus to form an auditory map of space. Here, we present a comparison of the relative volume of 11 auditory nuclei in both the ITD and the ILD pathways of 8 species of symmetrically and asymmetrically eared owls in order to investigate evolutionary changes in the auditory pathways in relation to ear asymmetry. Overall, our results indicate that asymmetrically eared owls have much larger auditory nuclei than owls with symmetrical ears. In asymmetrically eared owls we found that both the ITD and ILD pathways are equally enlarged, and other auditory nuclei, not directly involved in binaural comparisons, are also enlarged. We suggest that the hypertrophy of auditory nuclei in asymmetrically eared owls likely reflects both an improved ability to precisely locate sounds in space and an expansion of the hearing range. Additionally, our results suggest that the hypertrophy of nuclei that compute space may have preceded that of the expansion of the hearing range and evolutionary changes in the size of the auditory system occurred independently of phylogeny. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Barn Owl Productivity Response to Variability of Vole Populations.

    PubMed

    Pavluvčík, Petr; Poprach, Karel; Machar, Ivo; Losík, Jan; Gouveia, Ana; Tkadlec, Emil

    2015-01-01

    We studied the response of the barn owl annual productivity to the common vole population numbers and variability to test the effects of environmental stochasticity on their life histories. Current theory predicts that temporal environmental variability can affect long-term nonlinear responses (e.g., production of young) both positively and negatively, depending on the shape of the relationship between the response and environmental variables. At the level of the Czech Republic, we examined the shape of the relationship between the annual sum of fledglings (annual productivity) and vole numbers in both non-detrended and detrended data. At the districts' level, we explored whether the degree of synchrony (measured by the correlation coefficient) and the strength of the productivity response increase (measured by the regression coefficient) in areas with higher vole population variability measured by the s-index. We found that the owls' annual productivity increased linearly with vole numbers in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, based on district data, we also found that synchrony between dynamics in owls' reproductive output and vole numbers increased with vole population variability. However, the strength of the response was not affected by the vole population variability. Additionally, we have shown that detrending remarkably increases the Taylor's exponent b relating variance to mean in vole time series, thereby reversing the relationship between the coefficient of variation and the mean. This shift was not responsible for the increased synchrony with vole population variability. Instead, we suggest that higher synchrony could result from high food specialization of owls on the common vole in areas with highly fluctuating vole populations.

  12. The representation of sound localization cues in the barn owl's inferior colliculus

    PubMed Central

    Singheiser, Martin; Gutfreund, Yoram; Wagner, Hermann

    2012-01-01

    The barn owl is a well-known model system for studying auditory processing and sound localization. This article reviews the morphological and functional organization, as well as the role of the underlying microcircuits, of the barn owl's inferior colliculus (IC). We focus on the processing of frequency and interaural time (ITD) and level differences (ILD). We first summarize the morphology of the sub-nuclei belonging to the IC and their differentiation by antero- and retrograde labeling and by staining with various antibodies. We then focus on the response properties of neurons in the three major sub-nuclei of IC [core of the central nucleus of the IC (ICCc), lateral shell of the central nucleus of the IC (ICCls), and the external nucleus of the IC (ICX)]. ICCc projects to ICCls, which in turn sends its information to ICX. The responses of neurons in ICCc are sensitive to changes in ITD but not to changes in ILD. The distribution of ITD sensitivity with frequency in ICCc can only partly be explained by optimal coding. We continue with the tuning properties of ICCls neurons, the first station in the midbrain where the ITD and ILD pathways merge after they have split at the level of the cochlear nucleus. The ICCc and ICCls share similar ITD and frequency tuning. By contrast, ICCls shows sigmoidal ILD tuning which is absent in ICCc. Both ICCc and ICCls project to the forebrain, and ICCls also projects to ICX, where space-specific neurons are found. Space-specific neurons exhibit side peak suppression in ITD tuning, bell-shaped ILD tuning, and are broadly tuned to frequency. These neurons respond only to restricted positions of auditory space and form a map of two-dimensional auditory space. Finally, we briefly review major IC features, including multiplication-like computations, correlates of echo suppression, plasticity, and adaptation. PMID:22798945

  13. Night vision in barn owls: visual acuity and contrast sensitivity under dark adaptation.

    PubMed

    Orlowski, Julius; Harmening, Wolf; Wagner, Hermann

    2012-12-06

    Barn owls are effective nocturnal predators. We tested their visual performance at low light levels and determined visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of three barn owls by their behavior at stimulus luminances ranging from photopic to fully scotopic levels (23.5 to 1.5 × 10⁻⁶). Contrast sensitivity and visual acuity decreased only slightly from photopic to scotopic conditions. Peak grating acuity was at mesopic (4 × 10⁻² cd/m²) conditions. Barn owls retained a quarter of their maximal acuity when luminance decreased by 5.5 log units. We argue that the visual system of barn owls is designed to yield as much visual acuity under low light conditions as possible, thereby sacrificing resolution at photopic conditions.

  14. Bilaterally-projecting efferent neurones to the basilar papilla in the barn owl and the chicken.

    PubMed

    Raabe, Tobias; Köppl, Christine

    2003-10-03

    The efferent innervation of the auditory basilar papilla of birds and mammals is provided by a dedicated population of brainstem neurones that are separate from those supplying the vestibular organs. This study addresses the question whether a population of bilaterally-projecting efferents, contacting hair cells in both basilar papillae, is consistently present in birds. The chicken and the barn owl were chosen, two species where the total number of efferents was already known and which represent two extremes of an auditory generalist and an auditory specialist, respectively. Fluorogold and Choleratoxin, two potent retrograde tracers, were injected into one cochlear duct each of all individuals. Labelled neurones were subsequently identified in the brainstem using standard fluorescence techniques. A small proportion (up to 2% of the total population) of double-labelled cells was found in both species. The great majority of those double-labelled neurones could be assigned to the ventrolateral group of efferents, which has previously been shown to project exclusively to the auditory basilar papilla. Thus, in birds, like in mammals, a small subgroup of auditory efferents innervates both basilar papillae.

  15. Target-approaching behavior of barn owls (Tyto alba): influence of sound frequency.

    PubMed

    Singheiser, Martin; Plachta, Dennis T T; Brill, Sandra; Bremen, Peter; van der Willigen, Robert F; Wagner, Hermann

    2010-03-01

    We studied the influence of frequency on sound localization in free-flying barn owls by quantifying aspects of their target-approaching behavior to a distant sound source during ongoing auditory stimulation. In the baseline condition with a stimulus covering most of the owls hearing range (1-10 kHz), all owls landed within a radius of 20 cm from the loudspeaker in more than 80% of the cases and localization along the azimuth was more accurate than localization in elevation. When the stimulus contained only high frequencies (>5 kHz) no changes in striking behavior were observed. But when only frequencies from 1 to 5 kHz were presented, localization accuracy and precision decreased. In a second step we tested whether a further border exists at 2.5 kHz as suggested by optimality models. When we compared striking behavior for a stimulus having energy from 2.5 to 5 kHz with a stimulus having energy between 1 and 2.5 kHz, no consistent differences in striking behavior were observed. It was further found that pre-takeoff latency was longer for the latter stimulus than for baseline and that center frequency was a better predictor for landing precision than stimulus bandwidth. These data fit well with what is known from head-turning studies and from neurophysiology.

  16. Cross-correlation in the auditory coincidence detectors of owls.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Brian J; Christianson, G Björn; Peña, José Luis

    2008-08-06

    Interaural time difference (ITD) plays a central role in many auditory functions, most importantly in sound localization. The classic model for how ITD is computed was put forth by Jeffress (1948). One of the predictions of the Jeffress model is that the neurons that compute ITD should behave as cross-correlators. Whereas cross-correlation-like properties of the ITD-computing neurons have been reported, attempts to show that the shape of the ITD response function is determined by the spectral tuning of the neuron, a core prediction of cross-correlation, have been unsuccessful. Using reverse correlation analysis, we demonstrate in the barn owl that the relationship between the spectral tuning and the ITD response of the ITD-computing neurons is that predicted by cross-correlation. Moreover, we show that a model of coincidence detector responses derived from responses to binaurally uncorrelated noise is consistent with binaural interaction based on cross-correlation. These results are thus consistent with one of the key tenets of the Jeffress model. Our work sets forth both the methodology to answer whether cross-correlation describes coincidence detector responses and a demonstration that in the barn owl, the result is that expected by theory.

  17. Cross-Correlation in the Auditory Coincidence Detectors of Owls

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Brian J.; Christianson, G.Björn; Peña, José Luis

    2009-01-01

    Interaural time difference (ITD) plays a central role in many auditory functions, most importantly in sound localization. The classic model for how ITD is computed was put forth by Jeffress (1948). One of the predictions of the Jeffress model is that the neurons that compute ITD should behave as cross-correlators. Whereas cross-correlation-like properties of the ITD-computing neurons have been reported, attempts to show that the shape of the ITD response function is determined by the spectral tuning of the neuron, a core prediction of cross-correlation, have been unsuccessful. Using reverse correlation analysis, we demonstrate in the barn owl that the relationship between the spectral tuning and the ITD response of the ITD-computing neurons is that predicted by cross-correlation. Moreover, we show that a model of coincidence detector responses derived from responses to binaurally uncorrelated noise is consistent with binaural interaction based on cross-correlation. These results are thus consistent with one of the key tenets of the Jeffress model. Our work sets forth both the methodology to answer whether cross-correlation describes coincidence detector responses and a demonstration that in the barn owl, the result is that expected by theory. PMID:18685035

  18. Owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, D.G.; Ellis, D.H.; Millsap, B.A.; Pendleton, Beth Giron

    1990-01-01

    Eight species of owls regularly occur and may breed in one or more of the southeastern states. Several additional northern or western species appear irregularly as accidentals or during years of southward incursions. In the Southeast, the most common and wide- spread owls are the common barn-owl, eastern screech-owl, great horned owl and barred owl; the most restricted is the burrowing owl. The long-eared, short-eared, and northern saw-whet owls are primarily winter visitors in this region, although small and very localized nesting populations of short-eared owls may occur in Virginia. Long-eared owls and northern saw-whet owls may occur in West Virginia and northern saw-whet owls may occur in the highlands of Tennessee and North Carolina. Several owls of the Southeast are Blue-listed as threatened, endangered, or of local concern, including the common barn-owl, eastern screech-owl, burrow'ing owl and short-eared owl. The nesting status of the long-eared owl and northern saw-whet owl are still poorly known. These two owls should be included on stat and regional lists of species of special concern. Important limiting factors for all owls of the Southeast include habitat loss and human related mortality. Management issues center on obtaining a data base useful in predicting the effects of current forest management practices on owl populations and encouraging use of forestry techniques that least impact owls. Research needs include initiating studies of all aspects of the life history and habitat relationships of each owl species.

  19. Binaural disparity cues available to the barn owl for sound localization.

    PubMed

    Moiseff, A

    1989-02-01

    1. Bilateral recording of cochlear potentials was used to measure the variations in interaural time differences (ITDs) and interaural intensity differences (IIDs) as a free-field auditory stimulus was moved to different positions around a barn owl's head. 2. ITD varied smoothly with stimulus azimuth across a broad frequency range. 3. ITD varied minimally with stimulus elevation, except at extreme angles from the horizontal. 4. IID varied with both stimulus elevation and stimulus azimuth. Lower frequencies were more sensitive to variations in azimuth, whereas higher frequencies were more sensitive to variations in elevation. 5. The loci of spatial coordinates that form iso-IID contours and iso-ITD contours form a non-orthogonal grid that relates binaural disparity cues to sound location.

  20. Projections of nucleus angularis and nucleus laminaris to the lateral lemniscal nuclear complex of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T T; Konishi, M

    1988-08-08

    Interaural phase and intensity are cues by which the barn owl determines, respectively, the azimuth and elevation of a sound source. Physiological studies indicate that phase and intensity are processed independently in the auditory brainstem of the barn owl. The phases of spectral components of a sound are encoded in nucleus magnocellularis (NM), one of the two cochlear nuclei. NM projects solely and bilaterally to nucleus laminaris (NL), wherein interaural phase difference is computed. The other cochlear nucleus, nucleus angularis (NA), encodes the amplitudes of spectral components of sounds. We report here the projections of NA and NL to the lateral lemniscal nuclei of the barn owl. The lateral lemniscal complex comprises nucleus olivaris superior (SO); nucleus lemnisci lateralis, pars ventralis (LLv); and nucleus ventralis lemnisci lateralis (VLV). At caudal levels, VLV may be divided into a posterior (VLVp) and an anterior (VLVa) subdivision on cytoarchitectonic grounds. At rostral levels, the cytoarchitectural differences diminish and the boundaries between the two subdivisions become obscured. Likewise, our data from anterograde tracing studies suggest that at caudal levels the terminal fields of NA and NL remain confined to VLVp and VLVa, respectively. They merge, however, at rostral levels. The data also suggest that NL projects to the medial portion of the ipsilateral SO and that NA projects bilaterally to all parts of SO and LLv. Studies with the retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase confirm these projections.

  1. Hearing impairment induces frequency-specific adjustments in auditory spatial tuning in the optic tectum of young owls.

    PubMed

    Gold, J I; Knudsen, E I

    1999-11-01

    Bimodal, auditory-visual neurons in the optic tectum of the barn owl are sharply tuned for sound source location. The auditory receptive fields (RFs) of these neurons are restricted in space primarily as a consequence of their tuning for interaural time differences and interaural level differences across broad ranges of frequencies. In this study, we examined the extent to which frequency-specific features of early auditory experience shape the auditory spatial tuning of these neurons. We manipulated auditory experience by implanting in one ear canal an acoustic filtering device that altered the timing and level of sound reaching the eardrum in a frequency-dependent fashion. We assessed the auditory spatial tuning at individual tectal sites in normal owls and in owls raised with the filtering device. At each site, we measured a family of auditory RFs using broadband sound and narrowband sounds with different center frequencies both with and without the device in place. In normal owls, the narrowband RFs for a given site all included a common region of space that corresponded with the broadband RF and aligned with the site's visual RF. Acute insertion of the filtering device in normal owls shifted the locations of the narrowband RFs away from the visual RF, the magnitude and direction of the shifts depending on the frequency of the stimulus. In contrast, in owls that were raised wearing the device, narrowband and broadband RFs were aligned with visual RFs so long as the device was in the ear but not after it was removed, indicating that auditory spatial tuning had been adaptively altered by experience with the device. The frequency tuning of tectal neurons in device-reared owls was also altered from normal. The results demonstrate that experience during development adaptively modifies the representation of auditory space in the barn owl's optic tectum in a frequency-dependent manner.

  2. Prey composition modulates exposure risk to anticoagulant rodenticides in a sentinel predator, the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Geduhn, Anke; Esther, Alexandra; Schenke, Detlef; Gabriel, Doreen; Jacob, Jens

    2016-02-15

    Worldwide, small rodents are main prey items for many mammalian and avian predators. Some rodent species have pest potential and are managed with anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs). ARs are consumed by target and non-target small mammals and can lead to secondary exposure of predators. The development of appropriate risk mitigation strategies is important and requires detailed knowledge of AR residue pathways. From July 2011 to October 2013 we collected 2397 regurgitated barn owl (Tyto alba) pellets to analyze diet composition of owls on livestock farms in western Germany. 256 of them were fresh pellets that were collected during brodifacoum baiting. Fresh pellets and 742 liver samples of small mammals that were trapped during baiting in the same area were analyzed for residues of ARs. We calculated exposure risk of barn owls to ARs by comparing seasonal diet composition of owls with AR residue patterns in prey species. Risk was highest in autumn, when barn owls increasingly preyed on Apodemus that regularly showed AR residues, sometimes at high concentrations. The major prey species (Microtus spp.) that was consumed most frequently in summer had less potential to contribute to secondary poisoning of owls. There was no effect of AR application on prey composition. We rarely detected ARs in pellets (2 of 256 samples) but 13% of 38 prey individuals in barn owl nests were AR positive and substantiated the expected pathway. AR residues were present in 55% of 11 barn owl carcasses. Fluctuation in non-target small mammal abundance and differences in AR residue exposure patterns in prey species drives exposure risk for barn owls and probably other predators of small mammals. Exposure risk could be minimized through spatial and temporal adaption of AR applications (avoiding long baiting and non-target hot spots at farms) and through selective bait access for target animals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Early monaural occlusion alters the neural map of interaural level differences in the inferior colliculus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Mogdans, J; Knudsen, E I

    1993-08-13

    Monaural occlusion during early life causes adaptive changes in the tuning of units in the owl's optic tectum to interaural level differences (ILD) that tend to align the auditory with the visual map of space. We investigated whether these changes could be due to experience-dependent plasticity occurring in the auditory pathway prior to the optic tectum. Units were recorded in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICx), which is a major source of auditory input to the optic tectum. The tuning of ICx units to ILD was measured in normal barn owls and in barn owls raised with one ear occluded. ILD tuning at each recording site was measured with dichotic noise bursts, presented at a constant average binaural level, 20 dB above threshold. The best ILD at each site was defined as the midpoint of the range of ILD values which elicited more than 50% of the maximum response. A physiological map of ILD was found in the ICx of normal owls: best ILDs changed systematically from right-ear-greater to left-ear-greater as the electrode progressed from dorsal to ventral. Best ILDs ranged from 13 dB right-ear-greater to 15 dB left-ear-greater and progressed at an average rate of 12 dB/mm. The representations of ILD were similar on both sides of the brain. In the ICx of owls raised with one ear occluded, the map of ILD was shifted in the adaptive direction: ILD tuning was shifted towards values favoring the non-occluded ear (the direction that would restore a normal space map). The average magnitude of the shift was on the order of 8-10 dB in each of 4 owls. In one owl, the mean shift in ILD tuning was almost identical on both sides of the brain. In another owl, the mean shift was much larger on the side ipsilateral to the occlusion than on the contralateral side. In both cases, the mean shifts measured in each ICx were comparable to the mean shifts measured in the optic tectum on the same sides of the brain. Thus, the adjustments in ILD tuning that have been observed in

  4. Barn Owl Productivity Response to Variability of Vole Populations

    PubMed Central

    Pavluvčík, Petr; Poprach, Karel; Machar, Ivo; Losík, Jan; Gouveia, Ana; Tkadlec, Emil

    2015-01-01

    We studied the response of the barn owl annual productivity to the common vole population numbers and variability to test the effects of environmental stochasticity on their life histories. Current theory predicts that temporal environmental variability can affect long-term nonlinear responses (e.g., production of young) both positively and negatively, depending on the shape of the relationship between the response and environmental variables. At the level of the Czech Republic, we examined the shape of the relationship between the annual sum of fledglings (annual productivity) and vole numbers in both non-detrended and detrended data. At the districts’ level, we explored whether the degree of synchrony (measured by the correlation coefficient) and the strength of the productivity response increase (measured by the regression coefficient) in areas with higher vole population variability measured by the s-index. We found that the owls’ annual productivity increased linearly with vole numbers in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, based on district data, we also found that synchrony between dynamics in owls’ reproductive output and vole numbers increased with vole population variability. However, the strength of the response was not affected by the vole population variability. Additionally, we have shown that detrending remarkably increases the Taylor’s exponent b relating variance to mean in vole time series, thereby reversing the relationship between the coefficient of variation and the mean. This shift was not responsible for the increased synchrony with vole population variability. Instead, we suggest that higher synchrony could result from high food specialization of owls on the common vole in areas with highly fluctuating vole populations. PMID:26709518

  5. Difference in response reliability predicted by spectrotemporal tuning in the cochlear nuclei of barn owls.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, Louisa J; Peña, Jose L

    2011-03-02

    The brainstem auditory pathway is obligatory for all aural information. Brainstem auditory neurons must encode the level and timing of sounds, as well as their time-dependent spectral properties, the fine structure, and envelope, which are essential for sound discrimination. This study focused on envelope coding in the two cochlear nuclei of the barn owl, nucleus angularis (NA) and nucleus magnocellularis (NM). NA and NM receive input from bifurcating auditory nerve fibers and initiate processing pathways specialized in encoding interaural time (ITD) and level (ILD) differences, respectively. We found that NA neurons, although unable to accurately encode stimulus phase, lock more strongly to the stimulus envelope than NM units. The spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) of NA neurons exhibit a pre-excitatory suppressive field. Using multilinear regression analysis and computational modeling, we show that this feature of STRFs can account for enhanced across-trial response reliability, by locking spikes to the stimulus envelope. Our findings indicate a dichotomy in envelope coding between the time and intensity processing pathways as early as at the level of the cochlear nuclei. This allows the ILD processing pathway to encode envelope information with greater fidelity than the ITD processing pathway. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the properties of the STRFs of the neurons can be quantitatively related to spike timing reliability.

  6. Sleep and vigilance linked to melanism in wild barn owls.

    PubMed

    Scriba, M F; Rattenborg, N C; Dreiss, A N; Vyssotski, A L; Roulin, A

    2014-10-01

    Understanding the function of variation in sleep requires studies in the natural ecological conditions in which sleep evolved. Sleep has an impact on individual performance and hence may integrate the costs and benefits of investing in processes that are sensitive to sleep, such as immunity or coping with stress. Because dark and pale melanic animals differentially regulate energy homeostasis, immunity and stress hormone levels, the amount and/or organization of sleep may covary with melanin-based colour. We show here that wild, cross-fostered nestling barn owls (Tyto alba) born from mothers displaying more black spots had shorter non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep bouts, a shorter latency until the occurrence of REM sleep after a bout of wakefulness and more wakefulness bouts. In male nestlings, the same sleep traits also correlated with their own level of spotting. Because heavily spotted male nestlings and the offspring of heavily spotted biological mothers switched sleep-wakefulness states more frequently, we propose the hypothesis that they could be also behaviourally more vigilant. Accordingly, nestlings from mothers displaying many black spots looked more often towards the nest entrance where their parents bring food and towards their sibling against whom they compete. Owlets from heavily spotted mothers might invest more in vigilance, thereby possibly increasing associated costs due to sleep fragmentation. We conclude that different strategies of the regulation of brain activity have evolved and are correlated with melanin-based coloration.

  7. Multiple paternity in polyandrous barn owls (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Henry, Isabelle; Antoniazza, Sylvain; Dubey, Sylvain; Simon, Céline; Waldvogel, Céline; Burri, Reto; Roulin, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    In polyandrous species females produce successive clutches with several males. Female barn owls (Tyto alba) often desert their offspring and mate to produce a 2(nd) annual brood with a second male. We tested whether copulating during chick rearing at the 1(st) annual brood increases the male's likelihood to obtain paternity at the 2(nd) annual breeding attempt of his female mate in case she deserts their brood to produce a second brood with a different male. Using molecular paternity analyses we found that 2 out of 26 (8%) second annual broods of deserting females contained in total 6 extra-pair young out of 15 nestlings. These young were all sired by the male with whom the female had produced the 1(st) annual brood. In contrast, none of the 49 1(st) annual breeding attempts (219 offspring) and of the 20 2(nd) annual breeding attempts (93 offspring) of non-deserting females contained extra-pair young. We suggest that female desertion can select male counter-strategies to increase paternity and hence individual fitness. Alternatively, females may copulate with the 1(st) male to derive genetic benefits, since he is usually of higher quality than the 2(nd) male which is commonly a yearling individual.

  8. Multiple Paternity in Polyandrous Barn Owls (Tyto alba)

    PubMed Central

    Dubey, Sylvain; Simon, Céline; Waldvogel, Céline; Burri, Reto; Roulin, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    In polyandrous species females produce successive clutches with several males. Female barn owls (Tyto alba) often desert their offspring and mate to produce a 2nd annual brood with a second male. We tested whether copulating during chick rearing at the 1st annual brood increases the male's likelihood to obtain paternity at the 2nd annual breeding attempt of his female mate in case she deserts their brood to produce a second brood with a different male. Using molecular paternity analyses we found that 2 out of 26 (8%) second annual broods of deserting females contained in total 6 extra-pair young out of 15 nestlings. These young were all sired by the male with whom the female had produced the 1st annual brood. In contrast, none of the 49 1st annual breeding attempts (219 offspring) and of the 20 2nd annual breeding attempts (93 offspring) of non-deserting females contained extra-pair young. We suggest that female desertion can select male counter-strategies to increase paternity and hence individual fitness. Alternatively, females may copulate with the 1st male to derive genetic benefits, since he is usually of higher quality than the 2nd male which is commonly a yearling individual. PMID:24244622

  9. Female barn owls (Tyto alba) advertise good genes.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Jungi, T W; Pfister, H; Dijkstra, C

    2000-05-07

    The good genes hypothesis of sexual selection postulates that ornamentation signals superior genetic quality to potential mates. Support for this hypothesis comes from studies on male ornamentation only, while it remains to be shown that female ornamentation may signal genetic quality as well. Female barn owls (Tyto alba) display more black spots on their plumage than males. The expression of this plumage trait has a genetic basis and it has been suggested that males prefer to mate with females displaying more black spots. Given the role of parasites in the evolution of sexually selected traits and of the immune system in parasite resistance, we hypothesize that the extent of female plumage 'spottiness' reflects immunological defence. We assessed the genetic variation in specific antibody production against a non-pathogenic antigen among cross-fostered nestlings and studied its covariation with the plumage spottiness of genetic parents. The magnitude of the antibody response was positively correlated with the plumage spottiness of the genetic mother but not of the genetic father. Our study thereby provides the first experimental support, to our knowledge, for the hypothesis that female ornamentation signals genetic quality.

  10. Melanism is related to behavioural lateralization in nestling barn owls.

    PubMed

    Gaillard, Maryline; Scriba, Madeleine F; Roulin, Alexandre

    2017-07-01

    Behavioural laterality is a commonly observed phenomenon in many species suggesting there might be an advantage of using dominantly one side over the other for certain tasks. Indeed, lateralized individuals were often shown to be more successful in cognitive tasks compared to non-lateralized conspecifics. However, stressed individuals are also often, but not always, more strongly lateralized. Because barn owl (Tyto alba) females displaying larger black spots on the tip of their ventral feathers produce offspring that are more resistant to a variety of environmental stressful factors, we examined whether laterality is associated with melanin-based coloration. We recorded whether nestlings use more often the right or left foot to scratch their body and whether they preen more often one side of the body or the other using their bills. We found that the strength of lateralization of preening and scratching was less pronounced in individuals born from heavily spotted mothers. This result might be explained by plumage-related variation in the ability to resist stressful rearing conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. In vivo Recordings from Low-Frequency Nucleus Laminaris in the Barn Owl.

    PubMed

    Palanca-Castan, Nicolas; Köppl, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Localization of sound sources relies on 2 main binaural cues: interaural time differences (ITD) and interaural level differences. ITD computing is first carried out in tonotopically organized areas of the brainstem nucleus laminaris (NL) in birds and the medial superior olive (MSO) in mammals. The specific way in which ITD are derived was long assumed to conform to a delay line model in which arrays of systematically arranged cells create a representation of auditory space, with different cells responding maximally to specific ITD. This model conforms in many details to the particular case of the high-frequency regions (above 3 kHz) in the barn owl NL. However, data from recent studies in mammals are not consistent with a delay line model. A new model has been suggested in which neurons are not topographically arranged with respect to ITD and coding occurs through assessment of the overall response of 2 large neuron populations – 1 in each brainstem hemisphere. Currently available data comprise mainly low-frequency (<1,500 Hz) recordings in the case of mammals and higher-frequency recordings in the case of birds. This makes it impossible to distinguish between group-related adaptations and frequency-related adaptations. Here we report the first comprehensive data set from low-frequency NL in the barn owl and compare it to data from other avian and mammalian studies. Our data are consistent with a delay line model, so differences between ITD processing systems are more likely to have originated through divergent evolution of different vertebrate groups. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. A critical period for the recovery of sound localization accuracy following monaural occlusion in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Knudsen, P F; Esterly, S D

    1984-04-01

    We studied the ability of barn owls to recover accurate sound localization after being raised with one ear occluded. Most of the owls had ear plugs inserted before they reached adult size, and therefore they never experienced normal adult localization cues until their ear plugs were removed. Upon removal of their ear plugs, these owls exhibited large systematic sound localization errors. The rate at which they recovered accurate localization decreased with the age of the bird at the time of plug removal, and recovery essentially ceased when owls reached 38 to 42 weeks of age. We interpret this age as the end of a critical period for the consolidation of associations between auditory cues and locations in space. Owls that had experienced adult localization cues for a short period of time before ear plugging recovered normal accuracy rapidly, even if they remained plugged well past the end of the critical period. This suggests that a brief exposure to normal adult cues early in the critical period is sufficient to enable the recovery of localization accuracy much later in life.

  13. The barn owl wing: an inspiration for silent flight in the aviation industry?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bachmann, Thomas; Mühlenbruch, Georg; Wagner, Hermann

    2011-04-01

    Barn owls are specialists in prey detection using acoustic information. The flight apparatus of this bird of prey is most efficiently adapted to the hunting behavior by reducing flight noise. An understanding of the underlying mechanisms owls make use of could help minimize the noise disturbances in airport or wind power plant neighborhood. Here, we characterize wings of barn owls in terms of an airfoil as a role model for studying silent flight. This characterization includes surface and edge specialization (serrations, fringes) evolved by the owl. Furthermore, we point towards possible adaptations of either noise suppression or air flow control that might be an inspiration for the construction of modern aircraft. Three-dimensional imaging techniques such as surface digitizing, computed tomography and confocal laser scanning microscopy were used to investigate the wings and feathers in high spatial resolution. We show that wings of barn owls are huge in relation to their body mass resulting in a very low wing loading which in turn enables a slow flight and an increased maneuverability. Profiles of the wing are highly cambered and anteriorly thickened, especially at the proximal wing, leading to high lift production during flight. However, wind tunnel experiments showed that the air flow tends to separate at such wing configurations, especially at low-speed flight. Barn owls compensated this problem by evolving surface and edge modifications that stabilize the air flow. A quantitative three-dimensionally characterization of some of these structures is presented.

  14. Low frequency eardrum directionality in the barn owl induced by sound transmission through the interaural canal.

    PubMed

    Kettler, Lutz; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Wagner, Hermann

    2016-10-01

    The middle ears of birds are typically connected by interaural cavities that form a cranial canal. Eardrums coupled in this manner may function as pressure difference receivers rather than pressure receivers. Hereby, the eardrum vibrations become inherently directional. The barn owl also has a large interaural canal, but its role in barn owl hearing and specifically in sound localization has been controversial so far. We discuss here existing data and the role of the interaural canal in this species and add a new dataset obtained by laser Doppler vibrometry in a free-field setting. Significant sound transmission across the interaural canal occurred at low frequencies. The sound transmission induces considerable eardrum directionality in a narrow band from 1.5 to 3.5 kHz. This is below the frequency range used by the barn owl for locating prey, but may conceivably be used for locating conspecific callers.

  15. Directional hearing in the barn owl (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Coles, R B; Guppy, A

    1988-05-01

    The acoustical properties of the external ear of the barn owl (Tyto alba) were studied by measuring sound pressure in the ear canal and outer ear cavity. Under normal conditions, pressure amplification by the external ear reaches about 20 dB between 3-9 kHz but decreases sharply above 10 kHz. The acoustic gain curve of the outer ear cavity alone is close to that of a finite-length exponential horn between 1.2-13 kHz with maximum gain reaching 20 dB between 5-9 kHz. Pressure gain by the facial ruff produces a maximum of 12 dB between 5-8 kHz and decreases rapidly above 9 kHz. The directional sensitivity of the external ear was obtained from pressure measurements in the ear canal. Directivity of the major lobe is explained, to a first approximation, by the sound diffraction properties of a circular aperture. Aperture size is based on the average radius (30 mm) of the open face of the ruff. Above 5 kHz, the external ear becomes highly directional and there is a 26 degree disparity in elevation between the acoustic axis of the left and right ear. In azimuth, directivity patterns are relocated closer to the midline as frequency increases and the acoustic axis moves at a rate of 20 degree/octave between 2-13 kHz. Movement of the axis can be explained, to a first approximation, by the acoustical diffraction properties of an obliquely truncated horn, due to the asymmetrical shape of the outer ear cavity. The directional sensitivity of the barn owl ear was studied by recording cochlear microphonic (CM) potentials from the round window membrane. Between 3-9 kHz, CM directivity patterns are clearly different to the directivity patterns of the external ear; CM directionality is abruptly lost above 10 kHz. Above 5 kHz, CM directivity patterns are characterized by an elongated major lobe containing the CM axis, forming a tilted band of high amplitude but low directionality (CM axial plane), closely bordered by minima or nulls. The highest directionality is found in the CM

  16. Trace metals in primary feathers of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba guttatus) in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Denneman, W D; Douben, P E

    1993-01-01

    The number of Barn Owls in The Netherlands has been reduced substantially over the last few decades. Death as a result of poisoning seems unlikely, but the pathology of all bird species found dead in The Netherlands between 1975 and 1988 (n = 15 422) shows that 21% of all the birds were contaminated. However, the most important factor responsible for the decline in Barn Owl numbers in The Netherlands has not yet been established. As a part of a new national protection plan for the Barn Owl, the role of heavy metals has been investigated. Concentrations of heavy metals in the primary feathers of the Barn Owl varied according to their position in the wing; especially As, Sb, Fe and Zn whose concentrations depended on the place of the primary feather in the wing and the part of the vane which is used for the monitoring. The HS7 feather vane appears to provide a good estimate, even though the metal concentrations of this feather are always slightly lower than the concentrations in mixed samples of all ten primaries. It is recommended that they are used as a standard. Many factors affect metal concentrations. Increasing levels with age are found, presumably because metals are stored during growth at the end of the feathers as a method of reducing possible harmful effects. No significant correlations were found between the metal concentrations in the organs and those in the feather. Kidney and liver concentrations are always lower than the generally accepted levels for pathological damage of these organs. Even though metal concentrations in Barn Owl feathers are high compared with those reported for other birds in the Netherlands, it is concluded that Barn Owls are not adversely affected by current levels of heavy metal contamination in The Netherlands.

  17. Prolonged maturation of cochlear function in the barn owl after hatching.

    PubMed

    Köppl, Christine; Nickel, Regina

    2007-06-01

    Cochlear microphonics (CMs), which represent the electrical activity of hair cells, and compound action potentials (CAPs), which represent the activity of the auditory nerve, were recorded from the round window of the inner ear, in owlets aged between 5 and 97 days posthatching, i.e., from soon after hatching to beyond fledgling. At the earliest ages examined, animals showed very insensitive CM and virtually no CAP responses. Thus, hearing in barn owls develops entirely posthatching and the birds appear to be profoundly deaf well into the second week. Thresholds improved gradually after that and CMs reached their adult sensitivity at 5 weeks posthatching at all frequencies. Compound action potential responses appeared progressively later with increasing frequency. Adult neural sensitivity was achieved about 1 week later than for the CM responses at most frequencies, but took until 9-10 weeks posthatching at the highest frequencies (8-10 kHz). This indicates an apex-to-base maturation sequence of neural sensitivity within the cochlea, with a disproportionately long period to maturity for the most basal regions. Compound action potential amplitudes matured even later, at about 3 months posthatching, at all frequencies. This suggests a prolonged immaturity in the temporal synchrony of spiking in the auditory nerve.

  18. Tuning Neuronal Hardware with Microsecond Precision: Sound Localization in the Barn Owl

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hemmen, J. Leo

    1998-03-01

    In auditory and electrosensory neuronal systems, there seems to exist an unresolved paradox: They encode behaviorally relevant signals in the range of a few microseconds with neurons that are at least one order of magnitude slower. The barn owl's auditory system is a prominent example that may serve to provide a solution(W. Gerstner, R. Kempter, J.L. van Hemmen, and H. Wagner, Nature 383) (1996) 76--78 to the above paradox. First, neuronal output is much more accurate than the input, phprovided the presynaptic spikes arrive coherently on the average -- as they do in the adult animal. Second, this coherence in signal arrival times can be attained through unsupervised Hebbian learning (`tuning') during ontogenetic development. The learning rule governing the strength of a synapse is based on the precise timing of input as compared to output spikes. Third, the learning rule also selects the correct delays from two independent groups of input, for example, from the left and right ear and, thus, can explain the tuning to interaural time differences in the microsecond range that underlies sound localization. The relation to stochastic resonance is indicated.

  19. Low glucokinase activity and high rates of gluconeogenesis contribute to hyperglycemia in barn owls (Tyto alba) after a glucose challenge.

    PubMed

    Myers, M R; Klasing, K C

    1999-10-01

    Barn owls (Tyto alba) and leghorn chickens were fed a low protein high glucose (33.44% protein, 23.67% glucose) or a high protein low glucose (55.35% protein, 1.5% glucose) diet. After an intravenous glucose infusion, the peak in plasma glucose was not affected by diet in either species and was 22.6 and 39.4 mmol/L in chickens and barn owls, respectively. Glucose levels returned to normal within 30 min in chickens, but remained elevated for 3.5 h in barn owls. An oral glucose challenge also resulted in greater and longer hyperglycemia in barn owls than in chickens. The activities of hepatic glucokinase, malic enzyme and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase of barn owls were 16, 35, and 333% of the levels in chickens. Malic enzyme (P = 0.024) was less affected by dietary glucose level in barn owls than in chickens. Cultured hepatocytes from chickens produced 43% more glucose from lactate than hepatocytes from barn owls and, conversely, barn owl hepatocytes produced 87% more glucose from threonine than chickens (P = 0.001). Gluconeogenesis from lactate was greatly suppressed by high media glucose in chicken hepatocytes but not in those of barn owls (P = 0.0001 for species by glucose level interaction). When threonine was the substrate, gluconeogenesis was suppressed by increased glucose in both species but to a greater relative extent in chickens (P = 0.007 for species by glucose level interaction). Owls were glucose intolerant at least in part because of low hepatic glucokinase activity and an inadequate suppression of gluconeogenesis in the presence of exogenous glucose, apparently because they evolved with large excesses of amino acids and limited glucose in their normal diet.

  20. The role of envelope shape in the localization of multiple sound sources and echoes in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Caitlin S; Nelson, Brian S; Takahashi, Terry T

    2013-02-01

    Echoes and sounds of independent origin often obscure sounds of interest, but echoes can go undetected under natural listening conditions, a perception called the precedence effect. How does the auditory system distinguish between echoes and independent sources? To investigate, we presented two broadband noises to barn owls (Tyto alba) while varying the similarity of the sounds' envelopes. The carriers of the noises were identical except for a 2- or 3-ms delay. Their onsets and offsets were also synchronized. In owls, sound localization is guided by neural activity on a topographic map of auditory space. When there are two sources concomitantly emitting sounds with overlapping amplitude spectra, space map neurons discharge when the stimulus in their receptive field is louder than the one outside it and when the averaged amplitudes of both sounds are rising. A model incorporating these features calculated the strengths of the two sources' representations on the map (B. S. Nelson and T. T. Takahashi; Neuron 67: 643-655, 2010). The target localized by the owls could be predicted from the model's output. The model also explained why the echo is not localized at short delays: when envelopes are similar, peaks in the leading sound mask corresponding peaks in the echo, weakening the echo's space map representation. When the envelopes are dissimilar, there are few or no corresponding peaks, and the owl localizes whichever source is predicted by the model to be less masked. Thus the precedence effect in the owl is a by-product of a mechanism for representing multiple sound sources on its map.

  1. Sound-localization experiments with barn owls in virtual space: influence of interaural time difference on head-turning behavior.

    PubMed

    Poganiatz, I; Nelken, I; Wagner, H

    2001-03-01

    Specific cues in a sound signal are naturally linked to certain parameters in acoustic space. In the barn owl, interaural time difference (ITD) varies mainly with azimuth, while interaural level difference (ILD) varies mainly with elevation. Previous data suggested that ITD is indeed the main cue for azimuthal sound localization in this species, while ILD is an important cue for elevational sound localization. The exact contributions of these parameters could be tested only indirectly because it was not possible to generate a stimulus that contained all relevant spatial information on the one hand, and allowed for a clean separation of these parameters on the other hand. Virtual auditory worlds offer this opportunity. Here we show that barn owls responded to azimuthal variations in virtual space in the same way as to variations in free-field stimuli. We interpret the increase of turning angle with sound-source azimuths (up to +/- 140 degrees) such that the owls did not experience front/back confusions with virtual stimuli. We then separated the influence of ITD from the influence of all other stimulus parameters by fixing the overall ITD in virtual stimuli to a constant value (+100 micros or +100 micros) while leaving all other sound characteristics unchanged. This manipulation influenced both azimuthal and elevational components of head arms. Since the owls' azimuthal head-turn amplitude always resembled the value signified by the ITD, these data demonstrated that azimuthal sound localization is influenced only by ITD both in the frontal hemisphere and in large parts of the rear hemisphere. ILDs did not have an influence on azimuthal components of head turns. While response latency to normal virtual stimuli was found to be largely independent of stimulus position, response delays of the head turns became longer if the ITD information pointed into a different hemisphere as the other cues of the sounds.

  2. 20-year study of Barn Owl (Tyto alba) reproduction in northern Utah

    Treesearch

    Carl D. Marti

    1997-01-01

    I studied reproduction of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in northern Utah from 1977 through 1996 documenting 451 nesting attempts by at least 500 individuals. The study site was a narrow valley bounded by the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. This area was formerly shrubsteppe desert, but that community is now entirely supplanted by irrigated...

  3. Social huddling and physiological thermoregulation are related to melanism in the nocturnal barn owl.

    PubMed

    Dreiss, Amélie N; Séchaud, Robin; Béziers, Paul; Villain, Nicolas; Genoud, Michel; Almasi, Bettina; Jenni, Lukas; Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-02-01

    Endothermic animals vary in their physiological ability to maintain a constant body temperature. Since melanin-based coloration is related to thermoregulation and energy homeostasis, we predict that dark and pale melanic individuals adopt different behaviours to regulate their body temperature. Young animals are particularly sensitive to a decrease in ambient temperature because their physiological system is not yet mature and growth may be traded-off against thermoregulation. To reduce energy loss, offspring huddle during periods of cold weather. We investigated in nestling barn owls (Tyto alba) whether body temperature, oxygen consumption and huddling were associated with melanin-based coloration. Isolated owlets displaying more black feather spots had a lower body temperature and consumed more oxygen than those with fewer black spots. This suggests that highly melanic individuals display a different thermoregulation strategy. This interpretation is also supported by the finding that, at relatively low ambient temperature, owlets displaying more black spots huddled more rapidly and more often than those displaying fewer spots. Assuming that spot number is associated with the ability to thermoregulate not only in Swiss barn owls but also in other Tytonidae, our results could explain geographic variation in the degree of melanism. Indeed, in the northern hemisphere, barn owls and allies are less spotted polewards than close to the equator, and in the northern American continent, barn owls are also less spotted in colder regions. If melanic spots themselves helped thermoregulation, we would have expected the opposite results. We therefore suggest that some melanogenic genes pleiotropically regulate thermoregulatory processes.

  4. Systematics and distribution of the giant fossil barn owls of the West Indies (Aves: Strigiformes: Tytonidae).

    PubMed

    Suárez, William; Olson, Storrs L

    2015-09-23

    After reviewing the systematics and distribution of the extinct West Indian taxa of Tytonidae (Tyto) larger than the living barn owl Tyto alba (Scopoli), we reached the following conclusions: (1) the species T. ostologa Wetmore (1922) is the only giant barn owl known so far from Hispaniola; (2) T. pollens Wetmore (1937) was a somewhat larger and even more robust representative of T. ostologa known from the Great Bahama Bank and Cuba; (3) the very rare species T. riveroi Arredondo (1972b) is here synonymized with T. pollens; (4) the smallest taxon of these giant barn owls is T. noeli Arredondo (1972a), which is widespread and abundant in Quaternary deposits of Cuba and is here reported for the first time from two cave deposits in Jamaica; (5) the only large barn owl named so far from the Lesser Antilles is T. neddi Steadman & Hilgartner (1999), which is here synonymized with T. noeli; (6) a new taxon from Cuba, T. cravesae new species, which in size approached the linear dimensions of T. ostologa, is named and described herein.

  5. Neural Coding of Relational Invariance in Speech: Human Language Analogs to the Barn Owl.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sussman, Harvey M.

    1989-01-01

    The neuronal model shown to code sound-source azimuth in the barn owl by H. Wagner et al. in 1987 is used as the basis for a speculative brain-based human model, which can establish contrastive phonetic categories to solve the problem of perception "non-invariance." (SLD)

  6. Neural Coding of Relational Invariance in Speech: Human Language Analogs to the Barn Owl.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sussman, Harvey M.

    1989-01-01

    The neuronal model shown to code sound-source azimuth in the barn owl by H. Wagner et al. in 1987 is used as the basis for a speculative brain-based human model, which can establish contrastive phonetic categories to solve the problem of perception "non-invariance." (SLD)

  7. Overt attention toward oriented objects in free-viewing barn owls.

    PubMed

    Harmening, Wolf Maximilian; Orlowski, Julius; Ben-Shahar, Ohad; Wagner, Hermann

    2011-05-17

    Visual saliency based on orientation contrast is a perceptual product attributed to the functional organization of the mammalian brain. We examined this visual phenomenon in barn owls by mounting a wireless video microcamera on the owls' heads and confronting them with visual scenes that contained one differently oriented target among similarly oriented distracters. Without being confined by any particular task, the owls looked significantly longer, more often, and earlier at the target, thus exhibiting visual search strategies so far demonstrated in similar conditions only in primates. Given the considerable differences in phylogeny and the structure of visual pathways between owls and humans, these findings suggest that orientation saliency has computational optimality in a wide variety of ecological contexts, and thus constitutes a universal building block for efficient visual information processing in general.

