Characterization of a Local P opulation of Black-capped Chickadees ( P. carolinensis ), Carolina Chickadees ( P. atricapillus ), and their hybrids – a preliminary genetic analysis. Eric Zluhan, Corbin Salthouse & Gabriel Colbeck . Introduction. Methods.
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Characterization of a Local Population of Black-capped Chickadees (P. carolinensis), Carolina Chickadees (P. atricapillus), and their hybrids – a preliminary genetic analysis.
Eric Zluhan, Corbin Salthouse & Gabriel Colbeck
Black-capped Chickadees and Carolina Chickadees come into contact and ‘hybridize’ within a narrow zone in the eastern region of the United States. Hybrids can possess physical traits of either purebred species, making identification of the chickadees in the zone difficult for field observations. Our project sought to establish a marked population of chickadees around the Maryville campus. We sought to use 1. mtDNA genetic analysis; and 2. song attributes to identify potential hybrids and potential pure breeds. Here, we outline our preliminary field and lab work, and discuss the long term goals of the project.
Map of eastern United States illustrating the hybrid zone (green) of the Chickadee species.
A recently banded chickadee
Setting up a mistnet to catch chickadees
Corbin Salthouse taking morphological measurements of a chickadee
Eric Zluhan working with chickadee DNA
A gel showing preliminary mtDNA PCR product
Reference: Reudink*, M. W., S. G. Mech, S. P. Mullen*, and R. L. Curry. 2007. Structure and dynamics of the Black-capped Chickadee (Poecileatricapillus) and Carolina Chickadee (P. carolinensis) hybrid zone in southeastern Pennsylvania. Auk 124:463-478