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Sample records for barn owl auditory

  1. 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. PMID:27080662

  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 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.

  4. Representation of frequency in the primary auditory field of the barn owl forebrain.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Y E; Knudsen, E I

    1996-12-01

    1. The primary auditory field (PAF) constitutes the first telencephalic stage of auditory information processing in the classical auditory pathway. In this study we investigated the frequency representation in the PAF of the barn owl, a species with a broad frequency range of hearing and a highly advanced auditory system. 2. Single- and multiunit sites were recorded extracellularly in ketamine-anesthetized owls. The frequency response properties of PAF sites were assessed with the use of digitally synthesized dichotic stimuli. PAF sites (n = 442) either were unresponsive to tonal stimulation (but responsive to noise stimuli), were tuned for frequency, or had multipeaked frequency response profiles. Tuned sites responded best to frequencies between 0.2 and 8.8 kHz, a range that encompasses nearly the entire hearing range of the barn owl. Most sites responding best to frequencies < 4 kHz had relatively broad frequency tuning, whereas sites responding best to higher frequencies had either broad or narrow frequency tuning. Sites with multipeaked frequency response profiles typically had two response peaks. The first peak was usually between 1 and 3 kHz and the second was usually between 5 and 8 kHz; there was no systematic relationship between the two peak frequencies. 3. In dorsoventral electrode penetrations that contained sites with tuned and/or multipeaked response profiles, a "common frequency" was identified that elicited a maximal response from all of the sites in the penetration. 4. The PAF contains a single tonotopic field. Units tuned to low frequencies are located caudomedially, whereas units tuned to high frequencies are located rostrolaterally. Compared with the frequency representation along the basilar papilla and in other auditory structures, the PAF overrepresents low frequencies (< 4 kHz) that are important for barn owl vocalizations. Conversely, high frequencies (> or = 4 kHz), which are necessary for precise sound localization, are underrepresented

  5. Disruption of auditory spatial working memory by inactivation of the forebrain archistriatum in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Knudsen, P F

    1996-10-01

    Barn owls not only localize auditory stimuli with great accuracy, they also remember the locations of auditory stimuli and can use this remembered spatial information to guide their flight and strike. Although the mechanisms of sound localization have been studied extensively, the neurobiological basis of auditory spatial memory has not. Here we show that the ability of barn owls to orient their gaze towards and fly to the remembered location of auditory targets is lost during pharmacological inactivation of a small region in the forebrain, the anterior archistriatum. In contrast, archistriatal inactivation has no effect on stimulus-guided responses to auditory targets. The memory-dependent deficit is evident only for acoustic events that occur in the hemifield contralateral to the side that is inactivated. The data demonstrate that in the avian archistriatum, as in the mammalian frontal cortex, there exists a region that is essential for the expression of spatial working memory and that, in the barn owl, this region encodes auditory spatial memory. PMID:8837773

  6. 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.

  7. Adaptation in the auditory space map of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Gutfreund, Yoram; Knudsen, Eric I

    2006-08-01

    Auditory neurons in the owl's external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) integrate information across frequency channels to create a map of auditory space. This study describes a powerful, sound-driven adaptation of unit responsiveness in the ICX and explores the implications of this adaptation for sensory processing. Adaptation in the ICX was analyzed by presenting lightly anesthetized owls with sequential pairs of dichotic noise bursts. Adaptation occurred in response even to weak, threshold-level sounds and remained strong for more than 100 ms after stimulus offset. Stimulation by one range of sound frequencies caused adaptation that generalized across the entire broad range of frequencies to which these units responded. Identical stimuli were used to test adaptation in the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICCls), which provides input directly to the ICX. Compared with ICX adaptation, adaptation in the ICCls was substantially weaker, shorter lasting, and far more frequency specific, suggesting that part of the adaptation observed in the ICX was attributable to processes resident to the ICX. The sharp tuning of ICX neurons to space, along with their broad tuning to frequency, allows ICX adaptation to preserve a representation of stimulus location, regardless of the frequency content of the sound. The ICX is known to be a site of visually guided auditory map plasticity. ICX adaptation could play a role in this cross-modal plasticity by providing a short-term memory of the representation of auditory localization cues that could be compared with later-arriving, visual-spatial information from bimodal stimuli. PMID:16707713

  8. 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. PMID:9254692

  9. 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. PMID:7681456

  10. Forebrain pathway for auditory space processing in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Y E; Miller, G L; Knudsen, E I

    1998-02-01

    The forebrain plays an important role in many aspects of sound localization behavior. Yet, the forebrain pathway that processes auditory spatial information is not known for any species. Using standard anatomic labeling techniques, we used a "top-down" approach to trace the flow of auditory spatial information from an output area of the forebrain sound localization pathway (the auditory archistriatum, AAr), back through the forebrain, and into the auditory midbrain. Previous work has demonstrated that AAr units are specialized for auditory space processing. The results presented here show that the AAr receives afferent input from Field L both directly and indirectly via the caudolateral neostriatum. Afferent input to Field L originates mainly in the auditory thalamus, nucleus ovoidalis, which, in turn, receives input from the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. In addition, we confirmed previously reported projections of the AAr to the basal ganglia, the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX), the deep layers of the optic tectum, and various brain stem nuclei. A series of inactivation experiments demonstrated that the sharp tuning of AAr sites for binaural spatial cues depends on Field L input but not on input from the auditory space map in the midbrain ICX: pharmacological inactivation of Field L eliminated completely auditory responses in the AAr, whereas bilateral ablation of the midbrain ICX had no appreciable effect on AAr responses. We conclude, therefore, that the forebrain sound localization pathway can process auditory spatial information independently of the midbrain localization pathway. PMID:9463450

  11. Sensitive periods for visual calibration of the auditory space map in the barn owl optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Brainard, M S; Knudsen, E I

    1998-05-15

    Previous studies have identified sensitive periods for the developing barn owl during which visual experience has a powerful influence on the calibration of sound localization behavior. Here we investigated neural correlates of these sensitive periods by assessing developmental changes in the capacity of visual experience to alter the map of auditory space in the optic tectum of the barn owl. We used two manipulations. (1) We equipped owls with prismatic spectacles that optically displaced the visual field by 23 degrees to the left or right, and (2) we restored normal vision to prism-reared owls that had been raised wearing prisms. In agreement with previous behavioral experiments, we found that the capacity of abnormal visual experience to shift the tectal auditory space map was restricted to an early sensitive period. However, this period extended until later in life (approximately 200 d) than described previously in behavioral studies (approximately 70 d). Furthermore, unlike the previous behavioral studies that found that the capacity to recover normal sound localization after restoration of normal vision was lost at approximately 200 d of age, we found that the capacity to recover a normal auditory space map was never lost. Finally, we were able to reconcile the behaviorally and neurophysiologically defined sensitive periods by taking into account differences in the richness of the environment in the two sets of experiments. We repeated the behavioral experiments and found that when owls were housed in a rich environment, the capacity to adjust sound localization away from normal extended to later in life, whereas the capacity to recover to normal was never lost. Conversely, when owls were housed in an impoverished environment, the capacity to recover a normal auditory space map was restricted to a period ending at approximately 200 d of age. The results demonstrate that the timing and even the existence of sensitive periods for plasticity of a neural circuit

  12. Representation of sound localization cues in the auditory thalamus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Proctor, L; Konishi, M

    1997-09-16

    Barn owls can localize a sound source using either the map of auditory space contained in the optic tectum or the auditory forebrain. The auditory thalamus, nucleus ovoidalis (N.Ov), is situated between these two auditory areas, and its inactivation precludes the use of the auditory forebrain for sound localization. We examined the sources of inputs to the N.Ov as well as their patterns of termination within the nucleus. We also examined the response of single neurons within the N.Ov to tonal stimuli and sound localization cues. Afferents to the N.Ov originated with a diffuse population of neurons located bilaterally within the lateral shell, core, and medial shell subdivisions of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. Additional afferent input originated from the ipsilateral ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus. No afferent input was provided to the N.Ov from the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus or the optic tectum. The N.Ov was tonotopically organized with high frequencies represented dorsally and low frequencies ventrally. Although neurons in the N.Ov responded to localization cues, there was no apparent topographic mapping of these cues within the nucleus, in contrast to the tectal pathway. However, nearly all possible types of binaural response to sound localization cues were represented. These findings suggest that in the thalamo-telencephalic auditory pathway, sound localization is subserved by a nontopographic representation of auditory space. PMID:9294226

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:22288481

  15. NMDA and non-NMDA glutamate receptors in auditory transmission in the barn owl inferior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Feldman, D E; Knudsen, E I

    1994-10-01

    The pharmacology of auditory responses in the inferior colliculus (IC) of the barn owl was investigated by iontophoresis of excitatory amino acid receptor antagonists into two different functional subdivisions of the IC, the external nucleus (ICx) and the lateral shell of the central nucleus (lateral shell), both of which carry out important computations in the processing of auditory spatial information. Combined application of the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (AP5) and the non-NMDA receptor antagonist 6-cyano-5-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) significantly reduced auditory-evoked spikes at all sites in these two subdivisions, and completely eliminated responses at many locations. This suggests that excitatory amino acid receptors mediate the bulk, if not all, of auditory responses in the ICx and lateral shell. NMDA and non-NMDA receptors contributed differently to auditory responses in the two subdivisions. In the ICx, AP5 significantly reduced the number of auditory-evoked spikes at every site tested. On average, AP5 eliminated 55% of auditory-evoked spikes at multiunit sites and 64% at single-unit sites in this structure. In contrast, in the lateral shell, AP5 significantly reduced responses at less than half the sites tested, and, on average, AP5 eliminated only 19% of spikes at multiunit sites and 25% at single-unit sites. When the magnitude of response blockade produced by AP5 at individual multiunit sites was normalized to adjust for site-to-site differences in the efficacy of iontophoresed AP5 and CNQX, AP5 blockade was still significantly greater in the ICx than the lateral shell. CNQX application strongly reduced responses in both subdivisions. These data suggest that NMDA receptor currents make a major contribution to auditory responses in the ICx, while they make only a small contribution to auditory responses in the lateral shell. Non-NMDA receptor currents, on the other hand, contribute to auditory responses in both

  16. Emergence of multiplicative auditory responses in the midbrain of the barn owl.

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

    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 recording 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

  17. 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. PMID:25315358

  18. 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.

  19. Learning drives differential clustering of axodendritic contacts in the barn owl auditory system.

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

    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, alpha 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

  20. Auditory and visual space maps in the cholinergic nucleus isthmi pars parvocellularis of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Maczko, Kristin A; Knudsen, Phyllis F; Knudsen, Eric I

    2006-12-01

    The nucleus isthmi pars parvocellularis (Ipc) is a midbrain cholinergic nucleus that shares reciprocal, topographic connections with the optic tectum (OT). Ipc neurons project to spatially restricted columns in the OT, contacting essentially all OT layers in a given column. Previous research characterizes the Ipc as a visual processor. We found that, in the barn owl, the Ipc responds to auditory as well as to visual stimuli. Auditory responses were tuned broadly for frequency, but sharply for spatial cues. We measured the tuning of Ipc units to binaural sound localization cues, including interaural timing differences (ITDs) and interaural level differences (ILDs). Units in the Ipc were tuned to specific values of both ITD and ILD and were organized systematically according to their ITD and ILD tuning, forming a map of space. The auditory space map aligned with the visual space map in the Ipc. These results demonstrate that the Ipc encodes the spatial location of objects, independent of stimulus modality. These findings, combined with the precise pattern of projections from the Ipc to the OT, suggest that the role of the Ipc is to regulate the sensitivity of OT neurons in a space-specific manner. PMID:17151283

  1. 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

  2. Distribution of GABAergic neurons and terminals in the auditory system of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Carr, C E; Fujita, I; Konishi, M

    1989-08-01

    Antisera to GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) and GABA were used to determine the distribution of GABAergic cells and terminals in the brainstem and midbrain auditory nuclei of the barn owl. The owl processes time and intensity components of the auditory signal in separate pathways, and each pathway has a distinctive pattern of GAD- and GABA-like immunoreactivity. In the time pathway, all the cells of the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis and nucleus laminaris receive perisomatic GABAergic terminals, and small numbers of GABAergic neurons surround both nuclei. The ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (anterior division) contains both immunoreactive terminals and some GABAergic neurons. In the intensity pathway, dense immunoreactive terminals are distributed throughout the cochlear nucleus angularis, which also contains a small number of GABAergic neurons. The superior olive contains two GABAergic cell types and immunoreactive terminals distributed throughout the neuropil. All the neurons of the nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (ventral part) appear to be GABAergic, and this nucleus also contains a moderate number of immunoreactive terminals. Immunoreactive terminals are distributed throughout the neuropil of the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (posterior division), whereas multipolar and small fusiform GABAergic neurons predominate in the dorsal regions of the nucleus. The time and intensity pathways combine in the inferior colliculus. The central nucleus of the inferior colliculus contains a larger number of fusiform and stellate GABAergic neurons and a dense plexus of immunoreactive terminals, whereas the external nucleus contains slightly fewer immunoreactive cells and terminals. The superficial nucleus contains dense, fine immunoreactive terminals and a small number of GABAergic neurons. PMID:2794115

  3. The adaptation of visual and auditory integration in the barn owl superior colliculus with Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Huo, Juan; Murray, Alan

    2009-09-01

    To localize a seen object, the superior colliculus of the barn owl integrates the visual and auditory localization cues which are accessed from the sensory system of the brain. These cues are formed as visual and auditory maps. The alignment between visual and auditory maps is very important for accurate localization in prey behavior. Blindness or prism wearing may interfere this alignment. The juvenile barn owl could adapt its auditory map to this mismatch after several weeks training. Here we investigate this process by building a computational model of auditory and visual integration in deep Superior Colliculus (SC). The adaptation of the map alignment is based on activity dependent axon developing in Inferior Colliculus (IC). This axon growing process is instructed by an inhibitory network in SC while the strength of the inhibition is adjusted by Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP). The simulation results of this model are in line with the biological experiment and support the idea that STDP is involved in the alignment of sensory maps. This model also provides a new spiking neuron based mechanism capable of eliminating the disparity in visual and auditory map integration. PMID:19084371

  4. 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.

  5. Top-down gain control of the auditory space map by gaze control circuitry in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Winkowski, Daniel E; Knudsen, Eric I

    2006-01-19

    High-level circuits in the brain that control the direction of gaze are intimately linked with the control of visual spatial attention. Immediately before an animal directs its gaze towards a stimulus, both psychophysical sensitivity to that visual stimulus and the responsiveness of high-order neurons in the cerebral cortex that represent the stimulus increase dramatically. Equivalent effects on behavioural sensitivity and neuronal responsiveness to visual stimuli result from focal electrical microstimulation of gaze control centres in monkeys. Whether the gaze control system modulates neuronal responsiveness in sensory modalities other than vision is unknown. Here we show that electrical microstimulation applied to gaze control circuitry in the forebrain of barn owls regulates the gain of midbrain auditory responses in an attention-like manner. When the forebrain circuit was activated, midbrain responses to auditory stimuli at the location encoded by the forebrain site were enhanced and spatial selectivity was sharpened. The same stimulation suppressed responses to auditory stimuli represented at other locations in the midbrain map. Such space-specific, top-down regulation of auditory responses by gaze control circuitry in the barn owl suggests that the central nervous system uses a common strategy for dynamically regulating sensory gain that applies across modalities, brain areas and classes of vertebrate species. This approach provides a path for discovering mechanisms that underlie top-down gain control in the central nervous system. PMID:16421572

  6. Early auditory experience induces frequency-specific, adaptive plasticity in the forebrain gaze fields of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Miller, G L; Knudsen, E I

    2001-05-01

    Binaural acoustic cues such as interaural time and level differences (ITDs and ILDs) are used by many species to determine the locations of sound sources. The relationship between cue values and locations in space is frequency dependent and varies from individual to individual. In the current study, we tested the capacity of neurons in the forebrain localization pathway of the barn owl to adjust their tuning for binaural cues in a frequency-dependent manner in response to auditory experience. Auditory experience was altered by raising young owls with a passive acoustic filtering device that caused frequency-dependent changes in ITD and ILD. Extracellular recordings were made in normal and device-reared owls to characterize frequency-specific ITD and ILD tuning in the auditory archistriatum (AAr), an output structure of the forebrain localization pathway. In device-reared owls, individual sites in the AAr exhibited highly abnormal, frequency-dependent variations in ITD tuning, and across the population of sampled sites, there were frequency-dependent shifts in the representation of ITD. These changes were in a direction that compensated for the acoustic effects of the device on ITD and therefore tended to restore a normal representation of auditory space. Although ILD tuning was degraded relative to normal at many sites in the AAr of device-reared owls, the representation of frequency-specific ILDs across the population of sampled sites was shifted in the adaptive direction. These results demonstrate that early auditory experience shapes the representation of binaural cues in the forebrain localization pathway in an adaptive, frequency-dependent manner. PMID:11353033

  7. Registration of neural maps through value-dependent learning: modeling the alignment of auditory and visual maps in the barn owl's optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Rucci, M; Tononi, G; Edelman, G M

    1997-01-01

    In the optic tectum (OT) of the barn owl, visual and auditory maps of space are found in close alignment with each other. Experiments in which such alignment has been disrupted have shown a considerable degree of plasticity in the auditory map. The external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICx), an auditory center that projects massively to the tectum, is the main site of plasticity; however, it is unclear by what mechanisms the alignment between the auditory map in the ICx and the visual map in the tectum is established and maintained. In this paper, we propose that such map alignment occurs through a process of value-dependent learning. According to this paradigm, value systems, identifiable with neuromodulatory systems having diffuse projections, respond to innate or acquired salient cues and modulate changes in synaptic efficacy in many brain regions. To test the self-consistency of this proposal, we have developed a computer model of the principal neural structures involved in the process of auditory localization in the barn owl. This is complemented by simulations of aspects of the barn owl phenotype and of the experimental environment. In the model, a value system is activated whenever the owl carries out a foveation toward an auditory stimulus. A term representing the diffuse release of a neuromodulator interacts with local pre- and postsynaptic events to determine synaptic changes in the ICx. Through large-scale simulations, we have replicated a number of experimental observations on the development of spatial alignment between the auditory and visual maps during normal visual experience, after the retinal image is shifted through prismatic goggles, and after the reestablishment of normal visual input. The results suggest that value-dependent learning is sufficient to account for the registration of auditory and visual maps of space in the OT of the barn owl, and they lead to a number of experimental predictions. PMID:8987759

  8. Adaptive visual and auditory map alignment in barn owl superior colliculus and its neuromorphic implementation.

    PubMed

    Huo, Juan; Murray, Alan; Wei, Dongqing

    2012-09-01

    Adaptation is one of the most important phenomena in biology. A young barn owl can adapt to imposed environmental changes, such as artificial visual distortion caused by wearing a prism. This adjustment process has been modeled mathematically and the model replicates the sensory map realignment of barn owl superior colliculus (SC) through axonogenesis and synaptogenesis. This allows the biological mechanism to be transferred to an artificial computing system and thereby imbue it with a new form of adaptability to the environment. The model is demonstrated in a real-time robot environment. Results of the experiments are compared with and without prism distortion of vision, and show improved adaptability for the robot. However, the computation speed of the embedded system in the robot is slow. A digital and analog mixed signal very-large-scale integration (VLSI) circuit has been fabricated to implement adaptive sensory pathway changes derived from the SC model at higher speed. VLSI experimental results are consistent with simulation results. PMID:24807931

  9. Bilateral inhibition generates neuronal responses tuned to interaural level differences in the auditory brainstem of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Adolphs, R

    1993-09-01

    I investigated the neural algorithms by which neurons gain selectivity for interaural level difference in the brainstem of the barn owl (Tyto alba). Differences in the timing and in the level of sounds at the ears are used by this owl to encode, respectively, azimuthal and vertical position of sound sources in space. These two cues are processed in two parallel neural pathways. Below the level of the inferior colliculus, all neurons in the pathway that processes level differences show responses to this cue that are monotonic, and thus not selective for a particular level difference. Only in the inferior colliculus, which contains a map of auditory space, are neurons sharply tuned to specific interaural level differences. How are these response properties generated from those of the nuclei that provide input to the inferior colliculus? I show that the posterior subdivision of the nucleus ventralis lemnisci lateralis (VLVp) projects bilaterally to the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus, the input stage to the map of auditory space. Both these nuclei are part of the pathway that processes interaural level differences. Manipulations of the responses in VLVp affected the responses to level differences in the inferior colliculus; responses to time differences were unaffected. By systematically increasing or decreasing neural activity in VLVp, I show that the VLVp on each side provides inhibition to the colliculus at large level differences. This results in a peaked response that is tuned to level differences in the inferior colliculus. Some cells in the lateral shell of the inferior colliculus appear to receive direct GABAergic inhibition from VLVp. I suggest that this circuitry and the algorithms it supports are the neural substrates that allow the barn owl to exploit level differences for computation of sound source elevation. PMID:7690063

  10. Functional delay of myelination of auditory delay lines in the nucleus laminaris of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shih-Min; Carr, Catherine E

    2007-12-01

    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.

  11. Topographic projection from the optic tectum to the auditory space map in the inferior colliculus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Hyde, P S; Knudsen, E I

    2000-05-29

    In the barn owl (Tyto alba), the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) contains a map of auditory space that is calibrated by visual experience. The source of the visually based instructive signal to the ICX is unknown. Injections of biotinylated dextran amine and Fluoro-Gold in the ICX retrogradely labelled neurons in layers 8-15 of the ipsilateral optic tectum (OT) that could carry this instructive signal. This projection was point-to-point and in register with the feed-forward, auditory projection from the ICX to the OT. Most labelled neurons were in layers 10-11, and most were bipolar. Tripolar, multipolar, and unipolar neurons were also observed. Multipolar neurons had dendrites that were oriented parallel to the tectal laminae. In contrast, most labelled bipolar and tripolar neurons had dendrites oriented perpendicular to the tectal laminae, extending superficially into the retino-recipient laminae and deep into the auditory recipient laminae. Therefore, these neurons were positioned to receive both visual and auditory information from particular locations in space. Biocytin injected into the superficial layers of the OT labelled bouton-laden axons in the ICX. These axons were generally finer than, but had similar bouton densities as, feed-forward auditory fibers in the ICX, labelled by injections of biocytin into the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC). These data demonstrate a point-to-point projection from the OT to the ICX that could provide a spatial template for calibrating the auditory space map in the ICX. PMID:10813778

  12. 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. PMID:7623142

  13. Transcriptome changes associated with instructed learning in the barn owl auditory localization pathway.

    PubMed

    Swofford, Janet A; DeBello, William M

    2007-09-15

    Owls reared wearing prismatic spectacles learn to make adaptive orienting movements. This instructed learning depends on re-calibration of the midbrain auditory space map, which in turn involves the formation of new synapses. Here we investigated whether these processes are associated with differential gene expression, using longSAGE. Newly fledged owls were reared for 8-36 days with prism or control lenses at which time the extent of learning was quantified by electrophysiological mapping. Transciptome profiles were obtained from the inferior colliculus (IC), the major site of synaptic plasticity, and the optic tectum (OT), which provides an instructive signal that controls the direction and extent of plasticity. Twenty-two differentially expressed sequence tags were identified in IC and 36 in OT, out of more than 35,000 unique tags. Of these, only four were regulated in both structures. These results indicate that regulation of two largely independent gene clusters is associated with synaptic remodeling (in IC) and generation of the instructive signal (in OT). Real-time PCR data confirmed the changes for two transcripts, ubiquitin/polyubiquitin and tyrosine 3-monooxgenase/tryotophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein, theta subunit (YWHAQ; also referred to as 14-3-3 protein). Ubiquitin was downregulated in IC, consistent with a model in which protein degradation pathways act as an inhibitory constraint on synaptogenesis. YWHAQ was up-regulated in OT, indicating a role in the synthesis or delivery of instructive information. In total, our results provide a path towards unraveling molecular cascades that link naturalistic experience with synaptic remodeling and, ultimately, with the expression of learned behavior. PMID:17526003

  14. Pharmacological specialization of learned auditory responses in the inferior colliculus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Feldman, D E; Knudsen, E I

    1998-04-15

    Neural tuning for interaural time difference (ITD) in the optic tectum of the owl is calibrated by experience-dependent plasticity occurring in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX). When juvenile owls are subjected to a sustained lateral displacement of the visual field by wearing prismatic spectacles, the ITD tuning of ICX neurons becomes systematically altered; ICX neurons acquire novel auditory responses, termed "learned responses," to ITD values outside their normal, pre-existing tuning range. In this study, we compared the glutamatergic pharmacology of learned responses with that of normal responses expressed by the same ICX neurons. Measurements were made in the ICX using iontophoretic application of glutamate receptor antagonists. We found that in early stages of ITD tuning adjustment, soon after learned responses had been induced by experience-dependent processes, the NMDA receptor antagonist D, L-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP-5) preferentially blocked the expression of learned responses of many ICX neurons compared with that of normal responses of the same neurons. In contrast, the non-NMDA receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) blocked learned and normal responses equally. After long periods of prism experience, preferential blockade of learned responses by AP-5 was no longer observed. These results indicate that NMDA receptors play a preferential role in the expression of learned responses soon after these responses have been induced by experience-dependent processes, whereas later in development or with additional prism experience (we cannot distinguish which), the differential NMDA receptor-mediated component of these responses disappears. This pharmacological progression resembles the changes that occur during maturation of glutamatergic synaptic currents during early development. PMID:9526024

  15. Experience-dependent plasticity in the inferior colliculus: a site for visual calibration of the neural representation of auditory space in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Brainard, M S; Knudsen, E I

    1993-11-01

    The optic tectum (homolog of the superior colliculus) contains mutually aligned neural maps of auditory and visual space. During development, the organization of the auditory map is guided by spatial information provided by vision: barn owls raised wearing prismatic spectacles, which optically shift the visual field and the visual map in the optic tectum, develop an auditory map that is shifted by an approximately equivalent amount, such that alignment between the two maps is preserved (Knudsen and Brainard, 1991). In this study we investigated whether this shift in the auditory map is intrinsic to the optic tectum or whether it reflects plasticity at an earlier stage in the auditory pathway. Owls were raised wearing prismatic spectacles that displaced the visual field by 23 degrees to the left or right. This manipulation alters the normal correspondence between locations in the visual field and interaural time difference (ITD), the primary cue for the azimuth of a sound source. In normal owls and in owls with at least 150 d of prism experience, extracellular unit recordings were used to assess the representations of ITD at anatomically and physiologically defined sites in the optic tectum and in the two prior stages of the auditory pathway, the external and central nuclei of the inferior colliculus (ICx and ICc). In the optic tectum of normal owls, the values of ITD to which units responded most strongly (best ITDs) varied systematically with the azimuths of unit visual receptive fields (VRFs). In the prism-reared owls, best ITDs were shifted from normal toward the values of ITD produced by sounds at the locations of the units' optically displaced VRFs. In the ICx of prism-reared owls, the representation of ITD also was shifted from normal, by an amount and in a direction that could completely account for the shift in ITD measured in the optic tectum. At some sites in the ICx, the shift in ITD tuning was apparent within the first 7-8 msec of the response; shifted

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Early visual experience shapes the representation of auditory space in the forebrain gaze fields of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Miller, G L; Knudsen, E I

    1999-03-15

    Auditory spatial information is processed in parallel forebrain and midbrain pathways. Sensory experience early in life has been shown to exert a powerful influence on the representation of auditory space in the midbrain space-processing pathway. The goal of this study was to determine whether early experience also shapes the representation of auditory space in the forebrain. Owls were raised wearing prismatic spectacles that shifted the visual field in the horizontal plane. This manipulation altered the relationship between interaural time differences (ITDs), the principal cue used for azimuthal localization, and locations of auditory stimuli in the visual field. Extracellular recordings were used to characterize ITD tuning in the auditory archistriatum (AAr), a subdivision of the forebrain gaze fields, in normal and prism-reared owls. Prism rearing altered the representation of ITD in the AAr. In prism-reared owls, unit tuning for ITD was shifted in the adaptive direction, according to the direction of the optical displacement imposed by the spectacles. Changes in ITD tuning involved the acquisition of unit responses to adaptive ITD values and, to a lesser extent, the elimination of responses to nonadaptive (previously normal) ITD values. Shifts in ITD tuning in the AAr were similar to shifts in ITD tuning observed in the optic tectum of the same owls. This experience-based adjustment of binaural tuning in the AAr helps to maintain mutual registry between the forebrain and midbrain representations of auditory space and may help to ensure consistent behavioral responses to auditory stimuli. PMID:10066282

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

    PubMed

    Fux, Michal; Eilam, David

    2009-09-01

    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. PMID:19577583

  1. How the owl resolves auditory coding ambiguity.

    PubMed

    Mazer, J A

    1998-09-01

    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

  2. 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. PMID:23615168

  3. 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.

