Reproductive ecology of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination

John P. Mccarty, Anne L. Secord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) breeding along the Hudson River forage extensively on PCB-contaminated insects the emerge from the river. We studied the reproductive ecology and behavior of tree swallows breeding at several sites along the Hudson River. Related work has shown that PCB levels in both eggs and chicks were among the highest ever reported in this species, with concentrations comparable to those found in aquatic organisms in the Hudson River. In 1994, reproductive success at PCB-contaminated sites was significantly impaired relative to other sites in New York. Reduced reproductive success was largely due to high levels of nest abandonment during incubation and reduced hatchability of eggs. In 1995, reproductive output was normal, but higher than expected rates of abandonment and supernormal clutches persisted. Growth and development of nestlings was not significantly impaired. Given the levels of contamination in this population, the success of most Hudson River tree swallows reinforces the importance of understanding interspecific differences in the effects of contaminants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1433-1439
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999

Fingerprint

Swallows
Polychlorinated Biphenyls
Ecology
Rivers
PCB
Contamination
ecology
river
Eggs
reproductive success
Breeding
breeding
egg
Aquatic organisms
Reproductive Behavior
Aquatic Organisms
Clutches
nestling
aquatic organism
Growth and Development

Keywords

  • Hudson River
  • Passerine
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Reproductive success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Reproductive ecology of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination. / Mccarty, John P.; Secord, Anne L.

In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 18, No. 7, 01.07.1999, p. 1433-1439.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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