August 29, 2008

Warmer Nests Mean Healthier Mothers and Chicks, Finds Amherst College Research Team

AMHERST, Mass. – Heating the nests of tree swallows enables them to spend more time incubating their eggs and maintain higher egg temperatures as a result, according to Amherst College biology professor Ethan Clotfelter and his team of collaborators, who conducted a series of experiments investigating the energetics of reproduction in tree swallows in 2006 and 2007. Through the studies, Clotfelter and his research group also discovered that swallows whose nests had been experimentally warmed had higher body mass and fed their babies at higher rates, leading to healthier nestlings overall.