  4. Axodendritic contacts onto calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II-expressing neurons in the barn owl auditory space map.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Contreras, Adrian; Liu, Xiao-Bo; DeBello, William M

    2005-06-01

    In the owl midbrain, a map of auditory space is synthesized in the inferior colliculus (IC) and conveyed to the optic tectum (OT). Ascending auditory information courses through these structures via topographic axonal projections. Little is known about the molecular composition of projection neurons or their postsynaptic targets. To visualize axodendritic contacts between identified cell types, we used double-label immunohistochemistry, in vivo retrograde tracing, in vitro anterograde tracing, high-resolution confocal microscopy, three-dimensional reconstruction and fly-through visualization. We discovered a major class of IC neurons that strongly expressed calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II, alpha subunit (CaMKII). The distribution of these cells within the IC was mostly restricted to the external nucleus of the IC (ICX), in which the auditory space map is assembled. A large proportion of ICX-OT projection neurons were CaMKII positive. In addition to being the principal outputs, CaMKII cells were in direct contact with axonal boutons emanating from the main source of input to ICX, the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICCls). Numerous sites of putative synaptic contact were found on the somata, proximal dendrites, and distal dendrites. Double-label immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the existence of synapses between ICCls axons and the dendrites of CaMKII cells. Collectively, our data indicate that CaMKII ICX neurons are a cellular locus for the computation of auditory space-specific responses. Because the ICCls-ICX projection is physically altered during experience-dependent plasticity, these results lay the groundwork for probing microanatomical rearrangements that may underlie plasticity and learning. PMID:15944389

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Visual modulation of auditory responses in the owl inferior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Bergan, Joseph F; Knudsen, Eric I

    2009-06-01

    The barn owl's central auditory system creates a map of auditory space in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX). Although the crucial role visual experience plays in the formation and maintenance of this auditory space map is well established, the mechanism by which vision influences ICX responses remains unclear. Surprisingly, previous experiments have found that in the absence of extensive pharmacological manipulation, visual stimuli do not drive neural responses in the ICX. Here we investigated the influence of dynamic visual stimuli on auditory responses in the ICX. We show that a salient visual stimulus, when coincident with an auditory stimulus, can modulate auditory responses in the ICX even though the same visual stimulus may elicit no neural responses when presented alone. For each ICX neuron, the most effective auditory and visual stimuli were located in the same region of space. In addition, the magnitude of the visual modulation of auditory responses was dependent on the context of the stimulus presentation with novel visual stimuli eliciting consistently larger response modulations than frequently presented visual stimuli. Thus the visual modulation of ICX responses is dependent on the characteristics of the visual stimulus as well as on the spatial and temporal correspondence of the auditory and visual stimuli. These results demonstrate moment-to-moment visual enhancements of auditory responsiveness that, in the short-term, increase auditory responses to salient bimodal stimuli and in the long-term could serve to instruct the adaptive auditory plasticity necessary to maintain accurate auditory orienting behavior. PMID:19321633

  8. 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. PMID:18509071

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Multiple sites of adaptive plasticity in the owl's auditory localization pathway.

    PubMed

    DeBello, William M; Knudsen, Eric I

    2004-08-01

    In the midbrain auditory localization pathway of the barn owl, a map of auditory space is relayed from the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) to the deep and intermediate layers of the optic tectum (OT) and from these layers to the superficial layers. Within the OT, the auditory space map aligns with a visual map of space. Raising young barn owls with a prismatic displacement of the visual field leads to progressive changes in auditory tuning in the OT that tend to realign the auditory space map with the prismatically displaced visual space map. The only known site of this adaptive plasticity is in the ICX, in which the auditory system first creates a map of space. In this study, we identified an additional site of plasticity in the OT. In owls that experienced prisms beginning late in the juvenile period, adaptive shifts in auditory tuning in the superficial layers of the OT exceeded the adaptive shifts that occurred in the deep layers of the OT or in the ICX. Anatomical results from these owls demonstrated that the topography of intrinsic OT connections was systematically altered in the adaptive direction. In juvenile owls, plasticity in the OT increased as plasticity in the ICX decreased. Because plasticity at both sites has been shown to decline substantially in adults, these results suggest that an age-dependent decrease in auditory map plasticity occurs first in the ICX and later at the higher level, in the OT. PMID:15295019

  13. Fluoride in the prey of barn owls (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Thomson, A G

    1987-01-01

    Bone fluoride in short-tailed voles (Microtus agrestis) and common shrews (Sorex araneus), the prey of barn owls (Tyto alba), was studied on Anglesey, North Wales. The average fluoride content of M. agrestis skulls obtained from a location 0.9 km from an aluminium reduction plant was significantly greater than that of skulls from another location 22 km from the source of industrial fluoride pollution. At both locations, mean fluoride levels of skulls extracted from owl pellets and those of voles trapped mechanically were broadly similar but important differences existed. Near the aluminium reduction plant, owls caught voles and shrews with a much wider range of fluoride levels than occurred at a single trapping site. However, there was no evidence for selection of heavily fluoridated prey. Within 1 km of the aluminium reduction plant, six trapping sites yielded S. araneus with a fourfold difference between the highest and lowest mean bone fluoride level. PMID:15092770

  14. Parallel pathways mediating both sound localization and gaze control in the forebrain and midbrain of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Knudsen, P F; Masino, T

    1993-07-01

    The hypothesis that sound localization and gaze control are mediated in parallel in the midbrain and forebrain was tested in the barn owl. The midbrain pathway for gaze control was interrupted by reversible inactivation (muscimol injection) or lesion of the optic tectum. Auditory input to the forebrain was disrupted by reversible inactivation or lesion of the primary thalamic auditory nucleus, nucleus ovoidalis (homolog of the medial geniculate nucleus). Barn owls were trained to orient their gaze toward auditory or visual stimuli presented from random locations in a darkened sound chamber. Auditory and visual test stimuli were brief so that the stimulus was over before the orienting response was completed. The accuracy and kinetics of the orienting responses were measured with a search coil attached to the head. Unilateral inactivation of the optic tectum had immediate and long-lasting effects on auditory orienting behavior. The owls failed to respond on a high percentage of trials when the auditory test stimulus was located on the side contralateral to the inactivated tectum. When they did respond, the response was usually (but not always) short of the target, and the latency of the response was abnormally long. When the auditory stimulus was located on the side ipsilateral to the inactivated tectum, responses were reliable and accurate, and the latency of responses was shorter than normal. In a tectally lesioned animal, response probability and latency to contralateral sounds returned to normal within 2 weeks, but the increase in response error (due to undershooting) persisted for at least 12 weeks. Despite abnormalities in the response, all of the owls were capable of localizing and orienting to contralateral auditory stimuli on some trials with the optic tectum inactivated or lesioned. This was not true for contralateral visual stimuli. Immediately following tectal inactivation, the owls exhibited complete neglect for visual stimuli located more than 20

  15. 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. PMID:21921575

  16. 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. PMID:16424454

  17. 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. PMID:22510644

  18. Preservation of spectrotemporal tuning between the nucleus laminaris and the inferior colliculus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Christianson, G Björn; Peña, José Luis

    2007-05-01

    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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

    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

  1. 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. PMID:3668618

  2. 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. PMID:10561399

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26709518

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Neural maps of head movement vector and speed in the optic tectum of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    du Lac, S; Knudsen, E I

    1990-01-01

    1. This study investigates the contribution of the optic tectum in encoding the metric and kinetic properties of saccadic head movements. We describe the dependence of head movement components (size, direction, and speed) on parameters of focal electrical stimulation of the barn owl's optic tectum. The results demonstrate that both the site and the amount of activity can influence head saccade metrics and kinetics. 2. Electrical stimulation of the owl's optic tectum elicited rapid head movements that closely resembled natural head movements made in response to auditory and visual stimuli. The kinetics of these movements were similar to those of saccadic eye movements in primates. 3. The metrics and kinetics of head movements evoked from any given site depended strongly on stimulus parameters. Movement duration increased with stimulus duration, as did movement size. Both the size and the maximum speed of the movement increased to a plateau value with current strength and pulse rate. Movement direction was independent of stimulus parameters. 4. The initial position of the head influenced the size, direction, and speed of movements evoked from any given site: when the owl initially faced away from the direction of the induced saccade, the movement was larger and faster than when the owl initially faced toward the direction of the induced movement. 5. A characteristic movement of particular size, direction, and speed could be defined for each site by the use of stimulation parameters that elicited plateau movements with normal kinetic profiles and by having the head initially centered on the body. The size, direction, and speed of these characteristic movements varied systematically with the site of stimulation across the tectum. The map of head movement vector (size and direction) was aligned with the sensory representations of visual and auditory space, such that the movement elicited from a given site when the owl initially faced straight ahead brought the owl to

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

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T T; Konishi, M

    1988-08-01

    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. PMID:2463287

  12. Effects of binaural decorrelation on neural and behavioral processing of interaural level differences in the barn owl (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Egnor, S E

    2001-10-01

    The effect of binaural decorrelation on the processing of interaural level difference cues in the barn owl (Tyto alba) was examined behaviorally and electrophysiologically. The electrophysiology experiment measured the effect of variations in binaural correlation on the first stage of interaural level difference encoding in the central nervous system. The responses of single neurons in the posterior part of the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus were recorded to stimulation with binaurally correlated and binaurally uncorrelated noise. No significant differences in interaural level difference sensitivity were found between conditions. Neurons in the posterior part of the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus encode the interaural level difference of binaurally correlated and binaurally uncorrelated noise with equal accuracy and precision. This nucleus therefore supplies higher auditory centers with an undegraded interaural level difference signal for sound stimuli that lack a coherent interaural time difference. The behavioral experiment measured auditory saccades in response to interaural level differences presented in binaurally correlated and binaurally uncorrelated noise. The precision and accuracy of sound localization based on interaural level difference was reduced but not eliminated for binaurally uncorrelated signals. The observation that barn owls continue to vary auditory saccades with the interaural level difference of binaurally uncorrelated stimuli suggests that neurons that drive head saccades can be activated by incomplete auditory spatial information. PMID:11763957

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26657360

  15. Representation of binaural spatial cues in field L of the barn owl forebrain.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Y E; Knudsen, E I

    1998-02-01

    This study examined the representation of spatial information in the barn owl Field L, the first telencephalic processing stage of the classical auditory pathway. Field L units were recorded extracellularly, and their responses to dichotically presented interaural time differences (ITD) and interaural level differences (ILD) were tested. We observed a variety of tuning profiles in Field L. Some sites were not sensitive to ITD or ILD. Other sites, especially those in the high-frequency region, were highly selective for values of ITD and ILD. These sites had multipeaked (commonly called "phase ambiguous") ITD tuning profiles and were tuned for a single value of ILD. The tuning properties of these sites are similar to those seen in the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. Although the tuning properties of Field L sites were similar to those observed in the inferior colliculus, the functional organization of this spatial information was fundamentally different. Whereas in the inferior colliculus spatial information is organized into global topographics maps, in Field L spatial information is organized into local clusters, with sites having similar binaural tuning properties grouped together. The representation of binaural cues in Field L suggests that it is involved in auditory space processing but at a lower level of information processing than the auditory archistriatum, a forebrain area that is specialized for processing spatial information, and that the levels of information processing in the forebrain space processing pathway are remarkably similar to those in the well-known midbrain space processing pathway. PMID:9463449

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:26182962

  18. 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.

  19. Demographic effects of extreme winter weather in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Altwegg, Res; Roulin, Alexandre; Kestenholz, Matthias; Jenni, Lukas

    2006-08-01

    Extreme weather events can lead to immediate catastrophic mortality. Due to their rare occurrence, however, the long-term impacts of such events for ecological processes are unclear. We examined the effect of extreme winters on barn owl (Tyto alba) survival and reproduction in Switzerland over a 68-year period (approximately 20 generations). This long-term data set allowed us to compare events that occurred only once in several decades to more frequent events. Winter harshness explained 17 and 49% of the variance in juvenile and adult survival, respectively, and the two harshest winters were associated with major population crashes caused by simultaneous low juvenile and adult survival. These two winters increased the correlation between juvenile and adult survival from 0.63 to 0.69. Overall, survival decreased non-linearly with increasing winter harshness in adults, and linearly in juveniles. In contrast, brood size was not related to the harshness of the preceding winter. Our results thus reveal complex interactions between climate and demography. The relationship between weather and survival observed during regular years is likely to underestimate the importance of climate variation for population dynamics. PMID:16645855

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:25056556

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:23175801

  6. 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. PMID:10498765

  7. Computational Diversity in the Cochlear Nucleus Angularis of the Barn Owl

    PubMed Central

    Köppl, Christine; Carr, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    The cochlear nucleus angularis (NA) is widely assumed to form the starting point of a brain stem pathway for processing sound intensity in birds. Details of its function are unclear, however, and its evolutionary origin and relationship to the mammalian cochlear-nucleus complex are obscure. We have carried out extracellular single-unit recordings in the NA of ketamine-anesthetized barn owls. The aim was to re-evaluate the extent of heterogeneity in NA physiology because recent studies of cellular morphology had established several distinct types. Extensive characterization, using tuning curves, phase locking, peristimulus time histograms and rate-level functions for pure tones and noise, revealed five major response types. The most common one was a primary-like pattern that was distinguished from auditory-nerve fibers by showing lower vector strengths of phase locking and/or lower spontaneous rates. Two types of chopper responses were found (chopper-transient and a rare chopper-sustained), as well as onset units. Finally, we routinely encountered a complex response type with a pronounced inhibitory component, similar to the mammalian typeIV. Evidence is presented that this range of response types is representative for birds and that earlier conflicting reports may be due to methodological differences. All five response types defined were similar to well-known types in the mammalian cochlear nucleus. This suggests convergent evolution of neurons specialized for encoding different behaviorally relevant features of the auditory stimulus. It remains to be investigated whether the different response types correlate with morphological types and whether they establish different processing streams in the auditory brain stem of birds. PMID:12612008

  8. Distribution within the barn owl's inferior colliculus of neurons projecting to the optic tectum and thalamus.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Ben J

    2005-11-01

    Behavioral studies in barn owls indicate that both the optic tectum (OT) and the auditory arcopallium (AAr) mediate sound localization through the presence of neurons that respond only when sound comes from a circumscribed direction in space. The early stages of the computations leading to these so-called space-specific neurons are shared in a common brainstem pathway, which then splits at the level of the inferior colliculus (IC) such that the last computational stage is thought to be duplicated. The study presented here addresses whether the space-specific neurons in OT and AAr are indeed partially independent of each other by using anatomical methods more precise than those used in previous studies. Specifically, projection neurons in IC were retrogradely labelled with injections of fluorescein- and rhodamine-conjugated dextran amines into OT and nucleus ovoidalis (OV), the thalamic nucleus leading to AAr. By labelling the OT-projecting and OV-projecting neurons in the same owl, it was confirmed that neurons in IC project to either OV or OT but not both. However, although a segregation was generally observed between the medially positioned OV-projecting neurons and the laterally positioned OT-projecting neurons, there was also a slight overlap between the two populations. Moreover, electrolytic lesions demarcating physiological tuning properties indicate that many OV-projecting neurons are within the area containing space-specific neurons. These results highlight the need for more detailed studies elucidating the microcircuitry and corresponding physiology of IC, such as have been done in the cortices of the mammalian cerebellum and cerebrum. PMID:16175562

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Suárez, William; Olson, Storrs L

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26624114

  11. 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)

  12. Dynamic shifts in the owl's auditory space map predict moving sound location.

    PubMed

    Witten, Ilana B; Bergan, Joseph F; Knudsen, Eric I

    2006-11-01

    The optic tectum of the barn owl contains a map of auditory space. We found that, in response to moving sounds, the locations of receptive fields that make up the map shifted toward the approaching sound. The magnitude of the receptive field shifts increased systematically with increasing stimulus velocity and, therefore, was appropriate to compensate for sensory and motor delays inherent to auditory orienting behavior. Thus, the auditory space map is not static, but shifts adaptively and dynamically in response to stimulus motion. We provide a computational model to account for these results. Because the model derives predictive responses from processes that are known to occur commonly in neural networks, we hypothesize that analogous predictive responses will be found to exist widely in the central nervous system. This hypothesis is consistent with perceptions of stimulus motion in humans for many sensory parameters. PMID:17013379

  13. Through a barn owl's eyes: interactions between scene content and visual attention.

    PubMed

    Ohayon, Shay; Harmening, Wolf; Wagner, Hermann; Rivlin, Ehud

    2008-02-01

    In this study we investigated visual attention properties of freely behaving barn owls, using a miniature wireless camera attached to their heads. The tubular eye structure of barn owls makes them ideal subjects for this research since it limits their eye movements. Video sequences recorded from the owl's point of view capture part of the visual scene as seen by the owl. Automated analysis of video sequences revealed that during an active search task, owls repeatedly and consistently direct their gaze in a way that brings objects of interest to a specific retinal location (retinal fixation area). Using a projective model that captures the geometry between the eye and the camera, we recovered the corresponding location in the recorded images (image fixation area). Recording in various types of environments (aviary, office, outdoors) revealed significant statistical differences of low level image properties at the image fixation area compared to values extracted at random image patches. These differences are in agreement with results obtained in primates in similar studies. To investigate the role of saliency and its contribution to drawing the owl's attention, we used a popular bottom-up computational model. Saliency values at the image fixation area were typically greater than at random patches, yet were only 20% out of the maximal saliency value, suggesting a top-down modulation of gaze control. PMID:18066583

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26552377

  16. Biophysical basis 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

    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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25531067

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Stretched and upside-down maps of auditory space in the optic tectum of blind-reared owls; acoustic basis and behavioral correlates.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Esterly, S D; du Lac, S

    1991-06-01

    Vision during early life plays an important role in calibrating sound localization behavior. This study investigates the effects of visual deprivation on sound localization and on the neural representation of auditory space. Nine barn owls were raised with eyelids sutured closed; one owl was congenitally anophthalmic. Data from these birds were compared with data from owls raised with normal visual experience. Sound localization behavior was significantly less precise in blind-reared owls than in normal owls. The scatter of localization errors was particularly large in elevation, though it was abnormally large in both dimensions. However, there was no systematic bias to the localization errors measured over a range of source locations. This indicates that the representation of auditory space is degraded in some way for blind-reared owls, but on average is properly calibrated. The spatial tuning of auditory neurons in the optic tectum was studied in seven of the blind-reared owls to assess the effects of early visual deprivation on the neural representation of auditory space. In normal owls, units in the optic tectum are sharply tuned for sound source location and are organized systematically according to the locations of their receptive fields to form a map of auditory space. In blind-reared owls, the following auditory properties were abnormal: (1) auditory tuning for source elevation was abnormally broad, (2) the progression of the azimuths and elevations of auditory receptive fields across the tectum was erratic, and (3) in five of the seven owls, the auditory representation of elevation was systematically stretched, and in the two others large portions of the representation of elevation were flipped upside down. The following unit properties were apparently unaffected by blind rearing: (1) the sharpness of tuning for sound source azimuth, (2) the orientation of the auditory representation of azimuth, and (3) the mutual alignment of the auditory and visual

  2. 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

  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. PMID:18829948

  4. 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. PMID:26668551

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:17594062

  9. Sensitive and critical periods for visual calibration of sound localization by barn owls.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Knudsen, P F

    1990-01-01

    This study describes developmental changes in the capacity of owls to adjust sound localization in response to chronic prismatic displacement of the visual field and to recover accurate sound localization following the restoration of normal vision. Matched, binocular displacing prisms were mounted over the eyes of 19 barn owls (Tyto alba) beginning at ages ranging from 10 to 272 d. In nearly all cases, the visual field was shifted 23 degrees to the right. Sound localization was assessed on the basis of head orientations to sound sources, measured in a darkened sound chamber with a search coil system. Chronic exposure to a displaced visual field caused the owls to alter sound localization in the direction of the visual field displacement, thereby inducing a sound-localization error. The size of the sound-localization error that resulted depended on the age of the animal when prism experience began. Maximal errors of about 20 degrees were induced only when prism experience began by 21 d of age. As prism experience began at later ages, the magnitude of induced errors decreased. A bird that wore prisms beginning at 102 d of age, altered sound localization by only 6 degrees. An adult owl, when exposed chronically to a displaced visual field, altered sound localization by about 3 degrees. We refer to the early period in life when displaced vision induces exceptionally large sound-localization errors (relative to those induced in the adult) as a sensitive period. The capacity to recover accurate sound localization following restoration of normal vision was tested in 7 owls that had been raised wearing prisms. Four owls that had prisms removed by 182 d of age recovered accurate localization rapidly (over a period of weeks), whereas 3 owls that were older when the prisms were removed did not recover accurate localization when tested for up to 7 months after prism removal. Adjustment of sound localization slowed greatly or ceased at about 200 days of age, referred to here as

  10. 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

  11. Energy metabolism and body temperature of barn owls fasting in the cold.

    PubMed

    Thouzeau, C; Duchamp, C; Handrich, Y

    1999-01-01

    Energetic adaptation to fasting in the cold has been investigated in a nocturnal raptor, the barn owl (Tyto alba), during winter. Metabolic rate and body temperature (Tb) were monitored in captive birds, (1) after acute exposure to different ambient temperatures (Ta), and (2) during a prolonged fast in the cold (4 degrees C), to take into account the three characteristic phases of body fuel utilization that occur during a long-term but reversible fast. In postabsorptive birds, metabolic rate in the thermoneutral zone was 4. 1+/-0.1 W kg-1 and increased linearly below a lower critical temperature of 23 degrees C. Metabolic rate was 70% above basal at +4 degrees C Ta. Wet thermal conductance was 0.22 W kg-1 degrees C-1. During fasting in the cold, the mass-specific resting metabolic rate decreased by 16% during the first day (phase I) and remained constant thereafter. The amplitude of the daily rhythm in Tb was only moderately increased during phase II, with a slight lowering (0. 6 degrees C) in minimal diurnal Tb, but rose markedly in phase III with a larger drop (1.4 degrees C) in minimal diurnal Tb. Refeeding the birds ended phase III and reversed the observed changes. These results indicate that diurnal hypothermia may be used in long-term fasting barn owls and could be triggered by a threshold of body lipid depletion, according to the shift from lipid to protein fuel metabolism occurring at the phase II/phase III transition. The high cost of regulatory thermogenesis and the limited use of hypothermia during fasting may contribute to the high mortality of barn owls during winter. PMID:10068620

  12. Energy metabolism and body temperature of barn owls fasting in the cold.

    PubMed

    Thouzeau, C; Duchamp, C; Handrich, Y

    1999-01-01

    Energetic adaptation to fasting in the cold has been investigated in a nocturnal raptor, the barn owl (Tyto alba), during winter. Metabolic rate and body temperature (Tb) were monitored in captive birds, (1) after acute exposure to different ambient temperatures (Ta), and (2) during a prolonged fast in the cold (4 degrees C), to take into account the three characteristic phases of body fuel utilization that occur during a long-term but reversible fast. In postabsorptive birds, metabolic rate in the thermoneutral zone was 4. 1+/-0.1 W kg-1 and increased linearly below a lower critical temperature of 23 degrees C. Metabolic rate was 70% above basal at +4 degrees C Ta. Wet thermal conductance was 0.22 W kg-1 degrees C-1. During fasting in the cold, the mass-specific resting metabolic rate decreased by 16% during the first day (phase I) and remained constant thereafter. The amplitude of the daily rhythm in Tb was only moderately increased during phase II, with a slight lowering (0. 6 degrees C) in minimal diurnal Tb, but rose markedly in phase III with a larger drop (1.4 degrees C) in minimal diurnal Tb. Refeeding the birds ended phase III and reversed the observed changes. These results indicate that diurnal hypothermia may be used in long-term fasting barn owls and could be triggered by a threshold of body lipid depletion, according to the shift from lipid to protein fuel metabolism occurring at the phase II/phase III transition. The high cost of regulatory thermogenesis and the limited use of hypothermia during fasting may contribute to the high mortality of barn owls during winter.

