• Characterization of cultured adult Corturnix japonica testicular germ stem cells using seven stem cell markers.

      Jensen, Thomas; Poling, Matthew; Charter, Suellen; Durrant, Barbara S.; (2010)
      ...The large avian oocyte and the inability to consistently superovulate birds make techniques such as cloning and oocyte cryopreservation unlikely tools for avian conservation. Instead, the use of domestic birds as hosts to produce sperm of exotic species for use in artificial insemination may be a practical approach to conserve avian germplasm....
    • Investigation of factors predicting disease among zoo birds exposed to avian mycobacteriosis

      Witte, Carmel L.; Hungerford, L.L.; Papendick, Rebecca; Stalis, Ilse H.; Rideout, Bruce; (2010)
      Objective—To characterize infection patterns and identify factors associated with avian mycobacteriosis among zoo birds that were housed with infected enclosure mates. Design—Matched case-control study. Animals—79 birds with avian mycobacteriosis (cases) and 316 nondiseased birds (controls) of similar age and taxonomic group that were present in the bird collection of the Zoological Society of San Diego from 1991 through 2005….
    • Provision of ultraviolet basking lights to indoor housed tropical birds and their effect on suspected vitamin D3 deficiency

      Drake, Gabby Jeanne-Clare; Shea, Robyn L.; Fidgett, Andrea; Lopez, Javier; Christley, Robert M. (2017)
      Vitamin D deficiency (measured as 25(OH)D3) can occur if birds are fed a vitamin D deficient diet and do not have access to ultraviolet B light (UVB). This can result in eggs with deficient yolks and consequent metabolic bone disease (MBD) in chicks. In this study, hypovitaminosis D was suspected in 31 adult birds, from five orders, housed indoors long-term without prior access to UVB light. The study aimed to assess the effect of providing UVB basking lights on their vitamin D status and incidence of MBD in chicks. It also aimed to assess whether the birds would access the UVB provided. Breeding and pathology records were analysed, and birds were blood tested for 25(OH)D3 before, and 12 months after, being provided with access to UVB basking lights. The area of perching with UVB irradiance was filmed before and after the UVB basking lights were switched on. There was a significant increase in 25(OH)D3 after 12 months of UVB provision from a mean of 9.3 nmol/L to 14.2 nmol/L (p = 0.001, CI = 2.35 to 9.47). Annual incidence of metabolic bone disease in chicks dropped from an average of 14.4% over the three years prior to UVB provision to 2.8% in the two years afterwards, although this reduction was not statistically significant. Birds appeared to actively seek the basking spots and significantly increased the proportion of time spent in the area of UVB irradiance (p = 0.02). No correlation was found between the total amount, or change in time spent in the UVB area and the final, or change in individual birds circulating 25(OH)D3 levels. These results show that indoor housed birds will bask in UVB light if provided and this radiation can increase vitamin D levels of the birds, which may prevent MBD in their offspring.
    • Remote touch prey-detection by Madagascar crested ibises Lophotibis cristata urschi

      Cunningham, Susan J.; Castro, Isabel; Jensen, Thomas; Potter, Murray A.; (2010)
      Birds that forage by probing must often rely on sensory systems other than vision to detect their buried prey. Such senses may include hearing (e.g. Australian magpies (Atramidae), American robins (Turdidae)) or chemical senses/olfaction (e.g. kiwi (Apterygidae) and some shorebirds (Scolopacidae)). Probe foraging kiwi and shorebirds are also able to use vibrotactile cues to locate prey buried in the substrate at some distance from their bill‐tips (‘remote touch’). These birds possess an organ consisting of a honey‐comb of sensory pits in bone of the bill‐tips, packed with mechanoreceptive nerve ending (Herbst corpuscles). Such a bill‐tip organ has recently also been described in ibises (Threskiornithinae), but its function not elucidated. We designed a foraging experiment presenting mealworm prey to three captive Madagascar crested ibises Lophotibis cristata urschi under a variety of trial conditions to discover whether they were using remote touch, mediated by their bill‐tip organ; chemosense/olfaction; or hearing to locate buried prey. The ibises were reliant on remote touch for prey detection – the first time this sensory system has been demonstrated for this group of birds. They did not appear to use hearing or chemical senses/olfaction to aid in prey detection.
    • Sexing of mid-incubation avian embryos as a management tool for zoological breeding programs

      Jensen, Thomas; Mace, Michael E.; Durrant, Barbara S. (2012)
      …The ability to selectively incubate and hatch eggs of a desired sex represents a significant improvement in the long-term management of avian species. This study describes a successful method for in ovo sexing of embryos from stage 30 through 42 of incubation (Hamburger and Hamilton [1951] J Morphol 88:49–92).…
    • Toll-like receptor diversity in 10 threatened bird species: relationship with microsatellite heterozygosity

      Grueber, Catherine E.; Knafler, Gabrielle J.; King, Tania M.; Senior, Alistair M.; Grosser, Stefanie; Robertson, Bruce; Weston, Kerry A.; Brekke, Patricia; Harris, Christian L. W.; Jamieson, Ian G. (2015)