Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Amino Acid Composition of the Plumage of the White-Crowned Sparrow

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1982
Authors:Murphy, ME, King, JR
Journal:The Condor
Date Published:1982
ISBN Number:00105422
Keywords:Emberizidae, Fringillidae, Serinus, Serinus serinus, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia leucophrys
Abstract:To provide baseline data for estimating the dietary amino acid requirements of molting birds, we measured the amino acid composition, nitrogen and sulfur content, and heat of combustion of the homogenized plumage of six White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). On the average, the plumage contained 15.22% nitrogen, 3.14% sulfur, and 0.86% ash. Of the 17 amino acids measured, serine, proline, cystine/2, and glycine (in that order) were most abundant, comprising 46 mol% of the hydrolysate. Nonessential amino acids predominated (68 mol%). Cystine/2 contributed 11 mol%. Variation of amino acid composition among the plumages of the six birds was small (coefficient of variation = 2-7%). The heat of combustion of the homogenized plumages was 21.69 kJ/g of dry mass. Although exact quantitative comparisons are not possible, the amino acid composition of White-crowned Sparrow plumage in general parallels that of other species. Its cystine/2 and sulfur content, however, are noticeably greater than that reported for any other species thus far examined (primarily pale and domesticated).
Short Title:The Condor
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