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:22471670

  15. 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. PMID:24948629

  16. Leap and strike kinetics of an acoustically ‘hunting’ barn owl (Tyto alba)

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24948629

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:23604690

  2. 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. PMID:21507118

  3. 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. PMID:22070193

  4. Noise reduction of coincidence detector output by the inferior colliculus of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Christianson, G Björn; Peña, José Luis

    2006-05-31

    A recurring theme in theoretical work is that integration over populations of similarly tuned neurons can reduce neural noise. However, there are relatively few demonstrations of an explicit noise reduction mechanism in a neural network. Here we demonstrate that the brainstem of the barn owl includes a stage of processing apparently devoted to increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in the encoding of the interaural time difference (ITD), one of two primary binaural cues used to compute the position of a sound source in space. In the barn owl, the ITD is processed in a dedicated neural pathway that terminates at the core of the inferior colliculus (ICcc). The actual locus of the computation of the ITD is before ICcc in the nucleus laminaris (NL), and ICcc receives no inputs carrying information that did not originate in NL. Unlike in NL, the rate-ITD functions of ICcc neurons require as little as a single stimulus presentation per ITD to show coherent ITD tuning. ICcc neurons also displayed a greater dynamic range with a maximal difference in ITD response rates approximately double that seen in NL. These results indicate that ICcc neurons perform a computation functionally analogous to averaging across a population of similarly tuned NL neurons. PMID:16738236

  5. Sensitivity to spectral interaural intensity difference cues in space-specific neurons of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Arthur, B J

    2004-02-01

    Barn owls use interaural intensity differences to localize sounds in the vertical plane. At a given elevation the magnitude of the interaural intensity difference cue varies with frequency, creating an interaural intensity difference spectrum of cues which is characteristic of that direction. To test whether space-specific cells are sensitive to spectral interaural intensity difference cues, pure-tone interaural intensity difference tuning curves were taken at multiple different frequencies for single neurons in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus. For a given neuron, the interaural intensity differences eliciting the maximum response (the best interaural intensity differences) changed with the frequency of the stimulus by an average maximal difference of 9.4+/-6.2 dB. The resulting spectral patterns of these neurally preferred interaural intensity differences exhibited a high degree of similarity to the acoustic interaural intensity difference spectra characteristic of restricted regions in space. Compared to stimuli whose interaural intensity difference spectra matched the preferred spectra, stimuli with inverted spectra elicited a smaller response, showing that space-specific neurons are sensitive to the shape of the spectrum. The underlying mechanism is an inhibition for frequency-specific interaural intensity differences which differ from the preferred spectral pattern. Collectively, these data show that space-specific neurons are sensitive to spectral interaural intensity difference cues and support the idea that behaving barn owls use such cues to precisely localize sounds. PMID:14669025

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Top-down control of multimodal sensitivity in the barn owl optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Winkowski, Daniel E; Knudsen, Eric I

    2007-11-28

    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

  9. 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. PMID:19429208

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:12590755

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:16799797

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26222908

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A circuit for detection of interaural time differences in the brain stem of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Carr, C E; Konishi, M

    1990-10-01

    Detection of interaural time differences underlies azimuthal sound localization in the barn owl Tyto alba. Axons of the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis, and their targets in the binaural nucleus laminaris, form the circuit responsible for encoding these interaural time differences. The nucleus laminaris receives bilateral inputs from the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis such that axons from the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus enter the nucleus laminaris dorsally, while contralateral axons enter from the ventral side. This interdigitating projection to the nucleus laminaris is tonotopic, and the afferents are both sharply tuned and matched in frequency to the neighboring afferents. Recordings of phase-locked spikes in the afferents show an orderly change in the arrival time of the spikes as a function of distance from the point of their entry into the nucleus laminaris. The same range of conduction time (160 mu sec) was found over the 700-mu m depth of the nucleus laminaris for all frequencies examined (4-7.5 kHz) and corresponds to the range of interaural time differences available to the barn owl. The estimated conduction velocity in the axons is low (3-5 m/sec) and may be regulated by short internodal distances (60 mu m) within the nucleus laminaris. Neurons of the nucleus laminaris have large somata and very short dendrites. These cells are frequency selective and phase-lock to both monaural and binaural stimuli. The arrival time of phase-locked spikes in many of these neurons differs between the ipsilateral and contralateral inputs. When this disparity is nullified by imposition of an appropriate interaural time difference, the neurons respond maximally. The number of spikes elicited in response to a favorable interaural time difference is roughly double that elicited by a monaural stimulus. Spike counts for unfavorable interaural time differences fall well below monaural response levels. These findings indicate that the magnocellular afferents work as delay

  3. Orienting head movements resulting from electrical microstimulation of the brainstem tegmentum in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Masino, T; Knudsen, E I

    1993-01-01

    The size and direction of orienting movements are represented systematically as a motor map in the optic tectum of the barn owl (du Lac and Knudsen, 1990). The optic tectum projects to several distinct regions in the medial brainstem tegmentum, which in turn project to the spinal cord (Masino and Knudsen, 1992). This study explores the hypothesis that a fundamental transformation in the neural representation of orienting movements takes place in the brainstem tegmentum. Head movements evoked by electrical microstimulation in the brainstem tegmentum of the alert barn owl were cataloged and the sites of stimulation were reconstructed histologically. Movements elicited from the brainstem tegmentum were categorized into one of six different classes: saccadic head rotations, head translations, facial movements, vocalizations, limb movements, and twitches. Saccadic head rotations could be further subdivided into two general categories: fixed-direction saccades and goal-directed saccades. Fixed-direction saccades, those whose direction was independent of initial head position, were elicited from the midbrain tegmentum. Goal-directed saccades, those whose direction changed with initial head position, were elicited from the central rhombencephalic reticular formation and from the efferent pathway of the cerebellum. Particular attention was paid to sites from which fixed-direction saccadic movements were elicited, as these movements appeared to represent components of orienting movements. Microstimulation in the medial midbrain tegmentum elicited fixed-direction saccades in one of six directions: rightward, leftward, upward, downward, clockwise roll, and counterclockwise roll. Stimulation in and around the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (InC; a complete list of anatomical abbreviations is given in the Appendix) produced ipsiversive horizontal saccades. Stimulation in the ventral InC and near the dorsal and medial edges of the red nucleus produced upward saccades. Stimulation

  4. 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. PMID:23716226

  5. 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. PMID:26563617

  6. Linear summation in the barn owl's brainstem underlies responses to interaural time differences.

    PubMed

    Kuokkanen, Paula T; Ashida, Go; Carr, Catherine E; Wagner, Hermann; Kempter, Richard

    2013-07-01

    The neurophonic potential is a synchronized frequency-following extracellular field potential that can be recorded in the nucleus laminaris (NL) in the brainstem of the barn owl. Putative generators of the neurophonic are the afferent axons from the nucleus magnocellularis, synapses onto NL neurons, and spikes of NL neurons. The outputs of NL, i.e., action potentials of NL neurons, are only weakly represented in the neurophonic. Instead, the inputs to NL, i.e., afferent axons and their synaptic potentials, are the predominant origin of the neurophonic (Kuokkanen PT, Wagner H, Ashida G, Carr CE, Kempter R. J Neurophysiol 104: 2274-2290, 2010). Thus in NL the monaural inputs from the two brain sides converge and create a binaural neurophonic. If these monaural inputs contribute independently to the extracellular field, the response to binaural stimulation can be predicted from the sum of the responses to ipsi- and contralateral stimulation. We found that a linear summation model explains the dependence of the responses on interaural time difference as measured experimentally with binaural stimulation. The fit between model predictions and data was excellent, even without taking into account the nonlinear responses of NL coincidence detector neurons, although their firing rate and synchrony strongly depend on the interaural time difference. These results are consistent with the view that the afferent axons and their synaptic potentials in NL are the primary origin of the neurophonic. PMID:23554438

  7. Age-specific fitness components and their temporal variation in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Altwegg, Res; Schaub, Michael; Roulin, Alexandre

    2007-01-01

    Theory predicts that temporal variability plays an important role in the evolution of life histories, but empirical studies evaluating this prediction are rare. In constant environments, fitness can be measured by the population growth rate lambda, and the sensitivity of lambda to changes in fitness components estimates selection on these traits. In variable environments, fitness is measured by the stochastic growth rate lambda(S), and stochastic sensitivities estimate selection pressure. Here we examine age-specific schedules for reproduction and survival in a barn owl population (Tyto alba). We estimated how temporal variability affected fitness and selection, accounting for sampling variance. Despite large sample sizes of old individuals, we found no strong evidence for senescence. The most variable fitness components were associated with reproduction. Survival was less variable. Stochastic simulations showed that the observed variation decreased fitness by about 30%, but the sensitivities of lambda and lambda(S) to changes in all fitness components were almost equal, suggesting that temporal variation had negligible effects on selection. We obtained these results despite high observed variability in the fitness components and relatively short generation time of the study organism, a situation in which temporal variability should be particularly important for natural selection and early senescence is expected. PMID:17206584

  8. 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. PMID:12811535

  9. Linear summation in the barn owl's brainstem underlies responses to interaural time differences

    PubMed Central

    Kuokkanen, Paula T.; Ashida, Go; Carr, Catherine E.; Wagner, Hermann

    2013-01-01

    The neurophonic potential is a synchronized frequency-following extracellular field potential that can be recorded in the nucleus laminaris (NL) in the brainstem of the barn owl. Putative generators of the neurophonic are the afferent axons from the nucleus magnocellularis, synapses onto NL neurons, and spikes of NL neurons. The outputs of NL, i.e., action potentials of NL neurons, are only weakly represented in the neurophonic. Instead, the inputs to NL, i.e., afferent axons and their synaptic potentials, are the predominant origin of the neurophonic (Kuokkanen PT, Wagner H, Ashida G, Carr CE, Kempter R. J Neurophysiol 104: 2274–2290, 2010). Thus in NL the monaural inputs from the two brain sides converge and create a binaural neurophonic. If these monaural inputs contribute independently to the extracellular field, the response to binaural stimulation can be predicted from the sum of the responses to ipsi- and contralateral stimulation. We found that a linear summation model explains the dependence of the responses on interaural time difference as measured experimentally with binaural stimulation. The fit between model predictions and data was excellent, even without taking into account the nonlinear responses of NL coincidence detector neurons, although their firing rate and synchrony strongly depend on the interaural time difference. These results are consistent with the view that the afferent axons and their synaptic potentials in NL are the primary origin of the neurophonic. PMID:23554438

  10. Inhibition sensitive to interaural time difference in the barn owl's inferior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Albeck, Y

    1997-07-01

    In spontaneously active neurons in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus of the barn owl, a stimulus-driven discharge was followed by a quiescent period lasting tens of milliseconds before the spontaneous activity resumed. The more favorable the interaural time difference, the longer the quiet period. The duration of the quiescent period also depended on stimulus frequency. Frequencies different from the neuron's best frequency induced shorter quiescent periods, although they could elicit similar rates of impulses. Also, the duration of the quiescent period was independent of interaural intensity difference. Thus, the quiet period is not due to an after-hyperpolarization but was an inhibitory effect that depended on the activity of other neurons. In some neurons, discharge continued after the stimulus without a quiescent period and gradually decayed over a period of 50-100 ms past the stimulus offset. The similarity between the quiescent period of the neurons mentioned above and the time course of the poststimulus discharge in these neurons suggests that these neurons serve as inhibitory interneurons. PMID:9259240

  11. 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

  12. Quantitative analysis of the retinal ganglion cell layer and optic nerve of the barn owl Tyto alba.

    PubMed

    Wathey, J C; Pettigrew, J D

    1989-01-01

    The visual capacity of the common barn owl (Tyto alba) was studied by quantitative analysis of the retina and optic nerve. Cell counts in the ganglion cell layer of the whole-mounted retina revealed a temporal area centralis with peak cell density of 12,500 cells/mm2 and a horizontal streak of high cell density extending from the area centralis into the nasal retina. Integration of the ganglion cell density map gave an estimated total of 1.4 million cells for the ganglion cell layer. Electron microscopy of a single, complete section of the optic nerve revealed a bimodal fiber diameter spectrum (modes at 0.3 and 0.9 microns; bin width = 0.2 microns), with diameters ranging from 0.15 microns (unmyelinated) to 6.05 microns (myelinated, sheath included). The total axon count for the optic nerve was estimated from sample counts to be about 680,000 axons (25% unmyelinated). Therefore, roughly half of the cells in the retinal ganglion cell layer do not send axons into the optic nerve. With certain assumptions, the data predict a visual spatial acuity for barn owls on the order of 8 cycles/degree, a value similar to the known behaviorally measured acuities of masked owls (10 cycles/degree) and domestic cats (6 cycles/degree). PMID:2758316

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:25294501

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26718850

  17. Responses of tectal neurons to contrasting stimuli: an electrophysiological study in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Zahar, Yael; Wagner, Hermann; Gutfreund, Yoram

    2012-01-01

    The saliency of visual objects is based on the center to background contrast. Particularly objects differing in one feature from the background may be perceived as more salient. It is not clear to what extent this so called "pop-out" effect observed in humans and primates governs saliency perception in non-primates as well. In this study we searched for neural-correlates of pop-out perception in neurons located in the optic tectum of the barn owl. We measured the responses of tectal neurons to stimuli appearing within the visual receptive field, embedded in a large array of additional stimuli (the background). Responses were compared between contrasting and uniform conditions. In a contrasting condition the center was different from the background while in the uniform condition it was identical to the background. Most tectal neurons responded better to stimuli in the contrsating condition compared to the uniform condition when the contrast between center and background was the direction of motion but not when it was the orientation of a bar. Tectal neurons also preferred contrasting over uniform stimuli when the center was looming and the background receding but not when the center was receding and the background looming. Therefore, our results do not support the hypothesis that tectal neurons are sensitive to pop-out per-se. The specific sensitivity to the motion contrasting stimulus is consistent with the idea that object motion and not large field motion (e.g., self-induced motion) is coded in the neural responses of tectal neurons. PMID:22745787

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T T; Konishi, M

    1988-08-01

    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. PMID:2463286

  20. 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). PMID:24265616

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Spike timing precision changes with spike rate adaptation in the owl's auditory space map

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Terry T.

    2015-01-01

    Spike rate adaptation (SRA) is a continuing change of responsiveness to ongoing stimuli, which is ubiquitous across species and levels of sensory systems. Under SRA, auditory responses to constant stimuli change over time, relaxing toward a long-term rate often over multiple timescales. With more variable stimuli, SRA causes the dependence of spike rate on sound pressure level to shift toward the mean level of recent stimulus history. A model based on subtractive adaptation (Benda J, Hennig RM. J Comput Neurosci 24: 113–136, 2008) shows that changes in spike rate and level dependence are mechanistically linked. Space-specific neurons in the barn owl's midbrain, when recorded under ketamine-diazepam anesthesia, showed these classical characteristics of SRA, while at the same time exhibiting changes in spike timing precision. Abrupt level increases of sinusoidally amplitude-modulated (SAM) noise initially led to spiking at higher rates with lower temporal precision. Spike rate and precision relaxed toward their long-term values with a time course similar to SRA, results that were also replicated by the subtractive model. Stimuli whose amplitude modulations (AMs) were not synchronous across carrier frequency evoked spikes in response to stimulus envelopes of a particular shape, characterized by the spectrotemporal receptive field (STRF). Again, abrupt stimulus level changes initially disrupted the temporal precision of spiking, which then relaxed along with SRA. We suggest that shifts in latency associated with stimulus level changes may differ between carrier frequency bands and underlie decreased spike precision. Thus SRA is manifest not simply as a change in spike rate but also as a change in the temporal precision of spiking. PMID:26269555

  5. The role of GABAergic inhibition in processing of interaural time difference in the owl's auditory system.

    PubMed

    Fujita, I; Konishi, M

    1991-03-01

    The barn owl uses interaural time differences (ITDs) to localize the azimuthal position of sound. ITDs are processed by an anatomically distinct pathway in the brainstem. Neuronal selectivity for ITD is generated in the nucleus laminaris (NL) and conveyed to both the anterior portion of the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (VLVa) and the central (ICc) and external (ICx) nuclei of the inferior colliculus. With tonal stimuli, neurons in all regions are found to respond maximally not only to the real ITD, but also to ITDs that differ by integer multiples of the tonal period. This phenomenon, phase ambiguity, does not occur when ICx neurons are stimulated with noise. The main aim of this study was to determine the role of GABAergic inhibition in the processing of ITDs. Selectivity for ITD is similar in the NL and VLVa and improves in the ICc and ICx. Iontophoresis of bicuculline methiodide (BMI), a selective GABAA antagonist, decreased the ITD selectivity of ICc and ICx neurons, but did not affect that of VLVa neurons. Responses of VLVa and ICc neurons to unfavorable ITDs were below the monaural response levels. BMI raised both binaural responses to unfavorable ITDs and monaural responses, though the former remained smaller than the latter. During BMI application, ICx neurons showed phase ambiguity to noise stimuli and no longer responded to a unique ITD. BMI increased the response magnitude and changed the temporal discharge patterns in the VLVa, ICc, and ICx. Iontophoretically applied GABA exerted effects opposite to those of BMI, and the effects could be antagonized with simultaneous application of BMI. These results suggest that GABAergic inhibition (1) sharpens ITD selectivity in the ICc and ICx, (2) contributes to the elimination of phase ambiguity in the ICx, and (3) controls response magnitude and temporal characteristics in the VLVa, ICc, and ICx. Through these actions, GABAergic inhibition shapes the horizontal dimension of the auditory receptive

  6. 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. PMID:25656218

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:19575175

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

    PubMed Central

    Edut, Shahaf; Eilam, David

    2003-01-01

    Background 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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

  11. How the owl tracks its prey--II.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Terry T

    2010-10-15

    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

  12. Stimulus encoding within the barn owl optic tectum using gamma oscillations vs. spike rate: a modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Patel, Mainak; Reed, Mike

    2013-01-01

    The optic tectum of the barn owl is a multimodal structure with multiple layers, with each layer topographically organized according to spatial receptive field. The response of a site to a stimulus can be measured as either spike rate or local field potential (LFP) gamma (25-90 Hz) power; within superficial layers, spike rate and gamma power spatial tuning curves are narrow and contrast-response functions rise slowly. Within deeper layers, however, spike rate tuning curves broaden and gamma power contrast-response functions sharpen. In this work, we employ a computational model to describe the inputs required to generate these transformations from superficial to deep layers and show that gamma power and spike rate can act as parallel information processing streams. PMID:23406211

  13. Characterization of a forebrain gaze field in the archistriatum of the barn owl: microstimulation and anatomical connections.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, E I; Cohen, Y E; Masino, T

    1995-07-01

    We present evidence that the archistriatum in the forebrain of the barn owl participates in gaze control, that it can mediate gaze changes independently of the optic tectum (OT), and that it projects in parallel to both the OT and to saccade-generating circuitry in the brainstem tegmentum. These properties are similar to those of the frontal eye fields (FEF) in the prefrontal cortex of primates. The forebrain was surveyed for sites where electrical microstimulation would induce head saccades. Head (and eye) saccades were elicited from the anterior 70% of the archistriatum, a region that we refer to as the archistriatal gaze fields (AGF). At single stimulation sites in the AGF, saccade amplitude tended to vary as a function of stimulation parameters (current strength, pulse frequency, and train duration) and starting head position. In contrast, saccade direction was largely independent of these parameters. Saccade direction did vary over a wide range of primarily contraversive directions with the site of stimulation in the AGF. Using anatomical pathway tracing techniques, we found that the archistriatum projects strongly and in parallel to the deep layers of the OT and to nuclei in the midline brainstem tegmentum. Previous work has shown that electrical microstimulation of either of these brainstem regions evokes saccadic movements of the head and/or eyes (du Lac and Knudsen, 1990; Masino and Knudsen, 1992b). Inactivation of the OT with lidocaine reduced the size but did not eliminate (or change the direction of) the saccades evoked by AGF stimulation. The direct anatomical pathway from the archistriatum to the midline tegmental nuclei can account for saccades that persist following OT inactivation. The similarities between the AGF in barn owls and the FEF in primates suggest that the same general plan of anatomical and functional organization supports the contribution of the forebrain to gaze control in a wide variety of species. PMID:7623141

  14. Distribution of interaural time difference in the barn owl's inferior colliculus in the low- and high-frequency ranges.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Hermann; Asadollahi, Ali; Bremen, Peter; Endler, Frank; Vonderschen, Katrin; von Campenhausen, Mark

    2007-04-11

    Interaural time differences are an important cue for azimuthal sound localization. It is still unclear whether the same neuronal mechanisms underlie the representation in the brain of interaural time difference in different vertebrates and whether these mechanisms are driven by common constraints, such as optimal coding. Current sound localization models may be discriminated by studying the spectral distribution of response peaks in tuning curves that measure the sensitivity to interaural time difference. The sound localization system of the barn owl has been studied intensively, but data that would allow discrimination between currently discussed models are missing from this animal. We have therefore obtained extracellular recordings from the time-sensitive subnuclei of the barn owl's inferior colliculus. Response peaks were broadly scattered over the physiological range of interaural time differences. A change in the representation of the interaural phase differences with frequency was not observed. In some neurons, response peaks fell outside the physiological range of interaural time differences. For a considerable number of neurons, the peak closest to zero interaural time difference was not the behaviorally relevant peak. The data are in best accordance with models suggesting that a place code underlies the representation of interaural time difference. The data from the high-frequency range, but not from the low-frequency range, are consistent with predictions of optimal coding. We speculate that the deviation of the representation of interaural time difference from optimal-coding models in the low-frequency range is attributable to the diminished importance of low frequencies for catching prey in this species. PMID:17428997

  15. 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. PMID:27151403

  16. 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. PMID:2279234

  17. Barn owl (Tyto alba) predation on small mammals and its role in the control of hantavirus natural reservoirs in a periurban area in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Magrini, L; Facure, K G

    2008-11-01

    The aim of this study was to inventory the species of small mammals in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, based on regurgitated pellets of the barn owl and to compare the frequency of rodent species in the diet and in the environment. Since in the region there is a high incidence of hantavirus infection, we also evaluate the importance of the barn owl in the control of rodents that transmit the hantavirus. Data on richness and relative abundance of rodents in the municipality were provided by the Centro de Controle de Zoonoses, from three half-yearly samplings with live traps. In total, 736 food items were found from the analysis of 214 pellets and fragments. Mammals corresponded to 86.0% of food items and were represented by one species of marsupial (Gracilinanus agilis) and seven species of rodents, with Calomys tener (70.9%) and Necromys lasiurus (6.7%) being the most frequent. The proportion of rodent species in barn owl pellets differed from that observed in trap samplings, with Calomys expulsus, C. tener and Oligoryzomys nigripes being consumed more frequently than expected. Although restricted to a single place and based on few individuals, the present study allowed the inventory of eight species of small mammals in Uberlândia. The comparison of the relative frequencies of rodent species in the diet and in the environment indicated selectivity. The second most preyed upon species was N. lasiurus, the main hantavirus reservoir in the Cerrado biome. In this way, the barn owl might play an important role in the control of this rodent in the region, contributing to the avoidance of a higher number of cases of hantavirus infection. PMID:19197490

  18. Barn owl (Tyto alba) predation on small mammals and its role in the control of hantavirus natural reservoirs in a periurban area in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Magrini, L; Facure, K G

    2008-11-01

    The aim of this study was to inventory the species of small mammals in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, based on regurgitated pellets of the barn owl and to compare the frequency of rodent species in the diet and in the environment. Since in the region there is a high incidence of hantavirus infection, we also evaluate the importance of the barn owl in the control of rodents that transmit the hantavirus. Data on richness and relative abundance of rodents in the municipality were provided by the Centro de Controle de Zoonoses, from three half-yearly samplings with live traps. In total, 736 food items were found from the analysis of 214 pellets and fragments. Mammals corresponded to 86.0% of food items and were represented by one species of marsupial (Gracilinanus agilis) and seven species of rodents, with Calomys tener (70.9%) and Necromys lasiurus (6.7%) being the most frequent. The proportion of rodent species in barn owl pellets differed from that observed in trap samplings, with Calomys expulsus, C. tener and Oligoryzomys nigripes being consumed more frequently than expected. Although restricted to a single place and based on few individuals, the present study allowed the inventory of eight species of small mammals in Uberlândia. The comparison of the relative frequencies of rodent species in the diet and in the environment indicated selectivity. The second most preyed upon species was N. lasiurus, the main hantavirus reservoir in the Cerrado biome. In this way, the barn owl might play an important role in the control of this rodent in the region, contributing to the avoidance of a higher number of cases of hantavirus infection.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Horizontal and vertical components of head movement are controlled by distinct neural circuits in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Masino, T; Knudsen, E I

    1990-05-31

    To generate behaviour, the brain must transform sensory information into signals that are appropriate to control movement. Sensory and motor coordinate frames are fundamentally different, however: sensory coordinates are based on the spatiotemporal patterns of activity arising from the various sense organs, whereas motor coordinates are based on the pulling directions of muscles or groups of muscles. Results from psychophysical experiments suggest that in the process of transforming sensory information into motor control signals, the brain encodes movements in abstract or extrinsic coordinate frames, that is ones not closely related to the geometry of the sensory apparatus or of the skeletomusculature. Here we show that an abstract code underlies movements of the head by the barn owl. Specifically, the data show that subsequent to the retinotopic code for space in the optic tectum yet before the motor neuron code for muscle tensions there exists a code for head movement in which upward, downward, leftward and rightward components of movement are controlled by four functionally distinct neural circuits. Such independent coding of orthogonal components of movement may be a common intermediate step in the transformation of sensation into behaviour. PMID:2342573

  2. Individual vocal signatures in barn owl nestlings: does individual recognition have an adaptive role in sibling vocal competition?

    PubMed

    Dreiss, A N; Ruppli, C A; Roulin, A

    2014-01-01

    To compete over limited parental resources, young animals communicate with their parents and siblings by producing honest vocal signals of need. Components of begging calls that are sensitive to food deprivation may honestly signal need, whereas other components may be associated with individual-specific attributes that do not change with time such as identity, sex, absolute age and hierarchy. In a sib-sib communication system where barn owl (Tyto alba) nestlings vocally negotiate priority access to food resources, we show that calls have individual signatures that are used by nestlings to recognize which siblings are motivated to compete, even if most vocalization features vary with hunger level. Nestlings were more identifiable when food-deprived than food-satiated, suggesting that vocal identity is emphasized when the benefit of winning a vocal contest is higher. In broods where siblings interact iteratively, we speculate that individual-specific signature permits siblings to verify that the most vocal individual in the absence of parents is the one that indeed perceived the food brought by parents. Individual recognition may also allow nestlings to associate identity with individual-specific characteristics such as position in the within-brood dominance hierarchy. Calls indeed revealed age hierarchy and to a lower extent sex and absolute age. Using a cross-fostering experimental design, we show that most acoustic features were related to the nest of origin (but not the nest of rearing), suggesting a genetic or an early developmental effect on the ontogeny of vocal signatures. To conclude, our study suggests that sibling competition has promoted the evolution of vocal behaviours that signal not only hunger level but also intrinsic individual characteristics such as identity, family, sex and age. PMID:24266879

  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. 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. PMID:22530630

  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. 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. PMID:24669722

  7. [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 %).

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:25903390

  11. 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. PMID:24967075

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 ( and ). 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. PMID:24967075

  14. [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 %). PMID:24961561

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

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Thomas; Wagner, Hermann

    2011-08-01

    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

  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. PMID:24773174

  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. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:23583559

  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. 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

  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. A topographic instructive signal guides the adjustment of the auditory space map in the optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Hyde, P S; Knudsen, E I

    2001-11-01

    Maps of auditory space in the midbrain of the barn owl (Tyto alba) are calibrated by visual experience. When owls are raised wearing prismatic spectacles that displace the visual field in azimuth, the auditory receptive fields of neurons in the optic tectum shift to compensate for the optical displacement of the visual field. This shift results primarily from a shift in the tuning of tectal neurons for interaural time difference. The visually based instructive signal that guides this plasticity could be based on a topographic, point-by-point comparison between auditory and visual space maps or on a foveation-dependent visual assessment of the accuracy of auditory orienting responses. To distinguish between these two possibilities, we subjected owls to optical conditions that differed in the center of gaze and the visual periphery. A topographic signal would cause the portions of the space map representing the central and peripheral regions of visual space to adjust differently, according to the optical conditions that exist in each region. In contrast, a foveation-based signal would cause both portions of the map to adjust similarly, according to the optical conditions that exist at the center of gaze. In six of seven experiments, adaptive changes were as predicted by a topographic instructive signal. Although the results do not rule out the possible contribution of a foveation-based signal, they demonstrate that a topographic instructive signal is, indeed, involved in the calibration of the auditory space map in the barn owl optic tectum. PMID:11606646

  5. 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. PMID:8722264

  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 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.

