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Seventeenth breeding-bird census. 34. Diked wet meadow

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, annual meeting abstract book

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Abstract

Several characteristics of plumage, including color and molt schedule, are influenced by hormonal signals, and hence may be modified by endocrine active contaminants. If so, the functions of plumage (e.g. communication for mating or territorial defense), may be compromised by exposure to such compounds. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous and persistent environmental toxins that can disrupt endocrine function in laboratory animals. Captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were fed PCBs (Aroclor 1242) at 6 and 60 ppm, thyroxine at 10 ppm, estradiol at 1.4 ppm, and a thyroid hormone blocker (propylthiouracil: PTU) at 2000 ppm, mixed in their normal diet. Plumage characteristics measured included: the width of the black subterminal band on the tail, brightness (a composite index of hue and saturation), reflectance from 230 - 800 nm (measured on a reflectance spectrophotometer), the pattern of feather loss and regrowth on the tail and wing, and the timing of onset and the duration of molt. PCB-treated birds did not differ from controls, but birds treated with thyroxine were significantly different from those dosed with estradiol or PTU in the width of subterminal tail bands, reflectance, and duration of molt. Thus, although hormone treatments did modify some of the plumage characteristics we measured, PCB treatments at these exposure levels did not.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Seventeenth breeding-bird census. 34. Diked wet meadow
Series title:
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, annual meeting abstract book
Volume
21
Issue:
6
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
262 (abstract PWP086)
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, annual meeting abstract book
First page:
354
Last page:
355
Number of Pages:
2