First Week

Here is my report on the first week of work on my research project. So far, everything has worked out in one way or another.


I have organized all the house wren and Carolina wren samples I could find (n = 157) and added them into a spreadsheet. There are potentially more feather samples somewhere in the building. However, until I find them I will have to make due with what I have. I have elected to use body feathers only, since few of the individualsĀ had any flight feathers.


Additionally, I have begun to dry the feathers in a desiccator overnight and measure/weigh them. Since house wrens are significantly smaller than Carolina wrens, I will have to account for mass and size. So far, it appears that three Carolina wren feathers is similar in mass to five house wren feathers (~2 mg total mass). I will conduct more tests next week to confirm this. With the information I have now, I have filtered out samples that have less than 3 or 5 body feathers for each individual Carolina or house wren respectively. This gives me more than 30 samples for each species, so I should have enough to complete my project.

Next week I hope to practice the ELISA test on some feathers from another species. I also will try to read up on the protocol regarding the methanol extraction. Finally, I will conduct some research into the migration and molt patterns of the two wren species.

Until next week!