  8. Signal-to-noise ratio in the membrane potential of the owl's auditory coincidence detectors

    PubMed Central

    Funabiki, Kazuo; Kuokkanen, Paula T.; Kempter, Richard; Carr, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    Owls use interaural time differences (ITDs) to locate a sound source. They compute ITD in a specialized neural circuit that consists of axonal delay lines from the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and coincidence detectors in the nucleus laminaris (NL). Recent physiological recordings have shown that tonal stimuli induce oscillatory membrane potentials in NL neurons (Funabiki K, Ashida G, Konishi M. J Neurosci 31: 15245–15256, 2011). The amplitude of these oscillations varies with ITD and is strongly correlated to the firing rate. The oscillation, termed the sound analog potential, has the same frequency as the stimulus tone and is presumed to originate from phase-locked synaptic inputs from NM fibers. To investigate how these oscillatory membrane potentials are generated, we applied recently developed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) analysis techniques (Kuokkanen PT, Wagner H, Ashida G, Carr CE, Kempter R. J Neurophysiol 104: 2274–2290, 2010) to the intracellular waveforms obtained in vivo. Our theoretical prediction of the band-limited SNRs agreed with experimental data for mid- to high-frequency (>2 kHz) NL neurons. For low-frequency (≤2 kHz) NL neurons, however, measured SNRs were lower than theoretical predictions. These results suggest that the number of independent NM fibers converging onto each NL neuron and/or the population-averaged degree of phase-locking of the NM fibers could be significantly smaller in the low-frequency NL region than estimated for higher best-frequency NL. PMID:22933726

  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. PMID:23296024

  10. 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. PMID:1527592

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:8840691

  14. Cue Reliability Represented in the Shape of Tuning Curves in the Owl's Sound Localization System

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Brian J.; Peña, Jose L.

    2016-01-01

    Optimal use of sensory information requires that the brain estimates the reliability of sensory cues, but the neural correlate of cue reliability relevant for behavior is not well defined. Here, we addressed this issue by examining how the reliability of spatial cue influences neuronal responses and behavior in the owl's auditory system. We show that the firing rate and spatial selectivity changed with cue reliability due to the mechanisms generating the tuning to the sound localization cue. We found that the correlated variability among neurons strongly depended on the shape of the tuning curves. Finally, we demonstrated that the change in the neurons' selectivity was necessary and sufficient for a network of stochastic neurons to predict behavior when sensory cues were corrupted with noise. This study demonstrates that the shape of tuning curves can stand alone as a coding dimension of environmental statistics. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In natural environments, sensory cues are often corrupted by noise and are therefore unreliable. To make the best decisions, the brain must estimate the degree to which a cue can be trusted. The behaviorally relevant neural correlates of cue reliability are debated. In this study, we used the barn owl's sound localization system to address this question. We demonstrated that the mechanisms that account for spatial selectivity also explained how neural responses changed with degraded signals. This allowed for the neurons' selectivity to capture cue reliability, influencing the population readout commanding the owl's sound-orienting behavior. PMID:26888922

  15. 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.)

  16. 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.…

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Multiplicative auditory spatial receptive fields created by a hierarchy of population codes.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Brian J; Anderson, Charles H; Peña, José Luis

    2009-01-01

    A multiplicative combination of tuning to interaural time difference (ITD) and interaural level difference (ILD) contributes to the generation of spatially selective auditory neurons in the owl's midbrain. Previous analyses of multiplicative responses in the owl have not taken into consideration the frequency-dependence of ITD and ILD cues that occur under natural listening conditions. Here, we present a model for the responses of ITD- and ILD-sensitive neurons in the barn owl's inferior colliculus which satisfies constraints raised by experimental data on frequency convergence, multiplicative interaction of ITD and ILD, and response properties of afferent neurons. We propose that multiplication between ITD- and ILD-dependent signals occurs only within frequency channels and that frequency integration occurs using a linear-threshold mechanism. The model reproduces the experimentally observed nonlinear responses to ITD and ILD in the inferior colliculus, with greater accuracy than previous models. We show that linear-threshold frequency integration allows the system to represent multiple sound sources with natural sound localization cues, whereas multiplicative frequency integration does not. Nonlinear responses in the owl's inferior colliculus can thus be generated using a combination of cellular and network mechanisms, showing that multiple elements of previous theories can be combined in a single system. PMID:19956693

  1. 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. PMID:19826750

  2. Owl's behavior and neural representation predicted by Bayesian inference.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Brian J; Peña, José Luis

    2011-08-01

    The owl captures prey using sound localization. In the classical model, the owl infers sound direction from the position of greatest activity in a brain map of auditory space. However, this model fails to describe the actual behavior. Although owls accurately localize sources near the center of gaze, they systematically underestimate peripheral source directions. We found that this behavior is predicted by statistical inference, formulated as a Bayesian model that emphasizes central directions. We propose that there is a bias in the neural coding of auditory space, which, at the expense of inducing errors in the periphery, achieves high behavioral accuracy at the ethologically relevant range. We found that the owl's map of auditory space decoded by a population vector is consistent with the behavioral model. Thus, a probabilistic model describes both how the map of auditory space supports behavior and why this representation is optimal. PMID:21725311

  3. 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.

  4. Barns of Wisconsin

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson-Newlin, Karen

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author shares a painting unit she introduced to her students. In this unit, her students painted pictures of barns and discussed the historical significance of barns in Wisconsin.

  5. 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. PMID:24481981

  6. Axonal delay lines for time measurement in the owl's brainstem.

    PubMed

    Carr, C E; Konishi, M

    1988-11-01

    Interaural time difference is an important cue for sound localization. In the barn owl (Tyto alba) neuronal sensitivity to this disparity originates in the brainstem nucleus laminaris. Afferents from the ipsilateral and contralateral magnocellular cochlear nuclei enter the nucleus laminaris through its dorsal and ventral surfaces, respectively, and interdigitate in the nucleus. Intracellular recordings from these afferents show orderly changes in conduction delay with depth in the nucleus. These changes are comparable to the range of interaural time differences available to the owl. Thus, these afferent axons act as delay lines and provide anatomical and physiological bases for a neuronal map of interaural time differences in the nucleus laminaris. PMID:3186725

  7. How do owls localize interaurally phase-ambiguous signals?

    PubMed

    Saberi, K; Farahbod, H; Konishi, M

    1998-05-26

    Owls and other animals, including humans, use the difference in arrival time of sounds between the ears to determine the direction of a sound source in the horizontal plane. When an interaural time difference (ITD) is conveyed by a narrowband signal such as a tone, human beings may fail to derive the direction represented by that ITD. This is because they cannot distinguish the true ITD contained in the signal from its phase equivalents that are ITD +/- nT, where T is the period of the stimulus tone and n is an integer. This uncertainty is called phase-ambiguity. All ITD-sensitive neurons in birds and mammals respond to an ITD and its phase equivalents when the ITD is contained in narrowband signals. It is not known, however, if these animals show phase-ambiguity in the localization of narrowband signals. The present work shows that barn owls (Tyto alba) experience phase-ambiguity in the localization of tones delivered by earphones. We used sound-induced head-turning responses to measure the sound-source directions perceived by two owls. In both owls, head-turning angles varied as a sinusoidal function of ITD. One owl always pointed to the direction represented by the smaller of the two ITDs, whereas a second owl always chose the direction represented by the larger ITD (i.e., ITD - T). PMID:9600989

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winton, Brian R.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    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.

  2. 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. PMID:22539852

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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,…

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. ER2OWL: Generating OWL Ontology from ER Diagram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fahad, Muhammad

    Ontology is the fundamental part of Semantic Web. The goal of W3C is to bring the web into (its full potential) a semantic web with reusing previous systems and artifacts. Most legacy systems have been documented in structural analysis and structured design (SASD), especially in simple or Extended ER Diagram (ERD). Such systems need up-gradation to become the part of semantic web. In this paper, we present ERD to OWL-DL ontology transformation rules at concrete level. These rules facilitate an easy and understandable transformation from ERD to OWL. The set of rules for transformation is tested on a structured analysis and design example. The framework provides OWL ontology for semantic web fundamental. This framework helps software engineers in upgrading the structured analysis and design artifact ERD, to components of semantic web. Moreover our transformation tool, ER2OWL, reduces the cost and time for building OWL ontologies with the reuse of existing entity relationship models.

  13. The contributions of onset and offset echo delays to auditory spatial perception in human listeners.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Jeff M; Nelson, Brian S; Takahashi, Terry T

    2012-12-01

    In echoic environments, direct sounds dominate perception even when followed by their reflections. As the delay between the direct (lead) source and the reflection (lag) increases, the reflection starts to become localizable. Although this phenomenon, which is part of the precedence effect, is typically studied with brief transients, leading and lagging sounds often overlap in time and are thus composed of three distinct segments: the "superposed" segment, when both sounds are present together, and the "lead-alone" and "lag-alone" segments, when leading and lagging sounds are present alone, respectively. Recently, it was shown that the barn owl (Tyto alba) localizes the lagging sound when the lag-alone segment, not the lead-alone segment, is lengthened. This was unexpected given the prevailing hypothesis that a leading sound may briefly desensitize the auditory system to sounds arriving later. The present study confirms this finding in humans under conditions that minimized the role of the superposed segment in the localization of either source. Just as lengthening the lag-alone segment caused the lagging sound to become more salient, lengthening the lead-alone segment caused the leading sound to become more salient. These results suggest that the neural representations of the lead and lag are independent of one another. PMID:23231121

  14. 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. PMID:24199866

  15. 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.…

  16. (Solar greenhouse and barn collector)

    SciTech Connect

    Woodward, M.V.

    1981-08-04

    Use of a solar greenhouse and solar collectors to provide heat on a farm is briefly discussed. The greenhouse was used to heat the home, and the solar collectors provided hot water and heat for the barn. About $1500 was saved in oil bills from the previous year. (BCS)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2008-01-01

    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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. Signaling of the strongest stimulus in the owl optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Mysore, Shreesh P; Asadollahi, Ali; Knudsen, Eric I

    2011-04-01

    Essential to the selection of the next target for gaze or attention is the ability to compare the strengths of multiple competing stimuli (bottom-up information) and to signal the strongest one. Although the optic tectum (OT) has been causally implicated in stimulus selection, how it computes the strongest stimulus is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that OT neurons in the barn owl systematically encode the relative strengths of simultaneously occurring stimuli independently of sensory modality. Moreover, special "switch-like" responses of a subset of neurons abruptly increase when the stimulus inside their receptive field becomes the strongest one. Such responses are not predicted by responses to single stimuli and, indeed, are eliminated in the absence of competitive interactions. We demonstrate that this sensory transformation substantially boosts the representation of the strongest stimulus by creating a binary discrimination signal, thereby setting the stage for potential winner-take-all target selection for gaze and attention. PMID:21471353

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:2810564

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. Optimal Prediction of Moving Sound Source Direction in the Owl.

    PubMed

    Cox, Weston; Fischer, Brian J

    2015-07-01

    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.

  9. Optimal Prediction of Moving Sound Source Direction in the Owl.

    PubMed

    Cox, Weston; Fischer, Brian J

    2015-07-01

    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

  10. 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. PMID:26367482

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:25786606

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:1585989

  2. 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

  3. Trichomoniasis in great horned owls.

    PubMed

    Jessup, D A

    1980-07-01

    Three cases of Trichomonas gallinae infection of deep tissues of the skull or of unusual tissues in great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), refractory to recommended doses but responsive to higher doses of dimetridazole, are discussed. Trichomonads were isolated from the lesions. PMID:7432340

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Particle-image velocimetry investigation of the fluid-structure interaction mechanisms of a natural owl wing.

    PubMed

    Winzen, A; Roidl, B; Schröder, W

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26372422

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:16055847

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 1. View southeast, barn in setting, north side and west ...

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

    1. View southeast, barn in setting, north side and west end exposed - Abraham Cyrus Farmstead, Barn, About 160 feet south-southwest of farmhouse at 3271 Cyrus Road (County Road 1/6), Cyrus, Wayne County, WV

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Blom, Jan Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Auditory hallucinations constitute a phenomenologically rich group of endogenously mediated percepts which are associated with psychiatric, neurologic, otologic, and other medical conditions, but which are also experienced by 10-15% of all healthy individuals in the general population. The group of phenomena is probably best known for its verbal auditory subtype, but it also includes musical hallucinations, echo of reading, exploding-head syndrome, and many other types. The subgroup of verbal auditory hallucinations has been studied extensively with the aid of neuroimaging techniques, and from those studies emerges an outline of a functional as well as a structural network of widely distributed brain areas involved in their mediation. The present chapter provides an overview of the various types of auditory hallucination described in the literature, summarizes our current knowledge of the auditory networks involved in their mediation, and draws on ideas from the philosophy of science and network science to reconceptualize the auditory hallucinatory experience, and point out directions for future research into its neurobiologic substrates. In addition, it provides an overview of known associations with various clinical conditions and of the existing evidence for pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments.

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 4. VIEW LOOKING DOWN ON PROPERTY, SHOWING NEW BARN, LOOKING ...

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

    4. VIEW LOOKING DOWN ON PROPERTY, SHOWING NEW BARN, LOOKING NORTH. BEHIND IT ARE THE CHICKEN COOP, CA-2078-A (small structure) AND THE OLD BARN, CA-2078-B - Eugene O'Neill House, New Barn, Kuss Road, Danville, Contra Costa County, CA

  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. 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.

  18. Auditory synesthesias.

    PubMed

    Afra, Pegah

    2015-01-01

    Synesthesia is experienced when sensory stimulation of one sensory modality (the inducer) elicits an involuntary or automatic sensation in another sensory modality or different aspect of the same sensory modality (the concurrent). Auditory synesthesias (AS) occur when auditory stimuli trigger a variety of concurrents, or when non-auditory sensory stimulations trigger auditory synesthetic perception. The AS are divided into three types: developmental, acquired, and induced. Developmental AS are not a neurologic disorder but a different way of experiencing one's environment. They are involuntary and highly consistent experiences throughout one's life. Acquired AS have been reported in association with neurologic diseases that cause deafferentation of anterior optic pathways, with pathologic lesions affecting the central nervous system (CNS) outside of the optic pathways, as well as non-lesional cases associated with migraine, and epilepsy. It also has been reported with mood disorders as well as a single idiopathic case. Induced AS has been reported in experimental and postsurgical blindfolding, as well as intake of hallucinogenics or psychedelics. In this chapter the three different types of synesthesia, their characteristics, and phenomologic differences, as well as their possible neural mechanisms are discussed. PMID:25726281

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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..

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Emergence of band-pass filtering through adaptive spiking in the owl's cochlear nucleus

    PubMed Central

    MacLeod, Katrina M.; Lubejko, Susan T.; Steinberg, Louisa J.; Köppl, Christine; Peña, Jose L.

    2014-01-01

    In the visual, auditory, and electrosensory modalities, stimuli are defined by first- and second-order attributes. The fast time-pressure signal of a sound, a first-order attribute, is important, for instance, in sound localization and pitch perception, while its slow amplitude-modulated envelope, a second-order attribute, can be used for sound recognition. Ascending the auditory pathway from ear to midbrain, neurons increasingly show a preference for the envelope and are most sensitive to particular envelope modulation frequencies, a tuning considered important for encoding sound identity. The level at which this tuning property emerges along the pathway varies across species, and the mechanism of how this occurs is a matter of debate. In this paper, we target the transition between auditory nerve fibers and the cochlear nucleus angularis (NA). While the owl's auditory nerve fibers simultaneously encode the fast and slow attributes of a sound, one synapse further, NA neurons encode the envelope more efficiently than the auditory nerve. Using in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology and computational analysis, we show that a single-cell mechanism inducing spike threshold adaptation can explain the difference in neural filtering between the two areas. We show that spike threshold adaptation can explain the increased selectivity to modulation frequency, as input level increases in NA. These results demonstrate that a spike generation nonlinearity can modulate the tuning to second-order stimulus features, without invoking network or synaptic mechanisms. PMID:24790170

  12. 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).

  13. 78 FR 57171 - Experimental Removal of Barred Owls To Benefit Threatened Northern Spotted Owls; Record of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-17

    ... (55 FR 26114, p. 26190). Competition from barred owls is identified as one of the main threats to the... conservation benefit of threatened northern spotted owls (notice of intent) in the Federal Register (74 FR....C. 1531 et seq.; Act) in 1990, based primarily on habitat loss and degradation (55 FR 26114). As...

  14. 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

  15. Questionnaire assessment of airway disease symptoms in equine barn personnel

    PubMed Central

    Svatek, Jessica; Maranda, Louise; Christiani, David; Ghio, Andrew; Nadeau, Jenifer; Hoffman, Andrew M.

    2009-01-01

    Background 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. Aims To determine whether people spending time in horse barns have a higher prevalence of self-reported respiratory symptoms than non-exposed controls. Methods 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. Results 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). Conclusions 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. PMID:19223434

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:16498892

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Global inhibition and stimulus competition in the owl optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Mysore, Shreesh P; Asadollahi, Ali; Knudsen, Eric I

    2010-02-01

    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 manner even in sedated animals, is critical to the creation of a map of stimulus salience in the optic tectum. PMID:20130182

  18. 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. PMID:26066727

  19. 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,…

  20. 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.

  1. Owl Nebula (M97, NGC 3587)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    A planetary nebula in the constellation Ursa Major, position RA 11 h 14.8 m, dec. +55° 01'. The Owl is 3' across and gets its name from two adjacent dark patches that have the appearance of large eyes. The nebula is eleventh magnitude, and the central star is a faint magnitude 16....

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:25567499

  6. 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. PMID:18689078

  7. 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. PMID

  8. View southeast of the barn showing its northwest corner. The ...

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

    View southeast of the barn showing its northwest corner. The collapsing chicken coop addition is shown at the northeast corner, upper left. - Tassi Ranch, Tassi Springs, Littlefield, Mohave County, AZ

  9. 19. Cantilevered barn in Cades Cove looking SSW. Great ...

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

    19. Cantilevered barn in Cades Cove looking SSW. - Great Smoky Mountains National Park Roads & Bridges, Cades Cove Road & Laurel Creek Road, From Townsend Wye to Cades Cove, Gatlinburg, Sevier County, TN

  10. STIRLING'S QUARTERS SMALL BARN: FIRST FLOOR PLAN; SECOND FLOOR PLAN; ...

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

    STIRLING'S QUARTERS SMALL BARN: FIRST FLOOR PLAN; SECOND FLOOR PLAN; SOUTH ELEVATION; EAST ELEVATION; NORTH ELEVATION; WEST ELEVATION. - Stirling's Quarters, 555 Yellow Springs Road, Tredyffrin Township, Valley Forge, Chester County, PA

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 13. PORT PROFILE VIEW OF BARN DOOR RUDDER, SCOW SCHOONER ...

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

    13. PORT PROFILE VIEW OF BARN DOOR RUDDER, SCOW SCHOONER ALMA. NOTE RIGGING THAT ALLOWS STEERING WHEEL TO BE RAISED FOR VIEWING OVER HAY STACKS - Scow Schooner ALMA, Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Detecting Burrowing Owl Bloodmeals in Pulex irritans (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae).

    PubMed

    Graham, Christine B; Eisen, Rebecca J; Belthoff, James R

    2016-03-01

    Pulex irritans L. is a cosmopolitan flea species that infests a wide variety of hosts. In North America it generally parasitizes large wild mammals, but in the Pacific Northwest an association has emerged between P. irritans and the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea). While investigators have recognized this association for decades, it has not been clear if P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls, or if the owls serve exclusively as phoretic hosts. Here we describe using a real-time assay that was originally developed to identify bloodmeals in Ugandan cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis Bouché) to detect burrowing owl DNA in P. irritans collected from burrowing owls in southern Idaho. Of 50 fleas tested, 12 had no detectable vertebrate bloodmeal. The remaining 38 (76%) contained burrowing owl DNA. The assay did not detect vertebrate DNA in unfed fleas exposed to owl or mouse pelts and is therefore unlikely to detect DNA in fleas from vertebrates that have served exclusively as phoretic hosts. We conclude that P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls. We discuss the potential implications of this finding for burrowing owl conservation and enzootic plague dynamics.

  18. Translating the Foundational Model of Anatomy into OWL.

    PubMed

    Noy, Natalya F; Rubin, Daniel L

    2008-01-01

    The Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) represents the result of manual and disciplined modeling of the structural organization of the human body. It is a tremendous resource in bioinformatics that facilitates sharing of information among applications that use anatomy knowledge. The FMA was developed in Protégé and the Protégé frames language is the canonical representation language for the FMA. We present a translation of the original Protégé frame representation of the FMA into OWL. Our effort is complementary to the earlier efforts to represent FMA in OWL and is focused on two main goals: (1) representing only the information that is explicitly present in the frames representation of the FMA or that can be directly inferred from the semantics of Protégé frames; (2) representing all the information that is present in the frames representation of the FMA, thus producing an OWL representation for the complete FMA. Our complete representation of the FMA in OWL consists of two components: an OWL DL component that contains the FMA constructs that are compatible with OWL DL; and an OWL Full component that imports the OWL DL component and adds the FMA constructs that OWL DL does not allow.

  19. Detecting Burrowing Owl Bloodmeals in Pulex irritans (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae).

    PubMed

    Graham, Christine B; Eisen, Rebecca J; Belthoff, James R

    2016-03-01

    Pulex irritans L. is a cosmopolitan flea species that infests a wide variety of hosts. In North America it generally parasitizes large wild mammals, but in the Pacific Northwest an association has emerged between P. irritans and the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea). While investigators have recognized this association for decades, it has not been clear if P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls, or if the owls serve exclusively as phoretic hosts. Here we describe using a real-time assay that was originally developed to identify bloodmeals in Ugandan cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis Bouché) to detect burrowing owl DNA in P. irritans collected from burrowing owls in southern Idaho. Of 50 fleas tested, 12 had no detectable vertebrate bloodmeal. The remaining 38 (76%) contained burrowing owl DNA. The assay did not detect vertebrate DNA in unfed fleas exposed to owl or mouse pelts and is therefore unlikely to detect DNA in fleas from vertebrates that have served exclusively as phoretic hosts. We conclude that P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls. We discuss the potential implications of this finding for burrowing owl conservation and enzootic plague dynamics. PMID:26545716

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Auditory Imagery: Empirical Findings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Timothy L.

    2010-01-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d)…

  4. Live trapping of hawks and owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, R.E.; Cope, J.B.; Robbins, C.S.

    1945-01-01

    1. Hawks of six species (80 individuals) and owls of five species (37 individuals) were trapped for banding from November 1, 1943, to. May 26,1944. 2. In general, pole traps proved better than hand-operated traps or automatic traps using live bait. 3. Verbail pole traps proved very efficient, and were much more humane than padded steel traps because they rarely injured a captured bird. 4: Unbaited Verbail traps took a variety of raptors, in rough proportion to their local abundance, although slightly more of beneficial species were caught than of harmful types. 5. Hawks and owls were retrapped more readily in Verbail traps than in other types tried. 6. The number of song birds caught in Verbail traps was negligible. 7. Crows and vultures were not taken in Verbail traps, but possibly could be caught with bait.

  5. Auditory Training for Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

    PubMed

    Weihing, Jeffrey; Chermak, Gail D; Musiek, Frank E

    2015-11-01

    Auditory training (AT) is an important component of rehabilitation for patients with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). The present article identifies and describes aspects of AT as they relate to applications in this population. A description of the types of auditory processes along with information on relevant AT protocols that can be used to address these specific deficits is included. Characteristics and principles of effective AT procedures also are detailed in light of research that reflects on their value. Finally, research investigating AT in populations who show CAPD or present with auditory complaints is reported. Although efficacy data in this area are still emerging, current findings support the use of AT for treatment of auditory difficulties. PMID:27587909

  6. Auditory Training for Central Auditory Processing Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Weihing, Jeffrey; Chermak, Gail D.; Musiek, Frank E.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory training (AT) is an important component of rehabilitation for patients with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). The present article identifies and describes aspects of AT as they relate to applications in this population. A description of the types of auditory processes along with information on relevant AT protocols that can be used to address these specific deficits is included. Characteristics and principles of effective AT procedures also are detailed in light of research that reflects on their value. Finally, research investigating AT in populations who show CAPD or present with auditory complaints is reported. Although efficacy data in this area are still emerging, current findings support the use of AT for treatment of auditory difficulties. PMID:27587909

  7. 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.

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Spotted owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laymon, Stephen A.; Salwasser, Hal; Barrett, Reginald H.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Barred Owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the barred owl (Strix varia). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Spotted Owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laymon, Stephen A.; Salwasser, Hal; Barrett, Reginald H.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  11. Genetic identification of spotted owls, barred owls, and their hybrids: Legal implications of hybrid identity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haig, Susan M.; Wennerberg, L.; Mullins, Thomas D.; Forsman, E.D.; Trail, P.

    2004-01-01

    Recent population expansion of Barred Owls ( Strix varia) into western North America has led to concern that they may compete with and further harm the Northern Spotted Owl ( S. occidentalis caurina), which is already listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Because they hybridize, there is a legal need under the ESA for forensic identification of both species and their hybrids. We used mitochondrial control-region DNA and amplified fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP) analyses to assess maternal and biparental gene flow in this hybridization process. Mitochondrial DNA sequences (524 base pairs) indicated large divergence between Barred and Spotted Owls (13.9%). Further, the species formed two distinct clades with no signs of previous introgression. Fourteen diagnostic AFLP bands also indicated extensive divergence between the species, including markers differentiating them. Principal coordinate analyses and assignment tests clearly supported this differentiation. We found that hybrids had unique genetic combinations, including AFLP markers from both parental species, and identified known hybrids as well as potential hybrids with unclear taxonomic status. Our analyses corroborated the findings of extensive field studies that most hybrids genetically sampled resulted from crosses between female Barred Owls and male Spotted Owls. These genetic markers make it possible to clearly identify these species as well as hybrids and can now be used for research, conservation, and law enforcement. Several legal avenues may facilitate future conservation of Spotted Owls and other ESA-listed species that hybridize, including the ESA similarity-of-appearance clause (section 4[e]) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act appears to be the most useful route at this time.

