Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 147, Issue 1, pp 115–118

A non-invasive technique to bleed incubating birds without trapping: a blood-sucking bug in a hollow egg

  • Peter H. Becker
  • Christian C. Voigt
  • Jennifer M. Arnold
  • Rolf Nagel
Short Note

DOI: 10.1007/s10336-005-0027-3

Cite this article as:
Becker, P.H., Voigt, C.C., Arnold, J.M. et al. J Ornithol (2006) 147: 115. doi:10.1007/s10336-005-0027-3

Abstract

We describe a non-invasive technique to obtain blood samples from incubating birds without trapping and handling. A larval instar of the blood-sucking bug Dipetalogaster maximus (Heteroptera) was put in a hollowed artificial egg which was placed in a common tern (Sterna hirundo) nest. A gauze-covered hole in the egg allowed the bug to draw blood from the brood patch of breeding adults. We successfully collected 68 blood samples of sufficient amount (median=187 μl). The daily success rate was highest during the early breeding season and averaged 34% for all trials. We could not detect any visible response by the incubating bird to the sting of the bug. This technique allows for non-invasive blood collection from bird species of various sizes without disturbance.

Keywords

Artificial egg Blood-sucking bug Incubating birds Non-invasive bleeding Sterna hirundo 

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter H. Becker
    • 1
  • Christian C. Voigt
    • 2
  • Jennifer M. Arnold
    • 3
  • Rolf Nagel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Vogelforschung “Vogelwarte Helgoland”WilhelmshavenGermany
  2. 2.Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife ResearchBerlinGermany
  3. 3.USGS Patuxent Wildlife RefugeLaurelUSA

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