Colour morphs in the collared pygmy Owl glaucidium brodiei are age-related, not a polymorphism

Wen Loung Lin, Si Min Lin, Hui Yun Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Colour morph variation is widely observed in owls and several studies have described differences In life history traits among the morphs. Traditionally, Glaucidium owls are described as having two colour morphs, rufous and grey, which are supposedly independent of age or sex. During 2010-2012, nest boxes were set up in order to study the basic life history of Collared Pygmy Owls Glaucidium brodiei. We banded the population and followed some of the fledglings for nearly two years. Our results-in combination with data from museum specimens-clearly show that the colour morph In Collared Pygmy Owls is age-dependent, changing from the original fledgling plumage (2-3 months after hatching) to the rufous morph (4-7 months after hatching), and finally to the definitive grey plumage. Our results reject the long-standing polymorphism hypothesis for the pygmy owl. We conclude that the age of the birds should be considered before a colour polymorphism can be confirmed, especially in secretive nocturnal species. The case of within-species polymorphism might be overstated in Strigiformes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalArdea
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul

Fingerprint

Strigiformes
morphs
color morph
polymorphism
plumage
hatching
color
nest box
life history trait
museum
life history
bird
nest boxes
gender
birds

Keywords

  • Strigiformes
  • Strix aluco
  • coloration
  • plumage
  • polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Colour morphs in the collared pygmy Owl glaucidium brodiei are age-related, not a polymorphism. / Lin, Wen Loung; Lin, Si Min; Tseng, Hui Yun.

In: Ardea, Vol. 102, No. 1, 07.2014, p. 95-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lin, Wen Loung ; Lin, Si Min ; Tseng, Hui Yun. / Colour morphs in the collared pygmy Owl glaucidium brodiei are age-related, not a polymorphism. In: Ardea. 2014 ; Vol. 102, No. 1. pp. 95-99.
@article{1e52bc48a2294ee0a3fa8c36442f566a,
title = "Colour morphs in the collared pygmy Owl glaucidium brodiei are age-related, not a polymorphism",
abstract = "Colour morph variation is widely observed in owls and several studies have described differences In life history traits among the morphs. Traditionally, Glaucidium owls are described as having two colour morphs, rufous and grey, which are supposedly independent of age or sex. During 2010-2012, nest boxes were set up in order to study the basic life history of Collared Pygmy Owls Glaucidium brodiei. We banded the population and followed some of the fledglings for nearly two years. Our results-in combination with data from museum specimens-clearly show that the colour morph In Collared Pygmy Owls is age-dependent, changing from the original fledgling plumage (2-3 months after hatching) to the rufous morph (4-7 months after hatching), and finally to the definitive grey plumage. Our results reject the long-standing polymorphism hypothesis for the pygmy owl. We conclude that the age of the birds should be considered before a colour polymorphism can be confirmed, especially in secretive nocturnal species. The case of within-species polymorphism might be overstated in Strigiformes.",
keywords = "Strigiformes, Strix aluco, coloration, plumage, polymorphism",
author = "Lin, {Wen Loung} and Lin, {Si Min} and Tseng, {Hui Yun}",
year = "2014",
month = "7",
doi = "10.5253/078.102.0115",
language = "English",
volume = "102",
pages = "95--99",
journal = "Ardea",
issn = "0373-2266",
publisher = "Nederlandse Ornithologische Unie",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Colour morphs in the collared pygmy Owl glaucidium brodiei are age-related, not a polymorphism

AU - Lin, Wen Loung

AU - Lin, Si Min

AU - Tseng, Hui Yun

PY - 2014/7

Y1 - 2014/7

N2 - Colour morph variation is widely observed in owls and several studies have described differences In life history traits among the morphs. Traditionally, Glaucidium owls are described as having two colour morphs, rufous and grey, which are supposedly independent of age or sex. During 2010-2012, nest boxes were set up in order to study the basic life history of Collared Pygmy Owls Glaucidium brodiei. We banded the population and followed some of the fledglings for nearly two years. Our results-in combination with data from museum specimens-clearly show that the colour morph In Collared Pygmy Owls is age-dependent, changing from the original fledgling plumage (2-3 months after hatching) to the rufous morph (4-7 months after hatching), and finally to the definitive grey plumage. Our results reject the long-standing polymorphism hypothesis for the pygmy owl. We conclude that the age of the birds should be considered before a colour polymorphism can be confirmed, especially in secretive nocturnal species. The case of within-species polymorphism might be overstated in Strigiformes.

AB - Colour morph variation is widely observed in owls and several studies have described differences In life history traits among the morphs. Traditionally, Glaucidium owls are described as having two colour morphs, rufous and grey, which are supposedly independent of age or sex. During 2010-2012, nest boxes were set up in order to study the basic life history of Collared Pygmy Owls Glaucidium brodiei. We banded the population and followed some of the fledglings for nearly two years. Our results-in combination with data from museum specimens-clearly show that the colour morph In Collared Pygmy Owls is age-dependent, changing from the original fledgling plumage (2-3 months after hatching) to the rufous morph (4-7 months after hatching), and finally to the definitive grey plumage. Our results reject the long-standing polymorphism hypothesis for the pygmy owl. We conclude that the age of the birds should be considered before a colour polymorphism can be confirmed, especially in secretive nocturnal species. The case of within-species polymorphism might be overstated in Strigiformes.

KW - Strigiformes

KW - Strix aluco

KW - coloration

KW - plumage

KW - polymorphism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84905638326&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84905638326&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.5253/078.102.0115

DO - 10.5253/078.102.0115

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84905638326

VL - 102

SP - 95

EP - 99

JO - Ardea

JF - Ardea

SN - 0373-2266

IS - 1

ER -