  12. Multi-level Conceptual Modeling and OWL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumayr, Bernd; Schrefl, Michael

    Ontological metamodeling or multilevel-modeling refers to describing complex domains at multiple levels of abstraction, especially in domains where the borderline between individuals and classes is not clear cut. Punning in OWL2 provides decideable metamodeling support by allowing to use one symbol both as identifier of a class as well as of an individual. In conceptual modeling more powerful approaches to ontological metamodeling exist: materialization, potency-based deep instantiation, and m-objects/m-relationships. These approaches not only support to treat classes as individuals but also to describe domain concepts with members at multiple levels of abstraction. Based on a mapping from m-objects/m-relationships to OWL we show how to transfer these ideas from conceptual modeling to ontology engineering. Therefore we have to combine closed world and open world reasoning. We provide semantic-preserving mappings from m-objects and m-relationships to the decideable fragment of OWL, extended by integrity constraints, and sketch basic tool support for applying this approach.

  13. Geographical assemblages of European raptors and owls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-López, Pascual; Benavent-Corai, José; García-Ripollés, Clara

    2008-09-01

    In this work we look for geographical structure patterns in European raptors (Order: Falconiformes) and owls (Order: Strigiformes). For this purpose we have conducted our research using freely available tools such as statistical software and databases. To perform the study, presence-absence data for the European raptors and owl species (Class Aves) were downloaded from the BirdLife International website. Using the freely available "pvclust" R-package, we applied similarity Jaccard index and cluster analysis in order to delineate biogeographical relationships for European countries. According to the cluster of similarity, we found that Europe is structured into two main geographical assemblages. The larger length branch separated two main groups: one containing Iceland, Greenland and the countries of central, northern and northwestern Europe, and the other group including the countries of eastern, southern and southwestern Europe. Both groups are divided into two main subgroups. According to our results, the European raptors and owls could be considered structured into four meta-communities well delimited by suture zones defined by Remington (1968) [Remington, C.L., 1968. Suture-zones of hybrid interaction between recently joined biotas. Evol. Biol. 2, 321-428]. Climatic oscillations during the Quaternary Ice Ages could explain at least in part the modern geographical distribution of the group.

  14. 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

  15. An Overview of OWL, a Language for Knowledge Representation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szolovits, Peter; And Others

    This is a description of the motivation and overall organization of the OWL language for knowledge representation. OWL consists of a linguistic memory system (LMS), a memory of concepts in terms of which all English phrases and all knowledge of an application domain are represented; a theory of English grammar which tells how to map English…

  16. Synovial chondromatosis in a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).

    PubMed

    Howard, M O; Nieves, M A; Miles, K G

    1996-04-01

    A case of synovial chondromatosis in a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) was found in June 1993. In radiographs of bilateral swelling of the scapulohumeral joint we observed numerous mineralized foci in the soft tissue. The foci were identified by light microscopy as cartilaginous metaplasia. This is the first report of synovial chondromatosis in an owl. PMID:8722282

  17. The effects of habitat, climate, and Barred Owls on long-term demography of Northern Spotted Owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dugger, Catherine; Forsman, Eric D.; Franklin, Alan B.; Davis, Raymond J.; White, Gary C.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Nichols, James D.; Hines, James E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Doherty, Paul F.; Bailey, Larissa; Clark, Darren A.; Ackers, Steven H.; Andrews, Lawrence S.; Augustine, Benjamin; Biswell, Brian L.; Blakesley, Jennifer; Carlson, Peter C.; Clement, Matthew J.; Diller, Lowell V.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Green, Adam; Gremel, Scott A.; Herter, Dale R.; Higley, J. Mark; Hobson, Jeremy; Horn, Rob B.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; McCafferty, Christopher; McDonald, Trent; McDonnell, Kevin; Olson, Gail S.; Reid, Janice A.; Rockweit, Jeremy; Ruiz, Viviana; Saenz, Jessica; Sovern, Stan G.

    2016-01-01

    Estimates of species' vital rates and an understanding of the factors affecting those parameters over time and space can provide crucial information for management and conservation. We used mark–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected during 1985–2013 to evaluate population processes of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in 11 study areas in Washington, Oregon, and northern California, USA. We estimated apparent survival, fecundity, recruitment, rate of population change, and local extinction and colonization rates, and investigated relationships between these parameters and the amount of suitable habitat, local and regional variation in meteorological conditions, and competition with Barred Owls (Strix varia). Data were analyzed for each area separately and in a meta-analysis of all areas combined, following a strict protocol for data collection, preparation, and analysis. We used mixed effects linear models for analyses of fecundity, Cormack-Jolly-Seber open population models for analyses of apparent annual survival (ϕ), and a reparameterization of the Jolly-Seber capture–recapture model (i.e. reverse Jolly-Seber; RJS) to estimate annual rates of population change (λRJS) and recruitment. We also modeled territory occupancy dynamics of Northern Spotted Owls and Barred Owls in each study area using 2-species occupancy models. Estimated mean annual rates of population change (λ) suggested that Spotted Owl populations declined from 1.2% to 8.4% per year depending on the study area. The weighted mean estimate of λ for all study areas was 0.962 (± 0.019 SE; 95% CI: 0.925–0.999), indicating an estimated range-wide decline of 3.8% per year from 1985 to 2013. Variation in recruitment rates across the range of the Spotted Owl was best explained by an interaction between total winter precipitation and mean minimum winter temperature. Thus, recruitment rates were highest when both total precipitation (29 cm) and

  18. Spotted owls and old growth logging in the pacific northwest.

    PubMed

    Doak, D

    1989-12-01

    Northern Spotted Owls, Strix occidentalis caurina, require large tracts of old-growth conifer forest to survive and reproduce. Much of this forest has been or is being cut by commercial logging operations, with uncertain consequences for the owls. In this paper I present simulation models of owl population change over the next 100 years, as summing a variety of scenarios for habitat destruction and fragmentation. My analysis differs from previous models by incorporating patchy territory distribution and random environmental fluctuations. Fragmented and patchy habitat distributions are common problems for endangered organisms, but they have received little attention from modelers. My results indicate that yearly fluctuations in breeding success have little impact on owl populations, but that spatial structure is quite important and should be considered in planning forest preservation. The simulations suggest that for all reasonable parameter values the proposed US. Forest Service logging plans will lead to the demise of the owls. PMID:21129025

  19. Adaptation potential of naturally ventilated barns to high temperature extremes: The OptiBarn project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menz, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Climate change interferes with various aspects of the socio-economic system. One important aspect is its influence on animal husbandry, especially dairy faming. Dairy cows are usually kept in naturally ventilated barns (NVBs) which are particular vulnerable to extreme events due to their low adaptation capabilities. An effective adaptation to high outdoor temperatures for example, is only possible under certain wind and humidity conditions. High temperature extremes are expected to increase in number and strength under climate change. To assess the impact of this change on NVBs and dairy cows also the changes in wind and humidity needs to be considered. Hence we need to consider the multivariate structure of future temperature extremes. The OptiBarn project aims to develop sustainable adaptation strategies for dairy housings under climate change for Europe, by considering the multivariate structure of high temperature extremes. In a first step we identify various multivariate high temperature extremes for three core regions in Europe. With respect to dairy cows in NVBs we will focus on the wind and humidity field during high temperature events. In a second step we will use the CORDEX-EUR-11 ensemble to evaluate the capability of the RCMs to model such events and assess their future change potential. By transferring the outdoor conditions to indoor climate and animal wellbeing the results of this assessment can be used to develop technical, architectural and animal specific adaptation strategies for high temperature extremes.

  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

    ... loss and degradation (55 FR 26114). As a result, conservation efforts for the northern spotted owl have... largely unknown at that time (55 FR 26114, p. 26190). The Recovery Plan summarized information available... Register (74 FR 65546), to solicit participation of: Federal, State, and local agencies; Tribes; and...

  1. Auditory imagery: empirical findings.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Timothy L

    2010-03-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d) auditory imagery's relationship to perception and memory (detection, encoding, recall, mnemonic properties, phonological loop), and (e) individual differences in auditory imagery (in vividness, musical ability and experience, synesthesia, musical hallucinosis, schizophrenia, amusia) are considered. It is concluded that auditory imagery (a) preserves many structural and temporal properties of auditory stimuli, (b) can facilitate auditory discrimination but interfere with auditory detection, (c) involves many of the same brain areas as auditory perception, (d) is often but not necessarily influenced by subvocalization, (e) involves semantically interpreted information and expectancies, (f) involves depictive components and descriptive components, (g) can function as a mnemonic but is distinct from rehearsal, and (h) is related to musical ability and experience (although the mechanisms of that relationship are not clear). PMID:20192565

  2. Auditory imagery: empirical findings.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Timothy L

    2010-03-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d) auditory imagery's relationship to perception and memory (detection, encoding, recall, mnemonic properties, phonological loop), and (e) individual differences in auditory imagery (in vividness, musical ability and experience, synesthesia, musical hallucinosis, schizophrenia, amusia) are considered. It is concluded that auditory imagery (a) preserves many structural and temporal properties of auditory stimuli, (b) can facilitate auditory discrimination but interfere with auditory detection, (c) involves many of the same brain areas as auditory perception, (d) is often but not necessarily influenced by subvocalization, (e) involves semantically interpreted information and expectancies, (f) involves depictive components and descriptive components, (g) can function as a mnemonic but is distinct from rehearsal, and (h) is related to musical ability and experience (although the mechanisms of that relationship are not clear).

  3. Greenhouse gas emissions from 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.

    2015-02-01

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from two naturally-ventilated dairy freestall barns measured for a total of 21 d, one week each in May, July, and September 2009, are presented in this article. The holding capacity of Barn 1 (B1) was 400 Holstein cows, while that for Barn 2 (B2) was 850 cows. Air samples were taken from inlets and outlets of the barns via a custom made multiplexer gas sampling system for measurement of gas concentrations using a photoacoustic infrared multigas analyzer. Barn ventilation rates were based on air velocity measured with arrays of 3-D ultrasonic anemometers at inlets and outlets. Gas concentrations (10 min means) in the barns ranged from: 443-789 ppm for CO2, 0.0-39.4 ppm for CH4, and 0.25-0.39 ppm for N2O; with mean concentrations ranging from 6 to 20%, 0 to 4%, and 26 to 180% above the average background concentrations for CO2, N2O, and CH4, respectively. The correlations between CO2 and CH4 enhanced concentrations were relatively stronger (R of 0.67-0.74) than between CO2 and N2O enhanced concentrations (R of 0.10-0.20). Environmental conditions did not significantly (p = 0.46) impact the enhanced concentrations of N2O in the barns. All three parameters (T, RH, and v) had significant (p < 0.01) influences on CO2 enhanced concentrations; while only T (p < 0.01) and v (p < 0.01) had significant influences on CH4 enhanced concentrations. Enhanced concentrations of CO2 and CH4 correlated negatively with all three parameters. The influence of the temperature-humidity index (THI) on CO2 enhanced concentrations was higher than that of v; while the effect v had on CH4 enhanced concentrations was slightly higher than that of the temperature-humidity index. The average emissions, based on hourly means, ranged from 5.3 to 10.7 kg d-1 AU-1 for CO2; 0.3 to 2.5 g d-1 AU-1 for N2O; and between 67 and 252 g d-1 AU-1 for CH4. Nitrous oxide emissions from the smaller barn, B1 (0.4-2.5 g d-1 AU-1), were significantly higher than from the larger barn, B2

  4. CROCKETT BARN SOUTH AND EAST FAÇADES, LOOKING NORTH. The Crockett ...

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

    CROCKETT BARN SOUTH AND EAST FAÇADES, LOOKING NORTH. The Crockett barn was constructed into the sloping landscape. The Pennsylvania Bank Barn construction style allows for access at ground level on both the upper and lower floors. The Crockett granary is visible on the right hand side of the photograph. Currently a property line runs between the two buildings. - Crockett Farm, Barn, 1056 Fort Casey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  5. Geographic variation and genetic structure in Spotted Owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haig, Susan M.; Wagner, R.S.; Forsman, E.D.; Mullins, Thomas D.

    2001-01-01

    We examined genetic variation, population structure, and definition of conservation units in Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis). Spotted Owls are mostly non-migratory, long-lived, socially monogamous birds that have decreased population viability due to their occupation of highly-fragmented late successional forests in western North America. To investigate potential effects of habitat fragmentation on population structure, we used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to examine genetic variation hierarchically among local breeding areas, subregional groups, regional groups, and subspecies via sampling of 21 breeding areas (276 individuals) among the three subspecies of Spotted Owls. Data from 11 variable bands suggest a significant relationship between geographic distance among local breeding groups and genetic distance (Mantel r = 0.53, P < 0.02) although multi-dimensional scaling of three significant axes did not identify significant grouping at any hierarchical level. Similarly, neighbor-joining clustering of Manhattan distances indicated geographic structure at all levels and identified Mexican Spotted Owls as a distinct clade. RAPD analyses did not clearly differentiate Northern Spotted Owls from California Spotted Owls. Among Northern Spotted Owls, estimates of population differentiation (FST) ranged from 0.27 among breeding areas to 0.11 among regions. Concordantly, within-group agreement values estimated via multi-response permutation procedures of Jaccarda??s distances ranged from 0.22 among local sites to 0.11 among regions. Pairwise comparisons of FST and geographic distance within regions suggested only the Klamath region was in equilibrium with respect to gene flow and genetic drift. Merging nuclear data with recent mitochondrial data provides support for designation of an Evolutionary Significant Unit for Mexican Spotted Owls and two overlapping Management Units for Northern and California Spotted Owls.

  6. Inclusion body disease in a great horned owl.

    PubMed

    Sileo, L; Carlson, H C; Crumley, S C

    1975-01-01

    The carcass of a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), which had been found moribund in southern Ontario, was presented for necropsy. Throughout the liver and spleen were numerous white foci 1-2 mm in diameter; also noted were white plaques in the mucosae of the pharyngeal papillae and intestine. Results of light and electron microscopic studies and experimental transmission to two captive great horned owls suggested that this was a herpvirus disease similar and possibly indentical to the owl disease reported by other workers in Wiconsin and Australia. PMID:163384

  7. Analysis of auditory spatial receptive fields: An application of virtual auditory space technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Terry T.; Keller, Clifford H.; Euston, David R.; Spezio, Michael L.

    2002-05-01

    Virtual auditory space technology, typically used to simulate acoustical environments, also allows one to vary one sound localization cue independently of others. VAST was used to determine the contributions of interaural time and level differences (ITD, ILD) to the spatial receptive fields (RFs) of neurons in the owl's midbrain. The presentation of noise filtered so that only ITD varied evoked a response along a vertical strip of virtual space, called the ITD-alone RF. Conversely, when ITD was fixed at the cell's optimum and the ILD spectrum of each location was presented, the cell responded along a horizontal strip, called the ILD-alone RF. The spatial RF was at the intersection of the ITD and ILD-alone RFs. The cell's ILD tuning across frequency, combined with individualized head-related transfer functions, was transformed into an ILD-alone RF that predicted half the variance in the measured one. This discrepancy was due partly to the poor response of the neurons to tones, and a new method of inferring frequency-specific ILD tuning from responses to noise explained about 75% of the variance. By understanding how spatial RFs are constructed, it is possible to infer the neural image of complex auditory scenes containing multiple sources and echoes. [Work supported by NIDCD.

  8. OWL 2 learn profile: an ontology sublanguage for the learning domain.

    PubMed

    Heiyanthuduwage, Sudath R; Schwitter, Rolf; Orgun, Mehmet A

    2016-01-01

    Many experimental ontologies have been developed for the learning domain for use at different institutions. These ontologies include different OWL/OWL 2 (Web Ontology Language) constructors. However, it is not clear which OWL 2 constructors are the most appropriate ones for designing ontologies for the learning domain. It is possible that the constructors used in these learning domain ontologies match one of the three standard OWL 2 profiles (sublanguages). To investigate whether this is the case, we have analysed a corpus of 14 ontologies designed for the learning domain. We have also compared the constructors used in these ontologies with those of the OWL 2 RL profile, one of the OWL 2 standard profiles. The results of our analysis suggest that the OWL 2 constructors used in these ontologies do not exactly match the standard OWL 2 RL profile, but form a subset of that profile which we call OWL 2 Learn.

  9. OWL 2 learn profile: an ontology sublanguage for the learning domain.

    PubMed

    Heiyanthuduwage, Sudath R; Schwitter, Rolf; Orgun, Mehmet A

    2016-01-01

    Many experimental ontologies have been developed for the learning domain for use at different institutions. These ontologies include different OWL/OWL 2 (Web Ontology Language) constructors. However, it is not clear which OWL 2 constructors are the most appropriate ones for designing ontologies for the learning domain. It is possible that the constructors used in these learning domain ontologies match one of the three standard OWL 2 profiles (sublanguages). To investigate whether this is the case, we have analysed a corpus of 14 ontologies designed for the learning domain. We have also compared the constructors used in these ontologies with those of the OWL 2 RL profile, one of the OWL 2 standard profiles. The results of our analysis suggest that the OWL 2 constructors used in these ontologies do not exactly match the standard OWL 2 RL profile, but form a subset of that profile which we call OWL 2 Learn. PMID:27066328

  10. OPHTHALMIC REFERENCE VALUES AND LESIONS IN TWO CAPTIVE POPULATIONS OF NORTHERN OWLS: GREAT GREY OWLS (STRIX NEBULOSA) AND SNOWY OWLS (BUBO SCANDIACUS).

    PubMed

    Wills, Sarah; Pinard, Chantale; Nykamp, Stephanie; Beaufrère, Hugues

    2016-03-01

    This study established ophthalmic reference values and characterized ocular lesions in two captive populations of boreal owls, including 46 eyes of 23 great grey owls (Strix nebulosa) and 38 eyes from 19 snowy owls (Bubo scandiacus). A complete ophthalmologic exam was conducted, including neuro-ophthalmic reflexes, Schirmer tear test I (STT-I), intraocular pressure (IOP) using rebound tonometry, fluorescein staining, horizontal corneal measurements using Jameson calipers, direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy, and ocular ultrasound biometry. Eyes with an STT of <5 mm/min, outliers, and eyes with severe diseases were excluded from reference value analysis. No statistically significant differences were found between right or left eyes in either species or among individuals in different age groups and sexes. Mean intraocular pressures and Schirmer tear tests were also not statistically significantly different between great grey owls and snowy owls (IOP: 9.6 ± 2.6 mm Hg and 9.1 ± 1.9 mm Hg, respectively, and STT-I: 9.8 ± 2.8 mm/min and 9.8 ± 2.4 mm/min, respectively). However, snowy owls overall had a significantly larger eye than did great grey owls, reflected in corneal diameters (23.4 ± 1 vs. 20.0 ± 0.8 mm, respectively) and sonographic biometry. In both species, the most common ocular lesions included keratitis, cataracts, chorioretinal lesions, and abnormal pecten. Establishment of reference ocular parameters will help wildlife veterinarians and rehabilitators determine an appropriate treatment plan and will aid in correctly identifying the presence of ocular disease. PMID:27010284

  11. Modeling co-occurrence of northern spotted and barred owls: accounting for detection probability differences

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, Larissa L.; Reid, Janice A.; Forsman, Eric D.; Nichols, James D.

    2009-01-01

    Barred owls (Strix varia) have recently expanded their range and now encompass the entire range of the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). This expansion has led to two important issues of concern for management of northern spotted owls: (1) possible competitive interactions between the two species that could contribute to population declines of northern spotted owls, and (2) possible changes in vocalization behavior and detection probabilities of northern spotted owls induced by presence of barred owls. We used a two-species occupancy model to investigate whether there was evidence of competitive exclusion between the two species at study locations in Oregon, USA. We simultaneously estimated detection probabilities for both species and determined if the presence of one species influenced the detection of the other species. Model selection results and associated parameter estimates provided no evidence that barred owls excluded spotted owls from territories. We found strong evidence that detection probabilities differed for the two species, with higher probabilities for northern spotted owls that are the object of current surveys. Non-detection of barred owls is very common in surveys for northern spotted owls, and detection of both owl species was negatively influenced by the presence of the congeneric species. Our results suggest that analyses directed at hypotheses of barred owl effects on demographic or occupancy vital rates of northern spotted owls need to deal adequately with imperfect and variable detection probabilities for both species.

  12. John Dewey's Socially Instrumental Practice at the Barnes Foundation and the Role of "Transferred Values" in Aesthetic Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Margaret Hess

    2012-01-01

    When Albert Barnes established an art education program at the Barnes Foundation in 1924, he asked John Dewey to become the first president and director of education. Barnes and Dewey enjoyed a sustained and fruitful relationship with regard to aesthetic experience and scientific theory as applied to education. Barnes and Dewey shared a serious…

  13. Combined particle-image velocimetry and force analysis of the three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction of a natural owl wing.

    PubMed

    Winzen, A; Roidl, B; Schröder, W

    2016-04-01

    Low-speed aerodynamics has gained increasing interest due to its relevance for the design process of small flying air vehicles. These small aircraft operate at similar aerodynamic conditions as, e.g. birds which therefore can serve as role models of how to overcome the well-known problems of low Reynolds number flight. The flight of the barn owl is characterized by a very low flight velocity in conjunction with a low noise emission and a high level of maneuverability at stable flight conditions. To investigate the complex three-dimensional flow field and the corresponding local structural deformation in combination with their influence on the resulting aerodynamic forces, time-resolved stereoscopic particle-image velocimetry and force and moment measurements are performed on a prepared natural barn owl wing. Several spanwise positions are measured via PIV in a range of angles of attack [Formula: see text] 6° and Reynolds numbers 40 000 [Formula: see text] 120 000 based on the chord length. Additionally, the resulting forces and moments are recorded for -10° ≤ α ≤ 15° at the same Reynolds numbers. Depending on the spanwise position, the angle of attack, and the Reynolds number, the flow field on the wing's pressure side is characterized by either a region of flow separation, causing large-scale vortical structures which lead to a time-dependent deflection of the flexible wing structure or wing regions showing no instantaneous deflection but a reduction of the time-averaged mean wing curvature. Based on the force measurements the three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction is assumed to considerably impact the aerodynamic forces acting on the wing leading to a strong mechanical loading of the interface between the wing and body. These time-depending loads which result from the flexibility of the wing should be taken into consideration for the design of future small flying air vehicles using flexible wing structures.

  14. Combined particle-image velocimetry and force analysis of the three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction of a natural owl wing.

    PubMed

    Winzen, A; Roidl, B; Schröder, W

    2016-04-01

    Low-speed aerodynamics has gained increasing interest due to its relevance for the design process of small flying air vehicles. These small aircraft operate at similar aerodynamic conditions as, e.g. birds which therefore can serve as role models of how to overcome the well-known problems of low Reynolds number flight. The flight of the barn owl is characterized by a very low flight velocity in conjunction with a low noise emission and a high level of maneuverability at stable flight conditions. To investigate the complex three-dimensional flow field and the corresponding local structural deformation in combination with their influence on the resulting aerodynamic forces, time-resolved stereoscopic particle-image velocimetry and force and moment measurements are performed on a prepared natural barn owl wing. Several spanwise positions are measured via PIV in a range of angles of attack [Formula: see text] 6° and Reynolds numbers 40 000 [Formula: see text] 120 000 based on the chord length. Additionally, the resulting forces and moments are recorded for -10° ≤ α ≤ 15° at the same Reynolds numbers. Depending on the spanwise position, the angle of attack, and the Reynolds number, the flow field on the wing's pressure side is characterized by either a region of flow separation, causing large-scale vortical structures which lead to a time-dependent deflection of the flexible wing structure or wing regions showing no instantaneous deflection but a reduction of the time-averaged mean wing curvature. Based on the force measurements the three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction is assumed to considerably impact the aerodynamic forces acting on the wing leading to a strong mechanical loading of the interface between the wing and body. These time-depending loads which result from the flexibility of the wing should be taken into consideration for the design of future small flying air vehicles using flexible wing structures. PMID:27033298

  15. Auditory-motor learning influences auditory memory for music.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

    In two experiments, we investigated how auditory-motor learning influences performers' memory for music. Skilled pianists learned novel melodies in four conditions: auditory only (listening), motor only (performing without sound), strongly coupled auditory-motor (normal performance), and weakly coupled auditory-motor (performing along with auditory recordings). Pianists' recognition of the learned melodies was better following auditory-only or auditory-motor (weakly coupled and strongly coupled) learning than following motor-only learning, and better following strongly coupled auditory-motor learning than following auditory-only learning. Auditory and motor imagery abilities modulated the learning effects: Pianists with high auditory imagery scores had better recognition following motor-only learning, suggesting that auditory imagery compensated for missing auditory feedback at the learning stage. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 with melodies that contained greater variation in acoustic features. Melodies that were slower and less variable in tempo and intensity were remembered better following weakly coupled auditory-motor learning. These findings suggest that motor learning can aid performers' auditory recognition of music beyond auditory learning alone, and that motor learning is influenced by individual abilities in mental imagery and by variation in acoustic features. PMID:22271265

  16. Auditory-motor learning influences auditory memory for music.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

    In two experiments, we investigated how auditory-motor learning influences performers' memory for music. Skilled pianists learned novel melodies in four conditions: auditory only (listening), motor only (performing without sound), strongly coupled auditory-motor (normal performance), and weakly coupled auditory-motor (performing along with auditory recordings). Pianists' recognition of the learned melodies was better following auditory-only or auditory-motor (weakly coupled and strongly coupled) learning than following motor-only learning, and better following strongly coupled auditory-motor learning than following auditory-only learning. Auditory and motor imagery abilities modulated the learning effects: Pianists with high auditory imagery scores had better recognition following motor-only learning, suggesting that auditory imagery compensated for missing auditory feedback at the learning stage. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 with melodies that contained greater variation in acoustic features. Melodies that were slower and less variable in tempo and intensity were remembered better following weakly coupled auditory-motor learning. These findings suggest that motor learning can aid performers' auditory recognition of music beyond auditory learning alone, and that motor learning is influenced by individual abilities in mental imagery and by variation in acoustic features.

  17. Saving a Progressive Vision: Moving the Barnes Collection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feinberg, Walter

    2013-01-01

    This paper examines the progressive understanding of art advanced by Albert Barnes, and asks how the educational vision for his large collection of art might be preserved as it has now moves from its location in the idyllic suburban setting in Merion, PA to the hustle and bustle of central Philadelphia. I submit that the vision will be endangered…

  18. Air quality in bedded mono-slope beef barns

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bedded mono-slope barns are becoming more common in the upper Midwest. Because these are new facilities, little research has been published regarding environmental quality, building management and animal performance in these facilities. A team of researchers from South Dakota State University, USDA ...

  19. 5. Log calving barn (center), loafing shed (right of center), ...