  8. Influence of bill and foot morphology on the ectoparasites of barn owls.

    PubMed

    Bush, Sarah E; Villa, Scott M; Boves, Than J; Brewer, Dallas; Belthoff, James R

    2012-04-01

    Preening is the principle behavioral defense used by birds to combat ectoparasites. Most birds have a small overhang at the tip of their bills that is used to shear through the tough cuticle of ectoparasitic arthropods, making preening much more efficient. Birds may also scratch with their feet to defend against ectoparasites. This is particularly important for removing ectoparasites on the head, which birds cannot preen. Scratching may be enhanced by the comb-like serrations that are found on the claws of birds in many avian families. We examined the prevalence and intensity of ectoparasites of barn owls (Tyto alba pratincola) in southern Idaho in relation to bill hook length and morphological characteristics of the pectinate claw. The barn owls in our study were infested with 3 species of lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera): Colpocephalum turbinatum , Kurodaia subpachygaster, and Strigiphilus aitkeni . Bill hook length was associated with the prevalence of these lice. Owls with longer hooks were more likely to be infested with lice. Conventional wisdom suggests that the bill morphology of raptors has been shaped by selection for efficient foraging; our data suggest that hook morphology may also play a role in ectoparasite defense. The number of teeth on the pectinate claw was also associated with the prevalence of lice. Owls that had claws with more teeth were less likely to be infested with lice, which suggests that larger pectinate claws may offer relatively more protection against ectoparasitic lice. Experiments that manipulate the bill hook and pectinate claw are needed to confirm whether these host characters are involved in ectoparasite defense. Finally, we recovered mammalian ectoparasites from 4 barn owls. We recovered species of mammalian lice (Phthiraptera:Anoplura) and fleas (Siphonaptera) that are commonly found on microtine rodents. The owls probably acquired these parasites from recently eaten prey. This represents 1 of the few documented cases of

  9. Embryonic and posthatching development of the barn owl (Tyto alba): reference data for age determination.

    PubMed

    Köppl, Christine; Futterer, Eva; Nieder, Bärbel; Sistermann, Ralf; Wagner, Hermann

    2005-08-01

    The normal development of the barn owl was documented with the intent of providing a guideline for determining the maturational stage of embryos and posthatching individuals. Embryonic development up to stage 39 could be well described using the well-known developmental atlas for the chicken (Hamburger and Hamilton [1951] J. Morphol. 88:49-92). For later stages, limb size was established as a suitable indicator. In addition, measuring the egg's vascularized area through candling was found to be a useful, noninvasive method for staging very early embryos, up to stage 25. An average relationship between incubation period and embryonic stage was derived, which showed that development in the barn owl initially lags that in the chicken. For posthatching individuals, skeletal measures (tarsal and ulnar length, skull width and length) were the most reliable parameters for judging maturation, up to 1 month. For older individuals, feather development (e.g., length of primary wing feathers) provided the only cue.

  10. Trends in North American small mammals found in common barn-owl (Tyto alba) dietary studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R.; Bunck, C.M.

    1991-01-01

    Data on mammals were compiled from published studies of common barn-owl (Tyto alba) pellets. Mammalian composition of pellet samples was analyzed within geographic regions in regard to year, mean annual precipitation, latitude, and number of individual mammals in the sample. Percentages of individuals in pellets that were shrews increased whereas the percentages of rodents decreased with greater mean annual precipitation, especially in northern and western areas of North America. From the 1920s through 1980s, in northern and eastern areas the percentage of species that was shrews decreased, and in northern and central areas the percentage of individuals that was murid rats and mice increased. Human alterations of habitats during these seven decades are postulated to have caused changes in available small mammals, leading to changes in the barn-owl diet.

  11. Breeding biology of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia

    Treesearch

    Lorraine A. Andrusiak; K. M. Cheng

    1997-01-01

    Breeding of the Barn Owl was studied from 1990-1992 in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the northern limit of the species' North American range. Over 3 years, mean clutch size was 6.5 ± 3.5, mean brood size at time of banding was 3.3 ± 2.0, and mean number of nestlings fledged was 2.6 ± 2.1. Clutch size ranged from 2 to 18 eggs....

  12. Spatial cue reliability drives frequency tuning in the barn Owl's midbrain.

    PubMed

    Cazettes, Fanny; Fischer, Brian J; Pena, Jose L

    2014-12-22

    The robust representation of the environment from unreliable sensory cues is vital for the efficient function of the brain. However, how the neural processing captures the most reliable cues is unknown. The interaural time difference (ITD) is the primary cue to localize sound in horizontal space. ITD is encoded in the firing rate of neurons that detect interaural phase difference (IPD). Due to the filtering effect of the head, IPD for a given location varies depending on the environmental context. We found that, in barn owls, at each location there is a frequency range where the head filtering yields the most reliable IPDs across contexts. Remarkably, the frequency tuning of space-specific neurons in the owl's midbrain varies with their preferred sound location, matching the range that carries the most reliable IPD. Thus, frequency tuning in the owl's space-specific neurons reflects a higher-order feature of the code that captures cue reliability.

  13. Overt attention toward oriented objects in free-viewing barn owls

    PubMed Central

    Harmening, Wolf Maximilian; Orlowski, Julius; Ben-Shahar, Ohad; Wagner, Hermann

    2011-01-01

    Visual saliency based on orientation contrast is a perceptual product attributed to the functional organization of the mammalian brain. We examined this visual phenomenon in barn owls by mounting a wireless video microcamera on the owls’ heads and confronting them with visual scenes that contained one differently oriented target among similarly oriented distracters. Without being confined by any particular task, the owls looked significantly longer, more often, and earlier at the target, thus exhibiting visual search strategies so far demonstrated in similar conditions only in primates. Given the considerable differences in phylogeny and the structure of visual pathways between owls and humans, these findings suggest that orientation saliency has computational optimality in a wide variety of ecological contexts, and thus constitutes a universal building block for efficient visual information processing in general. PMID:21536886

  14. Visual pop-out in barn owls: Human-like behavior in the avian brain.

    PubMed

    Orlowski, Julius; Beissel, Christian; Rohn, Friederike; Adato, Yair; Wagner, Hermann; Ben-Shahar, Ohad

    2015-01-01

    Visual pop-out is a phenomenon by which the latency to detect a target in a scene is independent of the number of other elements, the distractors. Pop-out is an effective visual-search guidance that occurs typically when the target is distinct in one feature from the distractors, thus facilitating fast detection of predators or prey. However, apart from studies on primates, pop-out has been examined in few species and demonstrated thus far in rats, archer fish, and pigeons only. To fill this gap, here we study pop-out in barn owls. These birds are a unique model system for such exploration because their lack of eye movements dictates visual behavior dominated by head movements. Head saccades and interspersed fixation periods can therefore be tracked and analyzed with a head-mounted wireless microcamera--the OwlCam. Using this methodology we confronted two owls with scenes containing search arrays of one target among varying numbers (15-63) of similar looking distractors. We tested targets distinct either by orientation (Experiment 1) or luminance contrast (Experiment 2). Search time and the number of saccades until the target was fixated remained largely independent of the number of distractors in both experiments. This suggests that barn owls can exhibit pop-out during visual search, thus expanding the group of species and brain structures that can cope with this fundamental visual behavior. The utility of our automatic analysis method is further discussed for other species and scientific questions.

  15. Biophysical basis of the sound analog membrane potential that underlies coincidence detection in the barn owl

    PubMed Central

    Ashida, Go; Funabiki, Kazuo; Carr, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Interaural time difference (ITD), or the difference in timing of a sound wave arriving at the two ears, is a fundamental cue for sound localization. A wide variety of animals have specialized neural circuits dedicated to the computation of ITDs. In the avian auditory brainstem, ITDs are encoded as the spike rates in the coincidence detector neurons of the nucleus laminaris (NL). NL neurons compare the binaural phase-locked inputs from the axons of ipsi- and contralateral nucleus magnocellularis (NM) neurons. Intracellular recordings from the barn owl's NL in vivo showed that tonal stimuli induce oscillations in the membrane potential. Since this oscillatory potential resembled the stimulus sound waveform, it was named the sound analog potential (Funabiki et al., 2011). Previous modeling studies suggested that a convergence of phase-locked spikes from NM leads to an oscillatory membrane potential in NL, but how presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic factors affect the formation of the sound analog potential remains to be investigated. In the accompanying paper, we derive analytical relations between these parameters and the signal and noise components of the oscillation. In this paper, we focus on the effects of the number of presynaptic NM fibers, the mean firing rate of these fibers, their average degree of phase-locking, and the synaptic time scale. Theoretical analyses and numerical simulations show that, provided the total synaptic input is kept constant, changes in the number and spike rate of NM fibers alter the ITD-independent noise whereas the degree of phase-locking is linearly converted to the ITD-dependent signal component of the sound analog potential. The synaptic time constant affects the signal more prominently than the noise, making faster synaptic input more suitable for effective ITD computation. PMID:24265615

  16. Development of output connections from the inferior colliculus to the optic tectum in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Nieder, Bärbel; Wagner, Hermann; Luksch, Harald

    2003-09-29

    We studied the development of the projection from the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) to the optic tectum (OT) in the barn owl. The projection was labeled by tracer application in vitro to either the OT or the ICX, or by staining ICX cells intracellularly with biocytin. The axons of ICX neurons bifurcated into an ascending branch that projected toward the OT and a descending branch that coursed caudally to an unknown target in the brainstem. Axons of the ICX were observed to grow into the OT from embryonic day 16 (E16) on. From E22 on, side branches of the axonal projections could be found within the OT. At the day of hatching (E32), the projection displayed a dorsoventral topography comparable to the adult owl; however, atopically projecting cells remained. The complexity of the axonal arborization in the adult barn owl was found to be slightly increased compared with the hatchling. The terminal area of individual ICX cells in the OT of the adult barn owl was still broad, a finding that had not been expected from the sharply defined physiological response properties of the bimodal neurons in the space map of the OT. However, the width of the termination zone was in accordance with the large dendritic tree of the adult ICX cells, because both spanned comparable angles in their respective maps. Our data suggest that a coarse projection from the ICX to the OT can develop without coherent sensory input and may, therefore, be innately determined. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Neural maps of interaural time and intensity differences in the optic tectum of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Olsen, J F; Knudsen, E I; Esterly, S D

    1989-07-01

    This report describes the binaural basis of the auditory space map in the optic tectum of the barn owl (Tyto alba). Single units were recorded extracellularly in ketamine-anesthetized birds. Unit tuning for interaural differences in timing and intensity of wideband noise was measured using digitally synthesized sound presented through earphones. Spatial receptive fields of the same units were measured with a free field sound source. Auditory units in the optic tectum are sharply tuned for both the azimuth and the elevation of a free field sound source. To determine the binaural cues that could be responsible for this spatial tuning, we measured in the ear canals the amplitude and phase spectra produced by a free field noise source and calculated from these measurements the interaural differences in time and intensity associated with each of 178 locations throughout the frontal hemisphere. For all frequencies, interaural time differences (ITDs) varied systematically and most strongly with source azimuth. The pattern of variation of interaural intensity differences (IIDs) depended on frequency. For low frequencies (below 4 kHz) IID varied primarily with source azimuth, whereas for high frequencies (above 5 kHz) IID varied primarily with source elevation. Tectal units were tuned for interaural differences in both time and intensity of dichotic stimuli. Changing either parameter away from the best value for the unit decreased the unit's response. The tuning of units to either parameter was sharp: the width of ITD tuning curves, measured at 50% of the maximum response with IID held constant (50% tuning width), ranged from 18 to 82 microsecs. The 50% tuning widths of IID tuning curves, measured with ITD held constant, ranged from 8 to 37 dB. For most units, tuning for ITD was largely independent of IID, and vice versa. A few units exhibited systematic shifts of the best ITD with changes in IID (or shifts of the best IID with changes in ITD); for these units, a change in

  18. Composition of the body mass overshoot in European barn owl nestlings (Tyto alba): insurance against scarcity of energy or water?

    PubMed

    Durant, Joël M; Landys, Meta M; Handrich, Yves

    2008-07-01

    European barn owl chicks (Tyto alba) show a body mass overshoot prior to fledging that has been predicted to serve as an energy reservoir during periods of stochastic food availability. However, the composition of the mass overshoot has heretofore not been directly examined in nestlings of this or any other species displaying a body mass overshoot during growth (e.g., raptors and seabirds). To experimentally determine whether the overshoot in body mass in juvenile European barn owls (Tyto alba) may act as an energy reservoir, we compared the body composition of owl chicks raised on an ad libitum diet to those fed a restricted diet designed to eliminate the overshoot. Chicks raised on the two diets were also compared for differences in maturation of diverse functions (e.g., locomotion) and tissues (e.g., skeletal development). Contrary to expectations, our results on body composition in juvenile barn owls indicate that the mass overshoot prior to fledging is primarily comprised of an increased water compartment. Thus, we suggest that the mass overshoot in owls (and possibly in other species) does not serve as an energy reservoir but, rather, may function as an insurance against dehydration when hot in-nest conditions force chicks to rely on evaporative cooling: temperatures in barn owl nests can reach up to 43 degrees C. We found no significant differences in maturation indexes between diet treatments at the time of fledging.

  19. Organochlorine residues, eggshell thickness, and nest success in barn owls from the Chesapeake Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klaas, E.E.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Swineford, D.M.

    1978-01-01

    Eggs of barn owls (Tyto alba) were collected from 18 nests in offshore duck blinds on the Maryland side of the lower Potomac River estuary in 1972 and 1973 and analyzed for organochlorine residues. DDE was found in 100% of the clutches, PCBs in 89%, and dieldrin in 78%. Eggshell thickness was inversely correlated with concentrations of DDE, DDD, and dieldrin residues. Six of the 18 clutches had mean DDE residues above 5 ppm, and eggshell thickness in these six clutches was significantly less (P < 0.001) than in the other 12 clutches. The owls produced 1.7 young per active nest in 1973. This rate is slightly below the reproductive rate needed to maintain a stable population. An estimated 15% of the population carried concentrations of organochlorine residues that may have been detrimental to their reproduction. Passerine birds, taken extensively as food by a small proportion of the population, are believed to have been the source of elevated concentrations of organochlorines in these barn owls.

  20. Effects of vole fluctuations on the population dynamics of the barn owl Tyto alba.

    PubMed

    Klok, Chris; de Roos, Andre M

    2007-01-01

    Many predator species feed on prey that fluctuates in abundance from year to year. Birds of prey can face large fluctuations in food abundance i.e. small mammals, especially voles. These annual changes in prey abundance strongly affect the reproductive success and mortality of the individual predators and thus can be expected to influence their population dynamics and persistence. The barn owl, for example, shows large fluctuations in breeding success that correlate with the dynamics in voles, their main prey species. Analysis of the impact of fluctuations in vole abundance (their amplitude, peaks and lows, cycle length and regularity) with a simple predator prey model parameterized with literature data indicates population persistence is especially affected by years with low vole abundance. In these years the population can decline to low owl numbers such that the ensuing peak vole years cannot be exploited. This result is independent of the length and regularity of vole fluctuations. The relevance of this result for conservation of the barn owl and other birds of prey that show a numerical response to fluctuating prey species is discussed.

  1. Genetic divergence analysis of the Common Barn Owl Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769) and the Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) from southern Chile using COI sequence.

    PubMed

    Colihueque, Nelson; Gantz, Alberto; Rau, Jaime Ricardo; Parraguez, Margarita

    2015-01-01

    In this paper new mitochondrial COI sequences of Common Barn Owl Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769) and Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) from southern Chile are reported and compared with sequences from other parts of the World. The intraspecific genetic divergence (mean p-distance) was 4.6 to 5.5% for the Common Barn Owl in comparison with specimens from northern Europe and Australasia and 3.1% for the Short-eared Owl with respect to samples from north America, northern Europe and northern Asia. Phylogenetic analyses revealed three distinctive groups for the Common Barn Owl: (i) South America (Chile and Argentina) plus Central and North America, (ii) northern Europe and (iii) Australasia, and two distinctive groups for the Short-eared Owl: (i) South America (Chile and Argentina) and (ii) north America plus northern Europe and northern Asia. The level of genetic divergence observed in both species exceeds the upper limit of intraspecific comparisons reported previously for Strigiformes. Therefore, this suggests that further research is needed to assess the taxonomic status, particularly for the Chilean populations that, to date, have been identified as belonging to these species through traditional taxonomy.

  2. Genetic divergence analysis of the Common Barn Owl Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769) and the Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) from southern Chile using COI sequence

    PubMed Central

    Colihueque, Nelson; Gantz, Alberto; Rau, Jaime Ricardo; Parraguez, Margarita

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In this paper new mitochondrial COI sequences of Common Barn Owl Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769) and Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) from southern Chile are reported and compared with sequences from other parts of the World. The intraspecific genetic divergence (mean p-distance) was 4.6 to 5.5% for the Common Barn Owl in comparison with specimens from northern Europe and Australasia and 3.1% for the Short-eared Owl with respect to samples from north America, northern Europe and northern Asia. Phylogenetic analyses revealed three distinctive groups for the Common Barn Owl: (i) South America (Chile and Argentina) plus Central and North America, (ii) northern Europe and (iii) Australasia, and two distinctive groups for the Short-eared Owl: (i) South America (Chile and Argentina) and (ii) north America plus northern Europe and northern Asia. The level of genetic divergence observed in both species exceeds the upper limit of intraspecific comparisons reported previously for Strigiformes. Therefore, this suggests that further research is needed to assess the taxonomic status, particularly for the Chilean populations that, to date, have been identified as belonging to these species through traditional taxonomy. PMID:26668551

  3. Bidirectional regulation of the cAMP response element binding protein encodes spatial map alignment in prism-adapting barn owls.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Grant S; DeBello, William M

    2008-10-01

    The barn owl midbrain contains mutually aligned maps of auditory and visual space. Throughout life, map alignment is maintained through the actions of an instructive signal that encodes the magnitude of auditory-visual mismatch. The intracellular signaling pathways activated by this signal are unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein) provides a cell-specific readout of instructive information. Owls were fitted with prismatic or control spectacles and provided rich auditory-visual experience: hunting live mice. CREB activation was analyzed within 30 min of hunting using phosphorylation state-specific CREB (pCREB) and CREB antibodies, confocal imaging, and immunofluorescence measurements at individual cell nuclei. In control owls or prism-adapted owls, which experience small instructive signals, the frequency distributions of pCREB/CREB values obtained for cell nuclei within the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) were unimodal. In contrast, in owls adapting to prisms or readapting to normal conditions, the distributions were bimodal: certain cells had received a signal that positively regulated CREB and, by extension, transcription of CREB-dependent genes, whereas others received a signal that negatively regulated it. These changes were restricted to the subregion of the inferior colliculus that received optically displaced input, the rostral ICX, and were not evident in the caudal ICX or central nucleus. Finally, the topographic pattern of CREB regulation was patchy, not continuous, as expected from the actions of a topographically precise signal encoding discrete events. These results support a model in which the magnitude of CREB activation within individual cells provides a readout of the instructive signal that guides plasticity and learning.

  4. Bidirectional Regulation of the Cyclic-AMP Response Element Binding Protein Encodes Spatial Map Alignment in Prism-Adapting Barn Owls

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Grant S; DeBello, William M

    2012-01-01

    The barn owl midbrain contains mutually aligned maps of auditory and visual space. Throughout life, map alignment is maintained through the actions of an instructive signal that encodes the magnitude of auditory-visual mismatch. The intracellular signaling pathways activated by this signal are unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that CREB (cAMP response element binding protein) provides a cell-specific readout of instructive information. Owls were fitted with prismatic or control spectacles and provided rich auditory-visual experience - hunting live mice. CREB activation was analyzed within 30 minutes of hunting using phosphorylation state-specific (pCREB) and CREB antibodies, confocal imaging and immunofluorescence measurements at individual cell nuclei. In control owls or prism-adapted owls, which experience small instructive signals, the frequency distributions of pCREB/CREB values obtained for cell nuclei within the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) were unimodal. In contrast, in owls adapting to prisms or re-adapting to normal conditions, the distributions were bimodal: certain cells had received a signal that positively regulated CREB, and by extension, transcription of CREB-dependent genes, while others a signal that negatively regulated it. These changes were restricted to the sub-region of the inferior colliculus that received optically displaced input, the rostral ICX, and not evident in the caudal ICX or central nucleus. Finally, the topographic pattern of CREB regulation was patchy, not continuous, as expected from the actions of a topographically precise signal encoding discrete events. These results support a model in which the magnitude of CREB activation within individual cells provides a readout of the instructive signal that guides plasticity and learning. PMID:18829948

  5. Morphometric characterisation of wing feathers of the barn owl Tyto alba pratincola and the pigeon Columba livia

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Thomas; Klän, Stephan; Baumgartner, Werner; Klaas, Michael; Schröder, Wolfgang; Wagner, Hermann

    2007-01-01

    Background Owls are known for their silent flight. Even though there is some information available on the mechanisms that lead to a reduction of noise emission, neither the morphological basis, nor the biological mechanisms of the owl's silent flight are known. Therefore, we have initiated a systematic analysis of wing morphology in both a specialist, the barn owl, and a generalist, the pigeon. This report presents a comparison between the feathers of the barn owl and the pigeon and emphasise the specific characteristics of the owl's feathers on macroscopic and microscopic level. An understanding of the features and mechanisms underlying this silent flight might eventually be employed for aerodynamic purposes and lead to a new wing design in modern aircrafts. Results A variety of different feathers (six remiges and six coverts), taken from several specimen in either species, were investigated. Quantitative analysis of digital images and scanning electron microscopy were used for a morphometric characterisation. Although both species have comparable body weights, barn owl feathers were in general larger than pigeon feathers. For both species, the depth and the area of the outer vanes of the remiges were typically smaller than those of the inner vanes. This difference was more pronounced in the barn owl than in the pigeon. Owl feathers also had lesser radiates, longer pennula, and were more translucent than pigeon feathers. The two species achieved smooth edges and regular surfaces of the vanes by different construction principles: while the angles of attachment to the rachis and the length of the barbs was nearly constant for the barn owl, these parameters varied in the pigeon. We also present a quantitative description of several characteristic features of barn owl feathers, e.g., the serrations at the leading edge of the wing, the fringes at the edges of each feather, and the velvet-like dorsal surface. Conclusion The quantitative description of the feathers and

  6. Morphometric characterisation of wing feathers of the barn owl Tyto alba pratincola and the pigeon Columba livia.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Thomas; Klän, Stephan; Baumgartner, Werner; Klaas, Michael; Schröder, Wolfgang; Wagner, Hermann

    2007-11-21

    Owls are known for their silent flight. Even though there is some information available on the mechanisms that lead to a reduction of noise emission, neither the morphological basis, nor the biological mechanisms of the owl's silent flight are known. Therefore, we have initiated a systematic analysis of wing morphology in both a specialist, the barn owl, and a generalist, the pigeon. This report presents a comparison between the feathers of the barn owl and the pigeon and emphasise the specific characteristics of the owl's feathers on macroscopic and microscopic level. An understanding of the features and mechanisms underlying this silent flight might eventually be employed for aerodynamic purposes and lead to a new wing design in modern aircrafts. A variety of different feathers (six remiges and six coverts), taken from several specimen in either species, were investigated. Quantitative analysis of digital images and scanning electron microscopy were used for a morphometric characterisation. Although both species have comparable body weights, barn owl feathers were in general larger than pigeon feathers. For both species, the depth and the area of the outer vanes of the remiges were typically smaller than those of the inner vanes. This difference was more pronounced in the barn owl than in the pigeon. Owl feathers also had lesser radiates, longer pennula, and were more translucent than pigeon feathers. The two species achieved smooth edges and regular surfaces of the vanes by different construction principles: while the angles of attachment to the rachis and the length of the barbs was nearly constant for the barn owl, these parameters varied in the pigeon. We also present a quantitative description of several characteristic features of barn owl feathers, e.g., the serrations at the leading edge of the wing, the fringes at the edges of each feather, and the velvet-like dorsal surface. The quantitative description of the feathers and the specific structures of owl

  7. Inner vane fringes of barn owl feathers reconsidered: morphometric data and functional aspects.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Thomas; Wagner, Hermann; Tropea, Cameron

    2012-07-01

    It is a challenge to understand how barn owls (Tyto alba) reduce noise during flight to be able to hunt small mammals by audition. Several specializations of the wing and the wing feathers have been implicated in noise reduction. What has been overlooked so far are the fringes at the inner vanes of remiges. We demonstrated, by using precise imaging techniques combined with morphometric measurements and air-flow studies, that these fringes merge into neighboring feather vanes by gliding into the grooves at the lower wing surface that are formed by parallel-oriented barb shafts. The connection of adjacent feathers results in a smooth lower wing surface and thus reduces sharp and noisy edges. This finding sheds new light on the mechanisms underlying noise reduction of flying owls. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy © 2012 Anatomical Society.

  8. Leap and strike kinetics of an acoustically 'hunting' barn owl (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Usherwood, James R; Sparkes, Emily L; Weller, Renate

    2014-09-01

    Barn owls are effective hunters of small rodents. One hunting technique is a leap from the ground followed by a brief flight and a plummeting 'strike' onto an acoustically targeted - and potentially entirely hidden - prey. We used forceplate measurements to derive kinetics of the leap and strike. Leaping performance was similar to reported values for guinea fowl. This is likely achieved despite the owl's considerably smaller size because of its relatively long legs and use of wing upstroke. Strikes appear deliberately forceful: impulses could have been spread over larger periods during greater deflections of the centre of mass, as observed in leaping and an alighting landing measurement. The strike, despite forces around 150 times that of a mouse body weight, is not thought to be crucial to the kill; rather, forceful strikes may function primarily to enable rapid penetration of leaf litter or snow cover, allowing grasping of hidden prey. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Inner vane fringes of barn owl feathers reconsidered: morphometric data and functional aspects

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Thomas; Wagner, Hermann; Tropea, Cameron

    2012-01-01

    It is a challenge to understand how barn owls (Tyto alba) reduce noise during flight to be able to hunt small mammals by audition. Several specializations of the wing and the wing feathers have been implicated in noise reduction. What has been overlooked so far are the fringes at the inner vanes of remiges. We demonstrated, by using precise imaging techniques combined with morphometric measurements and air-flow studies, that these fringes merge into neighboring feather vanes by gliding into the grooves at the lower wing surface that are formed by parallel-oriented barb shafts. The connection of adjacent feathers results in a smooth lower wing surface and thus reduces sharp and noisy edges. This finding sheds new light on the mechanisms underlying noise reduction of flying owls. PMID:22471670

  10. The impact of uropygial gland secretions on mechanically induced wearing of barn owl and pigeon body feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ott, Benjamin; Müsse, Annika; Wagner, Hermann

    2016-04-01

    Bird feathers are remarkable structures light but yet durable providing insulation and the ability of flight. Owls are highly specialized birds of prey, widely known for their ability to y silently which is enabled by (micro-) structural specializations of the feathers. The barn owl replaces feathers less frequently in comparison to other same sized birds like pigeons, indicating a much better resistance against material fatigue of these delicate microstructures. We used axisymmetric drop shape analysis (ADSA) of water drop contact angles as a non-destructive method of characterizing wearing processes in feathers. We hypothesized that feathers become more wettable when worn. We also investigated the impact of ethanol treatment in order to remove fatty residues of the uropygial gland secretions, barn owls and pigeons use for preening, on ageing processes. Ethanol treatment resulted in a slight, but significant increase of water repellency in barn owl but not in pigeon flight feathers. Our preliminary data also suggest that the uropygial gland secretions decelerate the wearing process of the feather keratin. We observed this effect in both species, however, it was more distinct for barn owl uropygial gland secretions. The results of this study, obtained by contact angle measurements used as a non-destructive evaluation method of material fatigue, yield insights into the material fatigue of feathers and the decelerating effect of uropygial gland secretions on wear on the other hand.

  11. Spatial variation in the temporal change of male and female melanic ornamentation in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Antoniazza, S; Burri, R

    2011-07-01

    Because the magnitude of selection can vary between sexes and in space and time, sexually antagonistic selection is difficult to demonstrate. In a Swiss population of barn owls (Tyto alba), a heritable eumelanic colour trait (size of black spots on ventral feathers) was positively selected with respect to yearling survival only in females. It remains unclear whether the absence of negative selection in males is typical in this species. To tackle this issue indirectly, we measured the size of black spots in 1733 skin specimens collected by museums from 1816 to 2001 in seven European countries and in the Middle-East. The temporal change in spot size was sex- and country-specific. In males, spots became smaller particularly in three countries (Middle-East, Italy and Switzerland). In females, the size of spots increased significantly in two countries (UK and Spain) and decreased in two others (Germany and Switzerland). Because migration and phenotypic plasticity cannot explain these results, selection is the most likely cause. The weaker temporal change in spot size in females than males may be because of the combined effect of strong genetic correlation between the sexes and stronger negative selection in males than positive selection in females. We thus suggest that in the barn owl, spot size (or genetically correlated traits) is sexually antagonistically selected and that its pattern of selection may account for the maintenance of its variation and sexual dimorphism. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Local adaptation maintains clinal variation in melanin-based coloration of European barn owls (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Antoniazza, Sylvain; Burri, Reto; Fumagalli, Luca; Goudet, Jérôme; Roulin, Alexandre

    2010-07-01

    Ecological parameters vary in space, and the resulting heterogeneity of selective forces can drive adaptive population divergence. Clinal variation represents a classical model to study the interplay of gene flow and selection in the dynamics of this local adaptation process. Although geographic variation in phenotypic traits in discrete populations could be remainders of past adaptation, maintenance of adaptive clinal variation requires recurrent selection. Clinal variation in genetically determined traits is generally attributed to adaptation of different genotypes to local conditions along an environmental gradient, although it can as well arise from neutral processes. Here, we investigated whether selection accounts for the strong clinal variation observed in a highly heritable pheomelanin-based color trait in the European barn owl by comparing spatial differentiation of color and of neutral genes among populations. Barn owl's coloration varies continuously from white in southwestern Europe to reddish-brown in northeastern Europe. A very low differentiation at neutral genetic markers suggests that substantial gene flow occurs among populations. The persistence of pronounced color differentiation despite this strong gene flow is consistent with the hypothesis that selection is the primary force maintaining color variation among European populations. Therefore, the color cline is most likely the result of local adaptation.

  13. Darker eumelanic barn owls better withstand food depletion through resistance to food deprivation and lower appetite.

    PubMed

    Dreiss, Amélie; Henry, Isabelle; Ruppli, Charlène; Almasi, Bettina; Roulin, Alexandre

    2010-09-01

    The intensity of selection exerted on ornaments typically varies between environments. Reaction norms may help to identify the conditions under which ornamented individuals have a selective advantage over drab conspecifics. It has been recently hypothesized that in vertebrates eumelanin-based coloration reflects the ability to regulate the balance between energy intake and expenditure. We tested two predictions of this hypothesis in barn owl nestlings, namely that darker eumelanic individuals have a lower appetite and lose less weight when food-deprived. We found that individuals fed ad libitum during 24 h consumed less food when their plumage was marked with larger black spots. When food-deprived for 24 h nestlings displaying larger black spots lost less weight. Thus, in the barn owl the degree of eumelanin-based coloration reflects the ability to withstand periods of food depletion through lower appetite and resistance to food restriction. Eumelanic coloration may therefore be associated with adaptations to environments where the risk of food depletion is high.

  14. Local adaptation and matching habitat choice in female barn owls with respect to melanic coloration.

    PubMed

    Dreiss, A N; Antoniazza, S; Burri, R; Fumagalli, L; Sonnay, C; Frey, C; Goudet, J; Roulin, Alexandre

    2012-01-01

    Local adaptation is a major mechanism underlying the maintenance of phenotypic variation in spatially heterogeneous environments. In the barn owl (Tyto alba), dark and pale reddish-pheomelanic individuals are adapted to conditions prevailing in northern and southern Europe, respectively. Using a long-term dataset from Central Europe, we report results consistent with the hypothesis that the different pheomelanic phenotypes are adapted to specific local conditions in females, but not in males. Compared to whitish females, reddish females bred in sites surrounded by more arable fields and less forests. Colour-dependent habitat choice was apparently beneficial. First, whitish females produced more fledglings when breeding in wooded areas, whereas reddish females when breeding in sites with more arable fields. Second, cross-fostering experiments showed that female nestlings grew wings more rapidly when both their foster and biological mothers were of similar colour. The latter result suggests that mothers should particularly produce daughters in environments that best match their own coloration. Accordingly, whiter females produced fewer daughters in territories with more arable fields. In conclusion, females displaying alternative melanic phenotypes bred in habitats providing them with the highest fitness benefits. Although small in magnitude, matching habitat selection and local adaptation may help maintain variation in pheomelanin coloration in the barn owl. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. A pathway for predation in the brain of the barn owl (Tyto alba)

    PubMed Central

    Wild, J. M.; Kubke, M. F.; Peña, J. L.

    2008-01-01

    The Wulst of birds, which is generally considered homologous with the isocortex of mammals, comprises an elevation on the dorsum of the telencephalon that is particularly prominent in predatory species, especially those with large, frontally placed eyes, such as owls. The Wulst, therefore, is largely visual, but a relatively small rostral portion is somatosensory in nature. In barn owls this rostral somatosensory part of the Wulst forms a unique physical protuberance dedicated to the representation of the contralateral claw. Here we investigate whether the input to this ‘claw area’ arises from dorsal thalamic neurons that, in turn, receive their somatosensory input from the gracile nucleus. Following injections of biotinylated dextran amine into the gracile nucleus and cholera toxin B-chain into the claw area, terminations from the former and retrogradely labeled neurons from the latter overlapped substantially in the thalamic nucleus dorsalis intermedius ventralis anterior. These results indicate the existence in this species of a ‘classical’ trisynaptic somatosensory pathway from the body periphery to the telencephalic Wulst, via the dorsal thalamus, one that is likely involved in the barn owl’s predatory behavior. The results are discussed in the context of somatosensory projections, primarily in this and other avian species. PMID:18461603

  16. Nestling barn owls assess short-term variation in the amount of vocally competing siblings.

    PubMed

    Ruppli, Charlène A; Dreiss, Amélie N; Roulin, Alexandre

    2013-11-01

    Assessing the amount of rivals is crucial to optimally adjust investment into a contest. If laboratory animals show numerical abilities, little is known about the ecological implications particularly in young animals. The two to nine barn owl (Tyto alba) siblings vocally compete for priority of access to food resources before parents actually deliver them. In dyads, the individual that vocalizes at the highest rate in the absence of parents deters its siblings from competing for next delivered prey. We tested the novel hypothesis that to optimally adjust vocal investment, barn owl nestlings assess how many of their siblings are currently competing. To singleton owlets, we broadcasted a fixed global number of calls emitted by one, two or four pre-recorded unfamiliar nestlings. We could thus distinguish the independent effect on singletons' vocal behavior of the global number of calls produced by a brood from the number of competitors that produced these calls. Overall, nestlings retreated more from vocal contest when facing more competitors. However, in front of one highly motivated competitor, nestlings refrained from vocalizing to a larger extent than when competing against more but less motivated individuals. Therefore, young animals assess variation in the number of currently competing siblings based on individual-specific vocal cues.

  17. Mortality causes in British Barn Owls (Tyto alba), based on 1,101 carcasses examined during 1963-1996

    Treesearch

    I. Newton; I. Wyllie; L. Dale

    1997-01-01

    During 1963-1996, 1,101 Barn Owl (Tyto alba) carcasses were received for autopsy and chemical analysis. Much larger numbers were received per month outside the breeding season than within it. A peak in the monthly mortality of first year birds occurred in autumn (November) and a peak in the mortality of adults in late winter (March).

  18. The basilar papilla of the barn owl Tyto alba: a quantitative morphological SEM analysis.

    PubMed

    Fischer, F P; Köppl, C; Manley, G A

    1988-07-01

    The barn owl has the longest basilar papilla (about 12 mm) of all bird species studied. In the apical half several morphological parameters change regularly: stereovillar number per hair cell, length of the stereovillar bundle and cell surface area decrease from basal to apical. Cell number across the papilla, width of stereovillar bundle, diameter of a single stereovillus and height of stereovilli increase in the same direction. The orientation of the stereovillar bundles' long axis is parallel (0 degrees) to the edges of the papilla at the neural and the abneural sides, whereas along the midline there is a zone with an orientation of 50 degrees towards the apex; apically, this change in orientation may increase up to 90 degrees. In the basal half of the owl papilla the situation is different: most parameters are fairly constant, e.g. stereovillar height, mean orientation of stereovillar bundles (0 degrees), bundle shape and stereovillar number per hair cell. As the basilar papilla of birds is known to be tonotopically organized, with the high frequency range being represented basally, the different organization of the basal half of the owl papilla may be a specialization related to the excellent high frequency hearing.

  19. Spatial cue reliability drives frequency tuning in the barn Owl's midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Cazettes, Fanny; Fischer, Brian J; Pena, Jose L

    2014-01-01

    The robust representation of the environment from unreliable sensory cues is vital for the efficient function of the brain. However, how the neural processing captures the most reliable cues is unknown. The interaural time difference (ITD) is the primary cue to localize sound in horizontal space. ITD is encoded in the firing rate of neurons that detect interaural phase difference (IPD). Due to the filtering effect of the head, IPD for a given location varies depending on the environmental context. We found that, in barn owls, at each location there is a frequency range where the head filtering yields the most reliable IPDs across contexts. Remarkably, the frequency tuning of space-specific neurons in the owl's midbrain varies with their preferred sound location, matching the range that carries the most reliable IPD. Thus, frequency tuning in the owl's space-specific neurons reflects a higher-order feature of the code that captures cue reliability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04854.001 PMID:25531067

  20. The trigger for barn owl (Tyto alba) attack is the onset of stopping or progressing of the prey.

    PubMed

    Fux, Michal; Eilam, David

    2009-05-01

    Aiming at the question of whether barn owls favor to strike a moving or a stationary prey, we scrutinized the timing of launching 50 attacks of five barn owls (10 attacks/owl) in a captive environment. Attacks on stationary voles outnumbered attacks on moving voles, but this could merely reflect the higher portion of time during which voles were stationary. Notably, the majority of attacks (85-100%) were launched in less than 2s (measured at accuracy of 0.04 s) after the voles ceased to progress or initiated progression. Therefore, the trigger for launching an attack is the transition of the prey from locomotion to still posture or vice versa.

  1. Site of auditory plasticity in the brain stem (VLVp) of the owl revealed by early monaural occlusion.

    PubMed

    Mogdans, J; Knudsen, E I

    1994-12-01

    1. The optic tectum of the barn owl contains a physiological map of interaural level difference (ILD) that underlies, in part, its map of auditory space. Monaural occlusion shifts the range of ILDs experienced by an animal and alters the correspondence of ILDs with source locations. Chronic monaural occlusion during development induces an adaptive shift in the tectal ILD map that compensates for the effects of the earplug. The data presented in this study indicate that one site of plasticity underlying this adaptive adjustment is in the posterior division of the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (VLVp), the first site of ILD comparison in the auditory pathway. 2. Single and multiple unit sites were recorded in the optic tecta and VLVps of ketamine-anesthetized owls. The owls were raised from 4 wk of age with one ear occluded with an earplug. Auditory testing, using digitally synthesized dichotic stimuli, was carried out 8-16 wk later with the earplug removed. The adaptive adjustment in ILD coding in each bird was quantified as the shift from normal ILD tuning measured in the optic tectum. Evidence of adaptive adjustment in the VLVp was based on statistical differences between the VLVp's ipsilateral and contralateral to the occluded ear in the sensitivity of units to excitatory-ear and inhibitory-ear stimulation. 3. The balance of excitatory to inhibitory influences on VLVp units was shifted in the adaptive direction in six out of eight owls. In three of these owls, adaptive differences in inhibition, but not in excitation, were found. For this group of owls, the patterns of response properties across the two VLVps can only be accounted for by plasticity in the VLVp. For the other three owls, the possibility that the difference between the two VLVps resulted from damage to one of the VLVps could not be eliminated, and for one of these, plasticity at a more peripheral site (in the cochlea or cochlear nucleus) could also explain the data. In the remaining two

  2. Commissural connections mediate inhibition for the computation of interaural level difference in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T T; Keller, C H

    1992-02-01

    In the barn owl (Tyto alba), the posterior nucleus of the ventral lateral lemniscus (VLVp) is the first site of binaural convergence in the pathway that processes interaural level difference (ILD), an important sound-localization cue. The neurons of VLVp are sensitive to ILD because of an excitatory input from the contralateral ear and an inhibitory input from the ipsilateral ear. A previously described projection from the contralateral cochlear nucleus, can account for the excitation. The present study addresses the source of the inhibitory input. We demonstrate with standard axonal transport methods that the left and right VLVps are interconnected via fibers of the commissure of Probst. We further show that the anesthetization of one VLVp renders ineffective the inhibition that is normally evoked by stimulation of the ipsilateral ear. Thus, one cochlear nucleus (driven by the ipsilateral ear) appears to provide inhibition to the ipsilateral VLVp by exciting commissurally-projecting inhibitory neurons in the contralateral VLVp.

  3. A female melanin ornament signals offspring fluctuating asymmetry in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Balloux, François; Dijkstra, Cor; Riols, Christian

    2003-01-22

    Sexual selection theory predicts that males advertise quality by displaying extravagant ornaments. By contrast, whether phenotypic variation in females has a signalling function remains an open question. Here, to our knowledge, we provide the first evidence that a female plumage trait can signal fluctuating asymmetry in the offspring. We experimentally demonstrate in wild barn owls (Tyto alba) that the extent to which females display black spots on their plumage does not only signal offspring parasite resistance as shown in a previous study but also developmental homeostasis in the offspring. A greater number of spotted females produced offspring that had more symmetrical feathers during the period of growth. Males, that pair non-randomly with respect to female plumage spottiness therefore appear to gain substantial benefits by mating with heavily spotted females. Genetic variation in plumage spottiness is nevertheless maintained as the covariation between offspring body mass and mother plumage spottiness varies annually depending on environmental conditions.

  4. Breeding success of barn owls (Tyto alba) fed low levels of DDE and dieldrin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mendenhall, V.M.; Klaas, E.E.; McLane, M.A.R.

    1983-01-01

    The relative importance of two organochlorine pesticides in the recent reproductive failure of raptors was investigated. Captive barn owls were fed 3.0 ppm DDE and 0.5 ppm dieldrin; doses were given separately and in combination for two years. Breeding success was followed from the laying of eggs through natural incubation and rearing of young. DDE was associated with significant eggshell thinning, egg breakage, embryo mortality, and reduced production per pair. Dieldrin alone was associated with slight but significant eggshell thinning, but not with reduction of breeding success. Ecological implications of the results are discussed; it is suggested that DDE had a much more severe effect on reproduction in wild raptors than dieldrin, which contributed to their decline primarily through adult mortality.

  5. Avian wing geometry and kinematics of a free-flying barn owl in flapping flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, Thomas; Konrath, Robert

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents results of high-resolution three-dimensional wing shape measurements performed on free-flying barn owls in flapping flight. The applied measurement technique is introduced together with a moving camera set-up, allowing for an investigation of the free flapping flight of birds with high spatial and temporal resolution. Based on the three-dimensional surface data, a methodology for parameterizing the wing profile along with wing kinematics during flapping flight has been developed. This allowed a description of the spanwise varying kinematics and aerodynamic parameters (e.g. effective angles of attack, camber, thickness) of the wing in dependence on the flapping phase. The results are discussed in detail using the data of a single flight, whereas a comparison of some kinematic parameters obtained from different flights is given too.

  6. Hematologic and plasma biochemistry reference intervals of healthy adult barn owls (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Szabo, Zoltan; Klein, Akos; Jakab, Csaba

    2014-06-01

    Hematologic and plasma biochemistry parameters of barn owls (Tyto alba) were studied in collaboration by the Exotic Division of the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the Szent Istvan University and the Eötvös Loránd University, both in Budapest, Hungary. Blood samples were taken from a total of 42 adult barn owls kept in zoos and bird repatriation stations. The following quantitative and qualitative hematologic values were determined: packed cell volume, 46.2 +/- 4%; hemoglobin concentration, 107 +/- 15 g/L; red blood cell count, 3.2 +/- 0.4 x 10(12)/L; white blood cell count, 13.7 +/- 2.7 x 10(9)/L; heterophils, 56.5 +/- 11.5% (7.8 +/- 2 x 10(9)/L); lymphocytes, 40.3 +/- 10.9% (5.5 +/- 1.9 x 10(9)/L); monocytes, 1.8 +/- 2.1% (0.3 +/- 0.3 x 10(9)/ L); eosinophils, 1 +/- 1% (0.1 +/- 0.1 x 10(9)/L); and basophils, 0.6 +/- 0.5% (0.1 +/- 0.1 x 10(9)/L). The following plasma biochemistry values also were determined: aspartate aminotransferase, 272 +/- 43 U/L; L-gamma-glutamyltransferase, 9.5 +/- 4.7 U/L; lipase, 31.7 +/- 11.1 U/L; creatine kinase, 2228 +/- 578 U/L; lactate dehydrogenase, 1702 +/- 475 U/L; alkaline phosphatase, 358 +/- 197 U/L; amylase, 563 +/- 114 U/L; glutamate dehydrogenase, 7.5 +/- 2.5 U/L; total protein, 30.6 +/- 5.3 g/L; uric acid, 428 +/- 102 micromol/L; and bile acids, 43 +/- 18 micromol/L. These results provide reliable reference values for the clinical interpretation of hematologic and plasma biochemistry results for the species.

  7. Influence of the facial ruff on the sound-receiving characteristics of the barn owl's ears.

    PubMed

    von Campenhausen, Mark; Wagner, Hermann

    2006-10-01

    The barn owl, a nocturnal predator, derives its German name ("Schleiereule", direct English translation "veil owl") from the conspicuous ruff that covers the ear openings and gives the head a face-like appearance. The ruff is a specialization for the perception of sound. The densely-ramified reflector feathers forming the border of the ruff direct sound to the ear-openings. We studied the influence of the ruff on the behaviorally relevant sound-localization parameters interaural time difference (ITD) and interaural level difference (ILD). The directionality of the ear was much greater when the ruff was intact than when the reflector feathers were removed. With ruff intact, the distribution of ILDs was oblique and the maximum ITD occurred around 110 degrees of azimuth. When all head feathers were removed, the steepest ILD gradient was much closer to the horizontal axis and ITD was maximal at 90 degrees . Many effects were frequency specific. Thus, the ruff reflects some properties of the human pinna. However, by shifting the point where ITD becomes maximal beyond 90 degrees , the ruff also introduces a break of the front-back symmetry of ITD.

  8. Influence of double stimulation on sound-localization behavior in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Kettler, Lutz; Wagner, Hermann

    2014-12-01

    Barn owls do not immediately approach a source after they hear a sound, but wait for a second sound before they strike. This represents a gain in striking behavior by avoiding responses to random incidents. However, the first stimulus is also expected to change the threshold for perceiving the subsequent second sound, thus possibly introducing some costs. We mimicked this situation in a behavioral double-stimulus paradigm utilizing saccadic head turns of owls. The first stimulus served as an adapter, was presented in frontal space, and did not elicit a head turn. The second stimulus, emitted from a peripheral source, elicited the head turn. The time interval between both stimuli was varied. Data obtained with double stimulation were compared with data collected with a single stimulus from the same positions as the second stimulus in the double-stimulus paradigm. Sound-localization performance was quantified by the response latency, accuracy, and precision of the head turns. Response latency was increased with double stimuli, while accuracy and precision were decreased. The effect depended on the inter-stimulus interval. These results suggest that waiting for a second stimulus may indeed impose costs on sound localization by adaptation and this reduces the gain obtained by waiting for a second stimulus.

  9. Hunting increases phosphorylation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II in adult barn owls.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Grant S; DeBello, William M

    2015-01-01

    Juvenile barn owls readily adapt to prismatic spectacles, whereas adult owls living under standard aviary conditions do not. We previously demonstrated that phosphorylation of the cyclic-AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) provides a readout of the instructive signals that guide plasticity in juveniles. Here we investigated phosphorylation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKII) in both juveniles and adults. In contrast to CREB, we found no differences in pCaMKII expression between prism-wearing and control juveniles within the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX), the major site of plasticity. For prism-wearing adults that hunted live mice and are capable of adaptation, expression of pCaMKII was increased relative to prism-wearing adults that fed passively on dead mice and are not capable of adaptation. This effect did not bear the hallmarks of instructive information: it was not localized to rostral ICX and did not exhibit a patchy distribution reflecting discrete bimodal stimuli. These data are consistent with a role for CaMKII as a permissive rather than an instructive factor. In addition, the paucity of pCaMKII expression in passively fed adults suggests that the permissive default setting is "off" in adults.

  10. Hunting Increases Phosphorylation of Calcium/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type II in Adult Barn Owls

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Grant S.; DeBello, William M.

    2015-01-01

    Juvenile barn owls readily adapt to prismatic spectacles, whereas adult owls living under standard aviary conditions do not. We previously demonstrated that phosphorylation of the cyclic-AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) provides a readout of the instructive signals that guide plasticity in juveniles. Here we investigated phosphorylation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKII) in both juveniles and adults. In contrast to CREB, we found no differences in pCaMKII expression between prism-wearing and control juveniles within the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX), the major site of plasticity. For prism-wearing adults that hunted live mice and are capable of adaptation, expression of pCaMKII was increased relative to prism-wearing adults that fed passively on dead mice and are not capable of adaptation. This effect did not bear the hallmarks of instructive information: it was not localized to rostral ICX and did not exhibit a patchy distribution reflecting discrete bimodal stimuli. These data are consistent with a role for CaMKII as a permissive rather than an instructive factor. In addition, the paucity of pCaMKII expression in passively fed adults suggests that the permissive default setting is “off” in adults. PMID:25789177

  11. A link between eumelanism and calcium physiology in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre; Dauwe, Tom; Blust, Ronny; Eens, Marcel; Beaud, Michel

    2006-09-01

    In many animals, melanin-based coloration is strongly heritable and is largely insensitive to the environment and body condition. According to the handicap principle, such a trait may not reveal individual quality because the production of different melanin-based colorations often entails similar costs. However, a recent study showed that the production of eumelanin pigments requires relatively large amounts of calcium, potentially implying that melanin-based coloration is associated with physiological processes requiring calcium. If this is the case, eumelanism may be traded-off against other metabolic processes that require the same elements. We used a correlative approach to examine, for the first time, this proposition in the barn owl, a species in which individuals vary in the amount, size, and blackness of eumelanic spots. For this purpose, we measured calcium concentration in the left humerus of 85 dead owls. Results showed that the humeri of heavily spotted individuals had a higher concentration of calcium. This suggests either that plumage spottiness signals the ability to absorb calcium from the diet for both eumelanin production and storage in bones, or that lightly spotted individuals use more calcium for metabolic processes at the expense of calcium storage in bones. Our study supports the idea that eumelanin-based coloration is associated with a number of physiological processes requiring calcium.

  12. A link between eumelanism and calcium physiology in the barn owl

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulin, Alexandre; Dauwe, Tom; Blust, Ronny; Eens, Marcel; Beaud, Michel

    2006-09-01

    In many animals, melanin-based coloration is strongly heritable and is largely insensitive to the environment and body condition. According to the handicap principle, such a trait may not reveal individual quality because the production of different melanin-based colorations often entails similar costs. However, a recent study showed that the production of eumelanin pigments requires relatively large amounts of calcium, potentially implying that melanin-based coloration is associated with physiological processes requiring calcium. If this is the case, eumelanism may be traded-off against other metabolic processes that require the same elements. We used a correlative approach to examine, for the first time, this proposition in the barn owl, a species in which individuals vary in the amount, size, and blackness of eumelanic spots. For this purpose, we measured calcium concentration in the left humerus of 85 dead owls. Results showed that the humeri of heavily spotted individuals had a higher concentration of calcium. This suggests either that plumage spottiness signals the ability to absorb calcium from the diet for both eumelanin production and storage in bones, or that lightly spotted individuals use more calcium for metabolic processes at the expense of calcium storage in bones. Our study supports the idea that eumelanin-based coloration is associated with a number of physiological processes requiring calcium.

  13. Maps of ITD in the Nucleus Laminaris of the Barn Owl

    PubMed Central

    Carr, Catherine; Shah, Sahil; Ashida, Go; McColgan, Thomas; Wagner, Hermann; Kuokkanen, Paula; Kempter, Richard; Köppl, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Axons from the nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and their targets in nucleus laminaris (NL) form the circuit responsible for encoding interaural time differences. In barn owls, NL receives bilateral inputs from NM such that axons from the ipsilateral NM enter NL dorsally, while contralateral axons enter from the ventral side. These afferents and their synapses on NL neurons generate a tone-induced local field potential, or neurophonic, that varies systematically with position in NL. From dorsal to ventral within the nucleus, the best interaural time difference (ITD) of the neurophonic shifts from contralateral space to best ITDs around 0µs. Earlier recordings suggested that in NL, iso-delay contours ran parallel to the dorsal and ventral borders of NL (Sullivan and Konishi, 1986). This axis is orthogonal to that seen in chicken NL, where a single map of ITD runs from around 0µs ITD medially to contralateral space laterally (Köppl and Carr, 2008). Yet the trajectories of the NM axons are similar in owl and chicken (Seidl and Grothe, 2005). We therefore used clicks to measure conduction time in NL, and made lesions to mark the 0µs iso-delay contour in multiple penetrations along an iso-frequency slab. Iso-delay contours were not parallel to the dorsal and ventral borders of NL; instead the 0µs iso-delay contour shifted systematically from a dorsal position in medial NL to a ventral position in lateral NL. Could different conduction delays account for the mediolateral shift in the representation of 0µs ITD? We measured conduction delays using the neurophonic potential, and developed a simple linear model of the delay line conduction velocity. We then raised young owls with time-delaying ear plugs in one ear (Gold and Knudsen, 1999) to examine map plasticity. PMID:23716226

  14. Modeling the Nucleus Laminaris of the Barn Owl: Achieving 20 ps Resolution on a 85-MHz-Clocked Digital Device

    PubMed Central

    Salomon, Ralf; Heinrich, Enrico; Joost, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    The nucleus laminaris of the barn owl auditory system is quite impressive, since its underlying time estimation is much better than the processing speed of the involved neurons. Since precise localization is also very important in many technical applications, this paper explores to what extent the main principles of the nucleus laminaris can be implemented in digital hardware. The first prototypical implementation yields a time resolution of about 20 ps, even though the chosen standard, low-cost device is clocked at only 85 MHz, which leads to an internal duty cycle of approximately 12 ns. In addition, this paper also explores the utility of an advanced sampling scheme, known as unfolding-in-time. It turns out that with this sampling method, the prototype can easily process input signals of up to 300 MHz, which is almost four times higher than the sampling rate. PMID:22347179

  15. Response properties of neurons in the core of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Hermann; Mazer, James A; von Campenhausen, Mark

    2002-04-01

    The central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC) is particularly important for the processing of interaural time differences (ITDs). In the barn owl, neuronal best frequencies in a subnucleus of the ICC, the ICCcore, span the animal's entire hearing range (approximately equal to 200-10 000 Hz). This means that low-frequency ITD-sensitive ICCcore neurons in the owl can be directly compared to ITD-sensitive mammalian ICC neurons with similar best frequencies as well as to the high-frequency ITD-sensitive neurons usually studied in owls. This report represents a first attempt to systematically describe important physiological properties of ICCcore neurons in the barn owl, with particular attention to the low-frequency region (< 2 kHz). Responses were obtained from 133 neurons or small clusters of neurons; recording sites were confirmed by histological reconstruction of electrode tracks based on electrolytic lesions. Iso-intensity frequency response functions were typically approximately equal to 1 octave wide in the low-frequency range and approximately equal to 1/3 octave wide in the high-frequency range. Most neurons were ITD-tuned; both noise and pure tone stimuli yielded periodic ITD tuning curves with several equivalent response maxima. In most cases ITD tuning curves had a response peak within the barn owl's physiological ITD range. ITD tuning widths were inversely correlated with neuronal best frequency. None of the ICCcore neurons studied were sensitive to interaural level differences. Monaural inputs to ICCcore cells were typically binaurally balanced, i.e. they exhibited similar response thresholds, dynamic ranges, slopes and saturation levels, for both left and right ear monaural stimulation.

  16. Insularity and the evolution of melanism, sexual dichromatism and body size in the worldwide-distributed barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Salamin, N

    2010-05-01

    Island biogeography has provided fundamental hypotheses in population genetics, ecology and evolutionary biology. Insular populations usually face different feeding conditions, predation pressure, intraspecific and interspecific competition than continental populations. This so-called island syndrome can promote the evolution of specific phenotypes like a small (or large) body size and a light (or dark) colouration as well as influence the evolution of sexual dimorphism. To examine whether insularity leads to phenotypic differentiation in a consistent way in a worldwide-distributed nonmigratory species, we compared body size, body shape and colouration between insular and continental barn owl (Tyto alba) populations by controlling indirectly for phylogeny. This species is suitable because it varies in pheomelanin-based colouration from reddish-brown to white, and it displays eumelanic black spots for which the number and size vary between individuals, populations and species. Females are on average darker pheomelanic and display more and larger eumelanic spots than males. Our results show that on islands barn owls exhibited smaller and fewer eumelanic spots and lighter pheomelanic colouration, and shorter wings than on continents. Sexual dimorphism in pheomelanin-based colouration was less pronounced on islands than continents (i.e. on islands males tended to be as pheomelanic as females), and on small islands owls were redder pheomelanic and smaller in size than owls living on larger islands. Sexual dimorphism in the size of eumelanic spots was more pronounced (i.e. females displayed much larger spots than males) in barn owls living on islands located further away from a continent. Our study indicates that insular conditions drive the evolution towards a lower degree of eumelanism, smaller body size and affects the evolution of sexual dichromatism in melanin-based colour traits. The effect of insularity was more pronounced on body size and shape than on melanic

  17. Top-Down Control of Multimodal Sensitivity in the Barn Owl Optic Tectum

    PubMed Central

    Winkowski, Daniel E.; Knudsen, Eric I.

    2008-01-01

    We studied the effects of electrically microstimulating a gaze-control area in the owl’s forebrain, the arcopallial gaze fields (AGFs), on the responsiveness of neurons in the optic tectum (OT) to visual and auditory stimuli. Microstimulation of the AGF enhanced the visual and auditory responsiveness and stimulus discriminability of OT neurons representing the same location in space as that represented at the microstimulation site in the AGF. At such OT sites, AGF microstimulation also sharpened auditory receptive fields and shifted them toward the location represented at the AGF stimulation site. At the same time, AGF microstimulation suppressed the responsiveness of OT neurons that represented visual or auditory stimuli at other locations in space. The top-down influences of this forebrain gaze-control area on sensory responsiveness in the owl OT are strikingly similar to the space-specific regulation of visual responsiveness in the monkey visual cortex produced by voluntary attention as well as by microstimulation of the frontal eye fields. This experimental approach provides a means for discovering mechanisms that underlie the top-down regulation of sensory responses. PMID:18045922

  18. Muscular Arrangement and Muscle Attachment Sites in the Cervical Region of the American Barn Owl (Tyto furcata pratincola).

    PubMed

    Boumans, Mark L L M; Krings, Markus; Wagner, Hermann

    2015-01-01

    Owls have the largest head rotation capability amongst vertebrates. Anatomical knowledge of the cervical region is needed to understand the mechanics of these extreme head movements. While data on the morphology of the cervical vertebrae of the barn owl have been provided, this study is aimed to provide an extensive description of the muscle arrangement and the attachment sites of the muscles on the owl's head-neck region. The major cervical muscles were identified by gross dissection of cadavers of the American barn owl (Tyto furcata pratincola), and their origin, courses, and insertion were traced. In the head-neck region nine superficial larger cervical muscles of the craniocervical, dorsal and ventral subsystems were selected for analysis, and the muscle attachment sites were illustrated in digital models of the skull and cervical vertebrae of the same species as well as visualised in a two-dimensional sketch. In addition, fibre orientation and lengths of the muscles and the nature (fleshy or tendinous) of the attachment sites were determined. Myological data from this study were combined with osteological data of the same species. This improved the anatomical description of the cervical region of this species. The myological description provided in this study is to our best knowledge the most detailed documentation of the cervical muscles in a strigiform species presented so far. Our results show useful information for researchers in the field of functional anatomy, biomechanical modelling and for evolutionary and comparative studies.

  19. Influence of contralateral acoustic stimulation on distortion-product and spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Manley, G A; Taschenberger, G; Oeckinghaus, H

    1999-12-01

    The avian auditory papilla provides an interesting object on which to study efferent influences, because whereas a significant population of hair cells in birds is not afferently innervated, all hair cells are efferently innervated (Fischer, 1992, 1994a, b). Previous studies in mammals using contralateral sound to stimulate the efferent system demonstrated a general suppressive effect on spontaneous and click-evoked, as well as on distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE). As little is known about the effects of contralateral stimulation on hearing in birds, we studied the effect of such stimuli (broadband noise, pure tones) on the amplitude of the DPOAE 2f(1)-f(2) and on spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAE) in the barn owl, Tyto alba. For the DPOAE measurements, fixed primary-tone pairs [f(1)=8.875 kHz (ratio=1.2), f(1)=8.353 kHz (ratio=1.15) and f(1)=7.889 kHz (ratio=1.1)] were presented and the DPOAE measured in the presence and absence of continuous contralateral stimulation. The DPOAE often declined in amplitude but in some cases we observed DPOAE enhancement. The changes in amplitude were as large as 9 dB. The influence of the contralateral noise changed over time, however, and the effects of contralateral tones were frequency-dependent. SOAE were suppressed in amplitude and shifted in frequency by contralateral broadband noise. Control measurements in animals after middle-ear muscle resection showed that these phenomena were not attributable to the acoustic middle-ear reflex. The finding of DPOAE enhancement is interesting, because a type of efferent fiber that suppressed its discharge rate during stimulation has been described in birds (Kaiser and Manley, 1994).

  20. Legacy and current-use brominated flame retardants in the Barn Owl.

    PubMed

    Eulaers, Igor; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Pinxten, Rianne; Covaci, Adrian; Eens, Marcel

    2014-02-15

    The present study investigated the current-use brominated flame retardants (BFRs) tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), simultaneously with legacy polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in Barn Owls (Tyto alba) collected from two regions with a contrasting degree of urbanisation and vicinity to point sources (Flanders in Belgium versus Normandy in France). Both tissues (muscle, liver, adipose and preen gland) and feathers (primary, tail and body feathers) showed elevated HBCD concentrations in Flanders, close to Europe's sole HBCD production plant in the Netherlands, and identified Normandy as a historical source region for PBDEs. In sharp contrast, the reactive BFR TBBPA bioaccumulated poorly (2.3%) in tissue samples, but was present in 96% of all body feather samples (0.36-7.07ngg(-1)dw), equally in both regions. PBDE concentrations in tissues (7.46-903 ng g(-1)lw) were considerably lower in the investigated Flemish Barn Owls, collected in 2008/2009, compared to specimens collected in 2003/2004 (46-11,000 ng g(-1)lw), possibly suggesting the effectiveness of the 2004 European ban of Penta- and Octa-BDE mixtures. Feathers showed a similar trend and additionally exhibited HBCD concentrations (0.02-333 ng g(-1)dw) surpassing those of PBDEs (0.50-10.4 ng g(-1)dw). While body feathers were a reliable matrix to predict both internal PBDE (0.21 ≤ R(2)≤ 0.67) and HBCD body burdens (0.20 ≤ R(2) ≤ 0.37), the suitability of primary and tail feathers appeared to be confounded by external contamination and moult. In conclusion, the present study clearly showed that the reactive versus additive use of BFRs results in contrasting exposure scenarios in a species higher up the food chain, and therefore may have profound implications for environmental health. In addition, the presented results extend the promising use of feathers as a non-destructive sampling strategy for current-use BFRs, and show that birds of prey are valid early

  1. Biomonitoring heavy metals using the barn owl (Tyto alba guttata): sources of variation especially relating to body condition.

    PubMed

    Esselink, H; van der Geld, F M; Jager, L P; Posthuma-Trumpie, G A; Zoun, P E; Baars, A J

    1995-05-01

    The feasibility of using the Barn Owl (Tyto alba guttata) to monitor environmental quality in the Netherlands was investigated, using Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, and Fe as indicators for environmental contamination. Throughout 1992, bird-watchers, volunteers, and officials submitted 53 birds. The age and geographical distribution of these birds, formed a representative sample of the population. The following interrelationships were investigated: cause of death, nutrient reserve, age, time of death, place of death, body measurements, sex, condition, and heavy metal concentration in kidney, liver, and tibia. Twenty-eight animals had died after collisions. Fifteen Barn Owls died of exhaustion. In total, twenty-four birds were exhausted, with coccidiosis or other parasitic gastrointestinal infections. The condition of the birds showed that as the birds' condition worsened, fat reserves were depleted before protein reserves. Significant linear relationships were found between decreasing protein reserves and decreasing dry weights of the liver, kidney, flight muscle and heart, but not of the tibia. An asymptotic, nonlinear relation was observed between dry organ weight and fat reserve. This suggested that fat reserves were only found when protein reserves exceeded 15% of the body mass at starvation. Concentrations of Cu and Fe in liver and kidney rose as protein reserves fell; the total content of Cu and Fe per organ, however, remained constant. The Mn concentration of these organs remained constant; Mn content increased with increasing organ sizes. Neither Cd nor Pb showed a clear relationship with parameters of body condition. The ratio between the organ content of Pb or Cd and the dry organ weight, however, revealed some birds from contaminated habitats. The findings suggested that concentrations of environmental contaminants should be measured on a dry weight basis. Furthermore, depending on the pharmacokinetic characteristics of a contaminant, the total content of that

  2. Maps of ITD in the nucleus laminaris of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Carr, Catherine; Shah, Sahil; Ashida, Go; McColgan, Thomas; Wagner, Hermann; Kuokkanen, Paula T; Kempter, Richard; Köppl, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Axons from the nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and their targets in nucleus laminaris (NL) form the circuit responsible for encoding interaural time differences (ITDs). In barn owls, NL receives bilateral inputs from NM such that axons from the ipsilateral NM enter NL dorsally, while contralateral axons enter from the ventral side. These afferents and their synapses on NL neurons generate a tone-induced local field potential, or neurophonic, that varies systematically with position in NL. From dorsal to ventral within the nucleus, the best interaural time difference (ITD) of the neurophonic shifts from contralateral space to best ITDs around 0 µs. Earlier recordings suggested that in NL, iso-delay contours ran parallel to the dorsal and ventral borders of NL (Sullivan WE, Konishi M. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 83:8400-8404, 1986). This axis is orthogonal to that seen in chicken NL, where a single map of ITD runs from around 0 µs ITD medially to contralateral space laterally (Köppl C, Carr CE. Biol Cyber 98:541-559, 2008). Yet the trajectories of the NM axons are similar in owl and chicken (Seidl AH, Rubel EW, Harris DM, J Neurosci 30:70-80, 2010). We therefore used clicks to measure conduction time in NL and made lesions to mark the 0 µs iso-delay contour in multiple penetrations along an isofrequency slab. Iso-delay contours were not parallel to the dorsal and ventral borders of NL; instead the 0 µs iso-delay contour shifted systematically from a dorsal position in medial NL to a ventral position in lateral NL. Could different conduction delays account for the mediolateral shift in the representation of 0 µs ITD? We measured conduction delays using the neurophonic potential and developed a simple linear model of the delay-line conduction velocity. We then raised young owls with time-delaying earplugs in one ear (Gold JI, Knudsen EI, J Neurophysiol 82:2197-2209, 1999) to examine map plasticity.

  3. Population coding of interaural time differences in gerbils and barn owls.

    PubMed

    Lesica, Nicholas A; Lingner, Andrea; Grothe, Benedikt

    2010-09-01

    Interaural time differences (ITDs) are the primary cue for the localization of low-frequency sound sources in the azimuthal plane. For decades, it was assumed that the coding of ITDs in the mammalian brain was similar to that in the avian brain, where information is sparsely distributed across individual neurons, but recent studies have suggested otherwise. In this study, we characterized the representation of ITDs in adult male and female gerbils. First, we performed behavioral experiments to determine the acuity with which gerbils can use ITDs to localize sounds. Next, we used different decoders to infer ITDs from the activity of a population of neurons in central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. These results show that ITDs are not represented in a distributed manner, but rather in the summed activity of the entire population. To contrast these results with those from a population where the representation of ITDs is known to be sparsely distributed, we performed the same analysis on activity from the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus of adult male and female barn owls. Together, our results support the idea that, unlike the avian brain, the mammalian brain represents ITDs in the overall activity of a homogenous population of neurons within each hemisphere.

  4. Estimation and comparison of parameters in stochastic growth models for barn owls

    SciTech Connect

    White, G.C.; Brisbin, I.L. Jr.

    1980-06-01

    Alternative methods for parameter estimation and the incorporation of stochasticity into growth models are investigated and compared to the commonly used sampling error model in which error terms are simply added-on to the integrated form of growth equation. A process error model, in which the process of growth is assumed to have stochastic variation or error incorporated within it, was found to be more appropriate for use with nonlinear estimation procedures based on a minimization of ..sigma..e/sub i//sup 2/. The process error model tended to minimize and/or eliminate the autocorrelation of residuals, which were characteristic of the sampling error model. These analyses further suggest that while the commonly used sampling error growth model may indeed provide unbiased parameter estimates, the estimated variances of such estimates are likely to be unwarrantedly low, thus raising questions as to the validity of any statistical comparisons based on such analyses. The procedure is illustrated with growth data from captive-reared sibling nestling barn owls, using the Richards' growth curve. These analyses suggest that both growth rate and growth form are subject to a higher degree of genetic control than is asymptotic weight which showed a greater tendency to vary according to the hatching order of the nestlings.

  5. Input clustering in the normal and learned circuits of adult barn owls

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Thomas J; DeBello, William M

    2015-01-01

    Experience-dependent formation of synaptic input clusters can occur in juvenile brains. Whether this also occurs in adults is largely unknown. We previously reconstructed the normal and learned circuits of prism-adapted barn owls and found that changes in clustering of axo-dendritic contacts (putative synapses) predicted functional circuit strength. Here we asked whether comparable changes occurred in normal and prism-removed adults. Across all anatomical zones, no systematic differences in the primary metrics for within-branch or between-branch clustering were observed: 95–99% of contacts resided within clusters (<10–20 microns from nearest neighbor) regardless of circuit strength. Bouton volumes, a proxy measure of synaptic strength, were on average larger in the functionally strong zones, indicating that changes in synaptic efficacy contributed to the differences in circuit strength. Bootstrap analysis showed that the distribution of inter-contact distances strongly deviated from random not in the functionally strong zones but in those that had been strong during the sensitive period (60d ~ 250d), indicating that clusters formed early in life were preserved regardless of current value. While cluster formation in juveniles appeared to require the production of new synapses, cluster formation in adults did not. In total, these results support a model in which high cluster dynamics in juveniles sculpt a potential connectivity map that is refined in adulthood. We propose that preservation of clusters in functionally weak adult circuits provides a storage mechanism for disused but potentially useful pathways. PMID:25701706

  6. Why do melanin ornaments signal individual quality? Insights from metal element analysis of barn owl feathers.

    PubMed

    Niecke, Manfred; Rothlaender, Sven; Roulin, Alexandre

    2003-09-01

    Melanin-based variation in colour patterns is under strong genetic control and not, or weakly, sensitive to the environment and body condition. Current signalling theory predicts that such traits may not signal honestly phenotypic quality because their production does not entail a significant fitness cost. However, recent studies revealed that in several bird species melanin-based traits covary with phenotypic attributes. In a first move to understand whether such covariations have a physiological basis, we quantified concentrations of five chemical elements in two pigmented plumage traits in the barn owl (Tyto alba). This bird shows continuous variation from immaculate to heavily marked with black spots (plumage spottiness) and from dark reddish-brown to white (plumage coloration), two traits that signal various aspects of individual quality. These two traits are sexually dimorphic with females being spottier and darker coloured than males. We found an enhancement in calcium and zinc concentration within black spots compared with the unspotted feather parts. The degree to which birds were spotted was positively correlated with calcium concentration within spots, whereas the unspotted feather parts of darker reddish-brown birds were more concentrated in zinc. This suggests that two different pigments are responsible for plumage spottiness and plumage coloration. We discuss the implications of our results in light of recent experimental field studies showing that female spottiness signals offspring humoral response towards an artificially administrated antigen, parasite resistance and fluctuating asymmetry of wing feathers.

  7. Reciprocal preening and food sharing in colour-polymorphic nestling barn owls.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Des Monstiers, B; Ifrid, E; Da Silva, A; Genzoni, E; Dreiss, A N

    2016-02-01

    Barn owl (Tyto alba) siblings preen and offer food items to one another, behaviours that can be considered prosocial because they benefit a conspecific by relieving distress or need. In experimental broods, we analysed whether such behaviours were reciprocated, preferentially exchanged between specific phenotypes, performed to avoid harassment and food theft or signals of hierarchy status. Three of the results are consistent with the hypothesis of direct reciprocity. First, food sharing was reciprocated in three-chick broods but not in pairs of siblings, that is when nestlings could choose a partner with whom to develop a reciprocating interaction. Second, a nestling was more likely to give a prey item to its sibling if the latter individual had preened the former. Third, siblings matched their investment in preening each other. Manipulation of age hierarchy showed that food stealing was directed towards older siblings but was not performed to compensate for a low level of cooperation received. Social behaviours were related to melanin-based coloration, suggesting that animals may signal their propensity to interact socially. The most prosocial phenotype (darker reddish) was also the phenotype that stole more food, and the effect of coloration on prosocial behaviour depended upon rank and sex, suggesting that colour-related prosociality is state dependent. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Improvements of Sound Localization Abilities by the Facial Ruff of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) as Demonstrated by Virtual Ruff Removal

    PubMed Central

    Hausmann, Laura; von Campenhausen, Mark; Endler, Frank; Singheiser, Martin; Wagner, Hermann

    2009-01-01

    Background When sound arrives at the eardrum it has already been filtered by the body, head, and outer ear. This process is mathematically described by the head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), which are characteristic for the spatial position of a sound source and for the individual ear. HRTFs in the barn owl (Tyto alba) are also shaped by the facial ruff, a specialization that alters interaural time differences (ITD), interaural intensity differences (ILD), and the frequency spectrum of the incoming sound to improve sound localization. Here we created novel stimuli to simulate the removal of the barn owl's ruff in a virtual acoustic environment, thus creating a situation similar to passive listening in other animals, and used these stimuli in behavioral tests. Methodology/Principal Findings HRTFs were recorded from an owl before and after removal of the ruff feathers. Normal and ruff-removed conditions were created by filtering broadband noise with the HRTFs. Under normal virtual conditions, no differences in azimuthal head-turning behavior between individualized and non-individualized HRTFs were observed. The owls were able to respond differently to stimuli from the back than to stimuli from the front having the same ITD. By contrast, such a discrimination was not possible after the virtual removal of the ruff. Elevational head-turn angles were (slightly) smaller with non-individualized than with individualized HRTFs. The removal of the ruff resulted in a large decrease in elevational head-turning amplitudes. Conclusions/Significance The facial ruff a) improves azimuthal sound localization by increasing the ITD range and b) improves elevational sound localization in the frontal field by introducing a shift of iso–ILD lines out of the midsagittal plane, which causes ILDs to increase with increasing stimulus elevation. The changes at the behavioral level could be related to the changes in the binaural physical parameters that occurred after the virtual

  9. Improvements of sound localization abilities by the facial ruff of the barn owl (Tyto alba) as demonstrated by virtual ruff removal.

    PubMed

    Hausmann, Laura; von Campenhausen, Mark; Endler, Frank; Singheiser, Martin; Wagner, Hermann

    2009-11-05

    When sound arrives at the eardrum it has already been filtered by the body, head, and outer ear. This process is mathematically described by the head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), which are characteristic for the spatial position of a sound source and for the individual ear. HRTFs in the barn owl (Tyto alba) are also shaped by the facial ruff, a specialization that alters interaural time differences (ITD), interaural intensity differences (ILD), and the frequency spectrum of the incoming sound to improve sound localization. Here we created novel stimuli to simulate the removal of the barn owl's ruff in a virtual acoustic environment, thus creating a situation similar to passive listening in other animals, and used these stimuli in behavioral tests. HRTFs were recorded from an owl before and after removal of the ruff feathers. Normal and ruff-removed conditions were created by filtering broadband noise with the HRTFs. Under normal virtual conditions, no differences in azimuthal head-turning behavior between individualized and non-individualized HRTFs were observed. The owls were able to respond differently to stimuli from the back than to stimuli from the front having the same ITD. By contrast, such a discrimination was not possible after the virtual removal of the ruff. Elevational head-turn angles were (slightly) smaller with non-individualized than with individualized HRTFs. The removal of the ruff resulted in a large decrease in elevational head-turning amplitudes. The facial ruff a) improves azimuthal sound localization by increasing the ITD range and b) improves elevational sound localization in the frontal field by introducing a shift of iso-ILD lines out of the midsagittal plane, which causes ILDs to increase with increasing stimulus elevation. The changes at the behavioral level could be related to the changes in the binaural physical parameters that occurred after the virtual removal of the ruff. These data provide new insights into the function of

  10. Food partitioning between breeding White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus; Aves; Accipitridae) and Barn Owls (Tyto alba; Aves; Tytonidae) in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Scheibler, D R

    2007-02-01

    I examined the diet of breeding White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus; Aves; Accipitridae) and Barn Owls (Tyto alba; Aves; Tytonidae) in an agrarian area of southern Brazil by analyzing regurgitated prey remains. The objective was to evaluate how these raptors, which differ markedly in their hunting activity periods (owls are nocturnal and kites diurnal), share their mammalian food component. 2,087 prey consumed by Barn Owls and 1,276 by White-tailed Kites were identified. They presented a high overlap of food-niches (Piankas index was 0.98). Based on the daily activity period of their main small mammal prey, a lower overlap would be expected. The crepuscular/nocturnal Mus musculus was the main prey for the diet of breeding Barn Owls (81%) and White-tailed Kites (63%). This small exotic rodent provided 63% of the small mammal biomass ingested by owls and 44% by kites. Larger native small mammals were also considered important for the diet of kites, mainly because of their biomass contribution. Although these raptors differ markedly in their hunting activity periods, Barn Owls and White-tailed Kites are very similar predators in southern Brazil, overlapping their diets.

  11. Muscular Arrangement and Muscle Attachment Sites in the Cervical Region of the American Barn Owl (Tyto furcata pratincola)

    PubMed Central

    Boumans, Mark L. L. M.; Krings, Markus; Wagner, Hermann

    2015-01-01

    Owls have the largest head rotation capability amongst vertebrates. Anatomical knowledge of the cervical region is needed to understand the mechanics of these extreme head movements. While data on the morphology of the cervical vertebrae of the barn owl have been provided, this study is aimed to provide an extensive description of the muscle arrangement and the attachment sites of the muscles on the owl’s head-neck region. The major cervical muscles were identified by gross dissection of cadavers of the American barn owl (Tyto furcata pratincola), and their origin, courses, and insertion were traced. In the head-neck region nine superficial larger cervical muscles of the craniocervical, dorsal and ventral subsystems were selected for analysis, and the muscle attachment sites were illustrated in digital models of the skull and cervical vertebrae of the same species as well as visualised in a two-dimensional sketch. In addition, fibre orientation and lengths of the muscles and the nature (fleshy or tendinous) of the attachment sites were determined. Myological data from this study were combined with osteological data of the same species. This improved the anatomical description of the cervical region of this species. The myological description provided in this study is to our best knowledge the most detailed documentation of the cervical muscles in a strigiform species presented so far. Our results show useful information for researchers in the field of functional anatomy, biomechanical modelling and for evolutionary and comparative studies. PMID:26222908

  12. Natural selection in a postglacial range expansion: the case of the colour cline in the European barn owl.

    PubMed

    Antoniazza, Sylvain; Kanitz, Ricardo; Neuenschwander, Samuel; Burri, Reto; Gaigher, Arnaud; Roulin, Alexandre; Goudet, Jérôme

    2014-11-01

    Gradients of variation--or clines--have always intrigued biologists. Classically, they have been interpreted as the outcomes of antagonistic interactions between selection and gene flow. Alternatively, clines may also establish neutrally with isolation by distance (IBD) or secondary contact between previously isolated populations. The relative importance of natural selection and these two neutral processes in the establishment of clinal variation can be tested by comparing genetic differentiation at neutral genetic markers and at the studied trait. A third neutral process, surfing of a newly arisen mutation during the colonization of a new habitat, is more difficult to test. Here, we designed a spatially explicit approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) simulation framework to evaluate whether the strong cline in the genetically based reddish coloration observed in the European barn owl (Tyto alba) arose as a by-product of a range expansion or whether selection has to be invoked to explain this colour cline, for which we have previously ruled out the actions of IBD or secondary contact. Using ABC simulations and genetic data on 390 individuals from 20 locations genotyped at 22 microsatellites loci, we first determined how barn owls colonized Europe after the last glaciation. Using these results in new simulations on the evolution of the colour phenotype, and assuming various genetic architectures for the colour trait, we demonstrate that the observed colour cline cannot be due to the surfing of a neutral mutation. Taking advantage of spatially explicit ABC, which proved to be a powerful method to disentangle the respective roles of selection and drift in range expansions, we conclude that the formation of the colour cline observed in the barn owl must be due to natural selection. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Projections of the cochlear nuclei and nucleus laminaris to the inferior colliculus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T T; Konishi, M

    1988-08-08

    The barn owl determines the directions from which sounds emanate by computing the interaural differences in the timing and intensity of sounds. These cues for sound localization are processed in independent channels originating at nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and nucleus angularis (NA), the cochlear nuclei. The cells of NM are specialized for encoding the phase of sounds in the ipsilateral ear. The cells of NA are specialized for encoding the intensity of sounds in the ipsilateral ear. NM projects solely, bilaterally, and tonotopically to nucleus laminaris (NL). NL and NA project to largely nonoverlapping zones in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICc), thus forming hodological subdivisions in which time and intensity information may be processed. The terminal field of NL occupies a discrete zone in the rostromedial portion of the contralateral ICc, which we have termed the "core" of ICc. The terminal field of NA surrounds the core of ICc and thus forms a "shell" around it. The projection from NL to the core conserves tonotopy. Low-frequency regions of NL project to the dorsal portions of the core whereas higher-frequency regions project to more ventral portions. This innervation pattern is consistent with earlier physiological studies of tonotopy. Physiological studies have also suggested that NL and the core of ICs contain a representation of the location of a sound source along the horizontal axis. Our data suggest that the projection from NL to the core preserves spatiotopy. Thus, the dorsal portion of NL on the left, which contains a representation of eccentric loci in the right hemifield, innervates the area of the right ICc core that represents eccentric right loci. The more ventral portion of the left NL, which represents loci close to the vertical meridian, innervates the more rostral portions of the right core, which also represents loci near the vertical meridian.

  14. Input clustering in the normal and learned circuits of adult barn owls.

    PubMed

    McBride, Thomas J; DeBello, William M

    2015-05-01

    Experience-dependent formation of synaptic input clusters can occur in juvenile brains. Whether this also occurs in adults is largely unknown. We previously reconstructed the normal and learned circuits of prism-adapted barn owls and found that changes in clustering of axo-dendritic contacts (putative synapses) predicted functional circuit strength. Here we asked whether comparable changes occurred in normal and prism-removed adults. Across all anatomical zones, no systematic differences in the primary metrics for within-branch or between-branch clustering were observed: 95-99% of contacts resided within clusters (<10-20 μm from nearest neighbor) regardless of circuit strength. Bouton volumes, a proxy measure of synaptic strength, were on average larger in the functionally strong zones, indicating that changes in synaptic efficacy contributed to the differences in circuit strength. Bootstrap analysis showed that the distribution of inter-contact distances strongly deviated from random not in the functionally strong zones but in those that had been strong during the sensitive period (60-250 d), indicating that clusters formed early in life were preserved regardless of current value. While cluster formation in juveniles appeared to require the production of new synapses, cluster formation in adults did not. In total, these results support a model in which high cluster dynamics in juveniles sculpt a potential connectivity map that is refined in adulthood. We propose that preservation of clusters in functionally weak adult circuits provides a storage mechanism for disused but potentially useful pathways. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Barn owl feathers as biomonitors of mercury: sources of variation in sampling procedures.

    PubMed

    Roque, Inês; Lourenço, Rui; Marques, Ana; Coelho, João Pedro; Coelho, Cláudia; Pereira, Eduarda; Rabaça, João E; Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-04-01

    Given their central role in mercury (Hg) excretion and suitability as reservoirs, bird feathers are useful Hg biomonitors. Nevertheless, the interpretation of Hg concentrations is still questioned as a result of a poor knowledge of feather physiology and mechanisms affecting Hg deposition. Given the constraints of feather availability to ecotoxicological studies, we tested the effect of intra-individual differences in Hg concentrations according to feather type (body vs. flight feathers), position in the wing and size (mass and length) in order to understand how these factors could affect Hg estimates. We measured Hg concentration of 154 feathers from 28 un-moulted barn owls (Tyto alba), collected dead on roadsides. Median Hg concentration was 0.45 (0.076-4.5) mg kg(-1) in body feathers, 0.44 (0.040-4.9) mg kg(-1) in primary and 0.60 (0.042-4.7) mg kg(-1) in secondary feathers, and we found a poor effect of feather type on intra-individual Hg levels. We also found a negative effect of wing feather mass on Hg concentration but not of feather length and of its position in the wing. We hypothesize that differences in feather growth rate may be the main driver of between-feather differences in Hg concentrations, which can have implications in the interpretation of Hg concentrations in feathers. Finally, we recommend that, whenever possible, several feathers from the same individual should be analysed. The five innermost primaries have lowest mean deviations to both between-feather and intra-individual mean Hg concentration and thus should be selected under restrictive sampling scenarios.

  16. Ultradian Rhythmicity in Sleep-Wakefulness Is Related to Color in Nestling Barn Owls.

    PubMed

    Scriba, Madeleine F; Henry, Isabelle; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Mueller, Jakob C; Rattenborg, Niels C; Roulin, Alexandre

    2017-08-01

    The possession of a rhythm is usually described as an important adaptation to regular changing environmental conditions such as the light-dark cycle. However, recent studies have suggested plasticity in the expression of a rhythm depending on life history and environmental factors. Barn owl ( Tyto alba) nestlings show variations in behavior and physiology in relation to the size of black feather spots, a trait associated with many behavioral and physiological phenotypes including the circadian expression of corticosterone and the regulation of body mass. This raises the possibility that individual spottiness could be associated with rhythmicity in sleep-wakefulness. Owlets showed ultradian rhythms in sleep-wakefulness, with a period length of 4.5 to 4.9 h. The period length of wakefulness and non-REM sleep was shorter in heavily compared to lightly spotted female nestlings, whereas in males, the opposite result was found. Furthermore, male and female nestlings displaying small black spots showed strong rhythmicity levels in wakefulness and REM sleep. This might be an advantage in a stable environment with predictable periodic changes in light, temperature, or social interactions. Heavily spotted nestlings displayed weak rhythms in wakefulness and REM sleep, which might enable them to be more flexible in reactions to unexpected events such as predation or might be a mechanism to save energy. These findings are consistent with previous findings showing that large-spotted nestlings switch more frequently between wakefulness and sleep, resulting in higher levels of vigilance compared to small-spotted conspecifics. Thus, nestlings with larger black feather spots might differently handle the trade-off between wakefulness and sleep, attention, and social interactions compared to nestlings with smaller black spots.

  17. Barn owls maximize head rotations by a combination of yawing and rolling in functionally diverse regions of the neck.

    PubMed

    Krings, Markus; Nyakatura, John A; Boumans, Mark L L M; Fischer, Martin S; Wagner, Hermann

    2017-07-01

    Owls are known for their outstanding neck mobility: these birds can rotate their heads more than 270°. The anatomical basis of this extraordinary neck rotation ability is not well understood. We used X-ray fluoroscopy of living owls as well as forced neck rotations in dead specimens and computer tomographic (CT) reconstructions to study how the individual cervical joints contribute to head rotation in barn owls (Tyto furcata pratincola). The X-ray data showed the natural posture of the neck, and the reconstructions of the CT-scans provided the shapes of the individual vertebrae. Joint mobility was analyzed in a spherical coordinate system. The rotational capability was described as rotation about the yaw and roll axes. The analyses suggest a functional division of the cervical spine into several regions. Most importantly, an upper region shows high rolling and yawing capabilities. The mobility of the lower, more horizontally oriented joints of the cervical spine is restricted mainly to the roll axis. These rolling movements lead to lateral bending, effectively resulting in a side shift of the head compared with the trunk during large rotations. The joints in the middle of the cervical spine proved to contribute less to head rotation. The analysis of joint mobility demonstrated how owls might maximize horizontal head rotation by a specific and variable combination of yawing and rolling in functionally diverse regions of the neck. © 2017 Anatomical Society.

  18. Responses to Pop-Out Stimuli in the Barn Owl's Optic Tectum Can Emerge through Stimulus-Specific Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Arkadeb; Wagner, Hermann; Gutfreund, Yoram

    2016-04-27

    Here, we studied neural correlates of orientation-contrast-based saliency in the optic tectum (OT) of barn owls. Neural responses in the intermediate/deep layers of the OT were recorded from lightly anesthetized owls confronted with arrays of bars in which one bar (the target) was orthogonal to the remaining bars (the distractors). Responses to target bars were compared with responses to distractor bars in the receptive field (RF). Initially, no orientation-contrast sensitivity was observed. However, if the position of the target bar in the array was randomly shuffled across trials so that it occasionally appeared in the RF, then such sensitivity emerged. The effect started to become significant after three or four positional changes of the target bar and strengthened with additional trials. Our data further suggest that this effect arises due to specific adaptation to the stimulus in the RF combined with suppression from the surround. By jittering the position of the bar inside the RF across trials, we demonstrate that the adaptation has two components, one position specific and one orientation specific. The findings give rise to the hypothesis that barn owls, by active scanning of the scene, can induce adaptation of the tectal circuitry to the common orientation and thus achieve a "pop-out" of rare orientations. Such a model is consistent with several behavioral observations in owls and may be relevant to other visual features and species. Natural scenes are often characterized by a dominant orientation, such as the scenery of a pine forest or the sand dunes in a windy desert. Therefore, orientation that contrasts the regularity of the scene is perceived salient for many animals as a means to break camouflage. By actively moving the scene between each trial, we show here that neurons in the retinotopic map of the barn owl's optic tectum specifically adapt to the common orientation, giving rise to preferential representation of odd orientations. Based on this, we

  19. Theoretical foundations of the sound analog membrane potential that underlies coincidence detection in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Ashida, Go; Funabiki, Kazuo; Carr, Catherine E

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of neurons encode temporal information via phase-locked spikes. In the avian auditory brainstem, neurons in the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM) send phase-locked synaptic inputs to coincidence detector neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL) that mediate sound localization. Previous modeling studies suggested that converging phase-locked synaptic inputs may give rise to a periodic oscillation in the membrane potential of their target neuron. Recent physiological recordings in vivo revealed that owl NL neurons changed their spike rates almost linearly with the amplitude of this oscillatory potential. The oscillatory potential was termed the sound analog potential, because of its resemblance to the waveform of the stimulus tone. The amplitude of the sound analog potential recorded in NL varied systematically with the interaural time difference (ITD), which is one of the most important cues for sound localization. In order to investigate the mechanisms underlying ITD computation in the NM-NL circuit, we provide detailed theoretical descriptions of how phase-locked inputs form oscillating membrane potentials. We derive analytical expressions that relate presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic factors to the signal and noise components of the oscillation in both the synaptic conductance and the membrane potential. Numerical simulations demonstrate the validity of the theoretical formulations for the entire frequency ranges tested (1-8 kHz) and potential effects of higher harmonics on NL neurons with low best frequencies (<2 kHz).

  20. Space coding by gamma oscillations in the barn owl optic tectum

    PubMed Central

    Boahen, Kwabena; Knudsen, Eric I.

    2011-01-01

    Gamma-band (25–140 Hz) oscillations of the local field potential (LFP) are evoked by sensory stimuli in the mammalian forebrain and may be strongly modulated in amplitude when animals attend to these stimuli. The optic tectum (OT) is a midbrain structure known to contribute to multimodal sensory processing, gaze control, and attention. We found that presentation of spatially localized stimuli, either visual or auditory, evoked robust gamma oscillations with distinctive properties in the superficial (visual) layers and in the deep (multimodal) layers of the owl's OT. Across layers, gamma power was tuned sharply for stimulus location and represented space topographically. In the superficial layers, induced LFP power peaked strongly in the low-gamma band (25–90 Hz) and increased gradually with visual contrast across a wide range of contrasts. Spikes recorded in these layers included presumptive axonal (input) spikes that encoded stimulus properties nearly identically with gamma oscillations and were tightly phase locked with the oscillations, suggesting that they contribute to the LFP oscillations. In the deep layers, induced LFP power was distributed across the low and high (90–140 Hz) gamma-bands and tended to reach its maximum value at relatively low visual contrasts. In these layers, gamma power was more sharply tuned for stimulus location, on average, than were somatic spike rates, and somatic spikes synchronized with gamma oscillations. Such gamma synchronized discharges of deep-layer neurons could provide a high-resolution temporal code for signaling the location of salient sensory stimuli. PMID:21325681

  1. Theoretical foundations of the sound analog membrane potential that underlies coincidence detection in the barn owl

    PubMed Central

    Ashida, Go; Funabiki, Kazuo; Carr, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of neurons encode temporal information via phase-locked spikes. In the avian auditory brainstem, neurons in the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM) send phase-locked synaptic inputs to coincidence detector neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL) that mediate sound localization. Previous modeling studies suggested that converging phase-locked synaptic inputs may give rise to a periodic oscillation in the membrane potential of their target neuron. Recent physiological recordings in vivo revealed that owl NL neurons changed their spike rates almost linearly with the amplitude of this oscillatory potential. The oscillatory potential was termed the sound analog potential, because of its resemblance to the waveform of the stimulus tone. The amplitude of the sound analog potential recorded in NL varied systematically with the interaural time difference (ITD), which is one of the most important cues for sound localization. In order to investigate the mechanisms underlying ITD computation in the NM-NL circuit, we provide detailed theoretical descriptions of how phase-locked inputs form oscillating membrane potentials. We derive analytical expressions that relate presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic factors to the signal and noise components of the oscillation in both the synaptic conductance and the membrane potential. Numerical simulations demonstrate the validity of the theoretical formulations for the entire frequency ranges tested (1–8 kHz) and potential effects of higher harmonics on NL neurons with low best frequencies (<2 kHz). PMID:24265616

  2. Estimated cochlear delays in low best-frequency neurons in the barn owl cannot explain coding of interaural time difference.

    PubMed

    Singheiser, Martin; Fischer, Brian J; Wagner, Hermann

    2010-10-01

    The functional role of the low-frequency range (<3 kHz) in barn owl hearing is not well understood. Here, it was tested whether cochlear delays could explain the representation of interaural time difference (ITD) in this frequency range. Recordings were obtained from neurons in the core of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. The response of these neurons varied with the ITD of the stimulus. The response peak shared by all neurons in a dorsoventral penetration was called the array-specific ITD and served as criterion for the representation of a given ITD in a neuron. Array-specific ITDs were widely distributed. Isolevel frequency response functions obtained with binaural, contralateral, and ispilateral stimulation exhibited a clear response peak and the accompanying frequency was called the best frequency. The data were tested with respect to predictions of a model, the stereausis model, assuming cochlear delays as source for the best ITD of a neuron. According to this model, different cochlear delays determined by mismatches between the ipsilateral and contralateral best frequencies are the source for the ITD in a binaural neuron. The mismatch should depend on the best frequency and the best ITD. The predictions of the stereausis model were not fulfilled in the low best-frequency neurons analyzed here. It is concluded that cochlear delays are not responsible for the representation of best ITD in the barn owl.

  3. Sex-linked inheritance, genetic correlations and sexual dimorphism in three melanin-based colour traits in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Jensen, H

    2015-03-01

    Theory states that genes on the sex chromosomes have stronger effects on sexual dimorphism than genes on the autosomes. Although empirical data are not necessarily consistent with this theory, this situation may prevail because the relative role of sex-linked and autosomally inherited genes on sexual dimorphism has rarely been evaluated. We estimated the quantitative genetics of three sexually dimorphic melanin-based traits in the barn owl (Tyto alba), in which females are on average darker reddish pheomelanic and display more and larger black eumelanic feather spots than males. The plumage traits with higher sex-linked inheritance showed lower heritability and genetic correlations, but contrary to prediction, these traits showed less pronounced sexual dimorphism. Strong offspring sexual dimorphism primarily resulted from daughters not expressing malelike melanin-based traits and from sons expressing femalelike traits to similar degrees as their sisters. We conclude that in the barn owl, polymorphism at autosomal genes rather than at sex-linked genes generate variation in sexual dimorphism in melanin-based traits. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Melanin-based coloration covaries with ovary size in an age-specific manner in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2009-10-01

    While the adaptive function of black eumelanin-based coloration is relatively well known, the function of reddish-brown pheomelanin-based coloration is still unclear. Only a few studies have shown or suggested that the degree of reddish-brownness is associated with predator-prey relationships, reproductive parameters, growth rate and immunity. To gain insight into the physiological correlates of melanin-based coloration, I collected barn owl (Tyto alba) cadavers and examined the covariation between this colour trait and ovary size, an organ that increases in size before reproduction. A relationship is expected because melanin-based coloration often co-varies with sexual activity. The results showed that reddish-brown juveniles had larger ovaries than whiter juveniles particularly in individuals in poor condition and outside the breeding season, while in birds older than 2 years lightly coloured females had larger ovaries than reddish-brown conspecifics. As barn owls become less reddish-brown between the first and second year of age, the present study suggests that reddish-brown pheomelanic and whitish colorations are associated with juvenile- and adult-specific adaptations, respectively.

  5. Melanin-based coloration covaries with ovary size in an age-specific manner in the barn owl

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2009-10-01

    While the adaptive function of black eumelanin-based coloration is relatively well known, the function of reddish-brown pheomelanin-based coloration is still unclear. Only a few studies have shown or suggested that the degree of reddish-brownness is associated with predator-prey relationships, reproductive parameters, growth rate and immunity. To gain insight into the physiological correlates of melanin-based coloration, I collected barn owl ( Tyto alba) cadavers and examined the covariation between this colour trait and ovary size, an organ that increases in size before reproduction. A relationship is expected because melanin-based coloration often covaries with sexual activity. The results showed that reddish-brown juveniles had larger ovaries than whiter juveniles particularly in individuals in poor condition and outside the breeding season, while in birds older than 2 years lightly coloured females had larger ovaries than reddish-brown conspecifics. As barn owls become less reddish-brown between the first and second year of age, the present study suggests that reddish-brown pheomelanic and whitish colorations are associated with juvenile- and adult-specific adaptations, respectively.

  6. Rodents in open space adjust their behavioral response to the different risk levels during barn-owl attack.

    PubMed

    Edut, Shahaf; Eilam, David

    2003-11-13

    Previous studies have revealed that the response of prey species to predatory risk comprised either freezing (when the prey remained immobile), or fleeing (when it ran frantically in order to remove itself from the vicinity of the predator). Other studies, however, have suggested that the prey will adjust its behavior to risk level. The present study was designed to follow the attacks of a barn owl (Tyto alba) on common spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus) and social voles (Microtus socialis guntherei), in order to reveal the correspondence between the behavior of the owl, the risk level at each phase of the owl's attack, and the defensive behavior of the rodents. Spiny mice dramatically increased the traveled distance upon the appearance of the owl, and kept moving during its attack while taking long trajectories of locomotion. Defensive response in voles dichotomized: in some voles traveled distance dropped when the owl appeared, reaching zero during its attack. In other voles, traveled distance dramatically increased once the owl appeared and further increased under its attack. These defensive responses developed by gradual tuning of normal locomotor behavior in accordance with the level of risk. The phenotypic difference in defensive behavior between voles and spiny mice probably stems from their different habitats and motor capacities. Agility and running capacity, together with a relatively sheltered natural habitat, make fleeing the most appropriate response for spiny mice during owl attack. Clumsiness and relatively limited motor capacities, together with an open natural habitat, account for the dichotomy to freezing or fleeing in voles. Thus, the apparent species-specific anti-predator response in spiny mice and voles is based on species-specific normal locomotor behavior, which depends on the species-specific ecology and motor capacity, and behaviors like defensive attack or escape jump that are specific to life threat. The latter behaviors are brief, and

  7. Auditory cortico-cortical connections in the owl monkey.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, K A; Imig, T J

    1980-08-01

    Two tonotopically organized cortical fields, the primary (A1) and rostral (R) fields, comprise a core of auditory cortex in the owl monkey. Injections of tritiated proline were made into each of these fields to determine their projections to the auditory fields in the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres using autoradiographic methods. Neurons in R project to the rostromedial (RM) and primary fields in both hemispheres, and to the posterolateral (PL) and anterolateral (AL) fields in the ipsilateral hemisphere. In addition, the rostral fields in the two hemispheres are connected. Neurons in the primary field project to RM and R in both hemispheres and to AL, Pl, and the caudomedial (CM) field in the ipsilateral hemisphere. The primary fields in the two hemispheres are connected. Single injections into A1 and R often result in labeling of two or more columns of tissue in the ipsilateral and contralateral target fields. Cortico-cortical axon terminations are concentrated in layer IV of fields AL and RM and in upper layer III and layer IV of R and CM. In A1, axon terminals of neurons whose cell bodies lie in A1 in the opposite hemisphere are concentrated in upper layer III and layer IV; axon terminals of neurons located in field R of the same hemispheres are concentrated in layers I and II. Layer IV of Pl contains the greatest concentration of cortico-cortical axon terminals; the supragranular layers contain a somewhat lower concentration. Neurons in R project contralaterally in the anterior commissure while A1 neurons send their axons contralaterally in the corpus callosum.

  8. How the owl tracks its prey – II

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Terry T.

    2010-01-01

    Barn owls can capture prey in pitch darkness or by diving into snow, while homing in on the sounds made by their prey. First, the neural mechanisms by which the barn owl localizes a single sound source in an otherwise quiet environment will be explained. The ideas developed for the single source case will then be expanded to environments in which there are multiple sound sources and echoes – environments that are challenging for humans with impaired hearing. Recent controversies regarding the mechanisms of sound localization will be discussed. Finally, the case in which both visual and auditory information are available to the owl will be considered. PMID:20889819

  9. Binaural cross-correlation predicts the responses of neurons in the owl's auditory space map under conditions simulating summing localization.

    PubMed

    Keller, C H; Takahashi, T T

    1996-07-01

    Summing localization describes the perceptions of human listeners to two identical sounds from different locations presented with delays of 0-1 msec. Usually a single source is perceived to be located between the two actual source locations, biased toward the earlier source. We studied neuronal responses within the space map of the barn owl to sounds presented with this same paradigm. The owl's primary cue for localization along the azimuth, interaural time difference (ITD), is based on a cross-correlation-like treatment of the signals arriving at each ear. The output of this cross-correlation is displayed as neural activity across the auditory space map in the external nucleus of the owl's inferior colliculus. Because the ear input signals reflect the physical summing of the signals generated by each speaker, we first recorded the sounds at each ear and computed their cross-correlations at various interstimulus delays. The resulting binaural cross-correlation surface strongly resembles the pattern of activity across the space map inferred from recordings of single space-specific neurons. Four peaks are observed in the cross-correlation surface for any nonzero delay. One peak occurs at the correlation delay equal to the ITD of each speaker. Two additional peaks reflect "phantom sources" occurring at correlation delays that match the signal of the left speaker in one ear with the signal of the right speaker in the other ear. At zero delay, the two phantom peaks coincide. The surface features are complicated further by the interactions of the various correlation peaks.

  10. Increased rodenticide exposure rate and risk of toxicosis in barn owls (Tyto alba) from southwestern Canada and linkage with demographic but not genetic factors.

    PubMed

    Huang, Andrew C; Elliott, John E; Hindmarch, Sofi; Lee, Sandi L; Maisonneuve, France; Bowes, Victoria; Cheng, Kimberly M; Martin, Kathy

    2016-08-01

    Among many anthropogenic drivers of population decline, continual rapid urbanization and industrialization pose major challenges for the survival of wildlife species. Barn owls (Tyto alba) in southwestern British Columbia (BC) face a multitude of threats ranging from habitat fragmentation to vehicle strikes. They are also at risk from secondary poisoning of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs), a suite of toxic compounds which at high doses results in a depletion of blood clotting factors leading to internal bleeding and death. Here, using long-term data (N = 119) for the hepatic residue levels of SGAR, we assessed the risk of toxicosis from SGAR for the BC barn owl population over the past two decades. We also investigated whether sensitivity to SGAR is associated with genetic factors, namely Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) found in the CYP2C45 gene of barn owls. We found that residue concentration for total SGAR was significantly higher in 2006-2013 (141 ng/g) relative to 1992-2003 (57 ng/g). The proportion of owls exposed to multiple SGAR types was also significantly higher in 2006-2013. Those measures accordingly translate directly into an increase in toxicosis risk level. We also detected demographic differences, where adult females showed on average lower concentration of total SGAR (64 ng/g) when compared to adult males (106 ng/g). Juveniles were overall more likely to show signs of toxicosis than adults (33.3 and 6.9 %, respectively), and those symptoms were positively predicted by SGAR concentrations. We found no evidence that SNPs in the CYP2C45 gene of barn owls were associated with intraspecific variation in SGAR sensitivity. We recommend several preventative measures be taken to minimize wildlife exposure to SGAR.

  11. Auditory surveys for Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) in southern Wisconsin 1986-1996

    Treesearch

    Ann B. Swengel; Scott R. Swengel

    1997-01-01

    During auditory surveys with tape playback between 13 February and 27 April during 1986-1996, our detection of calling by Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) varied dramatically and regularly in an apparent 4-year cycle: 1986, 1990, and 1994 were significantly high calling years; 1987-1989, 1992-1993, and 1995- 1996 were significantly low; and...

  12. Comparative physiology of sound localization in four species of owls.

    PubMed

    Volman, S F; Konishi, M

    1990-01-01

    Bilateral ear asymmetry is found in some, but not all, species of owls. We investigated the neural basis of sound localization in symmetrical and asymmetrical species, to deduce how ear asymmetry might have evolved from the ancestral condition, by comparing the response properties of neurons in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICx) of the symmetrical burrowing owl and asymmetrical long-eared owl with previous findings in the symmetrical great horned owl and asymmetrical barn owl. In the ICx of all of these owls, the neurons had spatially restricted receptive fields, and auditory space was topographically mapped. In the symmetrical owls, ICx units were not restricted in elevation, and only azimuth was mapped in ICx. In the barn owl, the space map is two-dimensional, with elevation forming the second dimension. Receptive fields in the long-eared owl were somewhat restricted in elevation, but their tuning was not sharp enough to determine if elevation is mapped. In every species, the primary cue for azimuth was interaural time difference, although ICx units were also tuned for interaural intensity difference (IID). In the barn owl, the IIDs of sounds with frequencies between about 5 and 8 kHz vary systematically with elevation, and the IID selectivity of ICx neurons primarily encodes elevation. In the symmetrical owls, whose ICx neurons do not respond to frequencies above about 5 kHz, IID appears to be a supplementary cue for azimuth. We hypothesize that ear asymmetry can be exploited by owls that have evolved the higher-frequency hearing necessary to generate elevation cues. Thus, the IID selectivity of ICx neurons in symmetrical owls may preadapt them for asymmetry; the neural circuitry that underlies IID selectivity is already present in symmetrical owls, but because IID is not absolutely required to encode azimuth it can come to encode elevation in asymmetrical owls.

  13. The cervical spine of the American barn owl (Tyto furcata pratincola): I. Anatomy of the vertebrae and regionalization in their S-shaped arrangement.

    PubMed

    Krings, Markus; Nyakatura, John A; Fischer, Martin S; Wagner, Hermann

    2014-01-01

    Owls possess an extraordinary neck and head mobility. To understand this mobility it is necessary to have an anatomical description of cervical vertebrae with an emphasis on those criteria that are relevant for head positioning. No functional description specific to owls is available. X-ray films and micro-CT scans were recorded from American barn owls (Tyto furcata pratincola) and used to obtain three-dimensional head movements and three-dimensional models of the 14 cervical vertebrae (C1-C14). The diameter of the vertebral canal, the zygapophyseal protrusion, the distance between joint centers, and the pitching angle were quantified. Whereas the first two variables are purely osteological characteristics of single vertebrae, the latter two take into account interactions between vertebrae. These variables change in characteristic ways from cranial to caudal. The vertebral canal is wide in the cranial and caudal neck regions, but narrow in the middle, where both the zygapophyseal protrusion and the distance between joint centers are large. Pitching angles are more negative in the cranial and caudal neck regions than in the middle region. Cluster analysis suggested a complex regionalization. Whereas the borders (C1 and C13/C14) formed stable clusters, the other cervical vertebrae were sorted into 4 or 5 additional clusters. The borders of the clusters were influenced by the variables analyzed. A statistical analysis was used to evaluate the regionalization of the cervical spine in the barn owl. While earlier measurements have shown that there appear to be three regions of flexibility of the neck, our indicators suggest 3-7 regions. These many regions allow a high degree of flexibility, potentially facilitating the large head turns that barn owls are able to make. The cervical vertebral series of other species should also be investigated using statistical criteria to further characterize morphology and the potential movements associated with it.

  14. The Cervical Spine of the American Barn Owl (Tyto furcata pratincola): I. Anatomy of the Vertebrae and Regionalization in Their S-Shaped Arrangement

    PubMed Central

    Krings, Markus; Nyakatura, John A.; Fischer, Martin S.; Wagner, Hermann

    2014-01-01

    Background Owls possess an extraordinary neck and head mobility. To understand this mobility it is necessary to have an anatomical description of cervical vertebrae with an emphasis on those criteria that are relevant for head positioning. No functional description specific to owls is available. Methodology/Principal findings X-ray films and micro-CT scans were recorded from American barn owls (Tyto furcata pratincola) and used to obtain three-dimensional head movements and three-dimensional models of the 14 cervical vertebrae (C1−C14). The diameter of the vertebral canal, the zygapophyseal protrusion, the distance between joint centers, and the pitching angle were quantified. Whereas the first two variables are purely osteological characteristics of single vertebrae, the latter two take into account interactions between vertebrae. These variables change in characteristic ways from cranial to caudal. The vertebral canal is wide in the cranial and caudal neck regions, but narrow in the middle, where both the zygapophyseal protrusion and the distance between joint centers are large. Pitching angles are more negative in the cranial and caudal neck regions than in the middle region. Cluster analysis suggested a complex regionalization. Whereas the borders (C1 and C13/C14) formed stable clusters, the other cervical vertebrae were sorted into 4 or 5 additional clusters. The borders of the clusters were influenced by the variables analyzed. Conclusions/Significance A statistical analysis was used to evaluate the regionalization of the cervical spine in the barn owl. While earlier measurements have shown that there appear to be three regions of flexibility of the neck, our indicators suggest 3–7 regions. These many regions allow a high degree of flexibility, potentially facilitating the large head turns that barn owls are able to make. The cervical vertebral series of other species should also be investigated using statistical criteria to further characterize

  15. Selection on a eumelanic ornament is stronger in the tropics than in temperate zones in the worldwide-distributed barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Wink, M; Salamin, N

    2009-02-01

    Spatial variation in the pattern of natural selection can promote local adaptation and genetic differentiation between populations. Because heritable melanin-based ornaments can signal resistance to environmentally mediated elevation in glucocorticoids, to oxidative stress and parasites, populations may vary in the mean degree of melanic coloration if selection on these phenotypic aspects varies geographically. Within a population of Swiss barn owls (Tyto alba), the size of eumelanic spots is positively associated with survival, immunity and resistance to stress, but it is yet unknown whether Tyto species that face stressful environments evolved towards a darker eumelanic plumage. Because selection regimes vary along environmental gradients, we examined whether melanin-based traits vary clinally and are expressed to a larger extent in the tropics where parasites are more abundant than in temperate zones. To this end, we considered 39 barn owl species distributed worldwide. Barn owl species living in the tropics displayed larger eumelanic spots than those found in temperate zones. This was, however, verified in the northern hemisphere only. Parasites being particularly abundant in the tropics, they may promote the evolution of darker eumelanic ornaments.

  16. General characteristics and suppression tuning properties of the distortion-product otoacoustic emission 2f1-f2 in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Taschenberger, G; Manley, G A

    1998-09-01

    The distortion-product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) 2f1-f2 was measured in the ear canal of the barn owl. DPOAE were elicited by primary tones in 11 frequency regions from 1 to 9 kHz. The highest DPOAE output levels and best thresholds were found for f1 frequencies of 4 to 7 kHz and additionally at the lowest f1 frequency investigated. In some cases, the DPOAE sound pressures were only 37 dB below the primary-tone levels (PTL). The optimal primary-tone frequency ratios ranged from 1.05 to 1.45 and varied strongly among the different frequency regions investigated. The largest optimal ratios were measured in the middle frequency range for f1. At lower and higher f1, the optimal ratios decreased. DPOAE levels could be suppressed in a frequency-selective way by adding a third tone. As in other non-mammals, the best suppressive frequencies were near f1, suggesting DPOAE generation near the frequency place of this primary tone. This is in contrast to what is known for mammalian species, where the DPOAE is thought to be generated near f2. To obtain 6 dB of suppression of the DPOAE level, suppressor-tone levels ranging from 13 dB below to 4 dB above the primary-tone level were necessary. The Q10dB-values of suppression tuning curves increased as a function of frequency up to a value of 15.8. This tendency resembled the increase in frequency selectivity of auditory nerve fibers in this species.

  17. Distribution of the characteristics of barbs and barbules on barn owl wing feathers.

    PubMed

    Weger, Matthias; Wagner, Hermann

    2017-05-01

    Owls are known for the development of a silent flight. One conspicuous specialization of owl wings that has been implied in noise reduction and that has been demonstrated to change the aerodynamic behavior of the wing is a soft dorsal wing surface. The soft surface is a result of changes in the shape of feather barbs and barbules in owls compared with other bird species. We hypothesized that as the aerodynamic characteristics of a wing change along its chordwise and spanwise direction, so may the shape of the barbs and barbules. Therefore, we examined in detail the shapes of the barbs and barbules in chordwise and spanwise directions. The results showed changes in the shapes of barbs and barbules at the anterior and distal parts of the wing, but not at more posterior parts. The increased density of hook radiates at the distalmost wing position could serve to stiffen that vane part that is subject to the highest forces. The change of pennulum length in the anterior part of the wing and the uniformity further back could mean that a soft surface may be especially important in regions where flow separation may occur. © 2017 Anatomical Society.

  18. New perspectives on the owl's map of auditory space

    PubMed Central

    Pena, Jose L.; Gutfreund, Yoram

    2013-01-01

    A map of sound direction was found in the owl's midbrain more than three decades ago. This finding suggested that the brain reconstructs spatial coordinates to represent them. Subsequent research elucidated the variables used to compute the map. Here we provide a review of the processes leading to its emergence and an updated perspective on how and what information is represented. PMID:24492079

  19. On the Origin of the Extracellular Field Potential in the Nucleus Laminaris of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Hermann; Ashida, Go; Carr, Catherine E.

    2010-01-01

    The neurophonic is a sound-evoked, frequency-following potential that can be recorded extracellularly in nucleus laminaris of the barn owl. The origin of the neurophonic, and thus the mechanisms that give rise to its exceptional temporal precision, has not yet been identified. Putative generators of the neurophonic are the activity of afferent axons, synaptic activation of laminaris neurons, or action potentials in laminaris neurons. To identify the generators, we analyzed the neurophonic in the high-frequency (>2.5 kHz) region of nucleus laminaris in response to monaural pure-tone stimulation. The amplitude of the neurophonic is typically in the millivolt range. The signal-to-noise ratio reaches values beyond 30 dB. To assess which generators could give rise to these large, synchronous extracellular potentials, we developed a computational model. Spike trains were produced by an inhomogeneous Poisson process and convolved with a spike waveform. The model explained the dependence of the simulated neurophonic on parameters such as the mean rate, the vector strength of phase locking, the number of statistically independent sources, and why the signal-to-noise ratio is independent of the spike waveform and subsequent filtering of the signal. We found that several hundred sources are needed to reach the observed signal-to-noise ratio. The summed coherent signal from the densely packed afferent axons and activation of their synapses on laminaris neurons are alone sufficient to explain the measured properties of the neurophonic. PMID:20685926

  20. Parental investment and its sensitivity to corticosterone is linked to melanin-based coloration in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Almasi, Bettina; Roulin, Alexandre; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne; Jenni, Lukas

    2008-06-01

    Behavioral and physiological responses to unpredictable changes in environmental conditions are, in part, mediated by glucocorticoids (corticosterone in birds). In polymorphic species, individuals of the same sex and age display different heritable melanin-based color morphs, associated with physiological and reproductive parameters and possibly alternative strategies to cope with variation in environmental conditions. We examined whether the role of corticosterone in resolving the trade-off between self-maintenance and reproductive activities covaries with the size of melanin-based spots displayed on the ventral body side of male barn owls. Administration of corticosterone to simulate physiological stress in males revealed pronounced changes in their food-provisioning rates to nestlings compared to control males. Corticosterone-treated males with small eumelanic spots reduced nestling provisioning rates as compared to controls, and also to a greater degree than did corticosterone-treated males with large spots. Large-spotted males generally exhibited lower parental provisioning and appear insensitive to exogenous corticosterone suggesting that the size of the black spots on the breast feathers predicts the ability to cope with stressful situations. The reduced provisioning rate of corticosterone-treated males caused a temporary reduction in nestling growth rates but, did not affect fledgling success. This suggests that moderately elevated corticosterone levels are not inhibitory to current reproduction but rather trigger behavioral responses to maximize lifetime reproductive success.

  1. Neural correlates of binaural masking level difference in the inferior colliculus of the barn owl (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Asadollahi, Ali; Endler, Frank; Nelken, Israel; Wagner, Hermann

    2010-08-01

    Humans and animals are able to detect signals in noisy environments. Detection improves when the noise and the signal have different interaural phase relationships. The resulting improvement in detection threshold is called the binaural masking level difference. We investigated neural mechanisms underlying the release from masking in the inferior colliculus of barn owls in low-frequency and high-frequency neurons. A tone (signal) was presented either with the same interaural time difference as the noise (masker) or at a 180 degrees phase shift as compared with the interaural time difference of the noise. The changes in firing rates induced by the addition of a signal of increasing level while masker level was kept constant was well predicted by the relative responses to the masker and signal alone. In many cases, the response at the highest signal levels was dominated by the response to the signal alone, in spite of a significant response to the masker at low signal levels, suggesting the presence of occlusion. Detection thresholds and binaural masking level differences were widely distributed. The amount of release from masking increased with increasing masker level. Narrowly tuned neurons in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus had detection thresholds that were lower than or similar to those of broadly tuned neurons in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus. Broadly tuned neurons exhibited higher masking level differences than narrowband neurons. These data suggest that detection has different spectral requirements from localization.

  2. Circulating testosterone and feather-gene expression of receptors and metabolic enzymes in relation to melanin-based colouration in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Béziers, Paul; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Simon, Céline; Roulin, Alexandre

    2017-09-01

    Knowledge of how and why secondary sexual characters are associated with sex hormones is important to understand their signalling function. Such a link can occur if i) testosterone participates in the elaboration of sex-traits, ii) the display of an ornament triggers behavioural response in conspecifics that induce a rise in testosterone, or iii) genes implicated in the elaboration of a sex-trait pleiotropically regulate testosterone physiology. To evaluate the origin of the co-variation between melanism and testosterone, we measured this hormone and the expression of enzymes involved in its metabolism in feathers of barn owl (Tyto alba) nestlings at the time of melanogenesis and in adults outside the period of melanogenesis. Male nestlings displaying smaller black feather spots had higher levels of circulating testosterone, potentially suggesting that testosterone could block the production of eumelanin pigments, or that genes involved in the production of small spots pleiotropically regulate testosterone production. In contrast, the enzyme 5α-reductase, that metabolizes testosterone to DHT, was more expressed in feathers of reddish-brown than light-reddish nestlings. This is consistent with the hypothesis that testosterone might be involved in the expression of reddish-brown pheomelanic pigments. In breeding adults, male barn owls displaying smaller black spots had higher levels of circulating testosterone, whereas in females the opposite result was detected during the rearing period, but not during incubation. The observed sex- and age-specific co-variations between black spottiness and testosterone in nestling and adult barn owls may not result from testosterone-dependent melanogenesis, but from melanogenic genes pleiotropically regulating testosterone, or from colour-specific life history strategies that influence testosterone levels. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Genetic and environmental components of variation in eumelanin and phaeomelanin sex-traits in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Dijkstra, C

    2003-05-01

    Knowledge of the mechanism underlying the expression of melanin-based sex-traits may help us to understand their signalling function. Potential sources of inter-individual variation are the total amount of melanins produced but also how biochemical precursors are allocated into the eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigments responsible for black and reddish-brown colours, respectively. In the barn owl (Tyto alba), a eumelanin trait (referred to as 'plumage spottiness') signals immunocompetence towards an artificially administrated antigen and parasite resistance in females, whereas a phaeomelanin trait ('plumage coloration') signals investment in reproduction in males. This raises the question whether plumage coloration and spottiness are expressed independent of each other. To investigate this question, we have studied the genetics of these two plumage traits. Crossfostering experiments showed that, for each trait, phenotypic variation has a strong genetic component, whereas no environmental component could be detected. Plumage coloration is autosomally inherited, as suggested by the similar paternal-to-maternal contribution to offspring coloration. In contrast, plumage spottiness may be sex-linked inherited (in birds, females are heterogametic). That proposition arises from the observation that sons resembled their mother more than their father and that daughters resembled only their father. Despite plumage coloration and spottiness signalling different qualities, these two traits are not inherited independent of each other, darker birds being spottier. This suggests that the extent to which coloration and spottiness are expressed depends on the total amount of melanin produced (with more melanin leading to a both darker and spottier plumage) rather than on differential allocation of melanin into plumage coloration and spottiness (in such a case, darker birds should have been less spotted). A gene controlling the production of melanin pigments may be located on sex

  4. Barn Owl (Tyto alba) and Long-Eared Owl (Asio otus) mortality along motorways in Bourgogne-Champagne: report and suggestions

    Treesearch

    Hugues Baudvin

    1997-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to find where and why two species of owls were killed by traffic along motorways. Three different factors have an important influence on the mortality of the two owl species: the biotops crossed by motorways, the road elevation and the presence of small rodents, the Common Vole (Microtus arvalis) being most numerous. In...

  5. Coloration signals the ability to cope with elevated stress hormones: effects of corticosterone on growth of barn owls are associated with melanism.

    PubMed

    Almasi, B; Roulin, A; Korner-Nievergelt, F; Jenni-Eiermann, S; Jenni, L

    2012-06-01

    Stressful situations during development can shape the phenotype for life by provoking a trade-off between development and survival. Stress hormones, mainly glucocorticoids, play an important orchestrating role in this trade-off. Hence, how stress sensitive an animal is critically determines the phenotype and ultimately fitness. In several species, darker eumelanic individuals are less sensitive to stressful conditions than less eumelanic conspecifics, which may be due to the pleiotropic effects of genes affecting both coloration and physiological traits. We experimentally tested whether the degree of melanin-based coloration is associated with the sensitivity to an endocrine response to stressful situations in the barn owl. We artificially administered the mediator of a hormonal stress response, corticosterone, to nestlings to examine the prediction that corticosterone-induced reduction in growth rate is more pronounced in light eumelanic nestlings than in darker nest mates. To examine whether such an effect may be genetically determined, we swapped hatchlings between randomly chosen pairs of nests. We first showed that corticosterone affects growth and, thus, shapes the phenotype. Second, we found that under corticosterone administration, nestlings with large black spots grew better than nestlings with small black spots. As in the barn owl the expression of eumelanin-based coloration is heritable and not sensitive to environmental conditions, it is therefore a reliable, genetically based sign of the ability to cope with an increase in blood corticosterone level.

  6. GENETIC, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND CONDITION-DEPENDENT EFFECTS ON FEMALE AND MALE ORNAMENTATION IN THE BARN OWL TYTO ALBA.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre; Richner, Heinz; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse

    1998-10-01

    Secondary sexual characters are thought to indicate individual quality. Expression of sex-limited traits in an extravagant state may require both the underlying genes and the available nutrient resources. The assessment of the relative contribution of genes, environment, and body condition is relevant for understanding to that extent the extravagant trait may signal genotypic or phenotypic quality of the individual. In birds, usually only the males are ornamented. In the barn owl, Tyto alba, both females and males display sex-limited plumage traits. Males are commonly lighter colored and females spottier. In an experiment with combined cross-fostering and brood size manipulation we determined the relative contribution of genes, environment, and body condition to the variation in plumage coloration and plumage spottiness. The partial cross-fostering experiment tested the relative importance of shared genes and a shared environment for the resemblance of related birds. Siblings raised in different nests converged toward similar trait values, offspring resembled the true but not the foster parents, and plumage traits of unrelated nestlings sharing the same nest were not correlated. Results were not inflated by maternal effects detectable in the mother's phenotype, because middaughter to mother resemblance was not higher than midson to father resemblance. This suggests that plumage coloration and spottiness are largely genetically inherited traits, and that the rearing environment does not have a strong impact on the expression of these traits. To further investigate whether the two sex-limited traits are condition dependent, brood sizes were manipulated. Enlargement or reduction of broods by two nestlings resulted in lower and higher body mass of nestlings, respectively. However, nestlings raised in enlarged or reduced broods did not show either a significantly darker or lighter or a more or less spotted plumage. We did not detect any genotype

  7. What do predators really want? The role of gerbil energetic state in determining prey choice by Barn Owls.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Mukherjee, Shomen; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-02-01

    In predator-prey foraging games, predators should respond to variations in prey state. The value of energy for the prey changes depending on season. Prey in a low energetic state and/or in a reproductive state should invest more in foraging and tolerate higher predation risk. This should make the prey more catchable, and thereby, more preferable to predators. We ask, can predators respond to prey state? How does season and state affect the foraging game from the predator's perspective? By letting owls choose between gerbils whose states we experimentally manipulated, we could demonstrate predator sensitivity to prey state and predator selectivity that otherwise may be obscured by the foraging game. During spring, owls invested more time and attacks in the patch with well-fed gerbils. During summer, owls attacked both patches equally, yet allocated more time to the patch with hungry gerbils. Energetic state per se does not seem to be the basis of owl choice. The owls strongly responded to these subtle differences. In summer, gerbils managed their behavior primarily for survival, and the owls equalized capture opportunities by attacking both patches equally.

  8. Barn Again! Indiana Barns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Pamela J., Ed.

    2001-01-01

    This final issue of the "Indiana History Bulletin" focuses on Indiana barns. Four articles feature the barn theme: (1) "Smithsonian Exhibit on Barns Will Tour Indiana in 2001-2002"; (2) "Indiana Barns," which contains several photographs of old barns; (3) "Indiana Barn Types," which contains drawings of…

  9. Barn Again! Indiana Barns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Pamela J., Ed.

    2001-01-01

    This final issue of the "Indiana History Bulletin" focuses on Indiana barns. Four articles feature the barn theme: (1) "Smithsonian Exhibit on Barns Will Tour Indiana in 2001-2002"; (2) "Indiana Barns," which contains several photographs of old barns; (3) "Indiana Barn Types," which contains drawings of…

  10. Pulmonary macrophages in birds (barn owl, Tyto tyto alba), domestic fowl (Gallus gallus f. domestica), quail (Coturnix coturnix), and pigeons (Columbia livia).

    PubMed

    Klika, E; Scheuermann, D W; De Groodt-Lasseel, M H; Bazantova, I; Switka, A

    1996-09-01

    Birds have a limited number of resident macrophages in the normal steady-state respiratory tract. The discovery of phagocytes in lavages of lung from birds contrasts with findings that phagocytes are seldom seen in investigations in situ. An electron microscopic study was performed in the respiratory units, the parabronchi, and air capillaries in particular in several adult bird species to localize the seat of respiratory macrophages. Lung tissue of barn owl, domestic fowl, quail, and town and homing pigeons was subjected to standard processing for light and electron microscopy after immersion fixation, intratracheal instillation, and intravascular perfusion. Clusters of macrophages were predominantly housed in the loose connective tissue at the floor of atria at the entrance to the infundibula and gas-exchange tissue proper. Scattered solitary phagocytes were also found in connective tissue of air sacs, interatrial septa, and adventitia of inter- and intraparabronchial arteries and veins and in peribronchial lymphoid tissue. Phagocytized foreign particulate material mostly consists of hard, dense, crystalline formations surrounded by a limiting membrane. The transport of small airborne particles occurs via the squamous atrial epithelium to the underlying macrophages. The macrophages are often accompanied by mast cells. The present results demonstrate that avian respiratory macrophages are predominantly located in atrial connective tissue compartments and do not seem to migrate to the airway surfaces.

  11. [Importance of Shaw's Jird Meriones shawii within the trophic components of the Barn Owl Tyto alba in steppic areas of Algeria].

    PubMed

    Sekour, Makhlouf; Souttou, Karim; Guerzou, Ahlem; Benbouzid, Noureddine; Guezoul, Omar; Ababsa, Labed; Denys, Christiane; Doumandji, Salaheddine

    2014-06-01

    The study of the diet of the Barn Owl in two steppic regions (M'Sila and Djelfa) located in the Algerian highlands is based on the analysis of the pellets of rejections collected in six stations. The analysis of 706 pellets resulting from the various stations made it possible to count 1380 individuals, represented by seven classes, 12 orders, 32 families, and 76 species of preys. The mammals are consumed with variable abundance rates between 59.1 % and 90.0 % whose predominance is assigned to the rodents (relative abundance: AR > 58 %). The latter constitute the most advantageous preys in biomass (61.4 ≤ B % ≤ 99.2). The most consumed prey is Meriones shawii, with variable rates between 31.9 % and 76.6 %. Generally, Tyto alba presents a diversified diet in the majority of the stations (0.69 ≤ E ≤ 0.76), except the station of Ain El-Hadjel (E = 0.35), with a low diversity and dominance of M. shawii (AR = 76.6 %). Copyright © 2014 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  12. The three-dimensional shape of serrations at barn owl wings: towards a typical natural serration as a role model for biomimetic applications

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Thomas; Wagner, Hermann

    2011-01-01

    Barn owl feathers at the leading edge of the wing are equipped with comb-like structures termed serrations on their outer vanes. Each serration is formed by one barb ending that separates and bends upwards. This structure is considered to play a role in air-flow control and noise reduction during flight. Hence, it has considerable potential for engineering applications, particularly in the aviation industry. Several publications have reported possible functions of serrations at artificial airfoils. However, only crude approximations of natural serrations have so far been investigated. We refer to these attempts as zero-order approximations of serrations. It was the goal of this study to present a quantitative three-dimensional characterization of natural serrations as first-order approximations (mean values) and second-order approximations (listed differences depending on the position of the serration along the leading edge). Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used for a three-dimensional reconstruction and investigation with high spatial resolution. Each serration was defined by its length, profile geometry and curvature. Furthermore, the orientation of the serrations at the leading edge was characterized by the inclination angle, the tilt angle and the separation distance of neighboring serrations. These data are discussed with respect to possible applications of serration-like structures for noise suppression and air-flow control. PMID:21507001

  13. Agricultural land use and human presence around breeding sites increase stress-hormone levels and decrease body mass in barn owl nestlings.

    PubMed

    Almasi, Bettina; Béziers, Paul; Roulin, Alexandre; Jenni, Lukas

    2015-09-01

    Human activities can have a suite of positive and negative effects on animals and thus can affect various life history parameters. Human presence and agricultural practice can be perceived as stressors to which animals react with the secretion of glucocorticoids. The acute short-term secretion of glucocorticoids is considered beneficial and helps an animal to redirect energy and behaviour to cope with a critical situation. However, a long-term increase of glucocorticoids can impair e.g. growth and immune functions. We investigated how nestling barn owls (Tyto alba) are affected by the surrounding landscape and by human activities around their nest sites. We studied these effects on two response levels: (a) the physiological level of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, represented by baseline concentrations of corticosterone and the concentration attained by a standardized stressor; (b) fitness parameters: growth of the nestlings and breeding performance. Nestlings growing up in intensively cultivated areas showed increased baseline corticosterone levels late in the season and had an increased corticosterone release after a stressful event, while their body mass was decreased. Nestlings experiencing frequent anthropogenic disturbance had elevated baseline corticosterone levels, an increased corticosterone stress response and a lower body mass. Finally, breeding performance was better in structurally more diverse landscapes. In conclusion, anthropogenic disturbance affects offspring quality rather than quantity, whereas agricultural practices affect both life history traits.

  14. On estimation and identifiability issues of sex-linked inheritance with a case study of pigmentation in Swiss barn owl (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Larsen, Camilla T; Holand, Anna M; Jensen, Henrik; Steinsland, Ingelin; Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-05-01

    Genetic evaluation using animal models or pedigree-based models generally assume only autosomal inheritance. Bayesian animal models provide a flexible framework for genetic evaluation, and we show how the model readily can accommodate situations where the trait of interest is influenced by both autosomal and sex-linked inheritance. This allows for simultaneous calculation of autosomal and sex-chromosomal additive genetic effects. Inferences were performed using integrated nested Laplace approximations (INLA), a nonsampling-based Bayesian inference methodology. We provide a detailed description of how to calculate the inverse of the X- or Z-chromosomal additive genetic relationship matrix, needed for inference. The case study of eumelanic spot diameter in a Swiss barn owl (Tyto alba) population shows that this trait is substantially influenced by variation in genes on the Z-chromosome ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]). Further, a simulation study for this study system shows that the animal model accounting for both autosomal and sex-chromosome-linked inheritance is identifiable, that is, the two effects can be distinguished, and provides accurate inference on the variance components.

  15. A pathway for predation in the brain of the barn owl (Tyto alba): projections of the gracile nucleus to the "claw area" of the rostral wulst via the dorsal thalamus.

    PubMed

    Wild, J M; Kubke, M F; Peña, J L

    2008-07-10

    The Wulst of birds, which is generally considered homologous with the isocortex of mammals, is an elevation on the dorsum of the telencephalon that is particularly prominent in predatory species, especially those with large, frontally placed eyes, such as owls. The Wulst, therefore, is largely visual, but a relatively small rostral portion is somatosensory in nature. In barn owls, this rostral somatosensory part of the Wulst forms a unique physical protuberance dedicated to the representation of the contralateral claw. Here we investigate whether the input to this "claw area" arises from dorsal thalamic neurons that, in turn, receive their somatosensory input from the gracile nucleus. After injections of biotinylated dextran amine into the gracile nucleus and cholera toxin B chain into the claw area, terminations from the former and retrogradely labeled neurons from the latter overlapped substantially in the thalamic nucleus dorsalis intermedius ventralis anterior. These results indicate the existence in this species of a "classical" trisynaptic somatosensory pathway from the body periphery to the telencephalic Wulst, via the dorsal thalamus, one that is likely involved in the barn owl's predatory behavior. The results are discussed in the context of somatosensory projections, primarily in this and other avian species. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Perfluoroalkyl substances in soft tissues and tail feathers of Belgian barn owls (Tyto alba) using statistical methods for left-censored data to handle non-detects.

    PubMed

    Jaspers, Veerle L B; Herzke, Dorte; Eulaers, Igor; Gillespie, Brenda W; Eens, Marcel

    2013-02-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were investigated in tail feathers and soft tissues (liver, muscle, preen gland and adipose tissue) of barn owl (Tyto alba) road-kill victims (n=15) collected in the province of Antwerp (Belgium). A major PFAS producing facility is located in the Antwerp area and levels of PFASs in biota from that region have been found to be very high in previous studies. We aimed to investigate for the first time the main sources of PFASs in feathers of a terrestrial bird species. Throughout this study, we have used statistical methods for left-censored data to cope with levels below the limit of detection (LOD), instead of traditional, potentially biased, substitution methods. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was detected in all tissues (range: 11ng/g ww in muscle-1208ng/g ww in preen oil) and in tail feathers (<2.2-56.6ng/g ww). Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) was measured at high levels in feathers (<14-670ng/g ww), but not in tissues (more than 50%

  17. Divorce in the barn owl: securing a compatible or better mate entails the cost of re-pairing with a less ornamented female mate.

    PubMed

    Dreiss, A N; Roulin, A

    2014-06-01

    Two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses can explain why divorce is an adaptive strategy to improve reproductive success. Under the 'better option hypothesis', only one of the two partners initiates divorce to secure a higher-quality partner and increases reproductive success after divorce. Under the 'incompatibility hypothesis', partners are incompatible and hence they may both increase reproductive success after divorce. In a long-term study of the barn owl (Tyto alba), we address the question of whether one or the two partners derive fitness benefits by divorcing. Our results support the hypothesis that divorce is adaptive: after a poor reproductive season, at least one of the two divorcees increase breeding success up to the level of faithful pairs. By breeding more often together, faithful pairs improve coordination and thereby gain in their efficiency to produce successful fledglings. Males would divorce to obtain a compatible mate rather than a mate of higher quality: a heritable melanin-based signal of female quality did not predict divorce (indicating that female absolute quality may not be the cause of divorce), but the new mate of divorced males was less melanic than their previous mate. This suggests that, at least for males, a cost of divorce may be to secure a lower-quality but compatible mate. The better option hypothesis could not be formally rejected, as only one of the two divorcing partners commonly succeeded in obtaining a higher reproductive success after divorce. In conclusion, incompatible partners divorce to restore reproductive success, and by breeding more often together, faithful partners improve coordination. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Linking melanism to brain development: expression of a melanism-related gene in barn owl feather follicles covaries with sleep ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Intra-specific variation in melanocyte pigmentation, common in the animal kingdom, has caught the eye of naturalists and biologists for centuries. In vertebrates, dark, eumelanin pigmentation is often genetically determined and associated with various behavioral and physiological traits, suggesting that the genes involved in melanism have far reaching pleiotropic effects. The mechanisms linking these traits remain poorly understood, and the potential involvement of developmental processes occurring in the brain early in life has not been investigated. We examined the ontogeny of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a state involved in brain development, in a wild population of barn owls (Tyto alba) exhibiting inter-individual variation in melanism and covarying traits. In addition to sleep, we measured melanistic feather spots and the expression of a gene in the feather follicles implicated in melanism (PCSK2). Results As in mammals, REM sleep declined with age across a period of brain development in owlets. In addition, inter-individual variation in REM sleep around this developmental trajectory was predicted by variation in PCSK2 expression in the feather follicles, with individuals expressing higher levels exhibiting a more precocial pattern characterized by less REM sleep. Finally, PCSK2 expression was positively correlated with feather spotting. Conclusions We demonstrate that the pace of brain development, as reflected in age-related changes in REM sleep, covaries with the peripheral activation of the melanocortin system. Given its role in brain development, variation in nestling REM sleep may lead to variation in adult brain organization, and thereby contribute to the behavioral and physiological differences observed between adults expressing different degrees of melanism. PMID:23886007

  19. Corticosterone shifts reproductive behaviour towards self-maintenance in the barn owl and is linked to melanin-based coloration in females.

