Early reproductive success of western bluebirds and ash-throated flycatchers: a landscape-contaminant perspective.
Additional Document Info
Eggshell quality, clutch size, sex ratio, and hatching success of western bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) and ash-throated flycatchers (Myiarchus cinerascens) were studied on a landscape-soil contaminant gradient at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico from 1997 to 1999. A variety of contaminants (heavy metals, chemicals, insecticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorines, and radioactive isotopes) range across different spatial scales and concentrations on LANL land. This study is an example of a monitoring program over a large area with varying degree of contamination that is used to highlight locations of concern for future research. There were two locations where the flycatcher had a lower hatching success. The bluebirds at Sandia wetland, a location of concern for PCBs. had a thinner eggshell thickness index (RATCLIFFE) and the eggs were smaller than at other locations. The flycatcher had thinner eggshells than bluebirds, which could add to sensitivity to exposure to contaminants. There was no variation in clutch size or sex ratio between locations or areas closer to contaminant release sites for both species. Percent females in the clutch ranged from 0 to 100% in the WEBL and from 33 to 67% for ATFL.