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

    5. Log calving barn (center), loafing shed (right of center), and wood-frame garage (far right). View to southwest. - William & Lucina Bowe Ranch, County Road 44, 0.1 mile northeast of Big Hole River Bridge, Melrose, Silver Bow County, MT

  20. Abundance and genetic damage of barn swallows from Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Bonisoli-Alquati, A; Koyama, K; Tedeschi, D J; Kitamura, W; Sukuzi, H; Ostermiller, S; Arai, E; Møller, A P; Mousseau, T A

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have assessed or modeled the distribution of the radionuclides released by the accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP). Few studies however have investigated its consequences for the local biota. We tested whether exposure of barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) nestlings to low dose ionizing radiation increased genetic damage to their peripheral erythrocytes. We estimated external radiation exposure by using thermoluminescent dosimeters, and by measuring radioactivity of the nest material. We then assessed DNA damage by means of the neutral comet assay. In addition, we conducted standard point-count censuses of barn swallows across environmental radiation levels, and estimated their abundance and local age ratio. Radioactivity of nest samples was in the range 479-143,349 Bq kg(-1), while external exposure varied between 0.15 and 4.9 mGy. Exposure to radioactive contamination did not correlate with higher genetic damage in nestlings. However, at higher levels of radioactive contamination the number of barn swallows declined and the fraction of juveniles decreased, indicating lower survival and lower reproduction and/or fledging rate. Thus, genetic damage to nestlings does not explain the decline of barn swallows in contaminated areas, and a proximate mechanism for the demographic effects documented here remains to be clarified. PMID:25838205

  1. Spatial and Nonspatial Escape Strategies in the Barnes Maze

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Fiona E.; Reiserer, Randall S.; Tomarken, Andrew J.; McDonald, Michael P.

    2006-01-01

    The Barnes maze is a spatial memory task that requires subjects to learn the position of a hole that can be used to escape the brightly lit, open surface of the maze. Two experiments assessed the relative importance of spatial (extra-maze) versus proximal visible cues in solving the maze. In Experiment 1, four groups of mice were trained either…

  2. Aeroallergens in dairy barns near Cooperstown, New York and Rochester, Minnesota

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, A.R.; Swanson, M.C.; Fernandez-Caldas, E.; Reed, C.E.; May, J.J.; Pratt, D.S. )

    1989-08-01

    We sampled atmospheric barn air using a volumetric air sampler in ten barns near Cooperstown, NY and six barns near Rochester, MN, and, with radioimmunoassays, measured allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus, Thermoactinomyces vulgaris, Micropolyspori faeni, short ragweed, rye grass group I pollen, Alternaria (Alt-1), Dermatophagoides sp. Lepidoglyphus destructor, common insect allergen, mouse urine, rat urine, and cattle epithelium. The most abundant allergen present was A. fumigatus followed by L. destructor. This study provides initial data on barn aerobiology and demonstrates for the first time the abundance of L. destructor allergens in North American dairy barns. More comprehensive study of barns, poultry houses, confinement houses for swine, and other agricultural environments from various geographic locations is needed to define the allergen levels to which millions of farm workers are exposed each day. While most of the allergens were expected, the presence of airborne allergens reactive with antisera to Dermatophagoides suggests indirectly that substantial amounts of pyroglyphid mites are present in some barns.

  3. OWL: A Condor Based Workflow Management System for JWST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierfederici, F.; Swam, M.; Greene, G.; Kyprianou, M.; Gaffney, N.

    2012-09-01

    The Open Workflow Layer (OWL) is an open source Workflow Management System (WMS) developed at the Space Telescope Science Institute. OWL is being designed for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) science data processing using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) as a test bed. It is however very general and could be applied to many other missions and data processing applications. OWL is a thin Python layer that provides advanced workflow management, GUIs and a data-centric view on top of Condor, a widely used open source batch scheduling system. As such, OWL can transparently take advantage of the many features offered by Condor without having to re-implement them from scratch.

  4. 29. November 1969 'OWL' CAPITAL BETWEEN WINDOWS ON SOUTH WALL ...

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

    29. November 1969 'OWL' CAPITAL BETWEEN WINDOWS ON SOUTH WALL OF RIGGS LIBRARY, SECOND LEVEL - Georgetown University, Healy Building, Thirty-seventh & O Streets, Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia, DC

  5. Pulmonary carcinoma in a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).

    PubMed

    Rettenmund, Christy; Sladky, Kurt K; Rodriguez, Daniel; Petersen, Michael; Pinkerton, Marie E; Rao, Deepa

    2010-03-01

    Pulmonary carcinoma was diagnosed in an 18+-year-old captive female great horned owl (Bubo virginianus). The owl presented with a history of progressive weakness and sudden onset of frank blood in the droppings. On physical examination, the owl had multiple white to yellow plaques in the oral cavity, decreased air sac sounds on the right side, dyspnea (during manual restraint), and reduced pectoral musculature. Whole-body radiographs revealed obliteration of the right-sided air sacs, a soft tissue plaque/density in the left caudal thoracic air sac, soft tissue opacity over the coelomic organs, and increased medullary opacity in the distal right humerus. The owl died during anesthetic recovery, and the body was submitted for necropsy. Although the clinical signs, physical examination results, radiographic signs, and gross pathology supported a diagnosis of mycotic infection, such as aspergillosis, histopathology confirmed pulmonary carcinoma with metastases to the air sacs and humerus. PMID:20722257

  6. In vivo functional and myeloarchitectonic mapping of human primary auditory areas

    PubMed Central

    Dick, Frederic; Tierney, Adam Taylor; Lutti, Antoine; Josephs, Oliver; Sereno, Martin I.; Weiskopf, Nikolaus

    2012-01-01

    In contrast to vision, where retinotopic mapping alone can define areal borders, primary auditory areas such as A1 are best delineated by combining in vivo tonotopic mapping with post mortem cyto- or myelo-architectonics from the same individual. We combined high-resolution (800 μm) quantitative T1 mapping with phase-encoded tonotopic methods to map primary auditory areas (A1 and R) within the ‘auditory core’ of human volunteers. We first quantitatively characterize the highly myelinated auditory core in terms of shape, area, cortical depth profile, and position, with our data showing considerable correspondence to post-mortem myeloarchitectonic studies, both in cross-participant averages and in individuals. The core region contains two ‘mirror-image‘ tonotopic maps oriented along the same axis as observed in macaque and owl monkey. We suggest that thee two maps within the core are the human analogues of primate auditory areas A1 and R. The core occupies a much smaller portion of tonotopically organized cortex on the superior temporal plane and gyrus than is generally supposed. The multi-modal approach to defining the auditory core will facilitate investigations of structure-function relationships, comparative neuroanatomical studies, and promises new biomarkers for diagnosis and clinical studies. PMID:23152594

  7. Ectoparasites of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) wintering in southern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skoruppa, M.K.; Pearce, B.; Woodin, M.C.; Hickman, G.C.

    2006-01-01

    Fifteen Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) were captured over two winters (2001-2003) in southern Texas and examined for ectoparasites. Four of the 15 owls (27%) harbored feather lice, and the maximum number of lice found on any individual was ??? three. Two species of feather lice were found: Colpocephalum pectinatum occurred on three of the owls, and Strigiphilus speotyti was found on four owls. No fleas or other ectoparasites were found on any of the Burrowing Owls. The low diversity and numbers of ectoparasites suggest that ectoparasites are not threatening the health of wintering Burrowing Owls in southern Texas.

  8. Semantically-Rigorous Systems Engineering Modeling Using Sysml and OWL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, J. Steven; Rouquette, Nicolas F.

    2012-01-01

    The Systems Modeling Language (SysML) has found wide acceptance as a standard graphical notation for the domain of systems engineering. SysML subsets and extends the Unified Modeling Language (UML) to define conventions for expressing structural, behavioral, and analytical elements, and relationships among them. SysML-enabled modeling tools are available from multiple providers, and have been used for diverse projects in military aerospace, scientific exploration, and civil engineering. The Web Ontology Language (OWL) has found wide acceptance as a standard notation for knowledge representation. OWL-enabled modeling tools are available from multiple providers, as well as auxiliary assets such as reasoners and application programming interface libraries, etc. OWL has been applied to diverse projects in a wide array of fields. While the emphasis in SysML is on notation, SysML inherits (from UML) a semantic foundation that provides for limited reasoning and analysis. UML's partial formalization (FUML), however, does not cover the full semantics of SysML, which is a substantial impediment to developing high confidence in the soundness of any conclusions drawn therefrom. OWL, by contrast, was developed from the beginning on formal logical principles, and consequently provides strong support for verification of consistency and satisfiability, extraction of entailments, conjunctive query answering, etc. This emphasis on formal logic is counterbalanced by the absence of any graphical notation conventions in the OWL standards. Consequently, OWL has had only limited adoption in systems engineering. The complementary strengths and weaknesses of SysML and OWL motivate an interest in combining them in such a way that we can benefit from the attractive graphical notation of SysML and the formal reasoning of OWL. This paper describes an approach to achieving that combination.

  9. Barnes maze testing strategies with small and large rodent models.

    PubMed

    Rosenfeld, Cheryl S; Ferguson, Sherry A

    2014-01-01

    Spatial learning and memory of laboratory rodents is often assessed via navigational ability in mazes, most popular of which are the water and dry-land (Barnes) mazes. Improved performance over sessions or trials is thought to reflect learning and memory of the escape cage/platform location. Considered less stressful than water mazes, the Barnes maze is a relatively simple design of a circular platform top with several holes equally spaced around the perimeter edge. All but one of the holes are false-bottomed or blind-ending, while one leads to an escape cage. Mildly aversive stimuli (e.g. bright overhead lights) provide motivation to locate the escape cage. Latency to locate the escape cage can be measured during the session; however, additional endpoints typically require video recording. From those video recordings, use of automated tracking software can generate a variety of endpoints that are similar to those produced in water mazes (e.g. distance traveled, velocity/speed, time spent in the correct quadrant, time spent moving/resting, and confirmation of latency). Type of search strategy (i.e. random, serial, or direct) can be categorized as well. Barnes maze construction and testing methodologies can differ for small rodents, such as mice, and large rodents, such as rats. For example, while extra-maze cues are effective for rats, smaller wild rodents may require intra-maze cues with a visual barrier around the maze. Appropriate stimuli must be identified which motivate the rodent to locate the escape cage. Both Barnes and water mazes can be time consuming as 4-7 test trials are typically required to detect improved learning and memory performance (e.g. shorter latencies or path lengths to locate the escape platform or cage) and/or differences between experimental groups. Even so, the Barnes maze is a widely employed behavioral assessment measuring spatial navigational abilities and their potential disruption by genetic, neurobehavioral manipulations, or drug

  10. Barnes maze testing strategies with small and large rodent models.

    PubMed

    Rosenfeld, Cheryl S; Ferguson, Sherry A

    2014-02-26

    Spatial learning and memory of laboratory rodents is often assessed via navigational ability in mazes, most popular of which are the water and dry-land (Barnes) mazes. Improved performance over sessions or trials is thought to reflect learning and memory of the escape cage/platform location. Considered less stressful than water mazes, the Barnes maze is a relatively simple design of a circular platform top with several holes equally spaced around the perimeter edge. All but one of the holes are false-bottomed or blind-ending, while one leads to an escape cage. Mildly aversive stimuli (e.g. bright overhead lights) provide motivation to locate the escape cage. Latency to locate the escape cage can be measured during the session; however, additional endpoints typically require video recording. From those video recordings, use of automated tracking software can generate a variety of endpoints that are similar to those produced in water mazes (e.g. distance traveled, velocity/speed, time spent in the correct quadrant, time spent moving/resting, and confirmation of latency). Type of search strategy (i.e. random, serial, or direct) can be categorized as well. Barnes maze construction and testing methodologies can differ for small rodents, such as mice, and large rodents, such as rats. For example, while extra-maze cues are effective for rats, smaller wild rodents may require intra-maze cues with a visual barrier around the maze. Appropriate stimuli must be identified which motivate the rodent to locate the escape cage. Both Barnes and water mazes can be time consuming as 4-7 test trials are typically required to detect improved learning and memory performance (e.g. shorter latencies or path lengths to locate the escape platform or cage) and/or differences between experimental groups. Even so, the Barnes maze is a widely employed behavioral assessment measuring spatial navigational abilities and their potential disruption by genetic, neurobehavioral manipulations, or drug

  11. The Distributed Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Winer, Jeffery A.; Lee, Charles C.

    2009-01-01

    A synthesis of cat auditory cortex (AC) organization is presented in which the extrinsic and intrinsic connections interact to derive a unified profile of the auditory stream and use it to direct and modify cortical and subcortical information flow. Thus, the thalamocortical input provides essential sensory information about peripheral stimulus events, which AC redirects locally for feature extraction, and then conveys to parallel auditory, multisensory, premotor, limbic, and cognitive centers for further analysis. The corticofugal output influences areas as remote as the pons and the cochlear nucleus, structures whose effects upon AC are entirely indirect, and has diverse roles in the transmission of information through the medial geniculate body and inferior colliculus. The distributed AC is thus construed as a functional network in which the auditory percept is assembled for subsequent redistribution in sensory, premotor, and cognitive streams contingent on the derived interpretation of the acoustic events. The confluence of auditory and multisensory streams likely precedes cognitive processing of sound. The distributed AC constitutes the largest and arguably the most complete representation of the auditory world. Many facets of this scheme may apply in rodent and primate AC as well. We propose that the distributed auditory cortex contributes to local processing regimes in regions as disparate as the frontal pole and the cochlear nucleus to construct the acoustic percept. PMID:17329049

  12. Insect-foraging in captive owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae).

    PubMed

    Wolovich, Christy K; Rivera, Jeanette; Evans, Sian

    2010-08-01

    Whereas the diets of diurnal primate species vary greatly, almost all nocturnal primate species consume insects. Insect-foraging has been described in nocturnal prosimians but has not been investigated in owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). We studied 35 captive owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae) in order to describe their foraging behavior and to determine if there were any age or sex differences in their ability to capture insect prey. Because owl monkeys cooperate in parental care and in food-sharing, we expected social interactions involving insect prey. We found that owl monkeys most often snatched flying insects from the air and immobilized crawling insects against a substrate using their hands. Immatures and adult female owl monkeys attempted to capture prey significantly more often than did adult males; however, there was no difference in the proportion of attempts that resulted in capture. Social interactions involving prey appeared similar to those with provisioned food, but possessors of prey resisted begging attempts more so than did possessors of other food. Owl monkeys attempted to capture prey often (mean = 9.5 +/- 5.8 attempts/h), and we speculate that the protein and lipid content of captured prey is important for meeting the metabolic demands for growth and reproduction.

  13. California spotted owls: Chapter 5 in Managing Sierra Nevada forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roberts, Suzanne C.; Brooks, Matthew L.

    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 mixedconifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, California spotted owls typically nest and roost in stands with high canopy closure (≥75 percent) [Note: when citing studies, we use terminology consistent with Jennings et al. (1999), however, not all studies properly distinguish between canopy cover and closure and often use the terms interchangeably (see chapter 14 for clarification)] and an abundance of large trees (>24 in (60 cm) diameter at breast height [d.b.h.]) (Bias and Gutiérrez 1992, Gutiérrez et al. 1992, LaHaye et al. 1997, Moen and Gutiérrez 1997, Verner et al. 1992a). The California spotted owl guidelines (Verner et al. 1992b) effectively summarized much of the information about nesting and roosting habitat. Since that report, research on the California spotted owl has continued with much of the new information concentrated in five areas: population trends, barred owl (Strix varia) invasion, climate effects, foraging habitat, and owl response to fire.

  14. Insect-foraging in captive owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae).

    PubMed

    Wolovich, Christy K; Rivera, Jeanette; Evans, Sian

    2010-08-01

    Whereas the diets of diurnal primate species vary greatly, almost all nocturnal primate species consume insects. Insect-foraging has been described in nocturnal prosimians but has not been investigated in owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). We studied 35 captive owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae) in order to describe their foraging behavior and to determine if there were any age or sex differences in their ability to capture insect prey. Because owl monkeys cooperate in parental care and in food-sharing, we expected social interactions involving insect prey. We found that owl monkeys most often snatched flying insects from the air and immobilized crawling insects against a substrate using their hands. Immatures and adult female owl monkeys attempted to capture prey significantly more often than did adult males; however, there was no difference in the proportion of attempts that resulted in capture. Social interactions involving prey appeared similar to those with provisioned food, but possessors of prey resisted begging attempts more so than did possessors of other food. Owl monkeys attempted to capture prey often (mean = 9.5 +/- 5.8 attempts/h), and we speculate that the protein and lipid content of captured prey is important for meeting the metabolic demands for growth and reproduction. PMID:20523055

  15. March-June 2009 monitoring results for Barnes, Kansas.

    SciTech Connect

    LaFreniere, L. M.; Environmental Science Division

    2009-09-08

    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 (Argonne 2008a-d, 2009) 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 investigation 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 fifth and sixth quarterly monitoring events, conducted in March and June

  16. [Central auditory prosthesis].

    PubMed

    Lenarz, T; Lim, H; Joseph, G; Reuter, G; Lenarz, M

    2009-06-01

    Deaf patients with severe sensory hearing loss can benefit from a cochlear implant (CI), which stimulates the auditory nerve fibers. However, patients who do not have an intact auditory nerve cannot benefit from a CI. The majority of these patients are neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients who developed neural deafness due to growth or surgical removal of a bilateral acoustic neuroma. The only current solution is the auditory brainstem implant (ABI), which stimulates the surface of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem. Although the ABI provides improvement in environmental awareness and lip-reading capabilities, only a few NF2 patients have achieved some limited open set speech perception. In the search for alternative procedures our research group in collaboration with Cochlear Ltd. (Australia) developed a human prototype auditory midbrain implant (AMI), which is designed to electrically stimulate the inferior colliculus (IC). The IC has the potential as a new target for an auditory prosthesis as it provides access to neural projections necessary for speech perception as well as a systematic map of spectral information. In this paper the present status of research and development in the field of central auditory prostheses is presented with respect to technology, surgical technique and hearing results as well as the background concepts of ABI and AMI. PMID:19517084

  17. Auditory Spatial Layout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wightman, Frederic L.; Jenison, Rick

    1995-01-01

    All auditory sensory information is packaged in a pair of acoustical pressure waveforms, one at each ear. While there is obvious structure in these waveforms, that structure (temporal and spectral patterns) bears no simple relationship to the structure of the environmental objects that produced them. The properties of auditory objects and their layout in space must be derived completely from higher level processing of the peripheral input. This chapter begins with a discussion of the peculiarities of acoustical stimuli and how they are received by the human auditory system. A distinction is made between the ambient sound field and the effective stimulus to differentiate the perceptual distinctions among various simple classes of sound sources (ambient field) from the known perceptual consequences of the linear transformations of the sound wave from source to receiver (effective stimulus). Next, the definition of an auditory object is dealt with, specifically the question of how the various components of a sound stream become segregated into distinct auditory objects. The remainder of the chapter focuses on issues related to the spatial layout of auditory objects, both stationary and moving.

  18. Owl monkeys (Aotus nigriceps and A. infulatus) follow routes instead of food-related cues during foraging in captivity.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Renata Souza; Bicca-Marques, Júlio César

    2014-01-01

    Foraging at night imposes different challenges from those faced during daylight, including the reliability of sensory cues. Owl monkeys (Aotus spp.) are ideal models among anthropoids to study the information used during foraging at low light levels because they are unique by having a nocturnal lifestyle. Six Aotus nigriceps and four A. infulatus individuals distributed into five enclosures were studied for testing their ability to rely on olfactory, visual, auditory, or spatial and quantitative information for locating food rewards and for evaluating the use of routes to navigate among five visually similar artificial feeding boxes mounted in each enclosure. During most experiments only a single box was baited with a food reward in each session. The baited box changed randomly throughout the experiment. In the spatial and quantitative information experiment there were two baited boxes varying in the amount of food provided. These baited boxes remained the same throughout the experiment. A total of 45 sessions (three sessions per night during 15 consecutive nights) per enclosure was conducted in each experiment. Only one female showed a performance suggestive of learning of the usefulness of sight to locate the food reward in the visual information experiment. Subjects showed a chance performance in the remaining experiments. All owl monkeys showed a preference for one box or a subset of boxes to inspect upon the beginning of each experimental session and consistently followed individual routes among feeding boxes.

  19. Owl Monkeys (Aotus nigriceps and A. infulatus) Follow Routes Instead of Food-Related Cues during Foraging in Captivity

    PubMed Central

    da Costa, Renata Souza; Bicca-Marques, Júlio César

    2014-01-01

    Foraging at night imposes different challenges from those faced during daylight, including the reliability of sensory cues. Owl monkeys (Aotus spp.) are ideal models among anthropoids to study the information used during foraging at low light levels because they are unique by having a nocturnal lifestyle. Six Aotus nigriceps and four A. infulatus individuals distributed into five enclosures were studied for testing their ability to rely on olfactory, visual, auditory, or spatial and quantitative information for locating food rewards and for evaluating the use of routes to navigate among five visually similar artificial feeding boxes mounted in each enclosure. During most experiments only a single box was baited with a food reward in each session. The baited box changed randomly throughout the experiment. In the spatial and quantitative information experiment there were two baited boxes varying in the amount of food provided. These baited boxes remained the same throughout the experiment. A total of 45 sessions (three sessions per night during 15 consecutive nights) per enclosure was conducted in each experiment. Only one female showed a performance suggestive of learning of the usefulness of sight to locate the food reward in the visual information experiment. Subjects showed a chance performance in the remaining experiments. All owl monkeys showed a preference for one box or a subset of boxes to inspect upon the beginning of each experimental session and consistently followed individual routes among feeding boxes. PMID:25517894

  20. Practical considerations for ventilating calf barns in winter.

    PubMed

    Nordlund, Kenneth V

    2008-03-01

    The use of air sampling devices to measure the concentrations of airborne bacteria in clinical investigations and research trials in calf barns has indicated that traditional systems of ventilation are problematic in cold weather. Individual pen designs should have two solid sides, but the front and rear should be as open as possible. Thermal stress should be managed by providing deep bedding and not by enclosing the pen. Air hygiene can be improved by reducing stocking density and using supplemental positive-pressure ventilation systems to deliver small amounts of air to each pen. Implementation of these recommendations can produce calf barns that seem to equal calf hutches in minimizing disease and provide better working conditions for the caregivers.

  1. 3 CFR - Proposed Revised Habitat for the Spotted Owl: Minimizing Regulatory Burdens

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 3 The President 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Proposed Revised Habitat for the Spotted Owl..., 2012 Proposed Revised Habitat for the Spotted Owl: Minimizing Regulatory Burdens Memorandum for the...) proposed critical habitat for the northern spotted owl. The proposal is an initial step in...

  2. 75 FR 63800 - Information Collection; Commercial Use of the Woodsy Owl Symbol

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-18

    ... Forest Service Information Collection; Commercial Use of the Woodsy Owl Symbol AGENCY: Forest Service... currently approved information collection, Commercial Use of the Woodsy Owl Symbol. DATES: Comments must be...: Commercial Use of the Woodsy Owl Symbol. OMB Number: 0596-0087. Expiration Date of Approval: 04/30/2011....

  3. Habitat selection by owls in a seasonal semi-deciduous forest in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Menq, W; Anjos, L

    2015-11-01

    This paper tested the hypothesis that the structural components of vegetation have impact over the distribution of owl species in a fragment of a semi-deciduous seasonal forest. This paper also determined which vegetation variables contributed to the spatial distribution of owl species. It was developed in the Perobas Biological Reserve (PBR) between September and December 2011. To conduct the owl census, a playback technique was applied at hearing points distributed to cover different vegetation types in the study area. A total of 56 individual owls of six species were recorded: Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba), Black-capped Screech-Owl (Megascops atricapilla), Tawny-browed Owl (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana), Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum), Mottled Owl (Strix virgata) and Stygian Owl (Asio stygius). The results suggest that the variables of vegetation structure have impact on the occurrence of owls. The canopy height, the presence of hollow trees, fallen trees and glades are the most important structural components influencing owl distribution in the sampled area. PMID:26602354

  4. Habitat selection by owls in a seasonal semi-deciduous forest in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Menq, W; Anjos, L

    2015-11-01

    This paper tested the hypothesis that the structural components of vegetation have impact over the distribution of owl species in a fragment of a semi-deciduous seasonal forest. This paper also determined which vegetation variables contributed to the spatial distribution of owl species. It was developed in the Perobas Biological Reserve (PBR) between September and December 2011. To conduct the owl census, a playback technique was applied at hearing points distributed to cover different vegetation types in the study area. A total of 56 individual owls of six species were recorded: Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba), Black-capped Screech-Owl (Megascops atricapilla), Tawny-browed Owl (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana), Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum), Mottled Owl (Strix virgata) and Stygian Owl (Asio stygius). The results suggest that the variables of vegetation structure have impact on the occurrence of owls. The canopy height, the presence of hollow trees, fallen trees and glades are the most important structural components influencing owl distribution in the sampled area.

  5. New four-dimensional integrals by Mellin-Barnes transform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allendes, Pedro; Guerrero, Natanael; Kondrashuk, Igor; Notte Cuello, Eduardo A.

    2010-05-01

    This paper is devoted to the calculation of a special class of integrals by Mellin-Barnes transform. It contains double integrals in the position space in d =4-2ɛ dimensions, where ɛ is parameter of dimensional regularization. These integrals contribute to the effective action of the N =4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory. The integrand is a fraction in which the numerator is the logarithm of the ratio of space-time intervals, and the denominator is the product of powers of space-time intervals. According to the method developed in the previous papers, in order to make use of the uniqueness technique for one of two integrations, we shift exponents in powers in the denominator of integrands by some multiples of ɛ. As the next step, the second integration in the position space is done by Mellin-Barnes transform. For normalizing procedure, we reproduce first the known result obtained earlier by Gegenbauer polynomial technique. Then, we make another shift of exponents in powers in the denominator to create the logarithm in the numerator as the derivative with respect to the shift parameter δ. We show that the technique of work with the contour of the integral modified in this way by using Mellin-Barnes transform repeats the technique of work with the contour of the integral without such a modification. In particular, all the operations with a shift of contour of integration over complex variables of twofold Mellin-Barnes transform are the same as before the δ modification of indices, and even the poles of residues coincide. This confirms the observation made in the previous papers that in the position space all the Green's function of N =4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory can be expressed in terms of Usyukina-Davydychev functions.

  6. New four-dimensional integrals by Mellin-Barnes transform

    SciTech Connect

    Allendes, Pedro; Guerrero, Natanael; Kondrashuk, Igor; Notte Cuello, Eduardo A.

    2010-05-15

    This paper is devoted to the calculation of a special class of integrals by Mellin-Barnes transform. It contains double integrals in the position space in d=4-2{epsilon} dimensions, where {epsilon} is parameter of dimensional regularization. These integrals contribute to the effective action of the N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory. The integrand is a fraction in which the numerator is the logarithm of the ratio of space-time intervals, and the denominator is the product of powers of space-time intervals. According to the method developed in the previous papers, in order to make use of the uniqueness technique for one of two integrations, we shift exponents in powers in the denominator of integrands by some multiples of {epsilon}. As the next step, the second integration in the position space is done by Mellin-Barnes transform. For normalizing procedure, we reproduce first the known result obtained earlier by Gegenbauer polynomial technique. Then, we make another shift of exponents in powers in the denominator to create the logarithm in the numerator as the derivative with respect to the shift parameter {delta}. We show that the technique of work with the contour of the integral modified in this way by using Mellin-Barnes transform repeats the technique of work with the contour of the integral without such a modification. In particular, all the operations with a shift of contour of integration over complex variables of twofold Mellin-Barnes transform are the same as before the {delta} modification of indices, and even the poles of residues coincide. This confirms the observation made in the previous papers that in the position space all the Green's function of N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory can be expressed in terms of Usyukina-Davydychev functions.

