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Dryad

Supplementing a grain diet with insects instead of fruits sustains the body condition of an omnivorous bird

Cite this dataset

Simon, Ojodomo; Manu, Shiiwua; Nwaogu, Chima; Omotoriogun, Taiwo (2024). Supplementing a grain diet with insects instead of fruits sustains the body condition of an omnivorous bird [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4b8gththx

Abstract

Omnivores utilize dietary sources that differ in nutrients, hence dietary limitations due to environmental change or habitat alteration could cause nutrient limitations, and thus deterioration of body condition if omnivory is obligate. We investigated how the body condition of the omnivorous Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus, which forages predominantly on grains, responds to the supplementation of its grain diet with insects instead of fruits. Forty wild‐caught weavers held in aviaries were fed a combination of grains and fruits, or grains and insects ad libitum for 8 weeks. We determined diet preference by recording the number of birds on each diet option per minute for 1 h and the amount of food left over after 3 hours of foraging. Fortnightly, we assessed indices of body condition including body mass, pectoral muscle, and fat scores, packed cell volume (PCV), and hemoglobin concentration (HBC). We modeled the number of foragers, food left over, and body condition indices as functions of diet while accounting for time (weeks) and sex effects. Grains were the preferred diet, but males ate more fruits and insects than females. Weavers fed on grains and fruits lost body and pectoral muscle mass and accumulated less fat than those fed on grains and insects. This effect was sex‐dependent: females supplemented with fruits lost more pectoral muscle mass than males of the same group and males but not females, supplemented with insects accumulated more fat reserve than those supplemented with fruits. PCV and HBC did not differ between diets but increased over the 8 weeks. Village Weavers are likely obligate rather than facultative omnivores, with insects being a more nutritive supplement than fruits. Nutrient limitations arising from environmental change or habitat alteration could impair body condition and affect physiological function to environmental seasonality in obligate omnivores like the weavers.

README: Supplementing a grain diet with insects instead of fruits sustains the body condition of an omnivorous bird

Description of the data, file structure, and access information

Data_Effect_of_diet_supplementation_on_body_condition_ECE-2022-08-01167.R2.xlsx

The Microsoft Excel dataset file contains three (3) sheets. Sheet one (1) contains the aviary body condition measurement data, sheet two (2) contains the observation of birds foraging on diet types per given time, and sheet three (3) contains the giving up density measurement data.

Sheet one (1): Aviary_Body_Condition_Data

  • Diets: Diet experimental treatment/group; grains + fruit and grains + insects
  • Species: VILWE: Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus
  • Ring: Unique metal ring identity of individual birds with colour rings in brackets where W = white, R = red, B = blue, and Y = yellow
  • Survival at week 8: *Birds that survived throughout the 8 weeks of the experiment
  • Aviaries: 4 aviaries- 2 with grains+fruit fed weavers and 2 with grains+insects fed weavers
  • Sex: the sex of the bird from morphological identification
  • Age: Age of the bird from morphology
  • Wing: Wing length of bird (cm)
  • Body mass: Body mass of bird (g)
  • Pecscore: Pectoral muscle score on a scale of 1-3
  • Fatscore: Fat score on a scale of 0-9
  • PCV: Packed cell volume (%)
  • HBC: Haemoglobin concentration (g/dl)
  • Moult: Molt status of flight feathers of bird
  • Weeks: 0 = before the experiment, and experimental weeks and measurement (2, 4, 6, 8)
  • Trappinglocation: Location in the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Institute where birds were trapped

Sheet two (2) Preference_Observation_Data

  • Diet: the different diet types in each experimental tray
  • Aviary: Aviary used for the experiment; 4 aviaries; 2 with grains and fruits and 2 with grains and insects
  • Numberofbirds: number of birds foraging on each diet type
  • Sex: sex of foraging individual bird
  • Minuteofobservation: observation was made for a 1-minute interval
  • Hourofobservation: the hour of observation
  • Dayofobservation: the day of observation
  • Session: the session of observation
  • Week: the week of observation

Sheet three (3) Preference_GUD_Data

  • Diet: the different diet types in each experimental tray
  • Aviary: Aviary used for the experiment; 4 aviaries; 2 with grains and fruits and 2 with grains and insects
  • GUD: Giving-up density (the amount of food left after foraging) measurement (g)
  • Hourofobservation: the hour of measurement
  • Dayofobservation: the day of measurement
  • Session: the session of measurement
  • Week: the week of measurement

Software

Microsoft Word Excel is required to open the data. This data is linked to an article in https://doi.org/10.22541/au.166029512.26456263/v1

Methods

This dataset contains observations and measurements made via experimental feeding of the Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus) with grains + fruits and grains + insects in an outdoor aviary (with 4 rooms) in the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, Jos, Nigeria. The measurements and observation are a product of experimental investigation of diet preference of the Village Weavers (determined via the amount of food left after feeding by the birds (Giving-up density, GUD) and the number of birds foraging on each diet types per given time), and how deprivation of supplementary dietary items (fruits and insects) affect the body condition (body mass, pectoral muscle score, fat score, packed cell volume, and haemoglobin concentration) of Village Weavers. The data has been processed using Microsoft excel and analysed in R statistical software.

Funding

A G Leventis Foundation, Master's Scholarship

Carnegie Corporation of New York, Developing Emerging Academic Leaders Junior Research Fellowship

International Foundation for Science, Award: B-5724-2