“How diet affects body condition and immune function of Common Bulbuls” by Annabet Galema

For about three months I carried out my master project at the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute – this project is within the larger PhD research project of Chima Nwaogu that investigates how variation in life history traits and immune function arise from variation in environmental conditions in tropical environments. My work focused mainly on the aviary experiments; using Common bulbuls. Four aviaries housed ten bulbuls each that are fed either invertebrates or fruits. We test the effect of diet on condition, immune function and the gut micro biome. To do this, I monitor how common bulbuls vary body mass throughout the day depending on diet and also collect blood samples and cloacal swabs fortnightly for immune assays and gut microbial analyses respectively.

Two aviaries, each divided in two rooms.
With a telescope from this balcony I was able to read the body mass of birds from a weighing scale with food on it in the aviary.
Set up for fortnight sampling of Common Bulbuls in the guest house.

Annabet Galema
University of Groningen, the Netherlands.