Effects of early life developmental conditions on avian fitness

Developing young animals rely on parental care to buffer them from harsh conditions, and when and where parents choose to reproduce affects the environment offspring experience. We perform experiments in our breeding aviaries by manipulating ambient nest temperatures to study to what extent early life conditions shape thermoregulatory capacity (i.e., the energetic costs and ability of birds to regulate their own body temperature with varying environmental temperatures) and ultimately phenotypes that are linked to movement (migration, dispersal) and reproductive strategies later in life.

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