Nutritional condition and serum biochemistry for free-living Swainson’s Hawks wintering in Central Argentina.
SARASOLA, J.H., J.J. NEGRO & A. TRAVAINI. 2004. Nutritional condition and serum biochemistry for free-living Swainson’s Hawks wintering in Central Argentina. Journal of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 137(4):697-701.
Abstract: We assessed the nutritional condition and established reference values for serum chemistry parameters in a long distance migrant bird of prey, the Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni), wintering in central Argentina. We analyzed serum concentration of urea, uric acid, cholesterol, and triglycerides and assessed age and sex related differences in these parameters. A body condition index was obtained from the resultant residuals of the regression of body mass and a morphometric measure. No statistical differences were observed among sex and age groups for urea, uric acid and triglyceride serum concentration. However, cholesterol concentration differed among male and female hawks, which could be related to the gain of body mass in wintering grounds at differential rates. The mean values of the four parameters were in the range of those recorded in the Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), indicating good nutritional condition of the population we studied. Forearm length was the morphometric variable that better correlated with body mass. The resultant body condition index was only correlated with triglyceride concentration, suggesting that this index could be valuable in future work dealing with the assessment of body fat storage in wintering and breeding hawks, as well as in stopover points on the migratory route.
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