    PubMed

    Almasi, Bettina; Roulin, Alexandre; Jenni, Lukas

    2013-06-01

    Trade-offs between the benefits of current reproduction and the costs to future reproduction and survival are widely recognized. However, such trade-offs might only be detected when resources become limited to the point where investment in one activity jeopardizes investment in others. The resolution of the trade-off between reproduction and self-maintenance is mediated by hormones such as glucocorticoids which direct behaviour and physiology towards self-maintenance under stressful situations. We investigated this trade-off in male and female barn owls in relation to the degree of heritable melanin-based coloration, a trait that reflects the ability to cope with various sources of stress in nestlings. We increased circulating corticosterone in breeding adults by implanting a corticosterone-releasing-pellet, using birds implanted with a placebo-pellet as controls. In males, elevated corticosterone reduced the activity (i.e. reduced home-range size and distance covered within the home-range) independently of coloration, while we could not detect any effect on hunting efficiency. The effect of experimentally elevated corticosterone on female behaviour was correlated with their melanin-based coloration. Corticosterone (cort-) induced an increase in brooding behaviour in small-spotted females, while this hormone had no detectable effect in large-spotted females. Cort-females with small eumelanic spots showed the normal body-mass loss during the early nestling period, while large spotted cort-females did not lose body mass. This indicates that corticosterone induced a shift towards self-maintenance in males independently on their plumage, whereas in females this shift was observed only in large-spotted females. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Organization of the nucleus magnocellularis and the nucleus laminaris in the barn owl: encoding and measuring interaural time differences.

    PubMed

    Carr, C E; Boudreau, R E

    1993-08-15

    The circuit from the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis to the nucleus laminaris supports the encoding and measurement of interaural time differences in the auditory brainstem. Specializations for the encoding of temporal information include the few and/or short dendrites and thick axons of the magnocellular and laminaris neurons, and the high degree of convergence in the circuit. Magnocellular cells have large cell bodies covered with somatic spines. The cells have few dendrites, and the number of dendrites decreases from low to high best frequency regions of the nucleus. Magnocellular neurons receive both auditory nerve terminals and GABAergic terminals with symmetric synapses and terminals filled with pleomorphic vesicles. The axonal projections of magnocellular neurons to the nucleus laminaris form maps of interaural time difference. About 100 magnocellular afferents from each side converge on each laminaris neuron, and the terminals from each side do not occupy separate domains on the cell. These terminals form punctate asymmetric synapses on both the dendrites and the cell bodies of laminaris neurons. Laminaris neurons also receive GABAergic terminals which form symmetric synapses. Laminaris neurons have oval cell bodies covered with very short dendrites. The cells in the low best frequency region of the nucleus laminaris have longer dendrites.

  1. Spatial selectivity and binaural responses in the inferior colliculus of the great horned owl.

    PubMed

    Volman, S F; Konishi, M

    1989-09-01

    In this study we have investigated the processing of auditory cues for sound localization in the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus). Previous studies have shown that the barn owl, whose ears are asymmetrically oriented in the vertical plane, has a 2-dimensional, topographic representation of auditory space in the external division of the inferior colliculus (ICx). As in the barn owl, the great horned owl's ICx is anatomically distinct and projects to the optic tectum. Neurons in ICx respond over only a small range of azimuths (mean = 32 degrees), and azimuth is topographically mapped. In contrast to the barn owl, the great horned owl has bilaterally symmetrical ears and its receptive fields are not restricted in elevation. The binaural cues available for sound localization were measured both with cochlear microphonic recordings and with a microphone attached to a probe tube in the auditory canal. Interaural time disparity (ITD) varied monotonically with azimuth. Interaural intensity differences (IID) also changed with azimuth, but the largest IIDs were less than 15 dB, and the variation was not monotonic. Neither ITD nor IID varied systematically with changes in the vertical position of a sound source. We used dichotic stimulation to determine the sensitivity of ICx neurons to these binaural cues. Best ITD of ICx units was topographically mapped and strongly correlated with receptive-field azimuth. The width of ITD tuning curves, measured at 50% of the maximum response, averaged 72 microseconds. All ICx neurons responded only to binaural stimulation and had nonmonotonic IID tuning curves. Best IID was weakly, but significantly, correlated with best ITD (r = 0.39, p less than 0.05). The IID tuning curves, however, were broad (mean 50% width = 24 dB), and 67% of the units had best IIDs within 5 dB of 0 dB IID. ITD tuning was sensitive to variations in IID in the direction opposite to that expected for time-intensity trading, but the magnitude of this effect was only

  2. Connect Them Bones! An Interdisciplinary Study of Owl Pellets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses a field/laboratory study of the barn owl in which students collect and dissect owl pellets. Interdisciplinary lessons focus on eco-politics, reconstruction of owl prey skeletons, studies of predator-prey relationships, and construction/installation of nest boxes for owls and other birds. The unit begins and ends with an attitude…

  3. Connect Them Bones! An Interdisciplinary Study of Owl Pellets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses a field/laboratory study of the barn owl in which students collect and dissect owl pellets. Interdisciplinary lessons focus on eco-politics, reconstruction of owl prey skeletons, studies of predator-prey relationships, and construction/installation of nest boxes for owls and other birds. The unit begins and ends with an attitude…

  4. Bigger Brains or Bigger Nuclei? Regulating the Size of Auditory Structures in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Kubke, M. Fabiana; Massoglia, Dino P.; Carr, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    Increases in the size of the neuronal structures that mediate specific behaviors are believed to be related to enhanced computational performance. It is not clear, however, what developmental and evolutionary mechanisms mediate these changes, nor whether an increase in the size of a given neuronal population is a general mechanism to achieve enhanced computational ability. We addressed the issue of size by analyzing the variation in the relative number of cells of auditory structures in auditory specialists and generalists. We show that bird species with different auditory specializations exhibit variation in the relative size of their hindbrain auditory nuclei. In the barn owl, an auditory specialist, the hind-brain auditory nuclei involved in the computation of sound location show hyperplasia. This hyperplasia was also found in songbirds, but not in non-auditory specialists. The hyperplasia of auditory nuclei was also not seen in birds with large body weight suggesting that the total number of cells is selected for in auditory specialists. In barn owls, differences observed in the relative size of the auditory nuclei might be attributed to modifications in neurogenesis and cell death. Thus, hyperplasia of circuits used for auditory computation accompanies auditory specialization in different orders of birds. PMID:14726625

  5. Bigger brains or bigger nuclei? Regulating the size of auditory structures in birds.

    PubMed

    Kubke, M Fabiana; Massoglia, Dino P; Carr, Catherine E

    2004-01-01

    Increases in the size of the neuronal structures that mediate specific behaviors are believed to be related to enhanced computational performance. It is not clear, however, what developmental and evolutionary mechanisms mediate these changes, nor whether an increase in the size of a given neuronal population is a general mechanism to achieve enhanced computational ability. We addressed the issue of size by analyzing the variation in the relative number of cells of auditory structures in auditory specialists and generalists. We show that bird species with different auditory specializations exhibit variation in the relative size of their hindbrain auditory nuclei. In the barn owl, an auditory specialist, the hindbrain auditory nuclei involved in the computation of sound location show hyperplasia. This hyperplasia was also found in songbirds, but not in non-auditory specialists. The hyperplasia of auditory nuclei was also not seen in birds with large body weight suggesting that the total number of cells is selected for in auditory specialists. In barn owls, differences observed in the relative size of the auditory nuclei might be attributed to modifications in neurogenesis and cell death. Thus, hyperplasia of circuits used for auditory computation accompanies auditory specialization in different orders of birds.

  6. Causes of owl mortality in Hawaii, 1992-1994

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Hale, J.

    1996-01-01

    Eighty-one barn owls (Tyto alba) and five Hawaiian owls or pueo (Asio flammeus sandwichensis) from Kauai, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii (USA) were evaluated for cause of death, November 1992 through August 1994. The most common cause of death in barn owls was trauma (50%) followed by infectious disease (28%) and emaciation (22%). Most traumas apparently resulted from vehicular collisions. Trichomoniasis was the predominant infectious disease and appeared to be a significant cause of death in barn owls in Hawaii. Pasteurellosis and aspergillosis were encountered less commonly. No predisposing cause of emaciation was detected. Stomach contents from 28 barn owls contained mainly insects (64%) of the family Tetigoniidae and Gryllidae, and rodents (18%); the remainder had mixtures of rodents and insects or grass. Three pueo died from trauma and one each died from emaciation and pasteurellosis. We found no evidence of organochlorine, organophosphorus, or carbamate pesticides as causes of death in pueo or barn owls.

  7. Causes of owl mortality in Hawaii, 1992-1994

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Hale, Jon

    1996-01-01

    Eighty-one barn owls (Tyto alba) and five Hawaiian owls or pueo (Asio flammeus sandwichensis) from Kauai, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii (USA) were evaluated for cause of death, November 1992 through August 1994. The most common cause of death in barn owls was trauma (50%) followed by infectious disease (28%) and emaciation (22%). Most traumas apparently resulted from vehicular collisions. Trichomoniasis was the predominant infectious disease and appeared to be a significant cause of death in barn owls in Hawaii. Pasteurellosis and aspergillosis were encountered less commonly. No predisposing cause of emaciation was detected. Stomach contents from 28 barn owls contained mainly insects (64%) of the family Tetigoniidae and Gryllidae, and rodents (18%); the remainder had mixtures of rodents and insects or grass. Three pueo died from trauma and one each died from emaciation and pasteurellosis. We found no evidence of organochlorine, organophosphorus, or carbamate pesticides as causes of death in pueo or barn owls.

  8. Causes of owl mortality in Hawaii, 1992 to 1994.

    PubMed

    Work, T M; Hale, J

    1996-04-01

    Eighty-one barn owls (Tyto alba) and five Hawaiian owls or pueo (Asio flammeus sandwichensis) from Kauai, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii (USA) were evaluated for cause of death, November 1992 through August 1994. The most common cause of death in barn owls was trauma (50%) followed by infectious disease (28%) and emaciation (22%). Most traumas apparently resulted from vehicular collisions. Trichomoniasis was the predominant infectious disease and appeared to be a significant cause of death in barn owls in Hawaii. Pasteurellosis and aspergillosis were encountered less commonly. No predisposing cause of emaciation was detected. Stomach contents from 28 barn owls contained mainly insects (64%) of the family Tetigoniidae and Gryllidae, and rodents (18%); the remainder had mixtures of rodents and insects or grass. Three pueo died from trauma and one each died from emaciation and pasteurellosis. We found no evidence of organochlorine, organophosphorus, or carbamate pesticides as causes of death in pueo or barn owls.

  9. Comparative study of visual pathways in owls (Aves: Strigiformes).

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristián; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Lisney, Thomas J; Wylie, Douglas R

    2013-01-01

    Although they are usually regarded as nocturnal, owls exhibit a wide range of activity patterns, from strictly nocturnal, to crepuscular or cathemeral, to diurnal. Several studies have shown that these differences in the activity pattern are reflected in differences in eye morphology and retinal organization. Despite the evidence that differences in activity pattern among owl species are reflected in the peripheral visual system, there has been no attempt to correlate these differences with changes in the visual regions in the brain. In this study, we compare the relative size of nuclei in the main visual pathways in nine species of owl that exhibit a wide range of activity patterns. We found marked differences in the relative size of all visual structures among the species studied, both in the tectofugal and the thalamofugal pathway, as well in other retinorecipient nuclei, including the nucleus lentiformis mesencephali, the nucleus of the basal optic root and the nucleus geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis. We show that the barn owl (Tyto alba), a species widely used in the study of the integration of visual and auditory processing, has reduced visual pathways compared to strigid owls. Our results also suggest there could be a trade-off between the relative size of visual pathways and auditory pathways, similar to that reported in mammals. Finally, our results show that although there is no relationship between activity pattern and the relative size of either the tectofugal or the thalamofugal pathway, there is a positive correlation between the relative size of both visual pathways and the relative number of cells in the retinal ganglion layer. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Beyond mean allelic effects: A locus at the major color gene MC1R associates also with differing levels of phenotypic and genetic (co)variance for coloration in barn owls.

    PubMed

    San-Jose, Luis M; Ducret, Valérie; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Simon, Céline; Roulin, Alexandre

    2017-09-01

    The mean phenotypic effects of a discovered variant help to predict major aspects of the evolution and inheritance of a phenotype. However, differences in the phenotypic variance associated to distinct genotypes are often overlooked despite being suggestive of processes that largely influence phenotypic evolution, such as interactions between the genotypes with the environment or the genetic background. We present empirical evidence for a mutation at the melanocortin-1-receptor gene, a major vertebrate coloration gene, affecting phenotypic variance in the barn owl, Tyto alba. The white MC1R allele, which associates with whiter plumage coloration, also associates with a pronounced phenotypic and additive genetic variance for distinct color traits. Contrarily, the rufous allele, associated with a rufous coloration, relates to a lower phenotypic and additive genetic variance, suggesting that this allele may be epistatic over other color loci. Variance differences between genotypes entailed differences in the strength of phenotypic and genetic associations between color traits, suggesting that differences in variance also alter the level of integration between traits. This study highlights that addressing variance differences of genotypes in wild populations provides interesting new insights into the evolutionary mechanisms and the genetic architecture underlying the phenotype. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Efferent axons in the avian auditory nerve.

    PubMed

    Köppl, C

    2001-05-01

    The sensory hair cells of the inner ear receive both afferent and efferent innervation. The efferent supply to the auditory organ has evolved in birds and mammals into a separate complex system, with several types of neurons of largely unknown function. In this study, the efferent axons in four different species of birds (chicken, starling, barn owl and emu) were examined anatomically. Total numbers of efferents supplying the cochlear duct (auditory basilar papilla and the vestibular lagenar macula) were determined; separate estimates of the efferents to the lagenar macula only were also derived and subtracted. The numbers for auditory efferents thus varied between 120 (chicken) and 1068 (barn owl). Considering the much larger numbers of hair cells in the basilar papilla, each efferent is predicted to branch extensively. However, pronounced species-specific differences as well as regional differences along the tonotopic gradient of the basilar papilla were documented. Myelinated and unmyelinated axons were found, with mean diameters of about 1 microm and about 0.5 microm, respectively. This suggests two basic populations of efferents, however, they did not appear to be distinguished sharply. Evidence is presented that some efferents lose their myelination at the transition from central oligodendrocyte to peripheral Schwann cell myelin. Finally, a comparison of the four bird species evaluated suggests that the efferent population with smaller, unmyelinated axons is the phylogenetically more primitive one. A new population probably arose in parallel with the evolution and differentiation of the specialized hair-cell type it innervates, the short hair cell.

  12. The Barn.

    PubMed

    Lingelbach, Bernd

    2014-01-01

    A short history of the Barn is given, including the description of a few objects. The Barn is a well-known 'hands-on' museum; two examples are given to show that from time to time something new is presented. Prior to the 2009 European Conference on Visual Perception in Regensburg, a conference called '3-Dillusions' was held in the Barn. Owing to the success of that meeting the conference, 'Illusions and Delusions' was held in August 2013.

  13. Spatial hearing in echoic environments: the role of the envelope in owls.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Brian S; Takahashi, Terry T

    2010-08-26

    In the precedence effect, sounds emanating directly from the source are localized preferentially over their reflections. Although most studies have focused on the delay between the onset of a sound and its echo, humans still experience the precedence effect when this onset delay is removed. We tested in barn owls the hypothesis that an ongoing delay, equivalent to the onset delay, is discernible from the envelope features of amplitude-modulated stimuli and may be sufficient to evoke this effect. With sound pairs having only envelope cues, owls localized direct sounds preferentially, and neurons in their auditory space-maps discharged more vigorously to them, but only if the sounds were amplitude modulated. Under conditions that yielded the precedence effect, acoustical features known to evoke neuronal discharges were more abundant in the envelopes of the direct sounds than of the echoes, suggesting that specialized neural mechanisms for echo suppression were unnecessary. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The distribution of neurons projecting from the retina and visual cortex to the thalamus and tectum opticum of the barn owl, Tyto alba, and the burrowing owl, Speotyto cunicularia.

    PubMed

    Bravo, H; Pettigrew, J D

    1981-07-01

    Using the HRP retrograde transport technique in two different genera of owls (Speotyto and Tyto), we have studied the distribution of neurons projecting to the optic tectum and the visual thalamus. Small injections of HRP were made into these structures from the pial surface after they had been visualized directly by dissection of the overlying bone. In contrast to the findings in mammals, retinal ganglion cells were labeled only in the eye contralateral to the injection site, whether this was in the thalamus or tectum, and the labeled ganglion cells were found on both nasal and temporal sides of the vertical retinal meridian through the fovea. After thalamic injections, labeling was prominent in temporal retina representing the binocular field, temporal to the optic nerve head. Retinothalamic ganglion cells formed roughly concentric lines of isodensity centered on the fovea (Speotyto) or area centralis (Tyto); labeling from thalamic injections involved both large and medium-sized neurons, but did not involve the smallest nor a conspicuous class of very large neurons. Tectal injections led to prominent labeling along the horizontal streak region, with horizontally elongated isodensity contours in both Tyto and Speotyto; retinotectal ganglion cells were heterogeneous and included a group of very large neurons and anther group of small neurons, neither of which was labeled from the thalamus. In the visual Wulst, labeled neurons were confined to the supragranular layers after both tectal and thalamic injections. Corticotectal neurons were found in both ipsilateral and contralateral visual Wulst. They were characterized by large cell bodies and prominent dendrites. Corticotectal neurons were distributed throughout the mediolateral extent of the ipsilateral Wulst and therefore involved both the monocular and binocular representations of the visual field. Corticothalamic neurons, found only in the ipsilateral Wulst, were characterized by smaller cell bodies and fine

  15. Herpersvirus strigis: host spectrum and distribution in infected owls.

    PubMed

    Burtscher, H; Sibalin, M

    1975-04-01

    Herpesvirus strigis, a new species of the genus Herpesvirus, is a pathogen for several species of owls in the order Srigiformes. Natural infection has been observed in the Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo L.), Long-eared Owl (Asio otus L.) and Snowy Owl (nyctea scandiaca L.) In addition the Little Owl (Athene noctua Scopolic) and Tengmalms Owl (Aegolius funereus L.) was experimentally infected. On the other hand the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco L.) and Barn Owl (Tyto albo Scopoli) proved resistant to a massive experimental infection. Of representatives from nine other orders of birds and mammals, only the Old World Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus L.) was found susceptible to this virus. Distribution of viral antigen in various organs of infected owls, as determined by immunofluorescence and by quantitative virus assay, was in accordance with the occurrence of macroscopic and microscopic lesions.

  16. Vision-independent adjustment of unit tuning to sound localization cues in response to monaural occlusion in developing owl optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Mogdans, J

    1992-09-01

    Neurons in the developing optic tectum adjust their tuning to auditory localization cues in response to chronic monaural occlusion so that auditory spatial fields align with visual receptive fields (VRFs). We tested whether this adaptive adjustment of auditory tuning requires visual instruction. Both eyelids were sutured closed at the same time that one ear was occluded in two barn owls that were 1 month old. After 70 and 100 d, respectively, the tuning of units to interaural level difference (ILD) and to interaural time difference (ITD) was measured. These data were compared with equivalent data from 15 normal owls. Unit tuning to ITD was shifted from normal in both of the monaurally occluded owls. In one owl, ILD tuning was also clearly shifted. In the other owl, the map of ILD was flipped upside down and adaptive adjustments in ILD tuning could not be assessed. Instead, adjustments in ILD tuning were observed following removal of the earplug with the eyelids kept closed. Unit tuning was monitored at several sites in the tectum for 1 month after earplug removal using chronically implanted electrodes. Then, ILD tuning was resampled across the entire tectum. Both measures indicated shifts in ILD tuning in response to removal of the earplug in the second blind owl. In both animals, the magnitude of the shifts in ILD tuning and ITD tuning was smaller than has been observed previously in monaurally occluded but sighted owls. The results demonstrate that the brain can make adaptive adjustments in ILD and ITD tuning in response to early monaural occlusion even without the guiding influence of vision.

  17. Creating a sense of auditory space.

    PubMed

    McAlpine, David

    2005-07-01

    Determining the location of a sound source requires the use of binaural hearing--information about a sound at the two ears converges onto neurones in the auditory brainstem to create a binaural representation. The main binaural cue used by many mammals to locate a sound source is the interaural time difference, or ITD. For over 50 years a single model has dominated thinking on how ITDs are processed. The Jeffress model consists of an array of coincidence detectors--binaural neurones that respond maximally to simultaneous input from each ear--innervated by a series of delay lines--axons of varying length from the two ears. The purpose of this arrangement is to create a topographic map of ITD, and hence spatial position in the horizontal plane, from the relative timing of a sound at the two ears. This model appears to be realized in the brain of the barn owl, an auditory specialist, and has been assumed to hold for mammals also. Recent investigations, however, indicate that both the means by which neural tuning for preferred ITD, and the coding strategy used by mammals to determine the location of a sound source, may be very different to barn owls and to the model proposed by Jeffress.

  18. Creating a sense of auditory space

    PubMed Central

    McAlpine, David

    2005-01-01

    Determining the location of a sound source requires the use of binaural hearing – information about a sound at the two ears converges onto neurones in the auditory brainstem to create a binaural representation. The main binaural cue used by many mammals to locate a sound source is the interaural time difference, or ITD. For over 50 years a single model has dominated thinking on how ITDs are processed. The Jeffress model consists of an array of coincidence detectors – binaural neurones that respond maximally to simultaneous input from each ear – innervated by a series of delay lines – axons of varying length from the two ears. The purpose of this arrangement is to create a topographic map of ITD, and hence spatial position in the horizontal plane, from the relative timing of a sound at the two ears. This model appears to be realized in the brain of the barn owl, an auditory specialist, and has been assumed to hold for mammals also. Recent investigations, however, indicate that both the means by which neural tuning for preferred ITD, and the coding strategy used by mammals to determine the location of a sound source, may be very different to barn owls and to the model proposed by Jeffress. PMID:15760940

  19. Owls as biomonitors of environmental contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Sheffield, S.R.

    1995-12-31

    Exposure and effects of environmental contaminants on owls has been largely understudied. Research primarily has focused on two species, the eastern screech owl (Otus asio) and barn owl (Tyto alba). Most of this work has been conducted with captive populations at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD. In the wild, work has been, or is currently being, conducted with great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus) at a Superfund site in Colorado and in agricultural croplands in Iowa, and barn owls at a Superfund site in Texas and in metal-contaminated regions of the Netherlands. As higher order consumers, owls bioconcentrate many different environmental contaminants through their prey. Owls have proven to be sensitive to a wide variety of toxic compounds, including PCB`s, metals, and fluoride. Endpoints examined include reproductive effects, eggshell thickness, residue analyses, cholinesterase inhibition, and induction of liver MFO`s. Much more work remains to be done using owls as biomonitors of environmental contamination, particularly with captive populations, salvaged individuals, raptor rehabilitation center birds, and with wild populations in areas around hazardous waste sites, smelters, landfills, agricultural croplands, and other major sources of environmental contamination.

  20. Chemical composition of uropygial gland secretions of owls.

    PubMed

    Jacob, J; Poltz, J

    1974-05-01

    The compositions of the uropygial gland secretions of the long-eared owl, eagle owl, and barn owl have been determined. The waxes of the first two owls, which are closely related, are composed of 2-alkyl-substituted fatty acids and n- or monomethyl-branched alcohols with even-numbered branching positions. In addition, some dimethyl-substituted alkanols were observed. In contrast to these waxes, the secretion of the barn owl is composed of 3-methyl- and 3,5-, 3,7-, 3,9-, 3,11-, 3,13-, and 3,15-dimethyl-branched fatty acids and n- as well as monomethyl-substituted alkanols branched at positions 2, 3, and 4. The mass spectra of esters of 2-alkyl-substituted fatty acids are discussed.

  1. Hypopi (Acari:Hypoderatidae) from owls (Aves:Strigiformes:Strigidae).

    PubMed

    Pence, D B; Bergan, J F

    1996-09-01

    Hypopi (deutonymphs) of the family Hypoderatidae were found in a barn owl, Tyto alba (Scopoli), and a burrowing owl, Speotyto cunicularia (Molina), from Texas. A redescription is provided for mature specimens of the hypopus of Tytodectes (Tytodectes) tyto Fain from the subcutaneous adipose tissues of the pelvic region in the barn owl. The hypopus of Tytodectes (Tytodectes) speotyto n. sp. is described from specimens in the subcutaneous adipose tissues of the pelvic region and in the adipose tissues of the intermuscular fasciae of the ankle in the burrowing owl. T. (T.) speotyto appears most similar in size and chaetotaxy to T. (T.) glaucidii Cerný described from the Cuban pygmy owl, Glaucidium siju (d'Orbigny), in Cuba, but differs in the presence of a spine on tibia IV, which also occurs in T. (T.) tyto. Both of the former species have the anterior apodemes of coxae I fused in a simple V and lack a sternum. They differ from T. (T.) tyto which has the anterior apodemes of coxae I fused in a Y and there is a well developed sternum. Based on the above 3 described hypopi, the hypoderatids of owls represent an assemblage of small closely related, but easily differentiated, species. The occurrence of a few specimens of Neottialges evansi Fain in the barn owl and Hypodectes (Hypodectoides) propus (Nitzsch) in the burrowing owl probably represent examples of host capture by hypopi that normally occur in cormorants and pigeons, herons or egrets, respectively.

  2. Outrageous Owls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walkup, Nancy

    2007-01-01

    The author's encounter with a live owl and her purchase of a Peruvian folk art gourd inspired a new interdisciplinary experience for the author's fourth grade students. In this article, she describes how her students explored owls through clay sculpture. (Contains 2 resources and 1 online resource.)

  3. Outrageous Owls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walkup, Nancy

    2007-01-01

    The author's encounter with a live owl and her purchase of a Peruvian folk art gourd inspired a new interdisciplinary experience for the author's fourth grade students. In this article, she describes how her students explored owls through clay sculpture. (Contains 2 resources and 1 online resource.)

  4. Owl Pellets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Craig D.

    1987-01-01

    Provides complete Project WILD lesson plans for 20-45-minute experiential science learning activity for grades 3-7 students. Describes how students construct a simple food chain through examination of owl pellets. Includes lesson objective, method, background information, materials, procedure, evaluation, and sources of owl pellets and posters.…

  5. Owl Pellets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Craig D.

    1987-01-01

    Provides complete Project WILD lesson plans for 20-45-minute experiential science learning activity for grades 3-7 students. Describes how students construct a simple food chain through examination of owl pellets. Includes lesson objective, method, background information, materials, procedure, evaluation, and sources of owl pellets and posters.…

  6. [Parasite fauna of Austrian owls (Strigiformes)].

    PubMed

    Kutzer, E; Frey, H; Nöbauer, H

    1982-11-01

    During the examination of 182 owls--Asio otus (51), Strix aluco (44), Bubo bubo (34), Nyctea scandiaca (15), Athene noctua (14), Otus scops (9), Tyto alba (4), Aegolius funereus (3), Glaucidium passerinum (2), Asio flammeus (2), indigenous "owls" (4)--5 protozoan species, 3 trematode species, 1 cestode species, 6 nematode species, 3 acanthocephalan species, 2 acaride species and 7 insect species could be discovered. Dermanyssus hirundinis was proved on the Long-eared Owl and Carnus hemapterus on the Barn Owl for the first time. The infestation frequency of endo- and ectoparasites was from medium to intense on an average, whereas the infestation intensity was from small to medium. The highest rates of infestation were found at nematodes. A case of "pseudoparasitism" was detected and the significance of the analyses of stomach-contents as a guarantee of diagnosis was pointed out.

  7. Snowy owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, D.G.; Ellis, D.H.; Pendleton, Beth Giron; LeFranc, Maurice N.=; Moss, Mary Beth

    1989-01-01

    The snowy owl is a rare to uncommon, irregular winter visitor in the northeastern United States, decreasing southward in abundance except during incursion years, when it is more common and widely distributed. Although snowy owls are recorded in northern New England every winter, major incursions occur at approximately three to four year intervals. Limiting factors include food, habitat and human interference. Research is needed on the population ecology of this species and, perhaps more important, management goals must be directed towards public education emphasizing the value of snowy owls.

  8. Adaptive adjustment of unit tuning to sound localization cues in response to monaural occlusion in developing owl optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Mogdans, J; Knudsen, E I

    1992-09-01

    Bimodal units in the barn owl's optic tectum are tuned to the location of auditory and visual stimuli, and are systematically organized according to their spatial tuning to form mutually aligned maps of auditory and visual space. Map alignment results from the fact that, normally, units are tuned to the values of interaural level difference (ILD) and interaural time difference (ITD) produced by a sound source at the location of their visual receptive fields (VRFs). Monaural occlusion alters the correspondence of ILD and ITD values with locations in space. We investigated the effect that raising owls with a chronic monaural occlusion has on the tuning of tectal units to ILD and ITD. Owls were monaurally occluded beginning at 1 month of age. The effects of monaural occlusion were assessed 2-4 months later by comparing the ILD and ITD tuning of units in monaurally occluded owls with the ILD and ITD tuning of units with equivalent VRFs in normal owls. ILD and ITD tuning was shifted substantially and in the direction of the unoccluded ear (the adaptive direction) in owls raised with a monaural occlusion. In most tecta, the mapped representations of ILD and ITD were shifted systematically. In addition, in some tecta, monaural occlusion induced a change in the topography of the ILD map such that ILD tuning remained essentially constant at values near 0 dB over abnormally large portions of the tectum. Across all recording sites, the average shift in ILD tuning was 9 dB (n = 396) and the average shift in ITD tuning was 40 microseconds (n = 414). In four of five animals, the magnitude of the effect was not equivalent on the two sides of the brain, the adjustments being significantly larger and more systematic on the side ipsilateral to the occlusion. Such differences in the altered ILD and ITD maps on the two sides of the brain in individual animals indicate that, although a component of the adaptive adjustment might be due to regulation of the gain and phase response of the

  9. Anticoagulant rodenticides in three owl species from Western Canada, 1988-2003.

    PubMed

    Albert, Courtney A; Wilson, Laurie K; Mineau, Pierre; Trudeau, Suzanne; Elliott, John E

    2010-02-01

    Anticoagulant rodenticides are widely used to control rodent infestations. Previous studies have shown that nontarget organisms, such as birds, are at risk for both primary and secondary poisoning. This paper presents rodenticide residue information on the livers from 164 strigiformes which included barn owls (Tyto alba), barred owls (Strix varia), and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), collected from 1988 to 2003 in the province of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, Canada. Livers were analyzed for brodifacoum, bromadiolone, chlorophacinone, diphacinone, difethialone, and warfarin. Our results show that, of the 164 owl livers analyzed, 70% had residues of at least one rodenticide, and of these 41% had more than one rodenticide detected. Of the three species of owls examined, barred owls were most frequently exposed (92%, n = 23); brodifacoum and bromadiolone were most often detected, with liver concentrations ranging from 0.001 to 0.927 mg/kg brodifacoum, and 0.002 to 1.012 mg/kg bromadiolone. Six of the owls (three barred owls, two barn owls, and one great horned owl) were diagnosed as having died from anticoagulant poisoning; all six owls had brodifacoum residues in the liver.

  10. Effects of pesticides on owls in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.

    1996-01-01

    A literature review of the effects of pesticides on owls in North America showed that relatively few studies have been undertaken. Owls used in experiments seem as sensitive to organochlorine pesticides (OCs) as other birds of prey, but wild owls experienced few serious problems, primarily because they were exposed to lower residues in their predominately mammalian or invertebrate prey. For example, the great horned owl ( Bubo virginianus ) and the common barn-owl ( Tyto alba ) neither experienced marked changes in mortality or recruitment rates nor was there any evidence of population decreases even during the maximum period of OC pesticide use. Also, eggshell thinning was not a widespread problem. There were adverse effects on individual owls including verified records of 74 owls of six species that died from secondary or tertiary poisoning related to strychnine, organochlorines, anticholinesterases (antiChEs) and anticoagulants in 16 states within the U.S. and one province in Canada. Most of the pesticide-related deaths occurred during the 1980s, although this probably does not represent a true temporal distribution. Verified mortalities of owls probably represent a small fraction of the actual number that died from pesticides. Incidence of mortality seems biased geographically toward areas such as New York that have active ecotoxicological programs. Burrowing owl ( Speotyto cunicularia ) populations currently are decreasing throughout much of the range in the U.S. and Canada. Studies in Canada indicate that antiChE pesticides, particularly carbofuran, were responsible for the declines there.

  11. Predator facilitation or interference: a game of vipers and owls.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Raveh, Ashael; Hoffmann, Ishai; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-04-01

    In predator-prey foraging games, the prey's reaction to one type of predator may either facilitate or hinder the success of another predator. We ask, do different predator species affect each other's patch selection? If the predators facilitate each other, they should prefer to hunt in the same patch; if they interfere, they should prefer to hunt alone. We performed an experiment in a large outdoor vivarium where we presented barn owls (Tyto alba) with a choice of hunting greater Egyptian gerbils (Gerbillus pyramidum) in patches with or without Saharan horned vipers (Cerastes cerastes). Gerbils foraged on feeding trays set under bushes or in the open. We monitored owl location, activity, and hunting attempts, viper activity and ambush site location, and the foraging behavior of the gerbils in bush and open microhabitats. Owls directed more attacks towards patches with vipers, and vipers were more active in the presence of owls. Owls and vipers facilitated each other's hunting through their combined effect on gerbil behavior, especially on full moon nights when vipers are more active. Owls forced gerbils into the bushes where vipers preferred to ambush, while viper presence chased gerbils into the open where they were exposed to owls. Owls and vipers took advantage of their indirect positive effect on each other. In the foraging game context, they improve each other's patch quality and hunting success.

  12. Spotted Owl: Strix occidentalis

    Treesearch

    Joseph L. Ganey

    1997-01-01

    The scientific name, Strix occidentalis, translates as "owl of the west," an appropriate name for this inhabitant of western forests. The subspecies found in Arizona, the Mexican Spotted Owl, is S. o. lucida - "light" or "bright" owl of the west. This race is generally lighter in color than Spotted...

  13. View west, barn, east elevation Woods Homestead, Barn, County ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View west, barn, east elevation - Woods Homestead, Barn, County Route 12 on north side of North Fork of Hughes River, 2.2 miles north & east of Goose Run Road intersection, Harrisville, Ritchie County, WV

  14. View south, barn, north elevation Woods Homestead, Barn, County ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View south, barn, north elevation - Woods Homestead, Barn, County Route 12 on north side of North Fork of Hughes River, 2.2 miles north & east of Goose Run Road intersection, Harrisville, Ritchie County, WV

  15. View north, barn, south elevation Woods Homestead, Barn, County ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View north, barn, south elevation - Woods Homestead, Barn, County Route 12 on north side of North Fork of Hughes River, 2.2 miles north & east of Goose Run Road intersection, Harrisville, Ritchie County, WV

  16. View east, barn, west elevation Woods Homestead, Barn, County ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View east, barn, west elevation - Woods Homestead, Barn, County Route 12 on north side of North Fork of Hughes River, 2.2 miles north & east of Goose Run Road intersection, Harrisville, Ritchie County, WV

  17. 3. GENERAL VIEW OF FEED BARN (STRUCTURE 1), MILKING BARN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. GENERAL VIEW OF FEED BARN (STRUCTURE 1), MILKING BARN (CENTER) (STRUCTURE 2) AND CORNER OF MILK HOUSE (STRUCTURE 3) FROM SOUTHEAST - Twin Oaks Dairy, Northwest of Metcalfe Road, off State Route 101 (Monterey Road), Coyote, Santa Clara County, CA

  18. LOWER LEVEL OF CROCKETT BARN, LOOKING SOUTH. The barn is ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    LOWER LEVEL OF CROCKETT BARN, LOOKING SOUTH. The barn is built on a fieldstone foundation with a heavy-timber, mortise and tenon wood construction. A bank of window openings spans the south and east walls. Every other opening is covered with an operable shutter that is hinged to the window header above. - Crockett Farm, Barn, 1056 Fort Casey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  19. 6. Livestock barn (far left), log drafthorse barn (left of ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    6. Livestock barn (far left), log draft-horse barn (left of center), loafing shed (center), log calving barn (right of center). View to west-northwest. - William & Lucina Bowe Ranch, County Road 44, 0.1 mile northeast of Big Hole River Bridge, Melrose, Silver Bow County, MT

  20. Distribution, abundance, and habitat use of territorial male Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus) in northeast Minnesota

    Treesearch

    William H. Lane; David E. Andersen; Thomas H. Nicholls

    1997-01-01

    We conducted nocturnal auditory surveys from 1987-1992 to determine the distribution, abundance, and habitat use of Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus) in northeast Minnesota. We concentrated our efforts in areas where documented nesting attempts by the owls had occurred, along roadways maintained for winter-time access by motor vehicles, and by...

  1. Owls On Silent Wings. The Wonder Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Ann C.

    This curriculum guide is all about owls and provides information on the folklore related to owls, present populations, explanations of physical characteristics, exploring owl pellets, burrowing owls, snowy owls, and great horned owls. Included are eight activities using owl cards, owl pellets, puzzles, and origami. This guide aims to increase…

  2. Owls On Silent Wings. The Wonder Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Ann C.

    This curriculum guide is all about owls and provides information on the folklore related to owls, present populations, explanations of physical characteristics, exploring owl pellets, burrowing owls, snowy owls, and great horned owls. Included are eight activities using owl cards, owl pellets, puzzles, and origami. This guide aims to increase…

  3. Complex state-dependent games between owls and gerbils.

    PubMed

    Berger-Tal, Oded; Mukherjee, Shomen; Kotler, Burt P; Brown, Joel S

    2010-03-01

    Predator-prey interactions are often behaviourally sophisticated games in which the predator and prey are players. Past studies teach us that hungrier prey take higher risks when foraging and that hungrier predators increase their foraging activity and are willing to take higher risks of injury. Yet no study has looked at the simultaneous responses of predator and prey to their own and each other's hunger levels in a controlled environment. We looked for evidence of a state-dependent game between predators and their prey by simultaneously manipulating the hunger state of barn owls, and Allenby's gerbils as prey. The owls significantly increased their activity when hungry. However, they did not appear to respond to changes in the hunger state of the gerbils. The gerbils reacted strongly to the owls' state, as well as to their own state when the risk was perceived as high. Our study shows that predator-prey interactions give rise to a complex state-dependent game.

  4. Keeping Barns in Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomash, Lisa

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a landscape project using Grant Wood's paintings as an example. As part of the project, the students are required to include a barn in their picture. This project is a great opportunity to study an Iowa artist who did landscape painting and to study perspective. This is also an excellent project for teaching…

  5. Keeping Barns in Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomash, Lisa

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a landscape project using Grant Wood's paintings as an example. As part of the project, the students are required to include a barn in their picture. This project is a great opportunity to study an Iowa artist who did landscape painting and to study perspective. This is also an excellent project for teaching…

  6. Owl: electronic datasheet generator.

    PubMed

    Appleton, Evan; Tao, Jenhan; Wheatley, F Carter; Desai, Devina H; Lozanoski, Thomas M; Shah, Pooja D; Awtry, Jake A; Jin, Shawn S; Haddock, Traci L; Densmore, Douglas M

    2014-12-19

    Owl ( www.owlcad.org ) is a biodesign automation tool that generates electronic datasheets for synthetic biological parts using common formatting. Data can be retrieved automatically from existing repositories and modified in the Owl user interface (UI). Owl uses the data to generate an HTML page with standard typesetting that can be saved as a PDF file. Here we present the Owl software tool in its alpha version, its current UI, its description of input data for generating a datasheet, its example datasheets, and the vision of the tool's role in biodesign automation.

  7. Some Reflections on the Barnes Collection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McWhinnie, Harold

    1994-01-01

    Discusses the founding, development, and issues surrounding the Barnes Foundation and its art collection, specifically designed for art education. Also discusses myths about Albert C. Barnes, the Barnes Foundation, and its relationship to the ideas of John Dewey. (CFR)

  8. [Occurrence of parasites in indigenous birds of prey and owls].

    PubMed

    Lierz, M; Göbel, T; Schuster, R

    2002-01-01

    In the present paper a general overview on parasites in birds of prey and owls is given. This part is followed by a study investigating the prevalences and species of parasites in free-ranging birds of prey and owls in Berlin and Brandenburg State, Germany. Over a one year period, 84 birds of prey and owls of the following species were examined for the presence of endo- and ectoparasites: Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) (n = 32), Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) (n = 20), Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (n = 9), Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) (n = 8), Black Kite (Milvus migrans) (n = 4), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (n = 3), Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) (n = 1), White-tailed-Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) (n = 1), Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) (n = 4), Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) (n = 1) and Barn Owl (Tyto alba) (n = 1). In 97.6% of the cases, ectoparasites (feather mites and hippoboscid flies) were found. Especially eyasses (93.3%) were positive for hippoboscid flies. Trichomonas was detected in 28.6% of all birds of prey and owls examined. A prevalence of 100% was established in the Sparrow Hawks as well as Peregrine Falcons. Leucozytozoon sp. and Hemoproteus sp. as blood parasites were found in 26.9% of the birds in total. Common Buzzards showed the highest prevalence (44.8%). 58.3% of birds examined were positive for endoparasites. Flukes were found in 16.7%, tapeworms in 14.3%, round-worms in 48.8% and acanthocephales in 2.4% of the cases. Interestingly, Tylodelphis clavata (in a Common Buzzard) and Hovorkonema variegatum (in a Goshawk) were found for the first time in raptors. The results of this study underline the importance of a parasitological examination in the process of raptor rehabilitation.

  9. Experimental analysis of the flow field over a novel owl based airfoil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klän, Stephan; Bachmann, Thomas; Klaas, Michael; Wagner, Hermann; Schröder, Wolfgang

    2009-05-01

    The aerodynamics of a newly constructed wing model the geometry of which is related to the wing of a barn owl is experimentally investigated. Several barn owl wings are scanned to obtain three-dimensional surface models of natural wings. A rectangular wing model with the general geometry of the barn owl but without any owl-specific structure being the reference case for all subsequent measurements is investigated using pressure tabs, oil flow pattern technique, and particle-image velocimetry. The main flow feature of the clean wing is a transitional separation bubble on the suction side. The size of the bubble depends on the Reynolds number and the angle of attack, whereas the location is mainly influenced by the angle of attack. Next, a second model with a modified surface is considered and its influence on the flow field is analyzed. Applying a velvet onto the suction side drastically reduces the size of this separation at moderate angles of attack and higher Reynolds numbers.

  10. Interview with Peter Barnes.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Peter J

    2011-10-01

    Peter Barnes first started his career in respiratory research in the late 1970s following studies at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He is currently Professor of Thoracic Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Head of Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College and Honorary Consultant Physician at the Royal Brompton Hospital. He speaks to Future Medicinal Chemistry about the molecular mechanisms currently under investigation by his group, and discusses his views on the latest therapeutic breakthroughs and the future of respiratory research.

  11. Talking about Poems, Elaborating Barnes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, John

    2010-01-01

    In "Language, the Learner and the School", Douglas Barnes recognised that intonation was important to classroom interaction but also acknowledged that his own research team did not choose to analyse it. This article presents instances of classroom talk about poetry and reflects on them using Barnes' concepts of pupil participation, exploratory…

  12. To dare or not to dare? Risk management by owls in a predator-prey foraging game.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Raveh, Ashael; Burns, Darren; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-07-01

    In a foraging game, predators must catch elusive prey while avoiding injury. Predators manage their hunting success with behavioral tools such as habitat selection, time allocation, and perhaps daring-the willingness to risk injury to increase hunting success. A predator's level of daring should be state dependent: the hungrier it is, the more it should be willing to risk injury to better capture prey. We ask, in a foraging game, will a hungry predator be more willing to risk injury while hunting? We performed an experiment in an outdoor vivarium in which barn owls (Tyto alba) were allowed to hunt Allenby's gerbils (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi) from a choice of safe and risky patches. Owls were either well fed or hungry, representing the high and low state, respectively. We quantified the owls' patch use behavior. We predicted that hungry owls would be more daring and allocate more time to the risky patches. Owls preferred to hunt in the safe patches. This indicates that owls manage risk of injury by avoiding the risky patches. Hungry owls doubled their attacks on gerbils, but directed the added effort mostly toward the safe patch and the safer, open areas in the risky patch. Thus, owls dared by performing a risky action-the attack maneuver-more times, but only in the safest places-the open areas. We conclude that daring can be used to manage risk of injury and owls implement it strategically, in ways we did not foresee, to minimize risk of injury while maximizing hunting success.

  13. Semantic Web Services with Web Ontology Language (OWL-S) - Specification of Agent-Services for DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-01

    member of an OWL class for bookselling services. (For advertising purposes, such a class would be a subclass of Profile.). The second way to...what the service does. For example, the capability of Barnes and Noble, a bookseller , is to sell books. The capability of a Web Service can be viewed...different services with similar capabilities. For example, a requester may prefer a bookseller that has a Dunn and Bradstreet quality rating. In order to

  14. Learning from an Owl.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greeves, Adrian

    1988-01-01

    Describes one creative writing teacher's use of an owl as a focal point for writing activities and how the writing activities aided the students' personal and creative development. Provides samples of student writing. (ARH)

  15. Mixed-Media Owls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Kathy

    2010-01-01

    The fun of creating collages is there are unlimited possibilities for the different kinds of materials one can use. In this article, the author describes how her eighth-grade students created an owl using mixed media.