  7. Mellin-Barnes Representation of the Topological String

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krefl, Daniel

    2016-11-01

    We invoke integrals of Mellin-Barnes type to analytically continue the Gopakumar-Vafa resummation of the topological string free energy in the string coupling constant, leading to additional non-perturbative terms. We also discuss in a similar manner the refined and Nekrasov-Shatashvili limit version thereof. The derivation is straight-forward and essentially boils down to taking residue. This allows us to confirm some related conjectures in the literature at tree-level.

  8. Mellin-Barnes Representation of the Topological String

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krefl, Daniel

    2016-08-01

    We invoke integrals of Mellin-Barnes type to analytically continue the Gopakumar-Vafa resummation of the topological string free energy in the string coupling constant, leading to additional non-perturbative terms. We also discuss in a similar manner the refined and Nekrasov-Shatashvili limit version thereof. The derivation is straight-forward and essentially boils down to taking residue. This allows us to confirm some related conjectures in the literature at tree-level.

  9. CROCKETT BARN AND BLOCKHOUSE FROM SOUTH FORT CASEY ROAD, LOOKING ...

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

    CROCKETT BARN AND BLOCKHOUSE FROM SOUTH FORT CASEY ROAD, LOOKING SOUTHEAST. The Crockett blockhouse was moved from its original location to a tract of land along South Fort Casey Road in 1938, making it more accessible to tourists. During the same year it was given to the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington and restored by Works Progress Administration crews. - Crockett Farm, 1056 Fort Casey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  10. Temperature distribution of air source heat pump barn with different air flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, X.; Li, J. C.; Zhao, G. Q.

    2016-08-01

    There are two type of airflow form in tobacco barn, one is air rising, the other is air falling. They are different in the structure layout and working principle, which affect the tobacco barn in the distribution of temperature field and velocity distribution. In order to compare the temperature and air distribution of the two, thereby obtain a tobacco barn whose temperature field and velocity distribution are more uniform. Taking the air source heat pump tobacco barn as the investigated subject and establishing relevant mathematical model, the thermodynamics of the two type of curing barn was analysed and compared based on Fluent. Provide a reasonable evidence for chamber arrangement and selection of outlet for air source heat pump tobacco barn.

  11. Auditory models for speech analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maybury, Mark T.

    This paper reviews the psychophysical basis for auditory models and discusses their application to automatic speech recognition. First an overview of the human auditory system is presented, followed by a review of current knowledge gleaned from neurological and psychoacoustic experimentation. Next, a general framework describes established peripheral auditory models which are based on well-understood properties of the peripheral auditory system. This is followed by a discussion of current enhancements to that models to include nonlinearities and synchrony information as well as other higher auditory functions. Finally, the initial performance of auditory models in the task of speech recognition is examined and additional applications are mentioned.

  12. BARN EXTERIOR PERSPECTIVE OF WEST FAÇADE FROM ACCESS ROAD, LOOKING ...

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

    BARN EXTERIOR PERSPECTIVE OF WEST FAÇADE FROM ACCESS ROAD, LOOKING EAST. (A shed addition was added to the north end of the barn in the mid-1950s for squash storage. Another addition was built in the early 1970s to provide feeding and watering troughs for cattle. This image also shows the granary, on the right.) - Smith Farm, Barn, 399 Ebey Road, Coupeville, Island County, WA

  13. A direct method of measuring gaseous emissions from naturally ventilated dairy barns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joo, H. S.; Ndegwa, P. M.; Heber, A. J.; Bogan, B. W.; Ni, J.-Q.; Cortus, E. L.; Ramirez-Dorronsoro, J. C.

    2014-04-01

    Air pollutant emission rates from mechanically ventilated (MV) dairy barns are determined from the product of the differences in concentrations of pollutants in air at the inlet and exhaust points and the corresponding ventilation rates. In contrast to well defined entry and exit points in MV barns, large area air inlets or outlets characterize naturally ventilated (NV) freestall dairy barns. Complicating this scenario even more, pertinent airflow characteristics (velocity and direction) necessary for determining ventilation rates vary continuously, both temporally and spatially. This paper describes implementation of a direct method, generally equivalent to the approach used for MV barns, for determining air emission rates of NV barns. Ultrasonic anemometers (sonics) located at salient points in the barn openings mapped air inflow and outflow velocities necessary to calculate ventilation rates. Pollutant concentrations in the air entering or leaving the barn during a given period were measured at sampling points located next to the anemometers. The air inflow rates were, in general, higher than the air outflow rates from the barns, but diurnal profiles were similar. The observed ventilation characteristics were consistent with prevailing wind directions. Air inflows were observed predominantly at windward openings of the barn, while the outflows were mainly at the barn's leeward openings. Results indicated that either: (i) the average of the air inflow and outflow rates (averaging approach), or (ii) the air inflow rates (inflow-only approach) were credible representations of ventilation rates. Results also revealed use of an on-site weather station and one sonic mounted in the middle of each wall of the barn as a possible approach for determining barn ventilation rates. The suggested use of ventilation rates for interpolating missing concentrations from intermittent gas measurements could potentially increase the integrity of emission rates at significantly lower

  14. Dual tube, counter-flow heat exchange for turkey barns. First quarterly report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-12-01

    A prototype of the dual tube, counter-flow heat exchanger for turkey barns is presently built and installed in a turkey barn at Molly Creek Turkey Farm, Swanville, Minnesota. Phase 1 of the project selecting cooperator barn, and taking survey information, is now complete. Drawing existing barn for the design, is now complete; building test model is now complete; and building of prorotype is almost completed. The prototype is now ready for final items, testing and monitoring equipment installed, and to actually run under working conditions.

  15. Mucocele in a spectacled owl (Pusilatrix perspicillata).

    PubMed

    Huynh, Minh; Brandão, João; Sabater, Mikel; Stidworthy, Mark F; Forbes, Neil A

    2014-03-01

    A 6-year-old breeding female spectacled owl (Pusilatrix perspicillata) was presented for a soft, fluid-filled, spherical mass under the neck that had been increasing in size over the previous 3 days. Results of a fine-needle aspirate of the mass showed clear, pale-yellow fluid with a total protein of 12.6 g/L. Cytologic examination revealed erythrocytes, moderate numbers of heterophils, and numerous foamy mononuclear cells against a mucoid background. Macroscopically, the mass appeared to be attached firmly to the esophagus. The mass was excised surgically and submitted for histopathologic examination. The lesion comprised a circumscribed, fibrous-encapsulated multilocular cyst, lined by plump, goblet-type, cuboidal epithelial cells lying in abundant mucinous matrix. Findings were consistent with a mucocele of the esophageal mucosal gland. Excision was considered curative based on follow-up 6 months after initial presentation. To our knowledge, this is the first report of this condition in Strigiformes and indicates that mucocele should be included in the differential diagnosis of cervical masses in birds.

  16. The type specimens of Hekstra's owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Browning, M.R.

    1989-01-01

    Twenty-four new subspecies of New World owls of the genus Otus were named in a paper by Hekstra (1982b) issued 17 December 1982. These same new names also appeared in Hekstra's (1982a) unpublished thesis. The holotypes of the new taxa are in 10 different collections, most of which are in the United States. Incorrect information was published with regard to museum designation, museum number, and collecting locality of many of the holotypes. I here list the holotypes with their correct specimen label data. The species names are here presented in the sequence proposed by Marshall & King (1988). The subspecies are generally arranged from north to south. The type localities given are standardized, and the spellings are corrected where required. Abbreviations for museum designations are given under acknowledgments. The numbers following the names refer to the pages where the descriptions were given (Hekstra 1982b). Several of the scientific names proposed were spelled incorrectly and these have been emended in accord with Article 31c and Appendix D of the International Code (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature 1985). Taxonomic comments are appended for a small number of Hekstra's proposed taxa. The remaining forms he named require further study.

  17. Barnes Maze Testing Strategies with Small and Large Rodent Models

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Spatial learning and memory of laboratory rodents is often assessed via navigational ability in mazes, most popular of which are the water and dry-land (Barnes) mazes. Improved performance over sessions or trials is thought to reflect learning and memory of the escape cage/platform location. Considered less stressful than water mazes, the Barnes maze is a relatively simple design of a circular platform top with several holes equally spaced around the perimeter edge. All but one of the holes are false-bottomed or blind-ending, while one leads to an escape cage. Mildly aversive stimuli (e.g. bright overhead lights) provide motivation to locate the escape cage. Latency to locate the escape cage can be measured during the session; however, additional endpoints typically require video recording. From those video recordings, use of automated tracking software can generate a variety of endpoints that are similar to those produced in water mazes (e.g. distance traveled, velocity/speed, time spent in the correct quadrant, time spent moving/resting, and confirmation of latency). Type of search strategy (i.e. random, serial, or direct) can be categorized as well. Barnes maze construction and testing methodologies can differ for small rodents, such as mice, and large rodents, such as rats. For example, while extra-maze cues are effective for rats, smaller wild rodents may require intra-maze cues with a visual barrier around the maze. Appropriate stimuli must be identified which motivate the rodent to locate the escape cage. Both Barnes and water mazes can be time consuming as 4-7 test trials are typically required to detect improved learning and memory performance (e.g. shorter latencies or path lengths to locate the escape platform or cage) and/or differences between experimental groups. Even so, the Barnes maze is a widely employed behavioral assessment measuring spatial navigational abilities and their potential disruption by genetic, neurobehavioral manipulations, or

  18. Auditory processing--speech, space and auditory objects.

    PubMed

    Scott, Sophie K

    2005-04-01

    There have been recent developments in our understanding of the auditory neuroscience of non-human primates that, to a certain extent, can be integrated with findings from human functional neuroimaging studies. This framework can be used to consider the cortical basis of complex sound processing in humans, including implications for speech perception, spatial auditory processing and auditory scene segregation. PMID:15831402

  19. Do owls use torpor? Winter thermoregulation in free-ranging pearl-spotted owlets and African scops-owls.

    PubMed

    Smit, Ben; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2010-01-01

    Numerous avian taxa use torpor, which involves pronounced reductions in body temperature (T(b)) to below normothermic levels. However, the occurrence of this phenomenon in owls (Strigidae) remains largely unknown. We investigated winter patterns of thermoregulation in the crepuscular 80-g pearl-spotted owlet Glaucidium perlatum and the strictly nocturnal 61-g African scops-owl Otus senegalensis by obtaining telemetric measurements of skin temperature (T(skin)) from free-ranging individuals in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. Pearl-spotted owlets remained homeothermic throughout the study period, whereas African scops-owls routinely used shallow torpor, with T(skin) reduced by 3.3 degrees -8.6 degrees C (pooled mean, 5.3+/- 1.1 degrees C) below normothermic levels for 3-4 h after sunrise. The mean lowest T(skin) recorded in three African scops-owl individuals was 29.0 degrees C +/- 0.1 degrees C. The thermoregulatory differences between these two species may be related to their diets and activity patterns. African scops-owls are almost exclusively insectivorous and experience a marked reduction in food availability on cold winter nights. In contrast, pearl-spotted owlets have more flexible activity patterns and include larger or diurnal vertebrate prey in their diet. PMID:19929636

  20. Compost bedded pack dairy barn management, performance, and producer satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Black, R A; Taraba, J L; Day, G B; Damasceno, F A; Bewley, J M

    2013-01-01

    The objective of the research was to characterize herd performance, producer satisfaction and recommendations, and management practices used by compost bedded pack (CBP) managers in Kentucky (42 farms and 47 CBP facilities). Farms were visited between October 2010 and March 2011. A random selection of cows housed solely in the CBP were scored for locomotion and hygiene. Changes in monthly Dairy Herd Improvement Association performance records, including milk production, SCC, reproductive performance, and daily bulk-tank somatic cell count after moving into the CBP were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS (SAS 9.3; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). The GLM procedure of SAS (SAS 9.3) was used to develop models to describe CBP moisture, CBP temperature at 20.3 cm, and mean herd hygiene. Producers provided 9.0 ± 2.2 m2 of pack space per cow (n = 44). Barns constructed with an attached feed alley cost $1,051 ± 407 per cow (n = 40). Barns constructed without an attached feed alley cost $493 ± 196 per cow (n = 13). Kiln-dried shavings required 0.05 ± 0.04 m3 of bedding per cow per day (n = 15). Green shavings required 0.07 ± 0.06 m3 of bedding per cow per day (n = 12). The most-frequently cited benefits of the CBP included cow comfort (n = 28), cow cleanliness (n = 14), and the low-maintenance nature of the system (n = 10). Increased stirring frequency, stirring depth, and ambient temperature increased pack temperature, measured at 20.3 cm below the CBP surface. Increased stirring depth, pasture-adjusted space per cow, and drying rate decreased CBP moisture. Mean herd locomotion and hygiene scores were 1.5 ± 0.3 (n = 34) and 2.2 ± 0.4 (n = 34), respectively. Increased 20.3-cm depth CBP temperature and ambient temperatures improved mean herd hygiene. Bulk-tank somatic cell count decreased from the year before to the year after moving into the CBP barn (323,692 ± 7,301 vs. 252,859 ± 7,112 cells/mL, respectively) for farms using the CBP barn as the primary

  1. A curious pellet from a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Dove, C.J.; Peurach, S.C.

    2005-01-01

    One of the traditional methods of determining the dietary preferences of owls relies upon the identification of bony remains of prey contained in regurgitated pellets. Discovery of a pellet containing a large, complete primary feather from an adult, male Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) prompted us to examine in detail a small sample of pellets from a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). Our analyses of feather and hair remains in these pellets documented the presence of three species of birds and two species of mammals, whereas bones in the pellets represented only mammals. This finding indicates an important bias that challenges the reliability of owl pellet studies making use of only osteological remains.

  2. First observed instance of polygyny in Flammulated Owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Linkhart, B.D.; Evers, E.M.; Megler, J.D.; Palm, E.C.; Salipante, C.M.; Yanco, S.W.

    2008-01-01

    We document the first observed instance of polygyny in Flammulated Owls (Otus flammeolus) and the first among insectivorous raptors. Chronologies of the male's two nests, which were 510 m apart, were separated by nearly 2 weeks. Each brood initially consisted of three owlets, similar to the mean brood size in monogamous pairs. The male delivered considerably fewer prey to the secondary nest, compared with prey-delivery rates at nests of monogamous males during the nestling period. Evidence suggested that all owlets fledged from the primary brood, but only one fledged from the secondary brood. We were uncertain of the cause of polygyny, but a possible explanation is the Hayman Fire shifted the operational sex ratio of the owls in favor of females. The extent of polygyny in Flammulated Owls may be limited by costs to the reproductive success of secondary females.

  3. A high absorption coefficient DL-MPP imitating owl skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Lijun; Zhao, Zhan; Kong, Deyi; Wu, Shaohua; Du, Lidong; Fang, Zhen

    2012-11-01

    This paper proposes a high absorption coefficient micro-perforated panel (MPP) imitating owl skin structure for acoustic noise reduction. Compared to the traditional micro-perforated panel, this device has two unique characteristics-simulating the owl skin structure, its radius of perforated apertures even can be as small as 55μ, and its material is silicon and fabricated by micro-electrical mechanical system (MEMS) technology; So that its absorption coefficients of acoustic noise for normal incidence sound wave whose frequencies arrange from 1.5 kHz to 6.0 kHz are all above 0.8 which is the owl's hunts sensitivity frequency band. Double leaf MPP fabricated by MEMS technology is an absolutely bionic success in functional-imitation.

  4. Traffic noise reduces foraging efficiency in wild owls.

    PubMed

    Senzaki, Masayuki; Yamaura, Yuichi; Francis, Clinton D; Nakamura, Futoshi

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise has been increasing globally. Laboratory experiments suggest that noise disrupts foraging behavior across a range of species, but to reveal the full impacts of noise, we must examine the impacts of noise on foraging behavior among species in the wild. Owls are widespread nocturnal top predators and use prey rustling sounds for localizing prey when hunting. We conducted field experiments to examine the effect of traffic noise on owls' ability to detect prey. Results suggest that foraging efficiency declines with increasing traffic noise levels due to acoustic masking and/or distraction and aversion to traffic noise. Moreover, we estimate that effects of traffic noise on owls' ability to detect prey reach >120 m from a road, which is larger than the distance estimated from captive studies with bats. Our study provides the first evidence that noise reduces foraging efficiency in wild animals, and highlights the possible pervasive impacts of noise. PMID:27537709

  5. Representing lexical components of medical terminologies in OWL.

    PubMed

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Chute, Christopher G; Solbrig, Harold

    2005-01-01

    Medical Terminologies play a vital role in clinical data capture, reporting, information integration, indexing and retrieval. The Web Ontology language (OWL) provides an opportunity for the medical community to leverage the capabilities of OWL semantics and tools to build formal, sound and consistent medical terminologies, and to provide a standard web accessible medium for inter-operability,access and reuse. One of the tasks facing the medical community today is to represent the extensive terminology content that already exists into this new medium. This paper addresses one aspect of this challenge - how to incorporate multilingual, structured lexical information such as definitions, synonyms, usage notes, etc. into the OWL ontology model in a standardized, consistent and useful fashion.

  6. The Drosophila Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    Boekhoff-Falk, Grace; Eberl, Daniel F.

    2013-01-01

    Development of a functional auditory system in Drosophila requires specification and differentiation of the chordotonal sensilla of Johnston’s organ (JO) in the antenna, correct axonal targeting to the antennal mechanosensory and motor center (AMMC) in the brain, and synaptic connections to neurons in the downstream circuit. Chordotonal development in JO is functionally complicated by structural, molecular and functional diversity that is not yet fully understood, and construction of the auditory neural circuitry is only beginning to unfold. Here we describe our current understanding of developmental and molecular mechanisms that generate the exquisite functions of the Drosophila auditory system, emphasizing recent progress and highlighting important new questions arising from research on this remarkable sensory system. PMID:24719289

  7. Gongylonema sp. infection in the scops owl (Otus scops).

    PubMed

    Esperón, Fernando; Martín, María Paz; Lopes, Francisca; Orejas, Patricia; Carrero, Laura; Muñoz, María Jesús; Alonso, Raúl

    2013-12-01

    Since 1997, it has been observed that fledging scops owls often develop necrotic plaques in their oral cavities, which in severe cases can even affect bone tissue. This condition has been defined as a necrotic oropharyngeal disease based on gross lesions. In 2011 alone, thirty-five cases were identified at the Brinzal Owl Rescue Centre (Madrid, Spain), of which four were chosen to perform a complete diagnostic study. Histopathology was carried out in three cases and cytology in one case. Using morphological traits cytology identified two larvae as third-stage larvae of a Spiruridae nematode. Histology detected parasite sections in the mucosal epithelium of the mouth of one owl. In addition, four samples of mucosal lesions were subjected to a PCR amplification of the nematode ribosomal RNA gene using a pair of universal primers, three of which were positive. Of available sequences, the sequence obtained showed the closest affinity to that of Gongylonema pulchrum (97.8-98.0%). Clinical treatment was based on supportive therapy, the daily removal of caseous material from the oral cavity and the administration of fenbendazol (50mg/kg PO for 5 days). Approximately 60% of the affected scops owls that arrived at the rescue centre in 2011 were cured and released back into the wild. Clinical, pathological and molecular findings are consistent with Gongylonema sp. infection. Since no evidence of the presence of adult parasites was found, we suggest that these scops owls should be considered as accidental hosts. This is the first description of severe Gongylonema infection in fledgling scops owls, a disease can lead to starvation and death if proper treatment is not provided.

  8. Morphological Variations of Leading-Edge Serrations in Owls (Strigiformes)

    PubMed Central

    Weger, Matthias; Wagner, Hermann

    2016-01-01

    Background Owls have developed serrations, comb-like structures, along the leading edge of their wings. Serrations were investigated from a morphological and a mechanical point of view, but were not yet quantitatively compared for different species. Such a comparative investigation of serrations from species of different sizes and activity patterns may provide new information about the function of the serrations. Results Serrations on complete wings and on tenth primary remiges of seven owl species were investigated. Small, middle-sized, and large owl species were investigated as well as species being more active during the day and owls being more active during the night. Serrations occurred at the outer parts of the wings, predominantly at tenth primary remiges, but also on further wing feathers in most species. Serration tips were oriented away from the feather rachis so that they faced into the air stream during flight. The serrations of nocturnal owl species were higher developed as demonstrated by a larger inclination angle (the angle between the base of the barb and the rachis), a larger tip displacement angle (the angle between the tip of the serration and the base of the serration) and a longer length. Putting the measured data into a clustering algorithm yielded dendrograms that suggested a strong influence of activity pattern, but only a weak influence of size on the development of the serrations. Conclusions Serrations are supposed to be involved in noise reduction during flight and also depend on the aerodynamic properties that in turn depend on body size. Since especially nocturnal owls have to rely on hearing during prey capture, the more pronounced serrations of nocturnal species lend further support to the notion that serrations have an important function in noise reduction. The differences in shape of the serrations investigated indicate that a silent flight requires well-developed serrations. PMID:26934104

  9. Cross: An OWL Wrapper for Reasoning on Relational Databases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champin, Pierre-Antoine; Houben, Geert-Jan; Thiran, Philippe

    One of the challenges of the Semantic Web is to integrate the huge amount of information already available on the standard Web, usually stored in relational databases. In this paper, we propose a formalization of a logic model of relational databases, and a transformation of that model into OWL, a Semantic Web language. This transformation is implemented in Cross, as an open-source prototype. We prove a relation between the notion of legal database state and the consistency of the corresponding OWL knowledge base. We then show how that transformation can prove useful to enhance databases, and integrate them in the Semantic Web.

  10. Comparison of Plasmodium falciparum infections in Panamanian and Colombian owl monkeys.

    PubMed

    Rossan, R N; Harper, J S; Davidson, D E; Escajadillo, A; Christensen, H A

    1985-11-01

    Parameters of blood-induced infections of the Vietnam Oak Knoll, Vietnam Smith, and Uganda Palo Alto strains of Plasmodium falciparum studied in 395 Panamanian owl monkeys in this laboratory between 1976-1984 were compared with those reported from another laboratory for 665 Colombian owl monkeys, studied between 1968-1975, and, at the time, designated Aotus trivirgatus griseimembra. The virulence of these strains was less in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, as indicated by lower mortality rates of the Panamanian monkeys during the first 30 days of patency. Maximum parasitemias of the Vietnam Smith and Uganda Palo Alto strain, in Panamanian owl monkeys dying during the first 15 days of patent infection, were significantly higher than in Colombian owl monkeys. Panamanian owl monkeys that survived the primary attack had significantly higher maximum parasitemias than the surviving Colombian owl monkeys. Peak parasitemias were attained significantly earlier after patency in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, irrespective of the strain of P. falciparum. More Panamanian than Colombian owl monkeys evidenced self-limited infection after the primary attack of either the Vietnam Smith or Uganda Palo Alto strain. The duration of the primary attacks and recrudescences were significantly shorter in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys. Mean peak parasitemias during recrudescence were usually higher in Panamanian owl monkeys than in Colombian monkeys. Differences of infection parameters were probably attributable, in part, to geographical origin of the two monkey hosts and parasite strains. PMID:3914842

  11. Effects of experimental removal of barred owls on population demography of northern spotted owls in Washington and Oregon—2015 progress report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiens, J. David; Dugger, Katie M.; Lewicki, Krista E.; Simon, David C.

    2016-03-14

    Evidence indicates that competition with newly established barred owls (Strix varia) is causing rapid declines in populations of northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina), and that the longterm persistence of spotted owls may be in question without additional management intervention. A pilot study in California showed that lethal removal of barred owls in combination with habitat conservation may be able to slow or even reverse population declines of spotted owls at local scales, but it remains unknown whether similar results can be obtained in larger areas with different forest conditions and where barred owls are more abundant. In 2015, we implemented a before-after-controlimpact (BACI) experimental design on two study areas in Oregon and Washington with at least 20 years of pre-treatment demographic data on spotted owls to determine if removal of barred owls can improve population trends of spatially associated spotted owls. Here we provide an overview of our research accomplishments and preliminary results in Oregon and Washington in 2015.

  12. Effects of experimental removal of barred owls on population demography of northern spotted owls in Washington and Oregon—2015 progress report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiens, J. David; Dugger, Katie M.; Lewicki, Krista E.; Simon, David C.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence indicates that competition with newly established barred owls (Strix varia) is causing rapid declines in populations of northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina), and that the longterm persistence of spotted owls may be in question without additional management intervention. A pilot study in California showed that lethal removal of barred owls in combination with habitat conservation may be able to slow or even reverse population declines of spotted owls at local scales, but it remains unknown whether similar results can be obtained in larger areas with different forest conditions and where barred owls are more abundant. In 2015, we implemented a before-after-controlimpact (BACI) experimental design on two study areas in Oregon and Washington with at least 20 years of pre-treatment demographic data on spotted owls to determine if removal of barred owls can improve population trends of spatially associated spotted owls. Here we provide an overview of our research accomplishments and preliminary results in Oregon and Washington in 2015.

  13. Auditory Channel Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mann, Philip H.; Suiter, Patricia A.

    This teacher's guide contains a list of general auditory problem areas where students have the following problems: (a) inability to find or identify source of sound; (b) difficulty in discriminating sounds of words and letters; (c) difficulty with reproducing pitch, rhythm, and melody; (d) difficulty in selecting important from unimportant sounds;…

  14. Incidental Auditory Category Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gabay, Yafit; Dick, Frederic K.; Zevin, Jason D.; Holt, Lori L.

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about how auditory categories are learned incidentally, without instructions to search for category-diagnostic dimensions, overt category decisions, or experimenter-provided feedback. This is an important gap because learning in the natural environment does not arise from explicit feedback and there is evidence that the learning systems engaged by traditional tasks are distinct from those recruited by incidental category learning. We examined incidental auditory category learning with a novel paradigm, the Systematic Multimodal Associations Reaction Time (SMART) task, in which participants rapidly detect and report the appearance of a visual target in one of four possible screen locations. Although the overt task is rapid visual detection, a brief sequence of sounds precedes each visual target. These sounds are drawn from one of four distinct sound categories that predict the location of the upcoming visual target. These many-to-one auditory-to-visuomotor correspondences support incidental auditory category learning. Participants incidentally learn categories of complex acoustic exemplars and generalize this learning to novel exemplars and tasks. Further, learning is facilitated when category exemplar variability is more tightly coupled to the visuomotor associations than when the same stimulus variability is experienced across trials. We relate these findings to phonetic category learning. PMID:26010588

  15. The neglected neglect: auditory neglect.

    PubMed

    Gokhale, Sankalp; Lahoti, Sourabh; Caplan, Louis R

    2013-08-01

    Whereas visual and somatosensory forms of neglect are commonly recognized by clinicians, auditory neglect is often not assessed and therefore neglected. The auditory cortical processing system can be functionally classified into 2 distinct pathways. These 2 distinct functional pathways deal with recognition of sound ("what" pathway) and the directional attributes of the sound ("where" pathway). Lesions of higher auditory pathways produce distinct clinical features. Clinical bedside evaluation of auditory neglect is often difficult because of coexisting neurological deficits and the binaural nature of auditory inputs. In addition, auditory neglect and auditory extinction may show varying degrees of overlap, which makes the assessment even harder. Shielding one ear from the other as well as separating the ear from space is therefore critical for accurate assessment of auditory neglect. This can be achieved by use of specialized auditory tests (dichotic tasks and sound localization tests) for accurate interpretation of deficits. Herein, we have reviewed auditory neglect with an emphasis on the functional anatomy, clinical evaluation, and basic principles of specialized auditory tests.

