Center for Creative Studies

Quito, Ecuador

Center for Creative Studies

Quito, Ecuador
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Port J.,Bethel University | Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2015

We document male and female roles in nestling care of Spotted Barbtails (Premnoplex brunnescens) including feeding rates and temporal patterns of provisioning by each sex. Using 128.5 hrs of video from color marked and molecularly sexed individuals at two nests, we confirm that both sexes of Spotted Barbtail provision nestlings. Spotted Barbtail females in our study invested more heavily in nestling care than males, making 73% of feeding visits. Females also visited the nests nearly twice as often as males, averaging 1.24 visits/nestling/hr compared to 0.69 visits/nestling/hr for males. While Spotted Barbtails exhibit many of the features assumed to favor social and genetic monogamy, intriguing aspects of nest building and incubation leave open the possibility that this species is unusual among the Furnariidae and utilizes extra-pair matings as a part of the reproductive strategy. © 2015 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies | Dyrcz A.,Wrocław University | Mikusek R.,Park Narodowy Gor Stolowych | Port J.,Bethel University
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2015

Our observations on the reproductive habits of the Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus fuscater) were made at a single nest between 2-12 November 2009 at an elevation of 2,050 m, in the vicinity of the Yanyacu Biological Station and Center of Creative Studies (00° 36′ S, 77° 53′ W), 5 km west of Cosanga (Napo Province, northeastern Ecuador). During the first 3 days following hatching, the only adult which provisioned nestlings was a color-banded female. Beginning with day 4, however, we observed five other individuals bringing food to the nest, including three color-banded males, one unmarked male, and one unmarked individual presumed to be female. The last two birds and one of the banded males were sexed using morphological differences, the remaining banded individuals were sexed molecularly. Most (72%) of provisioning visits to 4-9 day old nestlings were made by the color-banded female which also incubated the eggs. Our observations suggest the existence of a potentially complex cooperative breeding system in Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush. © 2015 The Wilson Ornithological Society.

Port J.,Bethel University | Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies | Boyd E.,Bethel University
Ornitologia Neotropical | Year: 2014

We document the nestling care of the Spotted Barbtail (Premnoplex brunnescens) including provisioning rates and items brought to the nest. Based on 230 hours of video spanning from hatch to fledging at a single nest, we confirm that both sexes of the Spotted Barbtail primarily provision nestlings with arthropods (89.7%) but also document the first feeding of frogs in the genus Premnoplex. Concurrent with a sudden drop in daily brooding time, provisioning rates increased significantly when nestlings reached 10 days of age (from 2.29 ± 0.38 to 5.25 ± 0.76 feeds/nestling/h). We also document unassisted fecal sac ejection by nestlings beginning by 10 days of age. Our observed length of the nestling period was 22 days. © 2014 The Neotropical Ornithological Society.

Pyrcz T.W.,Jagiellonian University | Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies | Willmott K.R.,University of Florida | Wojtusiak J.,Jagiellonian University
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

The taxonomy of the Andean butterfly genus Daedalma (Nymphalidae, Satyrinae) is discussed. Generic synapomorphies based on adult morphology are proposed, and the relationships with allied genera of the subtribe Pronophilina are evaluated. The status of Junea as the sister-genus of Daedalma is reconsidered, particularly in light of new data on the larval stages. The genus Daedalma is divided into two presumed monophyletic groups distinguished by a series of morphological and ecological characters. Three species, D. eliza n. sp., D. dognini n. sp. and D. rubroreducta n. sp., and seventeen new subspecies are described, one new status is proposed, and three lectotypes are designated. Female genitalia of Daedalma are described for the first time and their taxonomical value is assessed. The early stages of D. rubroreducta and D. dinias are described, the first larval descriptions for any species of Daedalma. Distribution and diversity patterns of Daedalma are discussed. Distribution maps, illustrations of male and female genitalia, and figures of adult butterflies of both sexes are provided for all taxa where possible, with comments on bionomics and adult behaviour for all taxa in the genus. © 2011 Magnolia Press.

Rab Green S.B.,American Museum of Natural History | Gentry G.L.,Samford University | Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies | Dyer L.A.,University of Nevada, Reno
Annals of the Entomological Society of America | Year: 2011

Adults and larvae in the subfamily Arctiinae (family Erebidae), along with their host plants and the parasitic wasps and flies that attack them, are important components of most terrestrial food webs, but basic taxonomic and life-history knowledge for the arctiines of the Neotropics is still poorly known. This is true for most groups of Lepidoptera in hyperdiverse countries such as Ecuador. To examine host affiliations and natural enemies in diverse ecosystems, we collected 6,243 arctiine caterpillars (representing 821 larval morphospecies) at elevations ranging from 400 to 3,500 m as part of a larger ecological and taxonomic survey of trophic associations centered at the Yanayacu Biological Station in Napo province, eastern Ecuador. Here, we provide a brief review of the systematics of Neotropical Arctiinae, provide basic information on host affiliations and parasitism rates of arctiines reared from Napo province in Ecuador and describe the immature stages of 16 species encountered in the region. © 2011 Entomological Society of America.