  16. Mixed-Media Owls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Kathy

    2010-01-01

    The fun of creating collages is there are unlimited possibilities for the different kinds of materials one can use. In this article, the author describes how her eighth-grade students created an owl using mixed media.

  17. Learning from an Owl.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greeves, Adrian

    1988-01-01

    Describes one creative writing teacher's use of an owl as a focal point for writing activities and how the writing activities aided the students' personal and creative development. Provides samples of student writing. (ARH)

  18. Density and habitat associations of Barred Owls at the edge of their range in Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winton, Brian R.; Leslie, David M.

    2004-01-01

    We assessed breeding-pair density and habitat associations of Barred Owls (Strix varia) at the edge of their range in north-central Oklahoma in 1995-1996. We played taped calls of Barred Owls to solicit and record responses (visual and auditory) and thereby determine density in our 1155-ha study area. Numbers of owls ranged from 7 pairs in 1995 to 11 pairs in 1996, or 1 Barred Owl pair/105-165 ha in a relatively contiguous bottomland forest. To assess habitat associations, we overlaid core areas of owl activity, as inferred from the locations of Barred Owl responses, on aerial photographs and quantified habitats in a 0.65-km2 cell surrounding owl core areas. Barred owl pairs were associated with closed-canopy forest (62.8%), fallow agricultural fields (10.6%), water (8.1%), and treeless (open) areas (6.2%), which differed from single owls (presumed nonbreeders) that showed a greater affinity for open-canopy forest and agricultural fields.

  19. Distinct Correlation Structure Supporting a Rate-Code for Sound Localization in the Owl’s Auditory Forebrain

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Abstract While a topographic map of auditory space exists in the vertebrate midbrain, it is absent in the forebrain. Yet, both brain regions are implicated in sound localization. The heterogeneous spatial tuning of adjacent sites in the forebrain compared to the midbrain reflects different underlying circuitries, which is expected to affect the correlation structure, i.e., signal (similarity of tuning) and noise (trial-by-trial variability) correlations. Recent studies have drawn attention to the impact of response correlations on the information readout from a neural population. We thus analyzed the correlation structure in midbrain and forebrain regions of the barn owl’s auditory system. Tetrodes were used to record in the midbrain and two forebrain regions, Field L and the downstream auditory arcopallium (AAr), in anesthetized owls. Nearby neurons in the midbrain showed high signal and noise correlations (RNCs), consistent with shared inputs. As previously reported, Field L was arranged in random clusters of similarly tuned neurons. Interestingly, AAr neurons displayed homogeneous monotonic azimuth tuning, while response variability of nearby neurons was significantly less correlated than the midbrain. Using a decoding approach, we demonstrate that low RNC in AAr restricts the potentially detrimental effect it can have on information, assuming a rate code proposed for mammalian sound localization. This study harnesses the power of correlation structure analysis to investigate the coding of auditory space. Our findings demonstrate distinct correlation structures in the auditory midbrain and forebrain, which would be beneficial for a rate-code framework for sound localization in the nontopographic forebrain representation of auditory space. PMID:28674698

  20. Transformation from a pure time delay to a mixed time and phase delay representation in the auditory forebrain pathway.

    PubMed

    Vonderschen, Katrin; Wagner, Hermann

    2012-04-25

    Birds and mammals exploit interaural time differences (ITDs) for sound localization. Subsequent to ITD detection by brainstem neurons, ITD processing continues in parallel midbrain and forebrain pathways. In the barn owl, both ITD detection and processing in the midbrain are specialized to extract ITDs independent of frequency, which amounts to a pure time delay representation. Recent results have elucidated different mechanisms of ITD detection in mammals, which lead to a representation of small ITDs in high-frequency channels and large ITDs in low-frequency channels, resembling a phase delay representation. However, the detection mechanism does not prevent a change in ITD representation at higher processing stages. Here we analyze ITD tuning across frequency channels with pure tone and noise stimuli in neurons of the barn owl's auditory arcopallium, a nucleus at the endpoint of the forebrain pathway. To extend the analysis of ITD representation across frequency bands to a large neural population, we employed Fourier analysis for the spectral decomposition of ITD curves recorded with noise stimuli. This method was validated using physiological as well as model data. We found that low frequencies convey sensitivity to large ITDs, whereas high frequencies convey sensitivity to small ITDs. Moreover, different linear phase frequency regimes in the high-frequency and low-frequency ranges suggested an independent convergence of inputs from these frequency channels. Our results are consistent with ITD being remodeled toward a phase delay representation along the forebrain pathway. This indicates that sensory representations may undergo substantial reorganization, presumably in relation to specific behavioral output.

  1. Optimal neural population coding of an auditory spatial cue.

    PubMed

    Harper, Nicol S; McAlpine, David

    2004-08-05

    A sound, depending on the position of its source, can take more time to reach one ear than the other. This interaural (between the ears) time difference (ITD) provides a major cue for determining the source location. Many auditory neurons are sensitive to ITDs, but the means by which such neurons represent ITD is a contentious issue. Recent studies question whether the classical general model (the Jeffress model) applies across species. Here we show that ITD coding strategies of different species can be explained by a unifying principle: that the ITDs an animal naturally encounters should be coded with maximal accuracy. Using statistical techniques and a stochastic neural model, we demonstrate that the optimal coding strategy for ITD depends critically on head size and sound frequency. For small head sizes and/or low-frequency sounds, the optimal coding strategy tends towards two distinct sub-populations tuned to ITDs outside the range created by the head. This is consistent with recent observations in small mammals. For large head sizes and/or high frequencies, the optimal strategy is a homogeneous distribution of ITD tunings within the range created by the head. This is consistent with observations in the barn owl. For humans, the optimal strategy to code ITDs from an acoustically measured distribution depends on frequency; above 400 Hz a homogeneous distribution is optimal, and below 400 Hz distinct sub-populations are optimal.

  2. Demographic response of northern spotted owls to barred owl removal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Diller, V. Lowell; Hamm, Keith A; Early, Desiree A; Lamphear, David W; Katie Dugger,; Yackulic, Charles B.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Carlson, Peter C.; McDonald, Trent L.

    2016-01-01

    Federally listed as threatened in 1990 primarily because of habitat loss, the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) has continued to decline despite conservation efforts resulting in forested habitat being reserved throughout its range. Recently, there is growing evidence the congeneric invasive barred owl (Strix varia) may be responsible for the continued decline primarily by excluding spotted owls from their preferred habitat. We used a long-term demographic study for spotted owls in coastal northern California as the basis for a pilot barred owl removal experiment. Our demography study used capture–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected from 1990 to 2013 to evaluate trends in vital rates and populations. We used a classic before-after-control-impact (BACI) experimental design to investigate the demographic response of northern spotted owls to the lethal removal of barred owls. According to the best 2-species dynamic occupancy model, there was no evidence of differences in barred or northern spotted owl occupancy prior to the initiation of the treatment (barred owl removal). After treatment, barred owl occupancy was lower in the treated relative to the untreated areas and spotted owl occupancy was higher relative to the untreated areas. Barred owl removal decreased spotted owl territory extinction rates but did not affect territory colonization rates. As a result, spotted owl occupancy increased in the treated area and continued to decline in the untreated areas. Prior to and after barred owl removal, there was no evidence that average fecundity differed on the 2 study areas. However, the greater number of occupied spotted owl sites on the treated areas resulted in greater productivity in the treated areas based on empirical counts of fledged young. Prior to removal, survival was declining at a rate of approximately 0.2% per year for treated and untreated areas. Following treatment, estimated survival was 0.859 for

  3. Sexing young snowy owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seidensticker, M.T.; Holt, D.W.; Detienne, J.; Talbot, S.; Gray, K.

    2011-01-01

    We predicted sex of 140 Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) nestlings out of 34 nests at our Barrow, Alaska, study area to develop a technique for sexing these owls in the field. We primarily sexed young, flightless owls (3844 d old) by quantifying plumage markings on the remiges and tail, predicting sex, and collecting blood samples to test our field predictions using molecular sexing techniques. We categorized and quantified three different plumage markings: two types of bars (defined as markings that touch the rachis) and spots (defined as markings that do not touch the rachis). We predicted sex in the field assuming that males had more spots than bars and females more bars than spots on the remiges and rectrices. Molecular data indicated that we correctly sexed 100% of the nestlings. We modeled the data using random forests and classification trees. Both models indicated that the number and type of markings on the secondary feathers were the most important in classifying nestling sex. The statistical models verified our initial qualitative prediction that males have more spots than bars and females more bars than spots on flight feathers P6P10 for both wings and tail feathers T1 and T2. This study provides researchers with an easily replicable and highly accurate method for sexing young Snowy Owls in the field, which should aid further studies of sex-ratios and sex-related variation in behavior and growth of this circumpolar owl species. ?? 2011 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  4. Auditory Spatial Acuity Approximates the Resolving Power of Space-Specific Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bala, Avinash D. S.; Spitzer, Matthew W.; Takahashi, Terry T.

    2007-01-01

    The relationship between neuronal acuity and behavioral performance was assessed in the barn owl (Tyto alba), a nocturnal raptor renowned for its ability to localize sounds and for the topographic representation of auditory space found in the midbrain. We measured discrimination of sound-source separation using a newly developed procedure involving the habituation and recovery of the pupillary dilation response. The smallest discriminable change of source location was found to be about two times finer in azimuth than in elevation. Recordings from neurons in its midbrain space map revealed that their spatial tuning, like the spatial discrimination behavior, was also better in azimuth than in elevation by a factor of about two. Because the PDR behavioral assay is mediated by the same circuitry whether discrimination is assessed in azimuth or in elevation, this difference in vertical and horizontal acuity is likely to reflect a true difference in sensory resolution, without additional confounding effects of differences in motor performance in the two dimensions. Our results, therefore, are consistent with the hypothesis that the acuity of the midbrain space map determines auditory spatial discrimination. PMID:17668055

  5. Eye shape and retinal topography in owls (Aves: Strigiformes).

    PubMed

    Lisney, Thomas J; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Bandet, Mischa V; Wylie, Douglas R

    2012-01-01

    The eyes of vertebrates show adaptations to the visual environments in which they evolve. For example, eye shape is associated with activity pattern, while retinal topography is related to the symmetry or 'openness' of the habitat of a species. Although these relationships are well documented in many vertebrates including birds, the extent to which they hold true for species within the same avian order is not well understood. Owls (Strigiformes) represent an ideal group for the study of interspecific variation in the avian visual system because they are one of very few avian orders to contain species that vary in both activity pattern and habitat preference. Here, we examined interspecific variation in eye shape and retinal topography in nine species of owl. Eye shape (the ratio of corneal diameter to eye axial length) differed among species, with nocturnal species having relatively larger corneal diameters than diurnal species. All the owl species have an area of high retinal ganglion cell (RGC) density in the temporal retina and a visual streak of increased cell density extending across the central retina from temporal to nasal. However, the organization and degree of elongation of the visual streak varied considerably among species and this variation was quantified using H:V ratios. Species that live in open habitats and/or that are more diurnally active have well-defined, elongated visual streaks and high H:V ratios (3.88-2.33). In contrast, most nocturnal and/or forest-dwelling owls have a poorly defined visual streak, a more radially symmetrical arrangement of RGCs and lower H:V ratios (1.77-1.27). The results of a hierarchical cluster analysis indicate that the apparent interspecific variation is associated with activity pattern and habitat as opposed to the phylogenetic relationships among species. In seven species, the presence of a fovea was confirmed and it is suggested that all strigid owls may possess a fovea, whereas the tytonid barn owl (Tyto alba

  6. Experimental analysis of the flow field over a novel owl based airfoil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klän, Stephan; Bachmann, Thomas; Klaas, Michael; Wagner, Hermann; Schröder, Wolfgang

    The aerodynamics of a newly constructed wing model the geometry of which is related to the wing of a barn owl is experimentally investigated. Several barn owl wings are scanned to obtain three-dimensional surface models of natural wings. A rectangular wing model with the general geometry of the barn owl but without any owlspecific structure being the reference case for all subsequent measurements is investigated using pressure tabs, oil flow pattern technique, and particle-image velocimetry. The main flow feature of the clean wing is a transitional separation bubble on the suction side. The size of the bubble depends on the Reynolds number and the angle of attack, whereas the location is mainly influenced by the angle of attack. Next, a second model with a modified surface is considered and its influence on the flow field is analyzed. Applying a velvet onto the suction side drastically reduces the size of this separation at moderate angles of attack and higher Reynolds numbers.

  7. An anatomical substrate for the inhibitory gradient in the VLVp of the owl.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T T; Barberini, C L; Keller, C H

    1995-07-24

    The interaural difference in the level of sounds is an important cue for the localization of the sound's source. In the barn owl, a keen auditory predator, this binaural cue is first computed in the nucleus ventralis lemnisci laterale, pars posterior (VLVp), a cell group found within the fibers of the lateral lemniscus. Its neurons are excited by inputs from the contralateral ear and inhibited by inputs to the ipsilateral ear and are therefore sensitive indicators of interaural level difference. The excitation arrives by a direct input from the contralateral nucleus angularis, a cochlear nucleus, and the inhibition is mediated by a commissural projection that interconnects the VLVps of the two sides. The dorsally located neurons in the VLVp are more heavily inhibited than those found more ventrally, thus giving rise to a gradient of inhibition. This inhibitory gradient plays a central role in recent models of VLVp function. We present evidence based on standard anterograde tracing methods that this gradient of inhibition is mediated by a dorsoventral gradient in the density of synaptic inputs from the contralateral VLVp, the source of inhibition. Specifically, injection of tracers into one VLVp, regardless of the position of the injection within the nucleus, produced a vertically oriented field of label that was densest along the dorsal margin of the contralateral VLVp and became sparser a more ventral levels. Furthermore, we found that injections into the medial and lateral aspects of the nucleus produced this dorsoventrally graded field of label along the medial and lateral aspects of the contralateral VLVp, respectively. Finally, we confirmed an earlier observation suggesting that the anterior and posterior aspects of one VLVp project to the anterior and posterior aspects of the contralateral nucleus, respectively.

  8. GROUND FLOOR OF JENNE BARN LOOKING EAST. (The barn’s ground ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    GROUND FLOOR OF JENNE BARN LOOKING EAST. (The barn’s ground floor is used for animal pens. On the left is an area enclosed for chickens. The Jenne milking stanchions remain along the south end of the barn.) - Jenne Farm, Barn, 538 Engle Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  9. Owl Pellet Paleontology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McAlpine, Lisa K.

    2013-01-01

    In this activity for the beginning of a high school Biology 1 evolution unit, students are challenged to reconstruct organisms found in an owl pellet as a model for fossil reconstruction. They work in groups to develop hypotheses about what animal they have found, what environment it inhabited, and what niche it filled. At the end of the activity,…

  10. Owl Pellet Paleontology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McAlpine, Lisa K.

    2013-01-01

    In this activity for the beginning of a high school Biology 1 evolution unit, students are challenged to reconstruct organisms found in an owl pellet as a model for fossil reconstruction. They work in groups to develop hypotheses about what animal they have found, what environment it inhabited, and what niche it filled. At the end of the activity,…

  11. The Barnes Foundation: A Place for Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnham, Rika

    2007-01-01

    This article tells the story of the author's invitation to teach at the Barnes Foundation, and her transformative experience as a teacher in this extraordinary place. The author comes to realize that the Barnes is the physical realization of a philosophical dream, and progresses to an understanding of how Albert C. Barnes collected and assembled…

  12. The Barnes Foundation: A Place for Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnham, Rika

    2007-01-01

    This article tells the story of the author's invitation to teach at the Barnes Foundation, and her transformative experience as a teacher in this extraordinary place. The author comes to realize that the Barnes is the physical realization of a philosophical dream, and progresses to an understanding of how Albert C. Barnes collected and assembled…

  13. Owl Research that's Good for the Birds.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cristol, Daniel A.

    1986-01-01

    Describes and illustrates how to build nest boxes to provide city homes for screech owls to reestablish a healthy ecological balance. Outlines how to conduct a pellet analysis of an owl's diet and how to study screech owl territoriality. (NEC)

  14. Owl Research that's Good for the Birds.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cristol, Daniel A.

    1986-01-01

    Describes and illustrates how to build nest boxes to provide city homes for screech owls to reestablish a healthy ecological balance. Outlines how to conduct a pellet analysis of an owl's diet and how to study screech owl territoriality. (NEC)

  15. Echolocation, vocal learning, auditory localization and the relative size of the avian auditory midbrain nucleus (MLd).

    PubMed

    Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Clayton, Dale H; Wylie, Douglas R W

    2006-02-28

    The avian nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis, pars dorsalis (MLd) is an auditory midbrain nucleus that plays a significant role in a variety of acoustically mediated behaviours. We tested whether MLd is hypertrophied in species with auditory specializations: owls, the vocal learners and echolocaters. Using both conventional and phylogenetically corrected statistics, we find that the echolocating species have a marginally enlarged MLd, but it does not differ significantly from auditory generalists, such as pigeons, raptors and chickens. Similarly, all of the vocal learners tend to have relatively small MLds. Finally, MLd is significantly larger in owls compared to all other birds regardless of how the size of MLd is scaled. This enlargement is far more marked in asymmetrically eared owls than symmetrically eared owls. Variation in MLd size therefore appears to be correlated with some auditory specializations, but not others. Whether an auditory specialist possesses a hypertrophied MLd appears to be depend upon their hearing range and sensitivity as well as the ability to resolve small azimuthal and elevational angles when determining the location of a sound. As a result, the only group to possess a significantly large MLd consistently across our analyses is the owls. Unlike other birds surveyed, owls have a battery of peripheral and other central auditory system specializations that correlate well with their hearing abilities. The lack of differences among the generalists, vocal learners and echolocaters therefore reflects an overall similarity in hearing abilities, despite the specific life history requirements of each specialization and species. This correlation between the size of a neural structure and the sensitivity of a perceptual domain parallels a similar pattern in mammals.

  16. All about Owls: Studying Owls, State Birds, and Endangered Species.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivard, Leonard P.

    1991-01-01

    Activities are included that acquaint students with the parts of birds and the structure of feathers; that identify the prey of owls by opening owl pellets; working with information about threatened and endangered species of birds; and follow-up activities for bird study. A list of state and provincial birds of the United States and Canada and…

  17. All about Owls: Studying Owls, State Birds, and Endangered Species.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivard, Leonard P.

    1991-01-01

    Activities are included that acquaint students with the parts of birds and the structure of feathers; that identify the prey of owls by opening owl pellets; working with information about threatened and endangered species of birds; and follow-up activities for bird study. A list of state and provincial birds of the United States and Canada and…

  18. DNA barcoding as a tool for elucidating species delineation in wide-ranging species as illustrated by owls (Tytonidae and Strigidae).

    PubMed

    Nijman, Vincent; Aliabadian, Mansour

    2013-11-01

    The mitochondrial cytochrome c-oxidase subunit I (cox1) can serve as a fast and accurate marker for the identification of animal species, and for the discovery of new species across the tree of life. Distinguishing species using this universal molecular marker, a technique known as DNA barcoding, relies on the identifying the gap between intra- and interspecific divergence. One of the difficulties could be wide-ranging, cosmopolitan species that show large amounts of morphological variation. The barn owl Tyto alba is a case in point. It occurs worldwide and varies morphologically, leading to the recognition of many subspecies or, more recently, species. We analysed data from the cox1 gene for 31 individuals of seven subspecies, and compared this with 214 sequences from 29 other owl species. Phylogenetic analysis of the T. alba samples gives very strong support for an Old World alba-clade (three subspecies) and a New World furcata-clade (four subspecies) that are genetically equidistant. The amount of intraspecific variation within each of these clades ranges from 0.66-0.99%, but variation among these clades ranges from 5.33-6.20%. Combined these data suggest that barn owl of the Old World is indeed best considered a separate species different from that of the New World. For combined dataset, sample size of owl species (n between 1 and 21 sequences) increased with geographic range size but we did not find significant relationships between interspecific divergence and sample size or between interspecific divergence and geographic range. For 21/24 species of owls with sample sizes of n ≥4 the maximum interspecific divergences was ≤ 3.00%. However, similar to those found in barn owls, the largest amount of divergence (3.23-4.09%) was present in two other wide-ranging species (Strix nebulosa and Aegolius funereus) raising the possibility of multiple species in other wide-ranging owls as well.

  19. Owl Pellets and Crisis Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Tom

    2002-01-01

    Describes a press conference that was used as a "teachable moment" when owl pellets being used for instructional purposes were found to be contaminated with Salmonella. The incident highlighted the need for safe handling of owl pellets, having a crisis management plan, and the importance of conveying accurate information to concerned parents.…

  20. Owl Pellets and Crisis Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Tom

    2002-01-01

    Describes a press conference that was used as a "teachable moment" when owl pellets being used for instructional purposes were found to be contaminated with Salmonella. The incident highlighted the need for safe handling of owl pellets, having a crisis management plan, and the importance of conveying accurate information to concerned parents.…

  1. "Mission possible: owls in education"

    Treesearch

    Marcia J. Wilson

    1997-01-01

    A panel of four experts in the fields of environmental education, rehabilitation and research assembled for a 1-3/4 hour workshop chaired by a moderator. Each panelist reflected upon their experiences using live owls in their own environmental education and/or research programs. Permanently disabled or imprinted owls can live long, useful lives as ambassadors from the...

  2. 2. Barn 41. North side. 'Butterfly' roof line is similar ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. Barn 41. North side. 'Butterfly' roof line is similar to those of barns in middle barn area (Barns 1A through 8B). Part of 'panorama' with photo WA-201-13-1. - Longacres, Barn 41, 1621 Southwest Sixteenth Street, Renton, King County, WA

  3. Western Screech-Owl (Megascops kennicottii)

    Treesearch

    Frederick R. Gehlbach; Scott H. Stoleson

    2010-01-01

    The Western Screech-Owl (Megascops kennicottii) is a permanent resident and the largest of New Mexico's eight small owls. At an average 116 g (4.1 oz), it is 1.3 times more massive than the Whiskered Screech-Owl (M. trichopsis) but similar to the Eastern Screech-Owl (M. asio), the state's other two small owls with dark-streaked, white-flecked gray plumage...

  4. Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) Genome: Divergence with the Barred Owl (Strix varia) and Characterization of Light-Associated Genes.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Zachary R; Henderson, James B; Wall, Jeffrey D; Emerling, Christopher A; Fuchs, Jérôme; Runckel, Charles; Mindell, David P; Bowie, Rauri C K; DeRisi, Joseph L; Dumbacher, John P

    2017-10-01

    We report here the assembly of a northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) genome. We generated Illumina paired-end sequence data at 90× coverage using nine libraries with insert lengths ranging from ∼250 to 9,600 nt and read lengths from 100 to 375 nt. The genome assembly is comprised of 8,108 scaffolds totaling 1.26 × 109 nt in length with an N50 length of 3.98 × 106 nt. We calculated the genome-wide fixation index (FST) of S. o. caurina with the closely related barred owl (Strix varia) as 0.819. We examined 19 genes that encode proteins with light-dependent functions in our genome assembly as well as in that of the barn owl (Tyto alba). We present genomic evidence for loss of three of these in S. o. caurina and four in T. alba. We suggest that most light-associated gene functions have been maintained in owls and their loss has not proceeded to the same extent as in other dim-light-adapted vertebrates. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. 12. Dairy barn, east and north sides, milk house to ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    12. Dairy barn, east and north sides, milk house to left and barn ramp at center - A. I. Du Pont Estate, Blue Ball Dairy Barn, Junction of U.S. Route 202 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

  6. DETAIL OF CROCKETT BARN WALL CONSTRUCTION, UPPER LEVEL. The wall ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    DETAIL OF CROCKETT BARN WALL CONSTRUCTION, UPPER LEVEL. The wall construction of the Crockett barn includes a layer of diagonal sheathing that is exposed on the interior. - Crockett Farm, Barn, 1056 Fort Casey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  7. 2. Interior passageway at west end of Barn 3. Camera ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. Interior passageway at west end of Barn 3. Camera pointed S. A pronounced sag in barn roof causes the apparent distortion of image in upper left. - Longacres, Barn 3, 1621 Southwest Sixteenth Street, Renton, King County, WA

  8. Elevation view of front (east) side of milk barn includes ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Elevation view of front (east) side of milk barn includes portion of creamery on left and main barn on right. - Kosai Farm, Milk Barn, B Street north of Northwest Twenty-ninth Street, Auburn, King County, WA

  9. Blood parasites in owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Ishak, Heather D; Dumbacher, John P; Anderson, Nancy L; Keane, John J; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Haig, Susan M; Tell, Lisa A; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2008-05-28

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis caurina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n = 17) and unique lineages (n = 12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one Leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls.

  10. Blood parasites in Owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ishak, H.D.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Anderson, N.L.; Keane, J.J.; Valkiunas, G.; Haig, S.M.; Tell, L.A.; Sehgal, R.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis courina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n=17) and unique lineages (n=12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. ?? 2008 Ishak et al.

  11. Blood Parasites in Owls with Conservation Implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    PubMed Central

    Ishak, Heather D.; Dumbacher, John P.; Anderson, Nancy L.; Keane, John J.; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Haig, Susan M.; Tell, Lisa A.; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis caurina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n = 17) and unique lineages (n = 12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one Leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. PMID:18509541

  12. Maps of interaural delay in the owl's nucleus laminaris

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Sahil; McColgan, Thomas; Ashida, Go; Kuokkanen, Paula T.; Brill, Sandra; Kempter, Richard; Wagner, Hermann

    2015-01-01

    Axons from the nucleus magnocellularis form a presynaptic map of interaural time differences (ITDs) in the nucleus laminaris (NL). These inputs generate a field potential that varies systematically with recording position and can be used to measure the map of ITDs. In the barn owl, the representation of best ITD shifts with mediolateral position in NL, so as to form continuous, smoothly overlapping maps of ITD with iso-ITD contours that are not parallel to the NL border. Frontal space (0°) is, however, represented throughout and thus overrepresented with respect to the periphery. Measurements of presynaptic conduction delay, combined with a model of delay line conduction velocity, reveal that conduction delays can account for the mediolateral shifts in the map of ITD. PMID:26224776

  13. 9. FIRST FLOOR CAR BARN SPACE. VIEW TO NORTHWEST. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    9. FIRST FLOOR CAR BARN SPACE. VIEW TO NORTHWEST. - Commercial & Industrial Buildings, Key City Electric Street Railroad, Powerhouse & Storage Barn, Eighth & Washington Streets, Dubuque, Dubuque County, IA

  14. Hematozoa from the spotted owl.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, R J

    1989-10-01

    One hundred five spotted owls (Strix occidentalis) from seven populations and three subspecies were examined for hematozoa. Haemoproteus noctuae, H. syrnii, Leucocytozoon ziemanni, Trypanosoma avium, Atoxoplasma sp. and unidentified microfilariae were recorded. All northern (S. occidentalis caurina), California (S. occidentalis occidentalis) and Mexican (S. occidentalis lucida) spotted owls were infected with at least one hematozoan; 79% had multiple infections. Twenty-two percent of the owls were infected with as many as four species of parasites. There were significant differences in the prevalence of these species of parasites occurring among the five populations of northern and California spotted owls sampled in California. Haemoproteus noctuae, H. syrnii and Atoxoplasma sp. represented new host records for this host species.

  15. Burrowing Owls, Pulex irritans, and Plague.

    PubMed

    Belthoff, James R; Bernhardt, Scott A; Ball, Christopher L; Gregg, Michael; Johnson, David H; Ketterling, Rachel; Price, Emily; Tinker, Juliette K

    2015-09-01

    Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are small, ground-dwelling owls of western North America that frequent prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) towns and other grasslands. Because they rely on rodent prey and occupy burrows once or concurrently inhabited by fossorial mammals, the owls often harbor fleas. We examined the potential role of fleas found on burrowing owls in plague dynamics by evaluating prevalence of Yersinia pestis in fleas collected from burrowing owls and in owl blood. During 2012-2013, fleas and blood were collected from burrowing owls in portions of five states with endemic plague-Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota. Fleas were enumerated, taxonomically identified, pooled by nest, and assayed for Y. pestis using culturing and molecular (PCR) approaches. Owl blood underwent serological analysis for plague antibodies and nested PCR for detection of Y. pestis. Of more than 4750 fleas collected from owls, Pulex irritans, a known plague vector in portions of its range, comprised more than 99.4%. However, diagnostic tests for Y. pestis of flea pools (culturing and PCR) and owl blood (PCR and serology) were negative. Thus, even though fleas were prevalent on burrowing owls and the potential for a relationship with burrowing owls as a phoretic host of infected fleas exists, we found no evidence of Y. pestis in sampled fleas or in owls that harbored them. We suggest that studies similar to those reported here during plague epizootics will be especially useful for confirming these results.

  16. Albinism in the Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) and other owls

    Treesearch

    Pentti Alaja; Heimo Mikkola

    1997-01-01

    An incomplete albino Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) was observed in Vesanto and Kajaani, Finland, 1994-1995. The literature pertaining to albinism in owls indicates that total and incomplete albinism has only been reported in 13 different owl species, the Great Gray Owl being the only species with more than five records. Thus six to seven incomplete...

  17. Does the presence of barred owls suppress the calling behavior of spotted owls?

    Treesearch

    M.L. Crozier; M.E. Seamans; R.J. Gutierrez; P.J. Loschl; R.B. Horn; S.G. Sovern; E.D. Forsman

    2006-01-01

    Barred Owls (Strix varia) have expanded their range throughout the ranges of northern (Strix occidentalis caurina) and California spotted owls (S. o. occidentalis). Field observations have suggested that barred owls may be behaviorally dominant to spotted owls. Therefore, we conducted a test of behavioral...

  18. INTERIOR OF BARN HAYLOFT, LOOKING WEST (Charles Arnold added a ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    INTERIOR OF BARN HAYLOFT, LOOKING WEST (Charles Arnold added a Cleaning Mill to the barn's hayloft c. 1960. This photograph shows the elevator, chaff shoot, and metal funnel that still remain. The barn's gambrel roof is supported by a three-hinged arch truss system) - Arnold Farm, Barn, 1948 Arnold Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  19. 5. View southwest within dairy barn and milk house yard, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. View southwest within dairy barn and milk house yard, milk house to left, barn ramp at center, and east side of dairy barn at center right - A. I. Du Pont Estate, Blue Ball Dairy Barn, Junction of U.S. Route 202 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

  20. Environmental factors associated with spotted owl reproduction

    Treesearch

    Malcolm P. North

    2002-01-01

    Although research on spotted owls (Strix occidentalis) has increased dramatically in the last decade, factors influencing owl reproduction still are poorly known. This ongoing study uses 9 years of demographic data to analyze associations between owl reproduction and weather, cone crop abundance, and nest-site structure. Initial results indicate no...

  1. Chapter 17. Information needs: Great gray owls

    Treesearch

    Gregory D. Hayward

    1994-01-01

    Current understanding of great gray owl biology and ecology is based on studies of less than five populations. In an ideal world, a strong conservation strategy would require significant new information. However, current knowledge suggests that conservation of this forest owl should involve fewer conflicts than either the boreal or flammulated owl. The mix of forest...

  2. The biology of the California spotted owl

    Treesearch

    R.J. Gutiérrez; Douglas J. Tempel; M. Zachariah Peery

    2017-01-01

    The spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) is one of the most studied raptors in the world (Lõmus 2004) because forest management throughout its range has the potential to negatively affect owl populations. Information on the California spotted owl (S. o. occidentalis) has been summarized in several literature reviews (e.g.,...

  3. Owls of old forests of the world.

    Treesearch

    Bruce G. Marcot

    1995-01-01

    A review of literature on habitat associations of owls of the world revealed that about 83 species of owls among 18 genera are known or suspected to be closely associated with old forests. Old forest is defined as old-growth or undisturbed forests, typically with dense canopies. The 83 owl species include 70 tropical and 13 temperate forms. Specific habitat...

  4. INTERIOR OF HOG BARN SHOWING MILKING STANCHIONS AND DIAGONAL SHEATHING, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    INTERIOR OF HOG BARN SHOWING MILKING STANCHIONS AND DIAGONAL SHEATHING, LOOKING EAST. (In the 1940s the hog barn was converted to a calf barn to service the growing dairy. After a fire on the property took the Engle’s main barn in 1954, the building was converted into a milking parlor.) - Engle Farm, Barn, 89 South Ebey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  5. Acanthocephalans of the genus Centrorhynchus (Palaeacanthocephala: Centrorhynchidae) of birds of prey (Falconiformes) and owls (Strigiformes) in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Komorová, P; Špakulová, M; Hurníková, Z; Uhrín, M

    2015-06-01

    Three species of thorny-headed worms of the genus Centrorhynchus were found to parasitize birds of prey and owls in the territory of the Slovakia during the years 2012-2014. Out of 286 examined bird individuals belonging to 23 species, only Buteo buteo, Buteo rufinus, Falco tinnunculus (Falconiformes), Asio otus, Strix aluco, Strix uralensis and Tyto alba (Strigiformes) were infected by acanthocephalans. All the bird species except for S. aluco represent new host records for Slovakia. The most prevalent acanthocephalan Centrorhynchus aluconis was detected in all 15 examined birds of non-migratory Ural owl S. uralensis (P = 100%); however, it was found occasionally also in two individuals of the tawny owl S. aluco (P = 20%), one long-eared owl A. otus (P = 7.7%), one barn owl T. alba (P = 33.3%) and the common buzzard B. buteo (P = 0.8%). Two other thorny-headed worms occurred exclusively in Falconiformes in raw or mixed infections: Centrorhynchus buteonis was found in 11 individuals of B. buteo (P = 9.2%), and two birds (B. buteo and B. rufinus) were parasitized simultaneously by C. buteonis and the species Centrorhynchus globocaudatus. Moreover, the latest, relatively rare acanthocephalan was found alone in two common kestrels F. tinnunculus (P = 2.7%). Regarding intensity of infection, it ranged from a single female of C. buteonis, C. globocaudatus or C. aluconis per host (four cases) to a maximum of 82 C. aluconis per an Ural owl. The difference in acanthocephalan species spectrum between birds of prey and owls in Slovakia was apparent.

  6. Survey of blood parasites in two forest owls, Northern Saw-whet Owls and Flammulated Owls, of western North America.

    PubMed

    Leppert, Lynda L; Dufty, Alfred M; Stock, Sarah; Oleyar, M David; Kaltenecker, Greg S

    2008-04-01

    Except for a few studies in the eastern United States, little has been published on hemoparasites in owls. We surveyed the blood parasites of 108 Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) and 24 Flammulated Owls (Otus flammeolus) in Idaho during autumn migration in 1999 and 2000. We also surveyed 15 Flammulated Owls (FLOW) during breeding season in Utah from 2000. Leucocytozoon ziemanni, Haemoproteus syrnii, Haemoproteus noctuae, and Trypanosoma avium were identified. The overall prevalence of infection was 53% (78/147) and for the combined species, prevalences of Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, and Trypanosoma species were 20%, 39%, and 4%, respectively. Northern Saw-whet Owls (NSWO) had an overall prevalence of 51% (55/108), with prevalences of 6%, 47%, and 4% by hemoparasite genus, respectively. Flammulated Owls had an overall prevalence of 59% (23/39), with prevalences of 56%, 18%, and 5% by genus, respectively. This study provides baseline hematozoa information for two boreal owl species.

  7. Dead simple OWL design patterns.

    PubMed

    Osumi-Sutherland, David; Courtot, Melanie; Balhoff, James P; Mungall, Christopher

    2017-06-05

    Bio-ontologies typically require multiple axes of classification to support the needs of their users. Development of such ontologies can only be made scalable and sustainable by the use of inference to automate classification via consistent patterns of axiomatization. Many bio-ontologies originating in OBO or OWL follow this approach. These patterns need to be documented in a form that requires minimal expertise to understand and edit and that can be validated and applied using any of the various programmatic approaches to working with OWL ontologies. Here we describe a system, Dead Simple OWL Design Patterns (DOS-DPs), which fulfills these requirements, illustrating the system with examples from the Gene Ontology. The rapid adoption of DOS-DPs by multiple ontology development projects illustrates both the ease-of use and the pressing need for the simple design pattern system we have developed.

  8. Dead simple OWL design patterns

    DOE PAGES

    Osumi-Sutherland, David; Courtot, Melanie; Balhoff, James P.; ...

    2017-06-05

    Bio-ontologies typically require multiple axes of classification to support the needs of their users. Development of such ontologies can only be made scalable and sustainable by the use of inference to automate classification via consistent patterns of axiomatization. Many bio-ontologies originating in OBO or OWL follow this approach. These patterns need to be documented in a form that requires minimal expertise to understand and edit and that can be validated and applied using any of the various programmatic approaches to working with OWL ontologies. We describe a system, Dead Simple OWL Design Patterns (DOS-DPs), which fulfills these requirements, illustrating themore » system with examples from the Gene Ontology. In conclusion, the rapid adoption of DOS-DPs by multiple ontology development projects illustrates both the ease-of use and the pressing need for the simple design pattern system we have developed.« less

  9. Barred owls and landscape attributes influence territory occupancy of northern spotted owls.

    PubMed

    Sovern, Stan G; Forsman, Eric D; Olson, Gail S; Biswell, Brian L; Taylor, Margaret; Anthony, Robert G

    2014-11-01

    We used multi-season occupancy analyses to model 2 fates of northern spotted owl territories in relation to habitat amount, habitat fragmentation, and the presence of barred owls in Washington State, USA, 1989-2005. Local colonization is the probability a territory unoccupied by a spotted owl in year i would be occupied in year i + 1, and local extinction is the probability a territory that was occupied by a spotted owl in year i would be unoccupied in year i + 1. We found a negative relationship between local extinction probability and amount of late-seral forest edge. We found a negative relationship between colonization probability and the number of late-seral forest patches (higher fragmentation), and a negative relationship between colonization probability and the amount of non-habitat within 600 m of a spotted owl territory center (Akaike weight = 0.59). The presence of barred owls was positively related to extinction probability and negatively related to detection probability of spotted owls. The negative relationship between presence of barred owls and detectability of spotted owls indicated that spotted owls could be modifying their calling behavior in the presence of barred owls. The positive relationship between barred owl detections and local extinction probability suggests that because of competition with barred owls, spotted owls are being displaced. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  10. Comparative ecology of the Flammulated Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owl during fall migration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stock, S.L.; Heglund, P.J.; Kaltenecker, G.S.; Carlisle, J.D.; Leppert, L.

    2006-01-01

    We compared the migration ecology of two owl species that exhibit different migration strategies: the Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus) and the Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus). During fall 1999-2004, we captured 117 Flammulated Owls and 1433 Northern Saw-whet Owls in the southern Boise Mountains of southwestern Idaho. These owl species exhibited contrasting seasonal timing and body condition. Flammulated Owl captures peaked in mid-September and Northern Saw-whet Owl captures peaked in early to mid-October. Flammulated Owls displayed greater body condition than Northern Saw-whet Owls and increasing condition scores during the season, whereas Northern Saw-whet Owls had no apparent seasonal condition patterns. Based on seasonal timing of captures, both species showed unimodal movement patterns characteristic of fall migrants. However, in 1999 both species' capture rates were at least double those in other years of this study. Flammulated Owls' earlier arrival and departure, coupled with superior body condition, were consistent among years and typical of a long-distance migration strategy. In contrast, the Northern Saw-whet Owls' later arrival, more lengthy passage, and variable body condition were more characteristic of a short-distance migrant strategy. Furthermore, Northern Saw-whet Owls' body condition was significantly lower during the irruptive year than during nonirruptive years, supporting the notion that population density affects their migratory condition. ?? 2006 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  11. Barred owls and landscape attributes influence territory occupancy of northern spotted owls

    PubMed Central

    Sovern, Stan G; Forsman, Eric D; Olson, Gail S; Biswell, Brian L; Taylor, Margaret; Anthony, Robert G

    2014-01-01

    We used multi-season occupancy analyses to model 2 fates of northern spotted owl territories in relation to habitat amount, habitat fragmentation, and the presence of barred owls in Washington State, USA, 1989–2005. Local colonization is the probability a territory unoccupied by a spotted owl in year i would be occupied in year i + 1, and local extinction is the probability a territory that was occupied by a spotted owl in year i would be unoccupied in year i + 1. We found a negative relationship between local extinction probability and amount of late-seral forest edge. We found a negative relationship between colonization probability and the number of late-seral forest patches (higher fragmentation), and a negative relationship between colonization probability and the amount of non-habitat within 600 m of a spotted owl territory center (Akaike weight = 0.59). The presence of barred owls was positively related to extinction probability and negatively related to detection probability of spotted owls. The negative relationship between presence of barred owls and detectability of spotted owls indicated that spotted owls could be modifying their calling behavior in the presence of barred owls. The positive relationship between barred owl detections and local extinction probability suggests that because of competition with barred owls, spotted owls are being displaced. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. PMID:25558093

  12. The humeroscapular bone of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) and other raptors.

    PubMed

    Smith, B J; Smith, S A

    1992-03-01

    A small, separate, bony density dorsal to the shoulder joint is radiographically visible in several species of large hawks and owls. Gross dissection and histological examination show the bone to lie on the deep surface of the major deltoid muscle in intimate association with the dorsal coracohumeral ligament of the shoulder joint. The tendon of the supracoracoideus muscle passes immediately cranial to the humeroscapular bone. Two ligaments distinct from the shoulder joint capsule attach the humeroscapular bone to the proximal humerus: one passes to the proximal edge of the pectoral crest of the humerus, and the other passes to the ventral tubercle of the humerus. The bone was described as the humeroscapular bone in reference to a similar fibrocartilaginous structure possessed by some birds. The humeroscapular bone is present in the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), the screech owl (Otus asio), the barred owl (Strix varia), the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicencis), the Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii), and the sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus). The bone is absent in the barn owl (Tyto alba), the osprey (Pandion haliaetus), the golden eagle (Aquila chysaetos), and the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), though some of these species possessed a similar fibrocartilaginous structure. Whether the humeroscapular structure develops as bone or cartilage in a given species may be related to other morphological features of the wing, and/or to characteristics of the predatory behavior of the species. Clinicians and anatomists dealing with birds of prey must be aware of the presence of the humeroscapular bone to avoid misinterpreting it as a fracture fragment.

  13. Avian pox in eastern screech owls and barred owls from Florida.

    PubMed

    Deern, S L; Heard, D J; Fox, J H

    1997-04-01

    Avian pox was diagnosed in two eastern screech owls (Otus asio) and two barred owls (Strix, varia) living in different regions of Florida (USA) between November 1994 and October 1995. Avian poxvirus infection was confirmed by the presence of eosinophilic intracytoplasmic epidermal inclusions (Bollinger bodies) on light microscopy of tissue from all four owls. Additionally, typical poxvirus particles were demonstrated by electron microscopy of a lesion from one of the eastern screech owls. These are the first published case reports of avian pox in eastern screech owls and barred owls.

  14. Auditory Spatial Receptive Fields Created by Multiplication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peña, José Luis; Konishi, Masakazu

    2001-04-01

    Examples of multiplication by neurons or neural circuits are scarce, although many computational models use this basic operation. The owl's auditory system computes interaural time (ITD) and level (ILD) differences to create a two-dimensional map of auditory space. Space-specific neurons are selective for combinations of ITD and ILD, which define, respectively, the horizontal and vertical dimensions of their receptive fields. A multiplication of separate postsynaptic potentials tuned to ITD and ILD, rather than an addition, can account for the subthreshold responses of these neurons to ITD-ILD pairs. Other nonlinear processes improve the spatial tuning of the spike output and reduce the fit to the multiplicative model.

  15. Chapter 5: California spotted owls

    Treesearch

    S. Roberts; M. North

    2012-01-01

    California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) are habitat specialists that are strongly associated with late-successional forests. For nesting and roosting, they require large trees and snags embedded in a stand with a complex forest structure (Blakesley et al. 2005, Gutiérrez et al. 1992, Verner et al. 1992b). In...

  16. Transient dynamics of invasive competition: barred owls, spotted owls, habitat, and the demons of competition present.

    PubMed

    Dugger, Katie M; Anthony, Robert G; Andrews, Lawrence S

    2011-10-01

    The recent range expansion of Barred Owls (Strix varia) into the Pacific Northwest, where the species now co-occurs with the endemic Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), resulted in a unique opportunity to investigate potential competition between two congeneric, previously allopatric species. The primary criticism of early competition research was the use of current species' distribution patterns to infer past processes; however, the recent expansion of the Barred Owl and the ability to model the processes that result in site occupancy (i.e., colonization and extinction) allowed us to address the competitive process directly rather than inferring past processes through current patterns. The purpose of our study was to determine whether Barred Owls had any negative effects on occupancy dynamics of nesting territories by Northern Spotted Owls and how these effects were influenced by habitat characteristics of Spotted Owl territories. We used single-species, multi-season occupancy models and covariates quantifying Barred Owl detections and habitat characteristics to model extinction and colonization rates of Spotted Owl pairs in southern Oregon, USA. We observed a strong, negative association between Barred Owl detections and colonization rates and a strong positive effect of Barred Owl detections on extinction rates of Spotted Owls. We observed increased extinction rates in response to decreased amounts of old forest at the territory core and higher colonization rates when old-forest habitat was less fragmented. Annual site occupancy for pairs reflected the strong effects of Barred Owls on occupancy dynamics with much lower occupancy rates predicted for territories where Barred Owls were detected. The strong Barred Owl and habitat effects on occupancy dynamics of Spotted Owls provided evidence of interference competition between the species. These effects increase the importance of conserving large amounts of contiguous, old-forest habitat to maintain

  17. 9. Dairy barn and milk house yard wall, detail of ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    9. Dairy barn and milk house yard wall, detail of construction near southeast corner - A. I. Du Pont Estate, Blue Ball Dairy Barn, Junction of U.S. Route 202 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

  18. 2. BARN. VIEW LOOKING NORTHWEST. THE ROLLING DOOR PROBABLY REPLACES ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. BARN. VIEW LOOKING NORTHWEST. THE ROLLING DOOR PROBABLY REPLACES AN ORIGINAL 4/4 DOUBLE-HUNG WINDOW. - Tonto Ranger Station, Barn, Forest Service Road 65 at Tonto Wash, Skull Valley, Yavapai County, AZ

  19. 4. BARN. INTERIOR VIEW LOOKING SOUTH. THREE HORSE STALLS ARE ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. BARN. INTERIOR VIEW LOOKING SOUTH. THREE HORSE STALLS ARE AT THE FAR RIGHT, AND THE STORE ROOM DOOR IS AT THE NEAR RIGHT. - Tonto Ranger Station, Barn, Forest Service Road 65 at Tonto Wash, Skull Valley, Yavapai County, AZ

  20. 1. Summer, 1975 L TO R: PRIVY, PIG BARN, SILO, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. Summer, 1975 L TO R: PRIVY, PIG BARN, SILO, BARN - Konig-Speicher Farm, North side of Church Road, south of Tulpehocken Creek, North Heidelberg Township (moved to Willow Street, Lenhartsville, Berks County), Mount Pleasant, Berks County, PA

  1. 5. FEED BARN (STRUCTURE 1) SOUTHEAST END WITH WALL OF ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. FEED BARN (STRUCTURE 1) SOUTHEAST END WITH WALL OF MILKING BARN (STRUCTURE 2) IN FOREGROUND - Twin Oaks Dairy, Northwest of Metcalfe Road, off State Route 101 (Monterey Road), Coyote, Santa Clara County, CA

  2. 12. FIRST FLOOR CAR BARN SPACE, SHOWING COLUMNS AND ROOF ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    12. FIRST FLOOR CAR BARN SPACE, SHOWING COLUMNS AND ROOF STRUCTURE. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. - Commercial & Industrial Buildings, Key City Electric Street Railroad, Powerhouse & Storage Barn, Eighth & Washington Streets, Dubuque, Dubuque County, IA

  3. 6. Log calving barn. Interior view showing log postandbeam support ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    6. Log calving barn. Interior view showing log post-and-beam support system and animal stalls. - William & Lucina Bowe Ranch, Log Calving Barn, 230 feet south-southwest of House, Melrose, Silver Bow County, MT

  4. 8. EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE BARNES BUILDING FROM POPLAR STREET, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    8. EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE BARNES BUILDING FROM POPLAR STREET, FACING NORTHEAST. CITY AUDITORIUM (BACKGROUND RIGHT) AND THE SHRINE TEMPLE (BACKGROUND LEFT). - Barnes Building, 477 Cotton Avenue, Macon, Bibb County, GA

  5. 1. FRAME BARN, GENERAL VIEW, SOUTHEAST (FRONT) ELEVATION, LOOKING NORTHWEST ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. FRAME BARN, GENERAL VIEW, SOUTHEAST (FRONT) ELEVATION, LOOKING NORTHWEST - Williams Place, Frame Barn, SC secondary Road 113, 3/4 mile North of SC secondary Road 235, Glenn Springs, Spartanburg County, SC

  6. 5. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING SOUTH ALONG EAST SIDE OF CAR BARN TOWARD POWER SUBSTATION - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  7. 8. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    8. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING NORTHEAST ADJACENT TO WAREHOUSE TOWARD CAR BARN - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  8. 31. REAR OF CAR BARN DURING RECONSTRUCTION: Photocopy of July ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    31. REAR OF CAR BARN DURING RECONSTRUCTION: Photocopy of July 1908 photograph showing west rear of powerhouse and car barn. View from the north. - San Francisco Cable Railway, Washington & Mason Streets, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  9. 35. EAST FRONT OF POWERHOUSE AND CAR BARN: East front ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    35. EAST FRONT OF POWERHOUSE AND CAR BARN: East front of powerhouse and car barn. 'Annex' is right end of building. - San Francisco Cable Railway, Washington & Mason Streets, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  10. Interior view of main section of milk barn. Opening overhead ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Interior view of main section of milk barn. Opening overhead leads to attic crawl space. Camera is pointed SW. - Kosai Farm, Milk Barn, B Street north of Northwest Twenty-ninth Street, Auburn, King County, WA

  11. 3. MILK BARN, INTERIOR VIEW OF GROUND FLOOR, LOOKING 132 ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. MILK BARN, INTERIOR VIEW OF GROUND FLOOR, LOOKING 132 DEGREES SOUTHEAST, SHOWING RAISED FLOOR OF CENTRAL AISLE. - Hudson-Cippa-Wolf Ranch, Milk Barn, Sorento Road, Sacramento, Sacramento County, CA

  12. 5. Log draft horse barn. Detail of west side showing ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. Log draft horse barn. Detail of west side showing Dutch door and square notching at wall corner. View to east. - William & Lucina Bowe Ranch, Log Draft Horse Barn, 290 feet southwest of House, Melrose, Silver Bow County, MT

  13. 8. Double crib barn, south corner, log section, loft area, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    8. Double crib barn, south corner, log section, loft area, detail of log construction - Wilkins Farm, Barn, South side of Dove Hollow Road, 6000 feet east of State Route 259, Lost City, Hardy County, WV

  14. 5. Log calving barn. Detail of wall corner showing half ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. Log calving barn. Detail of wall corner showing half dovetail notching on hand-hewn logs. - William & Lucina Bowe Ranch, Log Calving Barn, 230 feet south-southwest of House, Melrose, Silver Bow County, MT

  15. Particle-image velocimetry investigation of the fluid-structure interaction mechanisms of a natural owl wing.

    PubMed

    Winzen, A; Roidl, B; Schröder, W

    2015-09-15

    The increasing interest in the development of small flying air vehicles has given rise to a strong need to thoroughly understand low-speed aerodynamics. The barn owl is a well-known example of a biological system that possesses a high level of adaptation to its habitat and as such can inspire future small-scale air vehicle design. The combination of the owl-specific wing geometry and plumage adaptations with the flexibility of the wing structure yields a highly complex flow field, still enabling the owl to perform stable and at the same time silent low-speed gliding flight. To investigate the effects leading to such a characteristic flight, time-resolved stereoscopic particle-image velocimetry (TR-SPIV) measurements are performed on a prepared natural owl wing in a range of angles of attack 0° ≤ α ≤ 6° and Reynolds numbers 40,000 ≤ Re(c) ≤ 120,000 based on the chord length at a position located at 30% of the halfspan from the owl's body. The flow field does not show any flow separation on the suction side, whereas flow separation is found on the pressure side for all investigated cases. The flow field on the pressure side is characterized by large-scale vortices which interact with the flexible wing structure. The good agreement of the shedding frequency of the pressure side vortices with the frequency of the trailing-edge deflection indicates that the structural deformation is induced by the flow field on the pressure side. Additionally, the reduction of the time-averaged mean wing curvature at high Reynolds numbers indicates a passive lift-control mechanism that provides constant lift in the entire flight envelope of the owl.

  16. Long-term data set of small mammals from owl pellets in the Atlantic-Mediterranean transition area.

    PubMed

    Escribano, Nora; Galicia, David; Ariño, Arturo H; Escala, Carmen

    2016-09-27

    We describe the pellet sampling data set from the Vertebrate Collection of the Museum of Zoology of the University of Navarra. This data set compiles all information about small mammals obtained from the analysis of owl pellets. The collection consists on skulls, mandibles, and some skeletons of 36 species of more than 72,000 georeferenced specimens. These specimens come from the Iberian Peninsula although most samples were collected in Navarra, a highly diverse transitional area of 10,000 kilometre square sitting across three biogeographical regions. The collection spans more than forty years and is still growing as a result of the establishment of a barn owl pellet monitoring network in 2015. The program will provide critical information about the evolution of the small mammals' community in this transition zone as it changes over time.

  17. Long-term data set of small mammals from owl pellets in the Atlantic-Mediterranean transition area

    PubMed Central

    Escribano, Nora; Galicia, David; Ariño, Arturo H.; Escala, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    We describe the pellet sampling data set from the Vertebrate Collection of the Museum of Zoology of the University of Navarra. This data set compiles all information about small mammals obtained from the analysis of owl pellets. The collection consists on skulls, mandibles, and some skeletons of 36 species of more than 72,000 georeferenced specimens. These specimens come from the Iberian Peninsula although most samples were collected in Navarra, a highly diverse transitional area of 10,000 kilometre square sitting across three biogeographical regions. The collection spans more than forty years and is still growing as a result of the establishment of a barn owl pellet monitoring network in 2015. The program will provide critical information about the evolution of the small mammals’ community in this transition zone as it changes over time. PMID:27676217

  18. Range expansion of Northern Hawk Owls (Surnia ulula) and Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus) in Nova Scotia

    Treesearch

    Randy F. Lauff

    1997-01-01

    The Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) has never been recorded to breed in Nova Scotia (and only once in recent history in all of the Maritimes). Three pairs of hawk owls were found within 4 km² of woods in 1996, and of these, young were found with two pairs. The first provincial summer record for the Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus...

  19. Barred owl occupancy surveys within the range of the northern spotted owl

    Treesearch

    J. David Wiens; Robert G. Anthony; Eric D. Forsman

    2011-01-01

    The range expansion by barred owls (Strix varia) into western North America has raised considerable concern regarding their potential effects on declining northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) populations, yet most information on the occurrence of barred owls in the region is limited to incidental detections during...

  20. 78 FR 44588 - Experimental Removal of Barred Owls To Benefit Threatened Northern Spotted Owls; Final...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-24

    ... threatened northern spotted owls. The barred owl, a species recently established in western North America, is... management tool. The action alternatives vary by the number and location of study areas, the type of... under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; Act). Competition from barred owls (Strix...

  1. A baby owl is found at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A baby owl, possibly a screech owl, stares at the photographer snapping its picture. The owl was found on the stairs inside Hangar G, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It had apparently tried to fly from a nest near the ceiling but couldn't get back to it. Workers called an Audubon rescue center near Orlando, which captured it and will ensure the bird is returned to the wild when it's ready.

  2. A baby owl is found at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A baby owl, possibly a screech owl, displays its wings at the photographer snapping its picture. The owl was found on the stairs inside Hangar G, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It had apparently tried to fly from a nest near the ceiling but couldn't get back to it. Workers called an Audubon rescue center near Orlando, which captured it and will ensure the bird is returned to the wild when it's ready.

  3. A baby owl is found at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A baby owl, possibly a screech owl, shows its fear and resentment of the photographer snapping its picture. The owl was found on the stairs inside Hangar G, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It had apparently tried to fly from a nest near the ceiling but couldn't get back to it. Workers called an Audubon rescue center near Orlando, which captured it and will ensure the bird is returned to the wild when it's ready.

  4. Secondary poisoning of owls by anticoagulant rodenticides

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mendenhall, V.M.; Pank, L.F.

    1980-01-01

    Anticoagulants-compounds that prevent clotting of the blood-are extensively used for control of small mammal pests. The potential secondary hazards of 6 anticoagulant rodenticides to birds of prey were examined in this study. Whole rats or mice were killed with each anticoagulant and were fed to 1-3 species of owls. Owls died of hemorrhaging after feeding on rats killed with bromadiolone, brodifacoum, or diphacinone; sublethal hemorrhaging occurred in owls fed rats killed with difenacoum. These results demonstrate potential secondary hazards of 4 anticoagulants to avian predators. No abnormalities were observed in owls fed rats killed with fumarin and chlorophacinone

  5. 6. View west up barn ramp to east side of ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    6. View west up barn ramp to east side of dairy barn, Nemours Estate carillon tower visible in right background - A. I. Du Pont Estate, Blue Ball Dairy Barn, Junction of U.S. Route 202 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

  6. 3. BARN. VIEW LOOKING NORTHEAST. THE HIGH WINDOW (RIGHT) IS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. BARN. VIEW LOOKING NORTHEAST. THE HIGH WINDOW (RIGHT) IS IN THE LOFT. NOTE THE END OF THE GARAGE AT THE LEFT OF THE BARN. - Tonto Ranger Station, Barn, Forest Service Road 65 at Tonto Wash, Skull Valley, Yavapai County, AZ

  7. 1. Photocopy of a photograph of the Barn. Original is ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. Photocopy of a photograph of the Barn. Original is on file with the Payette National Forest, Supervisor's Office, McCall, Idaho. BARN, CA. 1935, FACING NORTH. - Hornet Ranger Station, Four Horse Barn, Forest Service Road No. 50002, Council, Adams County, ID

  8. The Barnes Foundation: Pioneer Patron of Black Artists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jubilee, Vincent

    1982-01-01

    Describes the activities of Dr. Albert Barnes and the Barnes Foundation Galleries in Merion, Pennsylvania, in promoting Black art and supporting Black artists through research and education grants. Focuses on the educative relationship between Dr. Barnes and four Black artists who became accomplished university art teachers. (Author/MJL)

  9. Noninvasive measures of reproductive function and disturbance in the barred owl, great horned owl, and northern spotted owl.

    PubMed

    Wasser, Samuel K; Hunt, Kathleen E

    2005-06-01

    There is an urgent need for noninvasive methods to study reproduction and environmental stress in at-risk species such as the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). Two related owl species (barred owl and great horned owl) were used as surrogates to validate hormone assays for fecal metabolites of progesterone, 17beta-estradiol, testosterone, and corticosterone. Infusions of radiolabeled hormones showed that the owls excreted most hormone within 6 h. Feces and urine contained roughly equal amounts of hormone, and most fecal hormone metabolites were quite polar. The testosterone and corticosterone assays in this study bound to the major excreted metabolites of these hormones, but two progesterone assays did not appreciably bind to the major progesterone metabolites. All assays showed excellent parallelism with hydrolyzed and unhydrolyzed samples and with previously dried or undried fecal samples. Thus, samples do not require hydrolysis or prior drying. Samples from a female barred owl had significantly higher fecal estrogen, lower fecal testosterone, and higher fecal estrogen/testosterone ratio than samples from two male barred owls. The fecal estrogen/testosterone ratio was the most accurate predictor of owl gender, particularly if two or more samples are available from the same individual. Fecal corticosterone metabolites also demonstrated considerable utility for wild northern spotted owls. Fecal glucocorticoid levels varied by gender and breeding stage, being highest in male northern spotted owls early in the breeding season and highest in females when nestlings were fledging. Collectively, these studies show that noninvasive fecal hormone measurements show great promise for noninvasive assessment of reproduction and stress in wild owls.

  10. Models of the Neuronal Mechanisms of Target Localization of the Barn Owl

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-11-01

    laminaris cell employing the Hodgkin - Huxley model of action potential generation to which parameter modifications are applied. Modelina the laminaris...spike output mechanisms, a standard model of action potential generation ( Hodgkin and Huxley 1952) was employed (see Appendix I). Using the synaptic... action potentials that are phase-locked to the stimulus (up to 10 kHz) and nearly independent of intensity. Laminaris neurons are tuned to a particular

  11. Models of the Neuronal Mechanisms of Target Localization of the Barn Owl

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-12-01

    perception (160 microseconds: Burr and Ross 1979). All of these thresholds would seem to be too small for single neurons to resolve since neural events take...34 (Parnas 1972, Waxman 1972, Goldstein and Rail 1974, Parnas et.al. 1976, Moore and Westerfield 1983, Bunow et.al. 1985) in contrast to the pre-processing... Ross (1979) How does binocular delay give information about depth? Vision Res. 19: 523-532. Calvin, W.H. (1983) A stone’s throw and its launch window

  12. Competitive interactions and resource partitioning between northern spotted owls and barred owls in western Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiens, J. David; Anthony, Robert G.; Forsman, Eric D.

    2014-01-01

    The federally threatened northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) is the focus of intensive conservation efforts that have led to much forested land being reserved as habitat for the owl and associated wildlife species throughout the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Recently, however, a relatively new threat to spotted owls has emerged in the form of an invasive competitor: the congeneric barred owl (S. varia). As barred owls have rapidly expanded their populations into the entire range of the northern spotted owl, mounting evidence indicates that they are displacing, hybridizing with, and even killing spotted owls. The range expansion by barred owls into western North America has made an already complex conservation issue even more contentious, and a lack of information on the ecological relationships between the 2 species has hampered recovery efforts for northern spotted owls. We investigated spatial relationships, habitat use, diets, survival, and reproduction of sympatric spotted owls and barred owls in western Oregon, USA, during 2007–2009. Our overall objective was to determine the potential for and possible consequences of competition for space, habitat, and food between these previously allopatric owl species. Our study included 29 spotted owls and 28 barred owls that were radio-marked in 36 neighboring territories and monitored over a 24-month period. Based on repeated surveys of both species, the number of territories occupied by pairs of barred owls in the 745-km2 study area (82) greatly outnumbered those occupied by pairs of spotted owls (15). Estimates of mean size of home ranges and core-use areas of spotted owls (1,843 ha and 305 ha, respectively) were 2–4 times larger than those of barred owls (581 ha and 188 ha, respectively). Individual spotted and barred owls in adjacent territories often had overlapping home ranges, but interspecific space sharing was largely restricted to broader foraging areas in the home range

  13. You are what you eat: stable isotope ecology of owl diets in Alberta, Canada

    Treesearch

    James M. Duxbury; Geoffery L. Holroyd

    1997-01-01

    Stable isotope ratio analysis (SIRA) was used to analyze the trophic level of the diets of three owl species: Barred Owl (Strix varia), Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) and Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). Barred Owl and Northern Hawk Owl had diets from a similar trophic level. Both the Barred Owl and...

  14. Revisiting the “visible burrow system”: The impact of the group, social rank, and gender on voles under owl attack.

    PubMed

    Bodek, Sivan; Eilam, David

    2015-07-01

    In the present study, corticosterone levels and behavior were compared between voles (Microtus socialis) that were attacked by a barn owl (Tyto alba) and voles that did not experience such attack. Both female and male voles were exposed to the owl either together with their group mates or when socially isolated. As hypothesized, corticosterone levels were higher in voles after the owl attack, and were higher in females than in males. However, blood corticosterone was higher in voles that experienced the attack in groups compared with the socially-isolated voles. The latter result seems enigmatic, since group members usually benefit from the “social buffering” conferred by their group-mates. It is suggested that contagious vigilance among group members accounts for the higher mean corticosterone level in grouped compared to socially-isolated voles, overshadowing the possible impact of social buffering. We also found a negative correlation between body mass and corticosterone level, with more high-mass voles showing low corticosterone levels compared with low mass voles. This finding accords with a previous study in which the behavior of high-mass voles was less affected by owl attack compared to low-mass voles. The novelty of the present results therefore lies in supporting, at the hormonal level, past behavioral findings in rats and voles, and in demonstrating that high-mass voles, by virtue of their physical strength and perhaps also their life experience, are less stressed by the owl attack and become the leaders and stabilizers of their groups.

  15. Direction Selectivity Mediated by Adaptation in the Owl's Inferior Colliculus

    PubMed Central

    Peña, José Luis

    2013-01-01

    Motion direction is a crucial cue for predicting future states in natural scenes. In the auditory system, the mechanisms that confer direction selectivity to neurons are not well understood. Neither is it known whether sound motion is encoded independently of stationary sound location. Here we investigated these questions in neurons of the owl's external nucleus of the inferior colliculus, where auditory space is represented in a map. Using a high-density speaker array, we show that the preferred direction and the degree of direction selectivity can be predicted by response adaptation to sounds moving over asymmetric spatial receptive fields. At the population level, we found that preference for sounds moving toward frontal space increased with eccentricity in spatial tuning. This distribution was consistent with larger receptive-field asymmetry in neurons tuned to more peripheral auditory space. A model of suppression based on spatiotemporal summation predicted the observations. Thus, response adaptation and receptive-field shape can explain direction selectivity to acoustic motion and an orderly distribution of preferred direction. PMID:24305813

  16. Ecology of the great gray owl.

    Treesearch

    Evelyn L. Bull; Mark G. Henjum

    1990-01-01

    Information is needed on the great gray owl to understand its ecology and to consider this species in land management decisions. From 1982 to 1988, we studied 24 pairs and 107 juvenile great gray owls in northeastern Oregon. Forty-nine nests were located; 16 were used more than once, so we observed 71 nesting attempts. Seventy-eight percent of these nesting attempts...

  17. Annual weight cycle in wild screech owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, Charles J.; VanCamp, Laurel F.

    1979-01-01

    The annual weight cycle of wild birds of prey has received little attention in the past, primarily because of the difficulty in capturing and recapturing them. Screech Owls (Otus asio) are resident in our northern Ohio study area and readily occupy nest boxes established for Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) (see VanCamp and Henny 1975). In addition to nesting in the boxes, the owls use them as roosting and feeding stations during the winter and are easily captured in the boxes during the day. Therefore, the owls presented an unusual opportunity to obtain information on their annual weight cycle.Between January 1975 and December 1978, Screech Owls were captured, weighed, and banded. Several were subsequently recaptured and weighed again to form the basis of this report. It is difficult to sex live Screech Owls in the field because they are not sexually dimorphic; however, Sherman (1911) noted that females did all of the incubating. We sexed adult owls with young at nest sites by the presence (female) or absence (male) of a brood patch. Owls captured away from nests during the nesting season without brood patches, or at other times of the year, were classified as sex unknown, unless they were previously captured at a nest with young. Screech Owls in northern Ohio have young in the nests from mid-April through early June.

  18. What Do Great Horned Owls Eat?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bandelier, Kenneth J.

    1993-01-01

    Presents an activity to determine the identity of animals that owls ingest. Students dissect and examine the contents of "owl pellets" which are the indigestible parts of animals that are regurgitated after eating. Provides instructions for implementing and extending the activity. (MDH)

  19. California spotted owl habitat characteristics and use

    Treesearch

    Susan L. Roberts

    2017-01-01

    California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) establish large home ranges averaging about 1279 ha (3,160 ac) (table 3-1), and within these home ranges individual owls select habitat at different scales, depending on their activity. At the smallest spatial scale, the nest tree, it appears there is very limited flexibility in the...

  20. Chapter 3. Current management situation: Flammulated owls

    Treesearch

    Jon Verner

    1994-01-01

    The flammulated owl (Otus flammeolus) is a western mountain species associated mainly with ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa) and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jefferyi) forests in the United States and Canada (see Chapter 4). As a neotropical migrant, this small forest owl occurs on national forests in the United States during...

  1. Chapter 8. Current management situation: Boreal owls

    Treesearch

    Jon Verner

    1994-01-01

    The range of boreal owls (Aegolius funereus) in the United States includes Alaska, the mountains of the western United States, and the northern tier states from the Atlantic to Pacific (see Chapter 9). Based on the species' documented distribution (see National Geographic Society 1987, Hayward et al. 1987, Johnsgard 1988, and others) the owl may...

  2. What Do Great Horned Owls Eat?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bandelier, Kenneth J.

    1993-01-01

    Presents an activity to determine the identity of animals that owls ingest. Students dissect and examine the contents of "owl pellets" which are the indigestible parts of animals that are regurgitated after eating. Provides instructions for implementing and extending the activity. (MDH)

  3. November 2007 monitoring results for Barnes, Kansas.

    SciTech Connect

    LaFreniere, L. M.; Environmental Science Division

    2008-02-28

    The Commodity Credit Corporation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (CCC/USDA) formerly operated a grain storage facility (during most of the interval 1949-1974) at Barnes, Kansas. Carbon tetrachloride contamination was initially detected in 1986 in the town's public water supply wells. In 2006-2007, the CCC/USDA conducted a comprehensive targeted investigation at and near its former property in Barnes to investigate this contamination. In November 2007, the CCC/USDA began quarterly groundwater monitoring at Barnes. The monitoring is being conducted on behalf of the CCC/USDA by Argonne National Laboratory, in accord with the recommendations made in the report for the 2006-2007 targeted investigation (Argonne 2007). The objective is to monitor the carbon tetrachloride contamination identified in the groundwater at Barnes. The sampling is presently conducted in a network of 28 individual monitoring wells at 19 distinct locations, 2 public water supply wells, and 1 private well (Figure 1.1). The results of the 2006-2007 targeted investigation demonstrated the presence of carbon tetrachloride contamination at levels slightly exceeding the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Tier 2 risk-based screening level of 5.0 {micro}g/L for this compound, in a plume that appears to extend from the former CCC/USDA property northwestward, toward the Barnes public water supply wells. Information obtained during the 2006-2007 investigation indicates that at least one other potential source might have contributed to the groundwater contaminant plume (Argonne 2007). The present report presents the results of the November 2007 sampling event that followed the targeted investigation.

  4. Size, dimorphism, and related characteristics of Ciccaba owls from Guatemala

    Treesearch

    Richard P. Gerhardt; Dawn McAnnis Gerhardt

    1997-01-01

    Tropical owls, being poorly studied, have been excluded from discussions of reversed size dimorphism. As part of a breeding and food habits study, we weighed and measured 20 Mottled Owls (Ciccaba virgata) and a mated pair of Black-and-white Owls (C. nigrolineata) in northern Guatemala. Mottled Owls exhibited pronounced dimorphism...

  5. Distribution and habitat use of Mexican Spotted Owls in Arizona

    Treesearch

    Joseph L. Ganey; Russell P. Balda

    1989-01-01

    Distribution and habitat use of Mexican Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis lucida) in Arizona were studied from 1984-1988. Owls were widely but patchily distributed throughout the state except for the arid southwestern portion. Distribution of the owl corresponded with distribution of forested mountains and canyonlands within the state. Owls occurred...

  6. Optimal Prediction of Moving Sound Source Direction in the Owl

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Weston; Fischer, Brian J.

    2015-01-01

    Capturing nature’s statistical structure in behavioral responses is at the core of the ability to function adaptively in the environment. Bayesian statistical inference describes how sensory and prior information can be combined optimally to guide behavior. An outstanding open question of how neural coding supports Bayesian inference includes how sensory cues are optimally integrated over time. Here we address what neural response properties allow a neural system to perform Bayesian prediction, i.e., predicting where a source will be in the near future given sensory information and prior assumptions. The work here shows that the population vector decoder will perform Bayesian prediction when the receptive fields of the neurons encode the target dynamics with shifting receptive fields. We test the model using the system that underlies sound localization in barn owls. Neurons in the owl’s midbrain show shifting receptive fields for moving sources that are consistent with the predictions of the model. We predict that neural populations can be specialized to represent the statistics of dynamic stimuli to allow for a vector read-out of Bayes-optimal predictions. PMID:26226048

  7. Hearing in the crepuscular owl butterfly (Caligo eurilochus, Nymphalidae).

    PubMed

    Lucas, Kathleen M; Mongrain, Jennifer K; Windmill, James F C; Robert, Daniel; Yack, Jayne E

    2014-10-01

    Tympanal organs are widespread in Nymphalidae butterflies, with a great deal of variability in the morphology of these ears. How this variation reflects differences in hearing physiology is not currently understood. This study provides the first examination of hearing organs in the crepuscular owl butterfly, Caligo eurilochus. We examined the tuning and sensitivity of the C. eurilochus hearing organ, called Vogel's organ, using laser Doppler vibrometry and extracellular neurophysiology. We show that the C. eurilochus ear responds to sound and is most sensitive to frequencies between 1 and 4 kHz, as confirmed by both the vibration of the tympanal membrane and the physiological response of the associated nerve branches. In comparison to the hearing of its diurnally active relative, Morpho peleides, C. eurilochus has a narrower frequency range with higher auditory thresholds. Hypotheses explaining the function of hearing in this crepuscular butterfly are discussed.

  8. Auditory agnosia.

    PubMed

    Slevc, L Robert; Shell, Alison R

    2015-01-01

    Auditory agnosia refers to impairments in sound perception and identification despite intact hearing, cognitive functioning, and language abilities (reading, writing, and speaking). Auditory agnosia can be general, affecting all types of sound perception, or can be (relatively) specific to a particular domain. Verbal auditory agnosia (also known as (pure) word deafness) refers to deficits specific to speech processing, environmental sound agnosia refers to difficulties confined to non-speech environmental sounds, and amusia refers to deficits confined to music. These deficits can be apperceptive, affecting basic perceptual processes, or associative, affecting the relation of a perceived auditory object to its meaning. This chapter discusses what is known about the behavioral symptoms and lesion correlates of these different types of auditory agnosia (focusing especially on verbal auditory agnosia), evidence for the role of a rapid temporal processing deficit in some aspects of auditory agnosia, and the few attempts to treat the perceptual deficits associated with auditory agnosia. A clear picture of auditory agnosia has been slow to emerge, hampered by the considerable heterogeneity in behavioral deficits, associated brain damage, and variable assessments across cases. Despite this lack of clarity, these striking deficits in complex sound processing continue to inform our understanding of auditory perception and cognition.

  9. Banding of Asio Owls in south-central Saskatchewan

    Treesearch

    C. Stuart Houston

    1997-01-01

    During a long-term Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) banding program, 1946-1996, there were opportunities to band 507 Long-eared Owls (Asio otus) and 246 Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus). No less than 35.1 percent of the Long-eared Owls and 63.5 percent of the Short-eared Owls were banded in two unusual years,...

  10. March 2008 monitoring results for Barnes, Kansas.

    SciTech Connect

    LaFreniere, L. M.; Environmental Science Division

    2008-08-28

    The Commodity Credit Corporation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (CCC/USDA) operated a grain storage facility at Barnes, Kansas, during most of the interval 1949-1974. Carbon tetrachloride contamination was initially detected in 1986 in the town's public water supply wells. In 2006-2007, the CCC/USDA conducted a comprehensive targeted investigation at and near its former property in Barnes to characterize this contamination. Those results were reported previously (Argonne 2007). In November 2007, the CCC/USDA began quarterly groundwater monitoring at Barnes. The monitoring is being conducted on behalf of the CCC/USDA by Argonne National Laboratory, in accord with the recommendations made in the report for the 2006-2007 targeted investigation (Argonne 2007). The objective is to monitor the carbon tetrachloride contamination identified in the groundwater at Barnes. The sampling is presently conducted in a network of 28 individual monitoring wells (at 19 distinct locations), 2 public water supply wells, and 1 private well (Figure 1.1). The results of the 2006-2007 targeted investigation (Argonne 2007) and the initial monitoring in November 2007 (Argonne 2008) demonstrated the presence of carbon tetrachloride contamination in groundwater at levels slightly exceeding the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Tier 2 risk-based screening level (RBSL) of 5.0 {micro}g/L for this compound. The contaminant plume appears to extend from the former CCC/USDA property northwestward, toward the Barnes public water supply wells. Information obtained during the 2006-2007 investigation indicates that at least one other potential source might have contributed to the groundwater contaminant plume (Argonne 2007). In particular, the local school district (USD 223) handled, stored, and disposed of chemicals including carbon tetrachloride. This current report presents the results of the second quarterly monitoring event, conducted in March 2008. During this second

  11. July 2008 monitoring results for Barnes, Kansas.

    SciTech Connect

    LaFreniere, L. M.; Environmental Science Division

    2008-11-20

    The Commodity Credit Corporation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (CCC/USDA) operated a grain storage facility at Barnes, Kansas, during most of the interval 1949-1974. Carbon tetrachloride contamination was initially detected in 1986 in the town's public water supply wells. In 2006-2007, the CCC/USDA conducted a comprehensive targeted investigation at and near its former property in Barnes to characterize this contamination. Those results were reported previously (Argonne 2008a). In November 2007, the CCC/USDA began quarterly groundwater monitoring at Barnes. The monitoring is being conducted on behalf of the CCC/USDA by Argonne National Laboratory, in accord with the recommendations made in the report for the 2006-2007 targeted investigation (Argonne 2008a). The objective is to monitor the carbon tetrachloride contamination identified in the groundwater at Barnes. The sampling is presently conducted in a network of 28 individual monitoring wells (at 19 distinct locations), 2 public water supply wells, and 1 private well (Figure 1.1). The results of the 2006-2007 targeted investigation and the subsequent monitoring events in November 2007 (Argonne 2008b) and March 2008 (Argonne 2008c) demonstrated the presence of carbon tetrachloride contamination in groundwater at levels slightly exceeding the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Tier 2 risk-based screening level (RBSL) of 5.0 {micro}g/L for this compound. The contaminant plume appears to extend from the former CCC/USDA property northwestward, toward the Barnes public water supply wells. Information obtained during the 2006-2007 investigations indicates that at least one other potential source might have contributed to the groundwater contaminant plume (Argonne 2008a). This current report presents the results of the third monitoring event, conducted in July 2008. During this third monitoring event, low-flow sampling methods were used to purge and sample all wells. This was the second event at

  12. October 2008 monitoring results for Barnes, Kansas.

    SciTech Connect

    LaFreniere, L. M.; Environmental Science Division

    2009-02-26

    The Commodity Credit Corporation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (CCC/USDA) operated a grain storage facility at Barnes, Kansas, during most of the interval 1949-1974. Carbon tetrachloride contamination was initially detected in 1986 in the town's public water supply wells. In 2006-2007, the CCC/USDA conducted a comprehensive targeted investigation at and near its former property in Barnes to characterize this contamination. Those results were reported previously (Argonne 2008a). In November 2007, the CCC/USDA began quarterly groundwater monitoring at Barnes. The monitoring is being conducted on behalf of the CCC/USDA by Argonne National Laboratory, in accord with the recommendations made in the report for the 2006-2007 targeted investigation (Argonne 2008a). The objective is to monitor the carbon tetrachloride contamination identified in the groundwater at Barnes. The sampling is presently conducted in a network of 28 individual monitoring wells (at 19 distinct locations), 2 public water supply wells, and 1 private well (Figure 1.1). The results of the 2006-2007 targeted investigation and the subsequent monitoring events in November 2007 (Argonne 2008b), March 2008 (Argonne 2008c), and July 2008 (Argonne 2008d) demonstrated the presence of carbon tetrachloride contamination in groundwater at levels exceeding the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Tier 2 risk-based screening level (RBSL) of 5.0 {micro}g/L for this compound. The contaminant plume appears to extend from the former CCC/USDA property northwestward, toward the Barnes public water supply wells. Information obtained during the 2006-2007 investigations indicates that at least one other potential source might have contributed to the groundwater contaminant plume (Argonne 2008a). The former agriculture building owned by the local school district, located immediately east of well PWS3, is also a potential source of the contamination. This current report presents the results of the fourth

  13. Miniature stereo radio transmitter for simultaneous recording of multiple single-neuron signals from behaving owls.

    PubMed

    Nieder, A

    2000-09-15

    Wireless radiotelemetric transmission of neuronal activity is an elegant technique to study brain-behavior interaction in unrestrained animals. In the current study, a miniature FM-stereo radio transmitter is described that permitted simultaneous recordings from two microelectrodes in behaving barn owls. Input from two independent channels is multiplexed to form a stereo composite signal that modulates a radio frequency carrier. The high quality of broadcasted extracellular signals enabled separation of single units based on differences in spike waveforms. Recording several single cells from different electrodes allows the possibility of investigating correlations between small, distributed neuronal ensembles. Multi-channel radiotelemetry that meets the demands of modern electrophysiology might open a new perspective for combined behavioral/neurophysiological approaches in freely-behaving animals.

  14. OWL references in ORM conceptual modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matula, Jiri; Belunek, Roman; Hunka, Frantisek

    2017-07-01

    Object Role Modelling methodology is the fact-based type of conceptual modelling. The aim of the paper is to emphasize a close connection to OWL documents and its possible mutual cooperation. The definition of entities or domain values is an indispensable part of the conceptual schema design procedure defined by the ORM methodology. Many of these entities are already defined in OWL documents. Therefore, it is not necessary to declare entities again, whereas it is possible to utilize references from OWL documents during modelling of information systems.

  15. Formal analysis of ORM using OWL DL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Wen-lin; Liu, Da-xin

    2012-01-01

    ORM (Object Role Modeling), current version is 2.0, is a fully communication oriented information modeling method. Currently, ORM has been used in ontology engineering to model domain ontologies. To ensure the semantics of ORM model is consistent, it needs using reasoning engines to check semantic conflicts and redundancy. Furthermore, only publish ORM domain ontologies on the Semantic Web described by OWL can it is shared by different applications. Therefore, it needs to map ORM models into OWL DL. Several methods to transform ORM models have been considered and a series of general OWL DL formalization rules have been proposed.

  16. Formal analysis of ORM using OWL DL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Wen-Lin; Liu, Da-Xin

    2011-12-01

    ORM (Object Role Modeling), current version is 2.0, is a fully communication oriented information modeling method. Currently, ORM has been used in ontology engineering to model domain ontologies. To ensure the semantics of ORM model is consistent, it needs using reasoning engines to check semantic conflicts and redundancy. Furthermore, only publish ORM domain ontologies on the Semantic Web described by OWL can it is shared by different applications. Therefore, it needs to map ORM models into OWL DL. Several methods to transform ORM models have been considered and a series of general OWL DL formalization rules have been proposed.

  17. VIEW OF MACHINE SHOP STORAGE OPENINGS, NORTH END OF BARN, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF MACHINE SHOP STORAGE OPENINGS, NORTH END OF BARN, LOOKING SOUTH (This northern-most facade of the barn was originally a board and batten wall with two sliding doors. In the early decades of the twentieth century Frederick Edward Arnold moved the wall and doors; they now make up the north end of bay 3. This was done to ease machine storage) - Arnold Farm, Barn, 1948 Arnold Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  18. Heavy-metal concentrations in three owl species from Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Lee, Hang; Koo, Tae-Hoe

    2008-01-01

    This study presents concentrations of heavy metals (iron, zinc, manganese, copper, lead, and cadmium) in livers of three owl species from Korea. Essential trace elements (iron, zinc, manganese, and copper) did not differ among the owl species. We suggest that the essential elements are within the normal range and are maintained by normal homeostatic mechanisms. Lead and cadmium concentrations in Eurasian Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo) were significantly lower than in Brown Hawk Owls (Nixos scutulata) and Collared Scops Owls (Otus lempiji). Lead and cadmium concentrations in Korean owl species were at background levels; lead concentrations in two Collared Scops Owls were above background concentrations. Lead and cadmium concentrations were similar to concentrations previously reported in owls from other parts of the world. We suggest that lead and cadmium concentrations in Korean owls are below toxic concentrations.

  19. Auditory Imagination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Croft, Martyn

    Auditory imagination is used in this paper to describe a number of issues and activities related to sound and having to do with listening, thinking, recalling, imagining, reshaping, creating, and uttering sounds and words. Examples of auditory imagination in religious and literary works are cited that indicate a belief in an imagined, expected, or…

  20. BARN IN SETTING FROM ADJOINING FIELD, LOOKING NORTHEAST. The photograph ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    BARN IN SETTING FROM ADJOINING FIELD, LOOKING NORTHEAST. The photograph was taken from the east side of the hedgerow along Fort Casey Road. Also shown are the mechanic’s shop, to the west of the barn; the tractor shed, directly south of the shop; and the monitor-roofed hay and lambing barn to the east. The Hugh Crockett house sat between the tractor shed and the hay and lambing barn. Only its chimney remains. - Boyer Farm, 711 South Fort Casey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  1. THE HAYLOFT OF THE JENNE BARN, SHOWING ITS UNIQUE CONSTRUCTION. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    THE HAYLOFT OF THE JENNE BARN, SHOWING ITS UNIQUE CONSTRUCTION. (The barn’s gambrel roof is supported by seven bents made-up of diagonal stilts, collar beams, and cross-bracing that tie into the support columns on the ground floor and the sill plates. Also visible are the cables installed across each bent in 2000-02 to reinforce the construction, the hay door at the gable end, and the ladder and opening accessing the barn’s ground floor.) - Jenne Farm, Barn, 538 Engle Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  2. 14. Relationship of barn, claim house, and residence to each ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. Relationship of barn, claim house, and residence to each other and immediate surroundings, looking south - George Spangerberger Farmstead, 2012 West Illinois Avenue, South Hutchinson, Reno County, KS

  3. Questionnaire assessment of airway disease symptoms in equine barn personnel.

    PubMed

    Mazan, Melissa R; Svatek, Jessica; Maranda, Louise; Christiani, David; Ghio, Andrew; Nadeau, Jenifer; Hoffman, Andrew M

    2009-06-01

    People working in cattle, swine and poultry barns have a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and decreased lung function. There is scant evidence regarding the respiratory health of humans working in horse barns, although it is well documented that stabled horses have a high prevalence of airway disease. To determine whether people spending time in horse barns have a higher prevalence of self-reported respiratory symptoms than non-exposed controls. A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted from May 2005 to January 2006 to investigate the prevalence of self-reported respiratory symptoms in 82 barn-exposed subjects and 74 control subjects. Logistic regression and the chi-square test were used to analyse the data. There was a significantly higher prevalence of self-reported respiratory symptoms in the barn-exposed group (50%) versus the control group (15%). Exposure to horse barns, smoking and family history of asthma or allergies was independent risk factors for respiratory symptoms. High exposure to the horse barn yielded a higher odds ratio for self-reported respiratory symptoms (8.9). Exposure to the equine barn is a risk factor for respiratory symptoms. Investigation of organic dust exposures, lung function and horse dander allergies in the barn-exposed group will be necessary to determine how best to protect the health of this group.

  4. The vestibular system of the owl

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Money, K. E.; Correia, M. J.

    1973-01-01

    Five owls were given vestibular examinations, and two of them were sacrificed to provide serial histological sections of the temporal bones. The owls exhibited a curious variability in the postrotatory head nystagmus following abrupt deceleration; sometimes a brisk nystagnus with direction opposite to that appropriate to the stimulus would occur promptly after deceleration. It was found also that owls can exhibit a remarkable head stability during angular movement of the body about any axis passing through the skull. The vestibular apparatus in the owl is larger than in man, and a prominent crista neglecta is present. The tectorial membrane, the cupula, and the otolithic membranes of the utricle, saccule, and lagena are all attached to surfaces in addition to the surfaces hearing hair cells. These attachments are very substantial in the utricular otolithic membrane and in the cupula.

  5. The vestibular system of the owl

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Money, K. E.; Correia, M. J.

    1973-01-01

    Five owls were given vestibular examinations, and two of them were sacrificed to provide serial histological sections of the temporal bones. The owls exhibited a curious variability in the postrotatory head nystagmus following abrupt deceleration; sometimes a brisk nystagnus with direction opposite to that appropriate to the stimulus would occur promptly after deceleration. It was found also that owls can exhibit a remarkable head stability during angular movement of the body about any axis passing through the skull. The vestibular apparatus in the owl is larger than in man, and a prominent crista neglecta is present. The tectorial membrane, the cupula, and the otolithic membranes of the utricle, saccule, and lagena are all attached to surfaces in addition to the surfaces hearing hair cells. These attachments are very substantial in the utricular otolithic membrane and in the cupula.

  6. Low density of membrane particles in auditory hair cells of lizards and birds suggests an absence of somatic motility.

    PubMed

    Köppl, Christine; Forge, Andrew; Manley, Geoffrey A

    2004-11-08

    Hair cells are the mechanoreceptive cells of the vertebrate lateral line and inner ear. In addition to their sensory function, hair cells display motility and thus themselves generate mechanical energy, which is thought to enhance sensitivity. Two principal cellular mechanism are known that can mediate hair-cell motility in vitro. One of these is based on voltage-dependent changes of an intramembrane protein and has so far been demonstrated only in outer hair cells of the mammalian cochlea. Correlated with this, the cell membranes of outer hair cells carry an extreme density of embedded particles, as revealed by freeze fracturing. The present study explored the possibility of membrane-based motility in hair cells of nonmammals, by determining their density of intramembrane particles. Replicas of freeze-fractured membrane were prepared from auditory hair cells of a lizard, the Tokay gecko, and a bird, the barn owl. These species were chosen because of independent evidence for active cochlear mechanics, in the form of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. For quantitative comparison, mammalian inner and outer hair cells, as well as vestibular hair, cells were reevaluated. Lizard and bird hair cells displayed median densities of 2,360 and 1,880 intramembrane particles/microm2, respectively. This was not significantly different from the densities in vestibular and mammalian inner hair cells; however, it was about half the density in of mammalian outer hair cells. This suggests that nonmammalian hair cells do not possess high densities of motor protein in their membranes and are thus unlikely to be capable of somatic motility. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Susan Small, director of the Florida Wildlife Hospital, holds a great horned owl before releasing it at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owl is one of two found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  8. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A great horned owl flies to freedom after its release at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owl is one of two found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  9. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Eileen Olejarski (left), manager of Florida Wildlife Hospital, holds a great horned owl before releasing it at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owl is one of two found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  10. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Eileen Olejarski (left), manager of Florida Wildlife Hospital, and Susan Small, director of the hospital, get ready to release two great horned owls at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owls were found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  11. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Eileen Olejarski (left), manager of Florida Wildlife Hospital, and Susan Small, director of the hospital, remove two great horned owls from the vehicle before releasing them at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owls were found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release..

  12. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A great horned owl flies to freedom after its release at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owl is one of two found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  13. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Eileen Olejarski (left), manager of Florida Wildlife Hospital, and Susan Small, director of the hospital, get ready to release two great horned owls at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owls were found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  14. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Eileen Olejarski (left), manager of Florida Wildlife Hospital, and Susan Small, director of the hospital, remove two great horned owls from the vehicle before releasing them at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owls were found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release..

  15. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Eileen Olejarski (left), manager of Florida Wildlife Hospital, holds a great horned owl before releasing it at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owl is one of two found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  16. Great horned owls are released at CCAFS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Susan Small, director of the Florida Wildlife Hospital, holds a great horned owl before releasing it at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Complex 25/29. The owl is one of two found in June on the floor of CCAFS Hangar G, where their nest was located. They were treated at a local veterinary hospital and then taken to the Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne for care and rehabilitation before release.

  17. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in owl monkeys (Aotus spp.).

