Biochemical and blood cell parameters have commonly been employed as useful minimally invasive indicators of the health or nutritional status of many species. Here, we present data on a suite of commonly measured blood parameters from 342 White Stork Ciconia ciconia chicks of molecularly known sex. Samples were collected in western Poland during four breeding seasons (2005–2008). We examine whether sex, and also season (year), nesting locality, hatch date and brood size, contributed to variation in these blood parameters. There were significant seasonal differences in levels of the heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, red blood cell count, haematocrit, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, and particularly in white blood cell count. Significant nesting locality effects were detected in haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration. Hatch date, virtually synonymous with chick age, significantly negatively influenced (i.e. later hatch dates (younger chicks when sampled) had lower values of red blood cell count, haematocrit, haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration. Male chicks had significantly lower levels of red blood cell count, haematocrit, haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration. There was a significant sex/hatch date interaction for red blood cell count, haematocrit and haemoglobin. Brood size did not significantly affect any of the analysed parameters. Our work shows that blood parameters are influenced by many factors, including sex and age of individuals, and such factors may need to be taken into consideration when using blood parameters as indicators of health. Such considerations are especially critical in the establishment of reference ranges of blood parameters which may be of use in captive rearing of this endangered species.
Bibliographical notecited By 2
- Blood parameters
- Regional differences
- Year effect
Kaminski, P., Jerzak, L., Sparks, T. H., Johnston, A., Bochenski, M., Kasprzak, M., ... Tryjanowski, P. (2014). Sex and other sources of variation in the haematological parameters of White Stork Ciconia ciconia chicks. Journal of Ornithology, 155(1), 307-314. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-013-1016-6