  16. Coding space-time stimulus dynamics in auditory brain maps

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yunyan; Gutfreund, Yoram; Peña, José L.

    2014-01-01

    Sensory maps are often distorted representations of the environment, where ethologically-important ranges are magnified. The implication of a biased representation extends beyond increased acuity for having more neurons dedicated to a certain range. Because neurons are functionally interconnected, non-uniform representations influence the processing of high-order features that rely on comparison across areas of the map. Among these features are time-dependent changes of the auditory scene generated by moving objects. How sensory representation affects high order processing can be approached in the map of auditory space of the owl's midbrain, where locations in the front are over-represented. In this map, neurons are selective not only to location but also to location over time. The tuning to space over time leads to direction selectivity, which is also topographically organized. Across the population, neurons tuned to peripheral space are more selective to sounds moving into the front. The distribution of direction selectivity can be explained by spatial and temporal integration on the non-uniform map of space. Thus, the representation of space can induce biased computation of a second-order stimulus feature. This phenomenon is likely observed in other sensory maps and may be relevant for behavior. PMID:24782781

  17. 4. View northnorthwest along U.S. Route 202 toward dairy barn ...

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

    4. View north-northwest along U.S. Route 202 toward dairy barn and milk house, south and east sides - A. I. Du Pont Estate, Blue Ball Dairy Barn, Junction of U.S. Route 202 & Rockland Road, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

  18. Unheralded Historian: Mary Sheldon Barnes and Primary Source Material in History Books

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chisholm, James A., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Mary Sheldon Barnes emerged as a leading historical methods professor and history textbook author. Although men dominated the field, she wrote several articles and books alone or with her husband Earl Barnes about primary source materials and teaching. She lived during an era in United States history…

  19. Annual report of monitoring at Barnes, Kansas, in 2011.

    SciTech Connect

    LaFreniere, L. M.

    2012-07-26

    Barnes, Kansas, is a small rural community (population approximately 150) located in Washington County, in north-central Kansas (Figure 1.1). The city lies in a transition zone between the Flint Hills and the glaciated region. The area's topography consists of gently sloping hills of Pleistocene loess (< 20 ft) overlying a shale unit and interbedded shale, limestone, and siltstone of the Permian Chase Group. Groundwater for the public water supply is obtained from wells PWS2 and PWS3 at reported depths of 155 ft and 160 ft, respectively, located in the northwestern portion of the city. The water is produced from the bedrock aquifer of the Chase Group. Section 2 summarizes of the hydrogeologic conceptual site model. The findings of the monitoring events at Barnes in 2011 continued to support the following previous conclusions: (1) Measurements of groundwater levels obtained manually and through the use of automatic recorders have consistently indicated that the flow direction is strongly influenced by pumping of the public water supply wells. The results have demonstrated an apparent groundwater flow direction to the northeast when the public wells are not pumping and a northwesterly groundwater flow trend when the public wells are pumping. (2) Evaluation of manual water level measurements and carbon tetrachloride concentrations continues to suggest that three vertically distinguishable aquifer zones are present at Barnes: shallow, intermediate, and deep (Table 4.1). The highest concentration of carbon tetrachloride occurs in the intermediate zone, in wells near the former CCC/USDA grain storage facility. Lower concentrations have been detected in the deep aquifer zone (where the public water supply wells are screened), and no carbon tetrachloride has been detected in the shallow zone. (3) The conceptual model of the groundwater flow system at Barnes, as postulated on the basis of the accumulated results, suggests that the observed vertical hydraulic gradients and

  20. Preliminary ergonomic evaluation of barn tasks in intensive swine production.

    PubMed

    Trask, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    This exploratory pilot study analyses musculoskeletal symptoms and working exposures of intensive pig barn tasks. Methods included a questionnaire phase to gather information about workers' symptoms and video analysis to assess exposures during typical production tasks. Ninety-two percent of workers reported symptoms in the last 12 months in any body part; 58% reported interruption of work activities in the last 12 months. The task "moving dead pigs" exceeded 3400 N during 6 of 18 observations. Frequency of hand gripping and trunk bending >45 degrees were moderate to high in many tasks. These biomechanical exposures suggest a need for further study, particularly on interventions to limit bending, lifting, and repetitive gripping.

  1. Nutrient composition of Kansas swine lagoons and hoop barn manure.

    PubMed

    DeRoucheys, J M; Goodband, R D; Nelssen, J L; Tokach, M D; Dritz, S S; Murphy, J P

    2002-08-01

    A total of 312 samples in two experiments were analyzed to determine mean nutrient concentrations of swine lagoons and hoop barns in Kansas. First, in a retrospective study (Exp. 1), we obtained 41 sample analyses from the Kansas Department of Agriculture of sow, nursery, wean-to-finish, finish, and farrow-to-finish operations in 1999. The average total N concentration was 899 ppm (SD = 584 ppm), while the total P concentration was 163 ppm (SD = 241 ppm). In an attempt to reduce the variation, we conducted a prospective experiment standardizing collection procedure, laboratory techniques, phase of production, and season of year to more accurately determine the nutrient concentrations of swine lagoons in Kansas. In Exp. 2, we used 236 lagoon and 35 hoop barn manure samples taken in 2000 from Kansas swine operations to determine the impacts of production phase and season of the year on nutrient concentration. The different operations with swine lagoons were: 1) sow; 2) nursery; 3) wean-to-finish; 4) finish; and 5) farrow-to-finish, with a total of 9, 8, 7, 10, and 8 lagoons sampled from each phase of production, respectively. The total N and P concentrations from lagoons were 1,402 and 204 ppm, respectively, averaged over all samples. Concentrations of total N were higher in wean-to-finish and finishing lagoons (P < 0.05) compared with sow and farrow-to-finish lagoons. Lagoon analyses also revealed that N concentrations decreased (linear, P < 0.05) during the summer and fall compared with winter and early spring. The concentration of P was greater (P < 0.05) for wean-to-finish compared with farrow-to-finish lagoons. Phosphorus concentrations for all lagoons increased (quadratic, P < 0.05) from February until June, but then declined steady throughout the remainder of the year. Average total N and P in hoop barns were 8,678 and 4,364 ppm, respectively. No seasonal changes in N and P concentrations were observed in manure from hoop barns. Season and type of production

  2. Passive solar retrofit for the Broadmoor sanctuary barn

    SciTech Connect

    Ives, G.; Saunders, N.B.

    1980-01-01

    A large barn is to be converted to an energy efficient Audubon headquarters by a combination of direct gain, direct to store, and thermosiphon solar systems. The resulting combination looks very promising for general purpose retrofit since the costs appear low, the performance seems good, and the design is likely to be adaptable to many structures as a simple addition to the south face. Inputs of sun, air, and water are carefully integrated with storage. Two separate collection-storage-distribution loops are incorporated; one within the other. North wall heat collection is possible. Funds for construction are now being sought.

  3. Diet of western Burrowing Owls wintering in southern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Littles, C.J.; Williford, D.; Skoruppa, M.K.; Woodin, M.C.; Hickman, G.C.

    2007-01-01

    Winter diets of the western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are little known. We determined the diet of western Burrowing Owls wintering in southern Texas by analyzing the contents of 182 pellets collected over four winters (1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, and 2003-2004) in three habitat types (agricultural, mainland grassland, and barrier island). Remains of a total of 7476 prey items were recovered, 98% of which were arthropods. Gryllidae (crickets) formed the largest component (50%) of the prey, followed by lepidopteran larvae (13%), beetles (8%), spiders (7%), and earwigs (6%). Although vertebrates, primarily small mammals and birds, represented only 2% of prey items by number, they represented most (71%) of the biomass. Northern pygmy mice (Baiomys taylori) and fulvous harvest mice (Reithrodontomys fulveccens) were the two most frequently consumed vertebrate species. In all habitats, arthropods, especially orthopterans, were the primary prey item by number, whereas vertebrates, primarily small mammals, were the most important by biomass. Greater consumption of arthropods by Burrowing Owls in agricultural areas may be a factor contributing to owl use of these highly altered environments. ?? 2007 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  4. Spatiotemporal frequency and speed tuning in the owl visual wulst.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Lucas; Baron, Jerome

    2009-10-01

    The avian visual wulst is hodologically equivalent to the mammalian primary visual cortex (V1). In contrast to most birds, owls have a massive visual wulst, which shares striking functional similarities with V1. To provide a better understanding of how motion is processed within this area, we used sinusoidal gratings to characterize the spatiotemporal frequency and speed tuning profiles of 131 neurones recorded from awake burrowing owls. Cells were found to be clearly tuned to both spatial and temporal frequencies, and in a way that is similar to what has been reported in the striate cortex of primates and carnivores. Our results also suggest the presence of spatial frequency tuning domains in the wulst. Speed tuning was assessed by several methods devised to measure the degree of dependence between spatial and temporal frequency tuning. Although many neurones were found to be independently tuned, a significant proportion of cells showed at least some degree of dependence, compatible with the idea that some kind of initial transformation towards an explicit representation of speed is being carried out by the owl wulst. Interestingly, under certain constraints, a higher incidence of spatial frequency-invariant speed tuned profiles was obtained by combining our experimentally measured responses using a recent cortical model of speed tuning. Overall, our findings reinforce the notion that, like V1, the owl wulst is an important initial stage for motion processing, a function that is usually attributed to areas of the tectofugal pathway in lateral-eyed birds. PMID:19788573

  5. The "Owl Trail"--A Sensory Awareness Rope Trail

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauffman, Robert B.

    1978-01-01

    Constructed and experienced by students engaged in an outdoor education class at East Stroudsburg State College in Pennsylvania, the "Owl Trail" is a self guided rope trail (600 yards in length) employing such devices as sensory corrals, bridges, and "go to" ropes (ropes attached to the main rope which provide side trip experiences). (JC)

  6. Online Writing Labs (OWLs): A Taxonomy of Options and Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Muriel; Pemberton, Michael

    1995-01-01

    Offers an overview and schema for understanding frequently used network technologies available for Online Writing Labs (OWLs)--electronic mail, gopher, World Wide Web, newsgroups, synchronous chat systems, and automated file retrieval systems. Considers ways writing centers' choices among these technologies are impacted by user access, network…

  7. Night Owl: Maryland's After-Hours Reference Service.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Deborah C.

    1994-01-01

    Discusses "Night Owl," a Maryland public library's after hours telephone reference service. Issues include project start-up, user profiles, types of questions, volume, after hours reference accessibility, security, costs, service limits, publicity, staffing, and employee turnover. Similar services in other states are cited. (Contains six…

  8. tOWL: a temporal Web Ontology Language.

    PubMed

    Milea, Viorel; Frasincar, Flavius; Kaymak, Uzay

    2012-02-01

    Through its interoperability and reasoning capabilities, the Semantic Web opens a realm of possibilities for developing intelligent systems on the Web. The Web Ontology Language (OWL) is the most expressive standard language for modeling ontologies, the cornerstone of the Semantic Web. However, up until now, no standard way of expressing time and time-dependent information in OWL has been provided. In this paper, we present a temporal extension of the very expressive fragment SHIN(D) of the OWL Description Logic language, resulting in the temporal OWL language. Through a layered approach, we introduce three extensions: 1) concrete domains, which allow the representation of restrictions using concrete domain binary predicates; 2) temporal representation , which introduces time points, relations between time points, intervals, and Allen's 13 interval relations into the language; and 3) timeslices/fluents, which implement a perdurantist view on individuals and allow for the representation of complex temporal aspects, such as process state transitions. We illustrate the expressiveness of the newly introduced language by using an example from the financial domain.

  9. Factors affecting detection of burrowing owl nests during standardized surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conway, C.J.; Garcia, V.; Smith, M.D.; Hughes, K.

    2008-01-01

    Identifying causes of declines and evaluating effects of management practices on persistence of local populations of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) requires accurate estimates of abundance and population trends. Moreover, regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada typically require surveys to detect nest burrows prior to approving developments or other activities in areas that are potentially suitable for nesting burrowing owls. In general, guidelines on timing of surveys have been lacking and surveys have been conducted at different times of day and in different stages of the nesting cycle. We used logistic regression to evaluate 7 factors that could potentially affect probability of a surveyor detecting a burrowing owl nest. We conducted 1,444 detection trials at 323 burrowing owl nests within 3 study areas in Washington and Wyoming, USA, between February and August 2000-2002. Detection probability was highest during the nestling period and increased with ambient temperature. The other 5 factors that we examined (i.e., study area, time of day, timing within the breeding season, wind speed, % cloud cover) interacted with another factor to influence detection probability. Use of call-broadcast surveys increased detection probability, even during daylight hours when we detected >95% of owls visually. Optimal timing of surveys will vary due to differences in breeding phenology and differences in nesting behavior across populations. Nevertheless, we recommend ???3 surveys per year: one that coincides with the laying and incubation period, another that coincides with the early nestling period, and a third that coincides with the late nestling period. In northern latitudes, surveys can be conducted throughout the day.

  10. Population dynamics of spotted owls in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blakesley, J.A.; Seamans, M.E.; Conner, M.M.; Franklin, A.B.; White, Gary C.; Gutierrez, R.J.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Munton, T.E.; Shaw, D.W.H.; Keane, J.J.; Steger, G.N.; McDonald, T.L.

    2010-01-01

    The California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) is the only spotted owl subspecies not listed as threatened or endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act despite petitions to list it as threatened. We conducted a meta-analysis of population data for 4 populations in the southern Cascades and Sierra Nevada, California, USA, from 1990 to 2005 to assist a listing evaluation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Our study areas (from N to S) were on the Lassen National Forest (LAS), Eldorado National Forest (ELD), Sierra National Forest (SIE), and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SKC). These study areas represented a broad spectrum of habitat and management conditions in these mountain ranges. We estimated apparent survival probability, reproductive output, and rate of population change for spotted owls on individual study areas and for all study areas combined (meta-analysis) using model selection or model-averaging based on maximum-likelihood estimation. We followed a formal protocol to conduct this analysis that was similar to other spotted owl meta-analyses. Consistency of field and analytical methods among our studies reduced confounding methodological effects when evaluating results. We used 991 marked spotted owls in the analysis of apparent survival. Apparent survival probability was higher for adult than for subadult owls. There was little difference in apparent survival between male and female owls. Model-averaged mean estimates of apparent survival probability of adult owls varied from 0.811 ?? 0.021 for females at LAS to 0.890 ?? 0.016 for males at SKC. Apparent survival increased over time for owls of all age classes at LAS and SIE, for adults at ELD, and for second-year subadults and adults at SKC. The meta-analysis of apparent survival, which included only adult owls, confirmed an increasing trend in survival over time. Survival rates were higher for owls on SKC than on the other study areas. We analyzed data

  11. Auditory pathways: anatomy and physiology.

    PubMed

    Pickles, James O

    2015-01-01

    This chapter outlines the anatomy and physiology of the auditory pathways. After a brief analysis of the external, middle ears, and cochlea, the responses of auditory nerve fibers are described. The central nervous system is analyzed in more detail. A scheme is provided to help understand the complex and multiple auditory pathways running through the brainstem. The multiple pathways are based on the need to preserve accurate timing while extracting complex spectral patterns in the auditory input. The auditory nerve fibers branch to give two pathways, a ventral sound-localizing stream, and a dorsal mainly pattern recognition stream, which innervate the different divisions of the cochlear nucleus. The outputs of the two streams, with their two types of analysis, are progressively combined in the inferior colliculus and onwards, to produce the representation of what can be called the "auditory objects" in the external world. The progressive extraction of critical features in the auditory stimulus in the different levels of the central auditory system, from cochlear nucleus to auditory cortex, is described. In addition, the auditory centrifugal system, running from cortex in multiple stages to the organ of Corti of the cochlea, is described.

  12. Development of the auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Litovsky, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Auditory development involves changes in the peripheral and central nervous system along the auditory pathways, and these occur naturally, and in response to stimulation. Human development occurs along a trajectory that can last decades, and is studied using behavioral psychophysics, as well as physiologic measurements with neural imaging. The auditory system constructs a perceptual space that takes information from objects and groups, segregates sounds, and provides meaning and access to communication tools such as language. Auditory signals are processed in a series of analysis stages, from peripheral to central. Coding of information has been studied for features of sound, including frequency, intensity, loudness, and location, in quiet and in the presence of maskers. In the latter case, the ability of the auditory system to perform an analysis of the scene becomes highly relevant. While some basic abilities are well developed at birth, there is a clear prolonged maturation of auditory development well into the teenage years. Maturation involves auditory pathways. However, non-auditory changes (attention, memory, cognition) play an important role in auditory development. The ability of the auditory system to adapt in response to novel stimuli is a key feature of development throughout the nervous system, known as neural plasticity. PMID:25726262

  13. Lead concentrations and reproduction in highway-nesting barn swallows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; O'Shea, T.J.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1984-01-01

    Swallows (Hirundo rustica) collected within the right-of-way of a major Maryland highway were greater than those found in Barn Swallows nesting within a rural area. Lead concentrations in the feathers of adults from the highway colony were also greater than Lead concentrations in the carcasses and stomach contents of adult and nestling Barn those of rural adults, but concentrations in the feathers of nestlings from the two locations were similar. Activity of u-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase in red blood cells was lower in highway-nesting adults and their young than in their rural counterparts, although hemoglobin concentrations and hematocrits did not differ. The number of eggs, nestlings, and body weights of the latter at 16-18 days of age were similar in the two colonies, as were body weights of adults from the two areas. These results suggest that contamination of roadside habitats by lead from automotive emissions does not pose a serious hazard to birds that are aerial feeders.

  14. Increased oxidative stress in barn swallows from the Chernobyl region.

    PubMed

    Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders Pape; Caprioli, Manuela; Saino, Nicola

    2010-02-01

    The Chernobyl nuclear accident produced the largest unintended release of radionuclides in history, with dramatic consequences for humans and other organisms. Exposure to ionizing radiation is known to reduce circulating and stored levels of specific antioxidants in birds and humans, thus potentially increasing oxidative stress. However, overall effects of radioactive exposure on oxidative status have never been investigated in any free ranging vertebrate. We measured plasma antioxidant capacity and concentration of reactive oxygen metabolites in adult barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) from colonies with variable background radiation levels in the Chernobyl region in Ukraine and Belarus. We predicted that antioxidants would decrease while reactive oxygen metabolites would increase with exposure to increasing levels of radiation at the breeding sites. Consistent with this expectation, radiation level positively predicted plasma concentration of reactive oxygen metabolites, whereas no significant covariation was found with non-enzymatic plasma antioxidant capacity. An index of oxidative stress was also larger in barn swallows exposed to high contamination levels. Thus, radioactive contamination appeared to be responsible for the increased generation of reactive oxygen metabolites and the imbalance between reactive oxygen metabolites and non-enzymatic plasma antioxidant capacity.

  15. Auditory object cognition in dementia

    PubMed Central

    Goll, Johanna C.; Kim, Lois G.; Hailstone, Julia C.; Lehmann, Manja; Buckley, Aisling; Crutch, Sebastian J.; Warren, Jason D.

    2011-01-01

    The cognition of nonverbal sounds in dementia has been relatively little explored. Here we undertook a systematic study of nonverbal sound processing in patient groups with canonical dementia syndromes comprising clinically diagnosed typical amnestic Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 21), progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA; n = 5), logopenic progressive aphasia (LPA; n = 7) and aphasia in association with a progranulin gene mutation (GAA; n = 1), and in healthy age-matched controls (n = 20). Based on a cognitive framework treating complex sounds as ‘auditory objects’, we designed a novel neuropsychological battery to probe auditory object cognition at early perceptual (sub-object), object representational (apperceptive) and semantic levels. All patients had assessments of peripheral hearing and general neuropsychological functions in addition to the experimental auditory battery. While a number of aspects of auditory object analysis were impaired across patient groups and were influenced by general executive (working memory) capacity, certain auditory deficits had some specificity for particular dementia syndromes. Patients with AD had a disproportionate deficit of auditory apperception but preserved timbre processing. Patients with PNFA had salient deficits of timbre and auditory semantic processing, but intact auditory size and apperceptive processing. Patients with LPA had a generalised auditory deficit that was influenced by working memory function. In contrast, the patient with GAA showed substantial preservation of auditory function, but a mild deficit of pitch direction processing and a more severe deficit of auditory apperception. The findings provide evidence for separable stages of auditory object analysis and separable profiles of impaired auditory object cognition in different dementia syndromes. PMID:21689671

  16. Annual report of monitoring at Barnes, Kansas, in 2010.

    SciTech Connect

    LaFreniere, L. M.

    2011-05-25

    The Commodity Credit Corporation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (CCC/USDA) operated a grain storage facility at Barnes, Kansas, in 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). The results of that investigation indicated that carbon tetrachloride contamination is present in groundwater at low to moderate levels in the vicinity of the former CCC/USDA grain storage facility. Information obtained during the 2006-2007 investigation also indicated 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. In November 2007, the CCC/USDA began periodic groundwater monitoring at Barnes. The monitoring is being conducted on behalf of the CCC/USDA by Argonne National Laboratory, under the direction of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). The objective is to monitor the carbon tetrachloride contamination identified in the groundwater at Barnes. Through 2010, sampling was 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 (Argonne 2008a-d, 2009a,b, 2010) demonstrated the presence of carbon tetrachloride contamination in groundwater at levels exceeding the 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. Long

  17. The Dusk Chorus from an Owl Perspective: Eagle Owls Vocalize When Their White Throat Badge Contrasts Most

    PubMed Central

    Penteriani, Vincenzo; Delgado, Maria del Mar

    2009-01-01

    Background An impressive number of studies have investigated bird vocal displays, and many of them have tried to explain the widespread phenomenon of the so-called dawn and dusk chorus, the sunrise and sunset peaks in bird song output. As many as twelve non-exclusive hypotheses have been proposed to explain why twilight peaks in vocal display might be advantageous; but, even after more than two decades of study, the basis underlying the dusk and dawn chorus is still unclear. Moreover, to date, the majority of studies on this topic have focused on songbirds. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigate here a novel hypothesis on why nocturnal birds with patches of white feathers call at twilight. We propose that white plumage patches and the timing of visual signaling have co-evolved to maximize the effectiveness of social communication such as the dusk chorus. This hypothesis centers on the recent discovery that eagle owls can adopt specific forms of visual signaling and is supported by the observation that adult eagle owls possess a white throat badge that is only visible during vocal displays. By monitoring the calling of eagle owls at dusk, a peak time for bird call output, we found that white throat badges contrasted most with the surrounding background during the owls' twilight chorusing. Conclusions/Significance Crepuscular and nocturnal species appear to have evolved white patches that, shown in association with vocal displays, allow them to communicate in dark surroundings. The evolution of a white badge that operates jointly with call displays at dawn and dusk may be relevant to the eagle owls' social dynamics. Our explanation for the dusk chorus may possibly represent an overlooked but common pattern of signaling among crepuscular and nocturnal birds that combine patches of white feathers with twilight displays. Furthermore, our findings could be relevant to songbirds that breed in dark forest habitats and have contrasting white badges, as well as birds

  18. Early hominin auditory capacities.

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Rosa, Manuel; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lorenzo, Carlos; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Conde Valverde, Mercedes; Jarabo, Pilar; Menter, Colin G; Thackeray, J Francis; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-09-01

    Studies of sensory capacities in past life forms have offered new insights into their adaptations and lifeways. Audition is particularly amenable to study in fossils because it is strongly related to physical properties that can be approached through their skeletal structures. We have studied the anatomy of the outer and middle ear in the early hominin taxa Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus and estimated their auditory capacities. Compared with chimpanzees, the early hominin taxa are derived toward modern humans in their slightly shorter and wider external auditory canal, smaller tympanic membrane, and lower malleus/incus lever ratio, but they remain primitive in the small size of their stapes footplate. Compared with chimpanzees, both early hominin taxa show a heightened sensitivity to frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz and an occupied band of maximum sensitivity that is shifted toward slightly higher frequencies. The results have implications for sensory ecology and communication, and suggest that the early hominin auditory pattern may have facilitated an increased emphasis on short-range vocal communication in open habitats. PMID:26601261

  19. Early hominin auditory capacities

    PubMed Central

    Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Rosa, Manuel; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lorenzo, Carlos; de Ruiter, Darryl J.; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Conde Valverde, Mercedes; Jarabo, Pilar; Menter, Colin G.; Thackeray, J. Francis; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    Studies of sensory capacities in past life forms have offered new insights into their adaptations and lifeways. Audition is particularly amenable to study in fossils because it is strongly related to physical properties that can be approached through their skeletal structures. We have studied the anatomy of the outer and middle ear in the early hominin taxa Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus and estimated their auditory capacities. Compared with chimpanzees, the early hominin taxa are derived toward modern humans in their slightly shorter and wider external auditory canal, smaller tympanic membrane, and lower malleus/incus lever ratio, but they remain primitive in the small size of their stapes footplate. Compared with chimpanzees, both early hominin taxa show a heightened sensitivity to frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz and an occupied band of maximum sensitivity that is shifted toward slightly higher frequencies. The results have implications for sensory ecology and communication, and suggest that the early hominin auditory pattern may have facilitated an increased emphasis on short-range vocal communication in open habitats. PMID:26601261

  20. Early hominin auditory capacities.

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Rosa, Manuel; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lorenzo, Carlos; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Conde Valverde, Mercedes; Jarabo, Pilar; Menter, Colin G; Thackeray, J Francis; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-09-01

    Studies of sensory capacities in past life forms have offered new insights into their adaptations and lifeways. Audition is particularly amenable to study in fossils because it is strongly related to physical properties that can be approached through their skeletal structures. We have studied the anatomy of the outer and middle ear in the early hominin taxa Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus and estimated their auditory capacities. Compared with chimpanzees, the early hominin taxa are derived toward modern humans in their slightly shorter and wider external auditory canal, smaller tympanic membrane, and lower malleus/incus lever ratio, but they remain primitive in the small size of their stapes footplate. Compared with chimpanzees, both early hominin taxa show a heightened sensitivity to frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz and an occupied band of maximum sensitivity that is shifted toward slightly higher frequencies. The results have implications for sensory ecology and communication, and suggest that the early hominin auditory pattern may have facilitated an increased emphasis on short-range vocal communication in open habitats.