    PubMed

    Knowlen, Grant G; Weller, Richard E; Perry, Ruby L; Baer, Janet F; Gozalo, Alfonso S

    2013-06-01

    Cardiac hypertrophy is a common postmortem finding in owl monkeys. In most cases the animals do not exhibit clinical signs until the disease is advanced, making antemortem diagnosis of subclinical disease difficult and treatment unrewarding. We obtained echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, and thoracic radiographs from members of a colony of owl monkeys that previously was identified as showing a 40% incidence of gross myocardial hypertrophy at necropsy, to assess the usefulness of these modalities for antemortem diagnosis. No single modality was sufficiently sensitive and specific to detect all monkeys with cardiac hypertrophy. Electrocardiography was the least sensitive method for detecting owl monkeys with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Thoracic radiographs were more sensitive than was electrocardiography in this context but cannot detect animals with concentric hypertrophy without an enlarged cardiac silhouette. Echocardiography was the most sensitive method for identifying cardiac hypertrophy in owl monkeys. The most useful parameters suggestive of left ventricular hypertrophy in our owl monkeys were an increased average left ventricular wall thickness to chamber radius ratio and an increased calculated left ventricular myocardial mass. Parameters suggestive of dilative cardiomyopathy were an increased average left ventricular myocardial mass and a decreased average ratio of left ventricular free wall thickness to left ventricular chamber radius. When all 4 noninvasive diagnostic modalities (physical examination, echocardiography, electrocardiography, and thoracic radiography) were used concurrently, the probability of detecting hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in owl monkeys was increased greatly.

  18. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Owl Monkeys (Aotus spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Knowlen, Grant G; Weller, Richard E; Perry, Ruby L; Baer, Janet F; Gozalo, Alfonso S

    2013-01-01

    Cardiac hypertrophy is a common postmortem finding in owl monkeys. In most cases the animals do not exhibit clinical signs until the disease is advanced, making antemortem diagnosis of subclinical disease difficult and treatment unrewarding. We obtained echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, and thoracic radiographs from members of a colony of owl monkeys that previously was identified as showing a 40% incidence of gross myocardial hypertrophy at necropsy, to assess the usefulness of these modalities for antemortem diagnosis. No single modality was sufficiently sensitive and specific to detect all monkeys with cardiac hypertrophy. Electrocardiography was the least sensitive method for detecting owl monkeys with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Thoracic radiographs were more sensitive than was electrocardiography in this context but cannot detect animals with concentric hypertrophy without an enlarged cardiac silhouette. Echocardiography was the most sensitive method for identifying cardiac hypertrophy in owl monkeys. The most useful parameters suggestive of left ventricular hypertrophy in our owl monkeys were an increased average left ventricular wall thickness to chamber radius ratio and an increased calculated left ventricular myocardial mass. Parameters suggestive of dilative cardiomyopathy were an increased average left ventricular myocardial mass and a decreased average ratio of left ventricular free wall thickness to left ventricular chamber radius. When all 4 noninvasive diagnostic modalities (physical examination, echocardiography, electrocardiography, and thoracic radiography) were used concurrently, the probability of detecting hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in owl monkeys was increased greatly. PMID:23759531

  19. Owls and larks in mice.

    PubMed

    Pfeffer, Martina; Wicht, Helmut; von Gall, Charlotte; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2015-01-01

    Humans come in different chronotypes and, particularly, the late chronotype (the so-called owl) has been shown to be associated with several health risks. A number of studies show that laboratory mice also display various chronotypes. In mice as well as in humans, the chronotype shows correlations with the period length and rhythm stability. In addition, some mouse models for human diseases show alterations in their chronotypic behavior, which are comparable to those humans. Thus, analysis of the behavior of mice is a powerful tool to unravel the molecular and genetic background of the chronotype and the prevalence of risks and diseases that are associated with it. In this review, we summarize the correlation of chronotype with free-running period length and rhythm stability in inbred mouse strains, in mice with a compromised molecular clockwork, and in a mouse model for neurodegeneration.

  20. Owl: Next Generation System Monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz, M; White, B S; McKee, S A; Lee, H S; Jeitner, J

    2005-02-16

    As microarchitectural and system complexity grows, comprehending system behavior becomes increasingly difficult, and often requires obtaining and sifting through voluminous event traces or coordinating results from multiple, non-localized sources. Owl is a proposed framework that overcomes limitations faced by traditional performance counters and monitoring facilities in dealing with such complexity by pervasively deploying programmable monitoring elements throughout a system. The design exploits reconfigurable or programmable logic to realize hardware monitors located at event sources, such as memory buses. These monitors run and writeback results autonomously with respect to the CPU, mitigating the system impact of interrupt-driven monitoring or the need to communicate irrelevant events to higher levels of the system. The monitors are designed to snoop any kind of system transaction, e.g., within the core, on a bus, across the wire, or within I/O devices.

  1. Owl Nest behind TV Building

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-03-18

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an Owl occupies a nest originally build by an Osprey atop a loudspeaker utility pole. Kennedy Space Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge encompasses 140,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects. For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/alligators/kscovr.html Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

  2. Improving strategies to assess competitive effects of barred owls on northern spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiens, J. David; Weekes, Anne

    2011-01-01

    A scientific study has determined that survey methods designed for spotted owls do not always detect barred owls that are actually present in spotted owl habitat. The researchers suggest that strategies to address potential interactions between spotted owls and barred owls will require carefully designed surveys that account for response behaviors and imperfect detection of both species. Species-specific sampling methods, which are proposed, can be used by forest managers to determine the occurrence and distribution of barred owls with high confidence. This fact sheet provides highlights of the research (Wiens and others, 2011).

  3. The Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale--revisited.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Thomas R E

    2003-12-01

    Akathisia is a syndrome of motor restlessness, principally seen in association with antipsychotic medication. It is characterized by a subjective experience of mental unease and the urge to move, and manifests physically as particular patterns of restless movement. This review focuses on the signs and symptoms of the condition, and its diagnosis and assessment using the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale. This scale was generated 15 years ago, and was derived from the findings of studies exploring the clinical features of antipsychotic-induced akathisia. Subsequently, its validity and reliability have been established, and it has been used extensively in clinical studies worldwide.

  4. The GEMPAK Barnes objective analysis scheme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, S. E.; Desjardins, M.; Kocin, P. J.

    1981-01-01

    GEMPAK, an interactive computer software system developed for the purpose of assimilating, analyzing, and displaying various conventional and satellite meteorological data types is discussed. The objective map analysis scheme possesses certain characteristics that allowed it to be adapted to meet the analysis needs GEMPAK. Those characteristics and the specific adaptation of the scheme to GEMPAK are described. A step-by-step guide for using the GEMPAK Barnes scheme on an interactive computer (in real time) to analyze various types of meteorological datasets is also presented.

  5. INTERIOR VIEW OF HAY STORAGE, LOOKING NORTH. The barn is ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    INTERIOR VIEW OF HAY STORAGE, LOOKING NORTH. The barn is constructed of hand-hewn, 10" square post and beams with mortise and tenon, pegged joints. The photograph also shows the hayfork and track, double doors on the north façade, and window opening. - Boyer Farm, Barn, 711 South Fort Casey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  6. 13. Dairy barn, west side, rear stall wing to left, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    13. Dairy barn, west side, rear stall wing to left, rear yard at center, and rear yard wall to right - A. I. Du Pont Estate, Blue Ball Dairy Barn, Junction of U.S. Route 202 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

  7. 2. Barn, light tower and keeper's house, view southeast, west ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. Barn, light tower and keeper's house, view southeast, west and north sides of barn, northwest side of light tower, and west northwest and north northeast sides of keeper's house - Curtis Island Light Station, Curtis Island, at entrance to Camden Harbor, Camden, Knox County, ME

  8. CROCKETT BARN FROM ACROSS CROCKETT LAKE, LOOKING NORTHWEST. A bridge ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    CROCKETT BARN FROM ACROSS CROCKETT LAKE, LOOKING NORTHWEST. A bridge once spanned Crockett Lake. The pylons are all that remain. The Crockett barn’s hipped roof can be seen just under the tree line left of center. - Crockett Farm, 1056 Fort Casey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  9. Tapping Timbers: A Barn Rises from the Hands of Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton, Melissa

    2001-01-01

    Gould Farm, the oldest therapeutic community in the United States, uses the rural farming lifestyle and a multigenerational community to serve adults with psychiatric disabilities. The Timber Framers Guild helped raise a barn there as one of its community service projects. The barn will be used to enhance the farm's food processing and vocational…

  10. 1. GENERAL VIEW. RED BARN WITH HEX SIGNS. DATE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. GENERAL VIEW. RED BARN WITH HEX SIGNS. DATE AND NAME PAINTED IN CENTER OF FRONT WALL. SIGNS ARE LIGHT GREEN AND YELLOW IN WHITE CIRCLES. LOWER ONES WERE PAINED OVER OLD TEAR DROP SWASTIKA. DOORS AND WINDOWS HAVE PEDIMENT HEADS - H. & S. Hoffman Barn (1853), Pottstown, Montgomery County, PA

  11. INTERIOR OF JENNE BARN GROUND FLOOR. (The Jenne milking stanchions ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    INTERIOR OF JENNE BARN GROUND FLOOR. (The Jenne milking stanchions can be seen on the left. The space that originally served as the milking parlor has now been converted into animal pens for goats, chickens, and pigs.) - Jenne Farm, Barn, 538 Engle Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  12. 2. VIEW OF LANE BARN WITH RELATIONSHIP TO LITTLE WOOD ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. VIEW OF LANE BARN WITH RELATIONSHIP TO LITTLE WOOD RIVER. THE MAIN INTERSECTION OF RICHFIELD IS LOCATED THROUGH THE TREES IN THE RIGHT CENTER OF IMAGE. CAMERA IS POINTING NORTH/NORTHWEST. - James H. Lane Ranch, Barn, One Mile South of Richfield on Highway 26, Richfield, Lincoln County, ID

  13. A Second Look at Douglas Barnes's "From Communication to Curriculum"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yarker, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    This article revisits Douglas Barnes's book-length exploration of the implications for teachers of a constructivist epistemology, notably in relation to the importance of small-group talk in classrooms. Empirically based consideration of small-group exploratory pupil-pupil talk enabled Barnes to reveal the learning strategies such a context…

  14. Harry Elmer Barnes: Prophet of a "Usable" Past

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doenecke, Justus D.

    1975-01-01

    The ideological proximity of historian Harry Elmer Barnes to the New Left revisionist historians of today are examined. Both Barnes and the New Left emphasize the need for a deliberate and conscious effort to use history as an instrument of social transformation. (DE)

  15. A Second Look at Douglas Barnes's "From Communication to Curriculum"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yarker, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    This article revisits Douglas Barnes's book-length exploration of the implications for teachers of a constructivist epistemology, notably in relation to the importance of small-group talk in classrooms. Empirically based consideration of small-group exploratory pupil-pupil talk enabled Barnes to reveal the learning strategies such a context…

  16. Tapping Timbers: A Barn Rises from the Hands of Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton, Melissa

    2001-01-01

    Gould Farm, the oldest therapeutic community in the United States, uses the rural farming lifestyle and a multigenerational community to serve adults with psychiatric disabilities. The Timber Framers Guild helped raise a barn there as one of its community service projects. The barn will be used to enhance the farm's food processing and vocational…

  17. 7. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    7. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING NORTHWEST FROM POWER SUBSTATION TOWARD CAR BARN, SHOWING POWER LINE DETAIL - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  18. 15. CENTER ENTRY (central area of barn), SHOWING NORTH WALL ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    15. CENTER ENTRY (central area of barn), SHOWING NORTH WALL (right) OF SOUTH CENTRAL PEN WITH LADDER AND HARNESS CLOSET. NORTHEAST CORNER OF PEN TO THE LEFT. VIEW FROM NORTHEAST. Date: July 10, 1937; negative #10632 - Witt Shields Barn, Townsend, Blount County, TN

  19. Perspective view of rear of barn complex shows northwest shed ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Perspective view of rear of barn complex shows northwest shed on right and the north feed pens in left foreground. The two parts of the main barn are visible in distance. - Kosai Farm, B Street north of Northwest Twenty-ninth Street, Auburn, King County, WA

  20. 37. WEST REAR OF POWERHOUSE AND CAR BARN: West rear ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    37. WEST REAR OF POWERHOUSE AND CAR BARN: West rear of powerhouse and car barn, showing the turntable and tracks used to move cars in and out of the building's repair and storage area. - San Francisco Cable Railway, Washington & Mason Streets, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  1. Perspective view of SW corner of milk barn shows that ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Perspective view of SW corner of milk barn shows that entire south side has been covered by briar bushes. Bushes also obscure west side of creamery to the right. - Kosai Farm, Milk Barn, B Street north of Northwest Twenty-ninth Street, Auburn, King County, WA

  2. Auditory neglect.

    PubMed Central

    De Renzi, E; Gentilini, M; Barbieri, C

    1989-01-01

    Auditory neglect was investigated in normal controls and in patients with a recent unilateral hemispheric lesion, by requiring them to detect the interruptions that occurred in one ear in a sound delivered through earphones either mono-aurally or binaurally. Control patients accurately detected interruptions. One left brain damaged (LBD) patient missed only once in the ipsilateral ear while seven of the 30 right brain damaged (RBD) patients missed more than one signal in the monoaural test and nine patients did the same in the binaural test. Omissions were always more marked in the left ear and in the binaural test with a significant ear by test interaction. The lesion of these patients was in the parietal lobe (five patients) and the thalamus (four patients). The relation of auditory neglect to auditory extinction was investigated and found to be equivocal, in that there were seven RBD patients who showed extinction, but not neglect and, more importantly, two patients who exhibited the opposite pattern, thus challenging the view that extinction is a minor form of neglect. Also visual and auditory neglect were not consistently correlated, the former being present in nine RBD patients without auditory neglect and the latter in two RBD patients without visual neglect. The finding that in some RBD patients with auditory neglect omissions also occurred, though with less frequency, in the right ear, points to a right hemisphere participation in the deployment of attention not only to the contralateral, but also to the ipsilateral space. PMID:2732732

  3. Mellin-Barnes meets Method of Brackets: a novel approach to Mellin-Barnes representations of Feynman integrals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prausa, Mario

    2017-09-01

    In this paper, we present a new approach to the construction of Mellin-Barnes representations for Feynman integrals inspired by the Method of Brackets. The novel technique is helpful to lower the dimensionality of Mellin-Barnes representations in complicated cases, some examples are given.

  4. Comparative food niche analysis of Strix Owls in Belarus

    Treesearch

    Alexey K. Tishechkin

    1997-01-01

    Three Strix species breed sympatrically in Belarus. The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is one of two commonest owl species in the country, and is distributed throughout the whole territory. Its' range overlaps widely with two other species, the Ural Owl (S. uralensis) which is common in the forests of the northern part and the Great...

  5. Chapter 9. Review of technical knowledge: Boreal owls

    Treesearch

    Gregory D. Hayward

    1994-01-01

    The boreal owl (Aegolius funereus), known as Tengmalm's owl in Eurasia, occurs throughout the holarctic in boreal climatic zones. This medium-size owl (100-170 g) occupies boreal and subalpine forests in an almost continuous circumboreal distribution that extends from Scandinavia eastward across the northern forests of Siberia and from Alaska...

  6. Threats to the viability of California spotted owls

    Treesearch

    John J. Keane

    2017-01-01

    The California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) is a species of conservation concern owing to threats to its habitat and populations. Verner et al. (1992) first assessed the status of the California spotted owl "The California Spotted Owl: A technical Assessment of it’s current status" (CASPO) and identified four factors as either threats or...

  7. Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Plan, First Revision (Strix occidentalis lucida)

    Treesearch

    Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Team U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    2012-01-01

    In 1993 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida; "owl") as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl was designated in 2004, comprising approximately 3.5 million hectares (ha) (8.6 million acres [ac]) on Federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, New...

  8. Owl Pellet Analysis--A Useful Tool in Field Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Medlin, G. C.

    1977-01-01

    Describes a technique by which the density and hunting habits of owls can be inferred from their pellets. Owl pellets--usually small, cylindrical packages of undigested bone, hair, etc.--are regurgitated by a roosting bird. A series of activities based on owl pellets are provided. (CP)

  9. Chapter 14. Review of technical knowledge: Great gray owls

    Treesearch

    James R. Duncan; Patricia H. Hayward

    1994-01-01

    The great gray owl (Strix nebulosa) is the longest, but not heaviest, of the northern forest owls. Distributed holarctically across the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia, the great gray owl extends its range southward into the contiguous states by inhabiting forests other than the boreal type. The subalpine and montane forests of the...

  10. Owl Pellet Analysis--A Useful Tool in Field Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Medlin, G. C.

    1977-01-01

    Describes a technique by which the density and hunting habits of owls can be inferred from their pellets. Owl pellets--usually small, cylindrical packages of undigested bone, hair, etc.--are regurgitated by a roosting bird. A series of activities based on owl pellets are provided. (CP)

  11. Cross-species amplification of microsatellite markers in the Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus, Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus and Snowy Owl B. scandiacus for use in population genetics, individual identification and parentage studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dial, Cody R.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Seidensticker, M.T.; Holt, D.W.

    2012-01-01

    Using DNA from blood and feathers, we screened twenty-four microsatellite primer pairs initially developed for six strigid owls, and four primer pairs shown to be polymorphic across avian taxa, for their utility in Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus), and Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus). Eight of these primers reliably amplified polymorphic fragments in Great Horned Owl, eleven in Short-eared owl, and ten in Snowy Owl. Analyses of results from presumably unrelated owls demonstrate the utility of these loci for individual identification, parentage assignment, and population genetics studies.

  12. View of the cinder block milking barn (UT126D) and attached ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View of the cinder block milking barn (UT-126-D) and attached livestock barn (UT-126-B) with large barn (UT-126-A) in the foreground, looking east-northeast - Thomas Powers Ranch, Milking Barn, 4137 North Highway 224, Snyderville, Summit County, UT

  13. Moonlight Makes Owls More Chatty

    PubMed Central

    Penteriani, Vincenzo; Delgado, María del Mar; Campioni, Letizia; Lourenço, Rui

    2010-01-01

    Background Lunar cycles seem to affect many of the rhythms, temporal patterns and behaviors of living things on Earth. Ambient light is known to affect visual communication in animals, with the conspicuousness of visual signals being largely determined by the light available for reflection by the sender. Although most previous studies in this context have focused on diurnal light, moonlight should not be neglected from the perspective of visual communication among nocturnal species. We recently discovered that eagle owls Bubo bubo communicate with conspecifics using a patch of white throat plumage that is repeatedly exposed during each call and is only visible during vocal displays. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we provide evidence that this species uses moonlight to increase the conspicuousness of this visual signal during call displays. We found that call displays are directly influenced by the amount of moonlight, with silent nights being more frequent during periods with no-moonlight than moonlight. Furthermore, high numbers of calling bouts were more frequent at moonlight. Finally, call posts were located on higher positions on moonlit nights. Conclusions/Significance Our results support the idea that moon phase affects the visual signaling behavior of this species, and provide a starting point for examination of this method of communication by nocturnal species. PMID:20098700

  14. F-OWL: An Inference Engine for Semantic Web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zou, Youyong; Finin, Tim; Chen, Harry

    2004-01-01

    Understanding and using the data and knowledge encoded in semantic web documents requires an inference engine. F-OWL is an inference engine for the semantic web language OWL language based on F-logic, an approach to defining frame-based systems in logic. F-OWL is implemented using XSB and Flora-2 and takes full advantage of their features. We describe how F-OWL computes ontology entailment and compare it with other description logic based approaches. We also describe TAGA, a trading agent environment that we have used as a test bed for F-OWL and to explore how multiagent systems can use semantic web concepts and technology.

  15. Measurement of fetal biparietal diameter in owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae).

    PubMed

    Schuler, A Michele; Brady, Alan G; Tustin, George W; Parks, Virginia L; Morris, Chris G; Abee, Christian R

    2010-09-01

    Owl monkeys are New World primates frequently used in biomedical research. Despite the historical difficulty of breeding owl monkeys in captivity, several productive owl monkey breeding colonies exist currently. The animals in the colony we describe here are not timed-pregnant, and determination of gestational age is an important factor in prenatal care. Gestational age of human fetuses is often determined by using transabdominal measurements of fetal biparietal diameter. The purpose of this study was to correlate biparietal diameter measurements with gestational age in owl monkeys. We found that biparietal diameter can be used to accurately predict gestational age in owl monkeys.

  16. Standardizing Legal Content with OWL and RDF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hondros, Constantine

    Wolters Kluwer is one of the largest legal publishers in the world. Its various publishing units use a multitude of different formats to mark up what is effectively similar content. We describe a common content architecture based on OWL, RDF and XHTML that is used to build a standard representation of legal content, allowing publishable assets to be integrated across the enterprise. This architecture is governed by an OWL ontology that models the (occasionally complex) behaviour of legal documents and acts as a domain model of common legal metadata. How do OWL and RDF scale up to real-world publishing? We describe practical issues in producing and validating RDF on an industrial scale; in performance management; in handling fragmented ontologies; and the challenge of using RDF in a performant XSLT pipeline.

  17. Population trajectory of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) in eastern Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conway, C.J.; Pardieck, K.L.

    2006-01-01

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that burrowing owls have declined in Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently conducting a status review for burrowing owls which will help determine whether they should be listed as threatened or endangered in the state. To provide insights into the current status of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia), we analyzed data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey using two analytical approaches to determine their current population trajectory in eastern Washington. We used a one-sample t-test to examine whether trend estimates across all BBS routes in Washington differed from zero. We also used a mixed model analysis to estimate the rate of decline in number of burrowing owls detected between 1968 and 2005. The slope in number of burrowing owls detected was negative for 12 of the 16 BBS routes in Washington that have detected burrowing owls. Numbers of breeding burrowing owls detected in eastern Washington declined at a rate of 1.5% annually. We suggest that all BBS routes that have detected burrowing owls in past years in eastern Washington be surveyed annually and additional surveys conducted to track population trends of burrowing owls at finer spatial scales in eastern Washington. In the meantime, land management and regulatory agencies should ensure that publicly managed areas with breeding burrowing owls are not degraded and should implement education and outreach programs to promote protection of privately owned areas with breeding owls.

  18. Experimental rabies in a great horned owl.

    PubMed

    Jorgenson, R D; Gough, P M; Graham, D L

    1976-07-01

    A great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) was fed the carcass of an experimentally infected rabid skunk. The bird developed antibody titer to rabies, detected by passive haemagglutination, 27 days after oral inoculation by ingestion. The owl suppressed the infection until corticosteroid administration, after which a maximum antibody titer was attained. Evidence of active rabies viral infection was seen by fluorescent antibody staining of oral swabs, corneal impression smears and histologic tissue smears, by suckling mouse inoculation of oral swab washings, and by transmission electron microcopy. No clinical signs of rabies virus infection were observed.

  19. Modeling interactions betweenspotted owl and barred owl populations in fire-prone forests

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background / Question / Methods Efforts to conserve northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in the eastern Cascades of Washington must merge the challenges of providing sufficient structurally complex forest habitat in a fire-prone landscape with the limitations impos...

  20. Modeling interactions betweenspotted owl and barred owl populations in fire-prone forests

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background / Question / Methods Efforts to conserve northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in the eastern Cascades of Washington must merge the challenges of providing sufficient structurally complex forest habitat in a fire-prone landscape with the limitations impos...

  1. Auditory system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ades, H. W.

    1973-01-01

    The physical correlations of hearing, i.e. the acoustic stimuli, are reported. The auditory system, consisting of external ear, middle ear, inner ear, organ of Corti, basilar membrane, hair cells, inner hair cells, outer hair cells, innervation of hair cells, and transducer mechanisms, is discussed. Both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are also examined.

  2. Auditory system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ades, H. W.

    1973-01-01

    The physical correlations of hearing, i.e. the acoustic stimuli, are reported. The auditory system, consisting of external ear, middle ear, inner ear, organ of Corti, basilar membrane, hair cells, inner hair cells, outer hair cells, innervation of hair cells, and transducer mechanisms, is discussed. Both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are also examined.

  3. 3. View west from Benjamin Carr Farm driveway toward barn, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. View west from Benjamin Carr Farm driveway toward barn, Benjamin Carr house to the south (left), Eldred Avenue to the north (right). - Benjamin Carr Farm, Route 138 (Eldred Avenue) & Helm Street, Jamestown, Newport County, RI

  4. 15. MEREDITH AVENUE, VIEW WITH LOG RAIL AND BARN. PERHAPS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    15. MEREDITH AVENUE, VIEW WITH LOG RAIL AND BARN. PERHAPS THE LAST REMAINING EXAMPLE OF CCC BUILT "RUSTIC STYLE" GUARD RAIL IN PARK. VIEW NE. - Gettysburg National Military Park Tour Roads, Gettysburg, Adams County, PA

  5. View to northwest from in front of barn, showing west ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View to northwest from in front of barn, showing west end and south side. Note proximity of adjacent subdivision at left. - Drew-Sherwood Farm, Shed, 7927 Elk Grove Boulevard, Elk Grove, Sacramento County, CA

  6. 60. View of lined canal and hop barn, looking southwest. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    60. View of lined canal and hop barn, looking southwest. Photo by Robin Lee Tedder, Puget Power, 1989. - Puget Sound Power & Light Company, White River Hydroelectric Project, 600 North River Avenue, Dieringer, Pierce County, WA

  7. 5. VIEW OF SOUTH FACADE OF HOP BARN COMPLEX, LOOKING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. VIEW OF SOUTH FACADE OF HOP BARN COMPLEX, LOOKING NORTH INTO THE 'FUEL BAY' (IN THE CENTER). - James W. Seavey Hop Driers, 0.6 mile East from junction of Highway 99 & Alexander Avenue, Corvallis, Benton County, OR

  8. 6. RElationship of residence, claim house, east tool shed, barn, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    6. RElationship of residence, claim house, east tool shed, barn, garage, and pole building to overall farmstead site, looking northwest - George Spangerberger Farmstead, 2012 West Illinois Avenue, South Hutchinson, Reno County, KS

  9. View west, interior, detail of joinery Woods Homestead, Barn, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View west, interior, detail of joinery - Woods Homestead, Barn, County Route 12 on north side of North Fork of Hughes River, 2.2 miles north & east of Goose Run Road intersection, Harrisville, Ritchie County, WV

  10. View southeast, general view, barn at left Woods Homestead, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View southeast, general view, barn at left - Woods Homestead, County Route 12 on north side of North Fork of Hughes River, 2.2 miles north & east of Goose Run Road intersection, Harrisville, Ritchie County, WV

  11. 3. HJELM FARMSTEAD. OVERVIEW SHOWING EDGE OF GRANARY, SMALL BARN, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. HJELM FARMSTEAD. OVERVIEW SHOWING EDGE OF GRANARY, SMALL BARN, WINDMILL, AND POTATO CELLAR. VIEW TO SOUTH-SOUTHEAST. - Hjelm Farmstead, U.S. Highway 20 at New Sweden, Idaho Falls, Bonneville County, ID

  12. 9. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    9. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING SOUTHEAST FROM WAREHOUSE, SHOWING TRACK MATERIAL STORED IN YARD - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  13. 1. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING SOUTHWEST - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  14. 6. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    6. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING NORTHWEST FROM THIRD AVENUE - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  15. 3. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING NORTHEAST - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  16. 2. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, LOOKING WEST - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  17. 4. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. VIEW OF CAR BARN PROPERTY AT THIRD AVENUE AND PINE STREET, SHOWING DETAIL OF TRACK WORK AND OVERHEAD WIRING - Yakima Valley Transportation Company Interurban Railroad, Connecting towns of Yakima, Selah & Wiley City, Yakima, Yakima County, WA

  18. 1. BARN. VIEW LOOKING SOUTHEAST. EACH HORSE STALL HAS A ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. BARN. VIEW LOOKING SOUTHEAST. EACH HORSE STALL HAS A SMALL WINDOW. THE 4/4 DOUBLE-HUNG WINDOW IS IN THE STORE ROOM. THE ROLLING DOOR WAS WIDENED, PROBABLY IN 1926, ELIMINATING THE ORIGINAL LOFT LADDER AT THE CORNER OF THE BUILDING. THE PUBLIC RESTROOM NEAR THE LEFT EDGE OF THE VIEW DOES NOT RELATE TO THE RANGER STATION. - Tonto Ranger Station, Barn, Forest Service Road 65 at Tonto Wash, Skull Valley, Yavapai County, AZ

  19. Carol A. Barnes: Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions.

    PubMed

    2014-11-01

    The APA Awards for Distinguished Scientific Contributions are presented to persons who, in the opinion of the Committee on Scientific Awards, have made distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. One of the 2014 award winners is Carol A. Barnes, who received this award for her "groundbreaking work on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying memory changes in normal aging." Barnes' award citation, biography, and a selected bibliography are presented here.

  20. 29. NORTH SIDE AND WEST REAR OF CAR BARN DURING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    29. NORTH SIDE AND WEST REAR OF CAR BARN DURING RECONSTRUCTION: Photocopy of May 1908 photograph showing the north side and west rear of powerhouse and car barn. The windows on the north wall of the building were later bricked up. Note the wooden roof trusses of the main building, and the different construction techniques used in rebuilding the 'annex,' closest to the viewer. - San Francisco Cable Railway, Washington & Mason Streets, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  1. 30. WEST REAR OF CAR BARN DURING RECONSTRUCTION: Photocopy of ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    30. WEST REAR OF CAR BARN DURING RECONSTRUCTION: Photocopy of July 1908 photograph of west rear of powerhouse and car barn. The tracks in the yard behind the building lead to a turntable, barely visible in the far left background of the photograph. This is the building's second floor, used for storing and repairing cars. - San Francisco Cable Railway, Washington & Mason Streets, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  2. Global inhibition and stimulus competition in the owl optic tectum

    PubMed Central

    Mysore, Shreesh P.; Asadollahi, Ali; Knudsen, Eric I.

    2010-01-01

    Stimulus selection for gaze and spatial attention involves competition among stimuli across sensory modalities and across all of space. We demonstrate that such cross-modal, global competition takes place in the intermediate and deep layers of the optic tectum, a structure known to be involved in gaze control and attention. A variety of either visual or auditory stimuli located anywhere outside of a neuron's receptive field (RF) were shown to suppress or completely eliminate responses to a visual stimulus located inside the RF in nitrous oxide sedated owls. The essential mechanism underlying this stimulus competition is global, divisive inhibition. Unlike the effect of the classical inhibitory surround, which decreases with distance from the RF center and shapes neuronal responses to individual stimuli, global inhibition acts across the entirety of space and modulates responses primarily in the context of multiple stimuli. Whereas the source of this global inhibition is as yet unknown, our data indicate that different networks mediate the classical surround and global inhibition. We hypothesize that this global, cross-modal inhibition, which acts automatically in a bottom-up fashion even in sedated animals, is critical to the creation of a map of stimulus salience in the optic tectum. PMID:20130182

  3. Activity patterns of nesting Mexican Spotted Owls

    Treesearch

    David K. Delaney; Teryl G. Grubb; Paul Beier

    1999-01-01

    We collected 2,665 hr of behavioral information using video surveillance on 19 Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) pairs between 25 April and 26 July 1996. Prey deliveries per day increased as the nesting season progressed, with an average of 2.68 prey deliveries during incubation, 4.10 items during brooding, and 4.51 items during the...

  4. Sherry Red Owl, Stands at Dawn Woman

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crazy Bull, Cheryl

    2014-01-01

    This article introduces Sherry Red Owl, also known as "Stands at Dawn Woman," because she greets each day as a new opportunity and has spent her life working at new things. She worked at Sinte Gleska University (SGU) during its founding years, taught at an elementary school when few Native teachers were employed in the school systems,…

  5. Kenojuak Ashevak: "Young Owl Takes a Ride."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Bernard

    1988-01-01

    Describes a lesson plan used to introduce K-3 students to a Canadian Inuit artist, to the personal and cultural context of the artwork, and to a simple printmaking technique. Includes background information on the artist, instructional strategies, and a print of the artist's "Young Owl Takes a Ride." (GEA)

  6. Sherry Red Owl, Stands at Dawn Woman

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crazy Bull, Cheryl

    2014-01-01

    This article introduces Sherry Red Owl, also known as "Stands at Dawn Woman," because she greets each day as a new opportunity and has spent her life working at new things. She worked at Sinte Gleska University (SGU) during its founding years, taught at an elementary school when few Native teachers were employed in the school systems,…

  7. Kenojuak Ashevak: "Young Owl Takes a Ride."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Bernard

    1988-01-01

    Describes a lesson plan used to introduce K-3 students to a Canadian Inuit artist, to the personal and cultural context of the artwork, and to a simple printmaking technique. Includes background information on the artist, instructional strategies, and a print of the artist's "Young Owl Takes a Ride." (GEA)

  8. Diagnostic findings in 132 great horned owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J.C.; Little, S.E.

    1996-01-01

    We reviewed diagnostic findings for 132 great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) carcasses that were submitted to the National Wildlife Health Center from 1975-93. The carcasses were collected in 24 states but most came from Colorado (N = 21), Missouri (N = 12), Oregon (N = 12), Wyoming (N = 11), Illinois (N = 10), and Wisconsin (N = 9). Forty-two birds were emaciated but presumptive causes of emaciation, including old injuries, chronic lesions in various organs, and exposure to dieldrin, were found in only 16. A greater proportion of juveniles (56%) than adults (29%) were emaciated. Twelve owls were shot and 35 died from other traumatic injuries. Poisonings were diagnosed in 11 birds, including five associated with hydrogen sulfide exposure in oil fields and six cases of agricultural pesticide poisonings. Electrocution killed nine birds and infectious diseases were found in six. Miscellaneous conditions, including egg impaction, drowning, and visceral gout were diagnosed in three of the birds and the cause of death was undetermined in 14 owls. While this review identifies major diagnostic findings in great horned owls, sample bias prevents definitive conclusions regarding actual proportional causes of mortality.

  9. Particulate matter dynamics in naturally ventilated freestall dairy barns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joo, H. S.; Ndegwa, P. M.; Heber, A. J.; Ni, J.-Q.; Bogan, B. W.; Ramirez-Dorronsoro, J. C.; Cortus, E. L.

    2013-04-01

    Particulate matter (PM) concentrations and ventilation rates, in two naturally ventilated freestall dairy barns, were continuously monitored for two years. The first barn (B1) housed 400 fresh lactating cows, while the second barn (B2) housed 835 non-fresh lactating cows and 15 bulls. The relationships between PM concentrations and accepted governing parameters (environmental conditions and cattle activity) were examined. In comparison with other seasons, PM concentrations were lowest in winter. Total suspended particulate (TSP) concentrations in spring and autumn were relatively higher than those in summer. Overall: the concentrations in the barns and ambient air, for all the PM categories (PM2.5, PM10, and TSP), exhibited non-normal positively skewed distributions, which tended to overestimate mean or average concentrations. Only concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 increased with ambient air temperature (R2 = 0.60-0.82), whereas only concentrations of TSP increased with cattle activity. The mean respective emission rates of PM2.5, PM10, and TSP for the two barns ranged between 1.6-4.0, 11.9-15.0, and 48.7-52.5 g d-1 cow-1, indicating similar emissions from the two barns.

  10. Introgression and dispersal among spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) subspecies

    PubMed Central

    Funk, W Chris; Forsman, Eric D; Mullins, Thomas D; Haig, Susan M

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Population genetics plays an increasingly important role in the conservation and management of declining species, particularly for defining taxonomic units. Subspecies are recognized by several conservation organizations and countries and receive legal protection under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). Two subspecies of spotted owls, northern (Strix occidentalis caurina) and Mexican (S. o. lucida) spotted owls, are ESA-listed as threatened, but the California (S. o. occidentalis) spotted owl is not listed. Thus, determining the boundaries of these subspecies is critical for effective enforcement of the ESA. We tested the validity of previously recognized spotted owl subspecies by analysing 394 spotted owls at 10 microsatellite loci. We also tested whether northern and California spotted owls hybridize as suggested by previous mitochondrial DNA studies. Our results supported current recognition of three subspecies. We also found bi-directional hybridization and dispersal between northern and California spotted owls centered in southern Oregon and northern California. Surprisingly, we also detected introgression of Mexican spotted owls into the range of northern spotted owls, primarily in the northern part of the subspecies’ range in Washington, indicating long-distance dispersal of Mexican spotted owls. We conclude with a discussion of the conservation implications of our study. PMID:25567499

  11. Introgression and dispersal among spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) subspecies.

    PubMed

    Funk, W Chris; Forsman, Eric D; Mullins, Thomas D; Haig, Susan M

    2008-02-01

    Population genetics plays an increasingly important role in the conservation and management of declining species, particularly for defining taxonomic units. Subspecies are recognized by several conservation organizations and countries and receive legal protection under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). Two subspecies of spotted owls, northern (Strix occidentalis caurina) and Mexican (S. o. lucida) spotted owls, are ESA-listed as threatened, but the California (S. o. occidentalis) spotted owl is not listed. Thus, determining the boundaries of these subspecies is critical for effective enforcement of the ESA. We tested the validity of previously recognized spotted owl subspecies by analysing 394 spotted owls at 10 microsatellite loci. We also tested whether northern and California spotted owls hybridize as suggested by previous mitochondrial DNA studies. Our results supported current recognition of three subspecies. We also found bi-directional hybridization and dispersal between northern and California spotted owls centered in southern Oregon and northern California. Surprisingly, we also detected introgression of Mexican spotted owls into the range of northern spotted owls, primarily in the northern part of the subspecies' range in Washington, indicating long-distance dispersal of Mexican spotted owls. We conclude with a discussion of the conservation implications of our study.

  12. Biological monitoring of heavy metal contaminations using owls.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2012-03-01

    Iron, manganese, copper, lead and cadmium were measured in the livers, muscles, kidneys and bones of Eurasian Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo), Brown Hawk Owls (Nixos scutulata) and Collared Scops Owls (Otus lempiji) from Korea. Iron concentrations by tissue within species did not differ, but there were significant differences among tissues across all species. Manganese and copper concentrations in muscles, kidneys and bones, but not livers, differed among species and also differed among tissues in the three owl species. We suggest that manganese and copper concentrations from this study were far below the level associated with their toxicity. Lead concentrations significantly differed among all species for livers and bones, and among tissues for each species. Cadmium concentrations were significantly different among species for all tissues and among tissues in Eurasian Eagle Owls and Collared Scops Owls. For most samples, lead concentrations in livers and bones, and cadmium in livers and kidneys, were within the background levels for wild birds. For some Eurasian Eagle Owls and Collared Scops Owls, lead concentrations were at an acute exposure level, whilst lead concentrations were at a chronic exposure level in Brown Hawk Owls. Cadmium concentrations were at a chronic exposure level in all three owl species. Acute and chronic poisoning was significantly correlated between indicator tissues. We suggest that lead and cadmium contamination in Eurasian Eagle Owls may reflect a Korean source, Brown Hawk Owls may reflect Korean and wintering sites, and Collared Scops Owls may reflect breeding and/or wintering sites. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012

  13. Comparison of Food Habits of the Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) and the Western Screech-owl (Otus kennicottii) in Southwestern Idaho

    Treesearch

    Charlotte Rains

    1997-01-01

    I compared the breeding-season diets of Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) and Western Screech-owls (Otus kennicottii). Prey items were obtained from regurgitated pellets collected from saw-whet owl and screech-owl nests found in nest boxes in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho....

  14. Rural culture and the conservation of Mackinders eagle owls (Bubo capensis mackinderi) in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L

    2008-06-01

    The author describes her fieldwork studying a population of Mackinders eagle owls that live adjacent to small-scale farms in rural Kenya. Her study investigated the effects of farming practices on the diet and breeding ecology of the owls. She documented local people's attitudes toward owls since owls are taboo throughout Africa. She describes a typical day in the field, the community aspect of her project, her unique experiences studying owls in Kenya, and promotion of owl tourism.

  15. EXTERIOR PERSPECTIVE FROM BARN YARD SHOWING EAST AND SOUTH FAÇADES ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    EXTERIOR PERSPECTIVE FROM BARN YARD SHOWING EAST AND SOUTH FAÇADES OF THE BARN, LOOKING NORTHWEST. The sliding door on the barns east façade leads into the animal pens and milking stalls. The barn’s hip-on-gable roof is covered in corrugated metal. The gable end is clad in board and battens, matching the rest of the barns exterior. The pump house can be seen to the north; the garage to the west. - Kineth Farm, Barn, 19162 STATE ROUTE 20, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  16. Assessment of toxicity and coagulopathy of brodifacoum in Japanese quail and testing in wild owls.

    PubMed

    Webster, Kirstin H; Harr, Kendal E; Bennett, Darin C; Williams, Tony D; Cheng, Kimberly M; Maisonneuve, France; Elliott, John E

    2015-07-01

    Based on detection of hepatic residues, scavenging and predatory non-target raptors are widely exposed to second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs). A small proportion, generally <10%, of tested birds are diagnosed as acutely poisoned. Little is known, however, of sub-lethal effects of SGARs, such as interaction of clotting capacity with traumatic injury. Assessment of coagulation function of birds submitted live to wildlife rehabilitators or veterinarians may provide a means of establishing the proportion of animals suffering sub-lethal coagulopathies, as well as identifying individuals requiring treatment. As a first step in exploring the potential of this approach, we dosed Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) with the SGAR, brodifacoum, at 0, 0.8, 1.4, 1.9, and 2.5 mg/kg and sampled birds at 1, 3, 5 and 7 days post-dosing. Prothrombin time (PT), which measures the extrinsic coagulation pathway, was significantly prolonged in 98% of brodifacoum-exposed quail in a dose- and time-dependent manner. 50-fold prolongation of PT occurred at higher brodifacoum dosages and correlated to hemorrhage found at necropsy. Activated clotting time (ACT), a measure of the intrinsic pathway also increased with dose and time. Hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) decreased dose- and time-dependently at doses ≥1.4 mg/kg with no significant change at 0.8 mg/kg. Reference intervals for PT (10.0-16.2 s), ACT (30-180 s), Hb (9.6-18.4 g/dl), and Hct (34-55%) were established in Japanese quail. Species-specific reference intervals are required as barn owl PT (17-29 s) and quail PT were different. The proportion of brodifacoum-exposed quail with hemorrhage was not correlated with liver residues, but was correlated with PT, suggesting that this assay is a useful indicator of avian anticoagulant rodenticide exposure. PTs measured in free-living barn owls sampled between April 2009 and August 2010 in the lower Fraser Valley of BC do not suggest significant exposure to SGARs.

  17. Cover of tall trees best predicts California spotted owl habitat

    Treesearch

    Malcolm P. North; Jonathan T. Kane; Van R. Kane; Gregory P. Asner; William Berigan; Derek J. Churchill; Scott Conway; R.J. Gutiérrez; Sean Jeronimo; John Keane; Alexander Koltunov; Tina Mark; Monika Moskal; Thomas Munton; Zachary Peery; Carlos Ramirez; Rahel Sollmann; Angela White; Sheila Whitmore

    2017-01-01

    Restoration of western dry forests in the USA often focuses on reducing fuel loads. In the range of the spotted owl, these treatments may reduce canopy cover and tree density, which could reduce preferred habitat conditions for the owl and other sensitive species. In particular, high canopy cover (≥70%) has been widely reported to be an important feature of spotted owl...

  18. Demography of Northern Spotted Owls in southwestern Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zabel, Cynthia J.; Salmons, Susan E.; Forsman, Eric D.; Destefano, Stephen; Raphael, Martin G.; Gutierrez, R.J.

    1996-01-01

    Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) are associated with lower elevation, commercially valuable, late-successional coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest. Meta-analyses of demographic parameters indicate that Northern Spotted Owl populations are declining throughout their range (Anderson and Burnham 1992, Burnham et al. this volume). Recent research has attempted to determine whether management activities have affected the viability of Spotted Owl populations, and results have led to development of conservation plans for the species (Dawson et al. 1987, Thomas et al. 1990, Murphy and Noon 1992, USDI 1992, Thomas et al. 1993b).In the Recovery Plan for the Northern Spotted Owl (USDI 1992b) threats to the species were identified as small population sizes, declining populations, limited amounts of habitat, continued loss and fragmentation of habitat, geographically isolated populations, and predation and competition from other avian species. Weather and fire are natural processes that also may affect reproductive success of Spotted Owls. Weather may be a factor in the high annual variability in fecundity of Spotted Owls, as has been suggested for other predatory bird species (Newton, 1979, 1986). However, these factors have not been addressed in previous studies of Spotted Owls.Our objectives were to estimate survival, fecundity, and annual rates of population change (l) for resident, territorial female Spotted Owls at two study areas in the coastal mountains of southwestern Oregon. We tested if the amount of rainfall was correlated with reproduction of Spotted Owls. While surveying for Spotted Owls, we documented the increased presence of Barred Owls (Strix varia), a potential competitor of Spotted Owls.

  19. Potential trophic cascades triggered by the barred owl range expansion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holm, Samantha R.; Noon, Barry R.; Wiens, David; Ripple, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Recently, the barred owl (Strix varia) has expanded its range into the Pacific Northwest of the United States resulting in pronounced effects on the demography and behavior of the northern spotted owl (S. occidentalis caurina). The range expansion has brought together historically allopatric species, creating the potential for significant changes in the avian predator community with possible cascading effects on food-web dynamics. The adverse effects of the barred owl on the behavior and demography of the northern spotted owl are well-documented, but little is known about the immediate and long-term effects changes in the predator community may have on native species composition and ecosystem processes. Based on northern spotted owl and barred owl selection for diet and habitat resources, there is a potential for trophic cascades within the region's predator and prey communities, differing responses by their shared and unique prey species, and possible direct and indirect effects on ecosystem processes. We explored the possible ecological consequences of the barred owl range expansion to wildlife communities of the Pacific Northwest based on the theoretical underpinnings of predator–prey relationships, interspecific competition, intraguild predation, and potential cascading trophic interactions. Negative effects on fitness of northern spotted owls because of interspecific competition with barred owls are strong selection forces that may contribute to the regional extinction of the northern spotted owl. In addition, we posit that shared prey species and those uniquely consumed by barred owls, along with other competing native predators, may experience changes in behavior, abundance, and distribution as a result of increased rates of predation by rapidly expanding populations of barred owls.

  20. Neural Computations in Binaural Hearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Hermann

    Binaural hearing helps humans and animals to localize and unmask sounds. Here, binaural computations in the barn owl's auditory system are discussed. Barn owls use the interaural time difference (ITD) for azimuthal sound localization, and they use the interaural level difference (ELD) for elevational sound localization. ITD and ILD and their precursors are processed in separate neural pathways, the time pathway and the intensity pathway, respectively. Representation of ITD involves four main computational steps, while the representation of ILD is accomplished in three steps. In the discussion neural processing in the owl's auditory system is compared with neural computations present in mammals.