Stawarczyk T.,Wrocław University | Borowiec M.,Wrocław University | Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies | Simbana J.T.,Center for Creative Studies
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2012

We report the first nest of the Smoky Bush Tyrant (Myiotheretes fumigatus) which was found on 11 October 2009 at the Yanayacu Biological Station, Napo Province in Ecuador. The nest was a shallow open cup, 2 m above ground on the side of a dead stump covered in epiphytes. The nest was 12 cm wide by 6.5 cm in height; internally, the cup was 7 cm wide by 4 cm deep and was lined predominantly with scales from the tree-fern (Cyathea spp.), but included a few small sticks and brightly colored feathers. Both eggs were predominantly white with a few small, widely dispersed, dark reddish spots, predominantly around the fattest area. They measured 24.0 × 18 and 23.0 × 17.5 mm, and weighed 3.6 and 3.5 g, respectively. The first fully feathered fledgling left the nest on 2 November and the second on 3 November, for a nestling period of 1617 days. We noted the presence of a third bird (besides the pair) which remained within the territory through the entire nesting period, at times in close association with the breeding pair. © 2012 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

Marini M.A.,University of Brasilia | Rodrigues S.S.,University of Brasilia | Silveira M.B.,University of Brasilia | Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies
Biota Neotropica | Year: 2012

Understanding the causes and consequences of variation in reproductive strategies is a central theme in studies of avian life history evolution. This study describes the reproductive biology of Synallaxis albescens (Furnariidae) in the cerrado biome of central Brazil. We monitored 35 nests during the 2003 to 2011 breeding seasons, visiting them every 2-4 days. Synallaxis albescens breeds from mid-September to mid-January, builds a retort-shaped nest, and generally lays three immaculate white eggs. Eggs weighed 1.75 g and measured 19.7 by 14.4 mm. Most nests studied were in open cerrado or shrub grassland at an average height above the ground of 0.3 m, with a preference for Davilla elliptica (Dilleniaceae) shrubs as a nesting substrate. Incubation period averaged 18.1 days, while the nestling period averaged 13.6 days. Of 16 closely monitored nests, four were successful (25%), 11 were depredated (69%), and one was abandoned. Predation was similar during incubation (45%) and nestling (55%) phases. In general, the breeding biology of S. albescens was similar to that described previously for this species and for related Furnariidae.

Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies
Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club | Year: 2014

I studied two nests of Grey-breasted Flycatcher Lathrotriccus griseipectus in seasonally deciduous dry forest in south-west Ecuador. Nests were open cups constructed in natural depressions, one in the buttress of a large tree and one in a clump of bromeliads. Construction of one nest was completed in five days. Clutch size was two at one nest, and the eggs were pale beige with sparse, red-brown blotching. Eggs at both nests were laid 48 hours apart, and at one nest both eggs hatched 16 days after clutch completion. One nest was depredated immediately after the second egg was laid, but both nestlings fledged after 14 days at the other. Only one adult incubated, but both provisioned nestlings. The species' breeding biology is similar in all respects to that of the congeneric Euler's Flycatcher L. euleri, as well as to members of the closely related genus Empidonax of temperate and subtropical America. © 2014 British Ornithologists' Club.

The Ecuadorian Thrush (Turdus maculirostris) is a common bird inhabiting disturbed areas in the lowlands of western Ecuador. I studied 17 nests of this species in southwestern Ecuador and present the first available data on its eggs, incubation and nestling periods, and nesting success. Nests were placed from 0.5 to 6 m above the ground and were mud and moss cups typical of the genus. Eggs varied in color from deep turquoise to dull greenish blue and showed variation in the degree of maculation. Mean egg measurements were 27.8 ± 2.0 mm by 20.9 ± 0.7 mm and mean fresh mass, 6.5 ± 0.7 g. Eggs lost 0.55 ± 0.12% of their original mass/day during incubation. Incubation lasted 12 days, nestlings fledged after 14 days and predicted nesting success was 34%.

Sheldon K.S.,University of Wyoming | Sheldon K.S.,Center for Creative Studies | Greeney H.F.,Center for Creative Studies | Dobbs R.C.,Center for Creative Studies
Ornitologia Neotropical | Year: 2014

The Flame-faced Tanager (Tangara parzudakii) includes three recognized subspecies, urubambae, lunigera, and the nominate parzudakii, that are distinguished based on plumage differences and distribution aspects. Information is generally lacking on basic breeding biology for this species, with only a handful of records for the species as a whole, and only one small note on breeding of the nominate subspecies parzudakii. In order to add fundamental data to the species' life history, we studied the breeding biology of Tangara parzudakii parzudakii in northeastern Ecuador from 2001-2009 using general observations and by videotaping behaviors at the nest with camcorders. In total, we made 22 direct observations of reproduction. We collected detailed information from 10 nests, analyzed nest components of one nest, and videotaped behavior at one nest. Flame-faced Tanager on the eastern slope in Ecuador appears to breed during the rainier months of January-July. The majority of nests were found in pastures, however, two nests were found in forested habitat, one was found at the forest edge, and one was found below the roof of a cabin. Based on copulations during the building phase, the female appears to build the nest alone while the male waits nearby. Clutch size was two in all nests. Eggs were white in color with pale brown flecking that was heaviest toward the larger end. Mean (± SD) brooding bout duration was 8.4 ± 5.6 min and ranged from 0.33-24.3 min. Both adults provisioned young and, unlike some Tangara species, we did not observe helpers at the nest. We recorded 4.9 feeds per nestling-hour during the brooding period. We did not find fleas in the nesting material of a nest we collected immediately after fledging, which may a result of the high rate of sharp and rapid probes performed by adults in the early nestling period and the sharp probes performed up to the morning of fledging. Accepted 13 November 2014. © 2014 The Neotropical Ornithological Society.

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