Presenter Information

Adam Klessens, Northwest College

Department

Biology Department

First Advisor

Eric C. Atkinson

Description

Over the course of two semesters at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, I have been measuring the avian specimens within the Garth Denman Percival Family Collection and documenting them. The collection consists of 347 birds of approximately 152 different species from 39 families. The vast majority of the collection is over one hundred years old, the oldest being a Red-Winged Blackbird caught 20 June 1908. Each specimen is measured via standard ornithological procedures (i.e., wing chord, tail length, bill metrics, and tarsus length; each measurement was taken to 0.01mm.) and photographed from three angles. These digital data will be uploaded for access by researchers and educators. Some studies indicate that wing chord length may be evolving in response to human-caused environmental changes, hence, out of this collection, I selected nine species to test to see if there are any morphological differences between historically taken specimens and those accessioned more recently. The nine birds tested are the Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus), Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia), Chestnut Collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), Yellowbellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), Willet (Tringa semipalmata), Red Winged Black Bird (Agelaius phoeniceus), Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscuan), and American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla).

Comments

Research Problems in Biology

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Accessioning the Garth Denman Percival Family Avian Skin Collection and Possible Changes in Nine Species of Birds

Over the course of two semesters at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, I have been measuring the avian specimens within the Garth Denman Percival Family Collection and documenting them. The collection consists of 347 birds of approximately 152 different species from 39 families. The vast majority of the collection is over one hundred years old, the oldest being a Red-Winged Blackbird caught 20 June 1908. Each specimen is measured via standard ornithological procedures (i.e., wing chord, tail length, bill metrics, and tarsus length; each measurement was taken to 0.01mm.) and photographed from three angles. These digital data will be uploaded for access by researchers and educators. Some studies indicate that wing chord length may be evolving in response to human-caused environmental changes, hence, out of this collection, I selected nine species to test to see if there are any morphological differences between historically taken specimens and those accessioned more recently. The nine birds tested are the Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus), Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia), Chestnut Collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), Yellowbellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), Willet (Tringa semipalmata), Red Winged Black Bird (Agelaius phoeniceus), Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscuan), and American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla).