Avian Demography Unit
Department of Statistical Sciences
University of Cape Town
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Kathy Calf with an African Black
Oystercatcher Kathleen Calf Tjørve
Past PhD student

Kathy joined the ADU as a technical assistant in early 2001 and in May 2001 she started a PhD in the department. She studied the prefledging energy requirements in subtropical shorebirds to determine the energetic implications of self-feeding precocial development. The main aim of her research was to compare the energetic requirements of chicks of precocial and semi-precocial chicks and to compare the energetic requirements of chicks of temperate and arctic shorebird species to subtropical species that experience different energetic constraints. The project was supervised by Dr Henk Visser (Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, The Netherlands) and Prof Les Underhill (ADU). After working as a research assistent in the UK in 2005, Kathy defended her thesis on 19th May 2006 in Groningen, The Netherlands. She is currently working as a researcher at the Lista Bird Observatory in Norway.

Henk Visser, Les Underhill & Kathy Tjørve in
January 2002

Qualifications and experience

Cape Sugarbird - Helderberg Nature Reserve
1998
Kathy completed a BSc (Biology) in 1996 and a BSc (Hons) in 1997, both at the University of Natal, Durban. She then moved to Stellenbosch University where she graduated in 2000 with an MSc (Zoology). Kathy investigated the social dynamics and thermoregulation of Bronze Mannikins (Lonchura cucullata) during winter for her honours thesis and the role of male territory size and quality in mating and reproductive success of Cape and Gurney's Sugarbirds, Promerops cafer and Promerops gurneyi for her masters thesis. Whilst studying Kathy gained valuable experience in bird banding, vegetation sampling, pit fall trap sampling for insects, river profile measurement and water sampling, small mammal mark and recapture, metabolic rate determination and electron and light microscopy.

Cape Sugarbird chicks - Helderberg Nature
Reserve 1998

After completing her masters, Kathy took a year out and worked in the United States on a couple of biological projects:

  • The evaluation of the bird conservation area concept in the northern tallgrass prairie (Minnesota).
  • The impact of habitat fragmentation on pika (Ochotona princeps) dispersal dynamics (Nevada).

Publications

1. Papers in refereed journals

  • Calf K. NJ Adams & R Slotow (1998) Dominant individuals in flocks of Bronze Munias benefit thermally from huddling under winter conditions. Abstract in: Adams, N.J. & R.H. Slotow (eds) Proc. 22nd International Ornithological Congress, Durban. Ostrich 69: 244.
  • Calf KM, CT Downs & MI Cherry (2001) Territoriality and breeding success in Gurney's Sugarbirds (Promerops gurneyi). African Zoology 36: 189-195.
  • Underhill LG, PA Whittington & KM Calf (2001) Shoreline birds of Robben Island, Western Cape, South Africa. Wader Study Group Bulletin 96: 37-39.
  • Calf KM & LG Underhill. (2001) The breeding seasons of waders in the Western Cape, South Africa. Wader Study Group Bulletin 96: 32.
  • Calf KM & Downs CT (2002) Breeding biology of the Gurney’s Sugarbird, Promerops gurneyi in Qwaqwa National Park, eastern Free State. Ostrich 73: 1-4.
  • Calf KM, N Adams & R Slotow (2002) Dominance and huddling behaviour in Bronze Mannikin (Lonchura cucullata) flocks. Ibis 144: 495-508.
  • Calf KM (2002) African Black Oystercatcher chicks dive to escape danger. Wader Study Group Bulletin 98: 46.
  • Calf KM (2002) Predation on a Kittlitz’s Plover chick by a Blacksmith Plover. Wader Study Group Bulletin 98: 47.
  • Calf KM & LG Underhill (2002) Productivity of African Black Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini on Robben Island, South Africa, in the 2001-2002 breeding season. Wader Study Group Bulletin 99:45-49.
  • Matanyaire SD, KM Calf & LG Underhill. (2002) Estimating the distribution of the start of incubation: the African Black Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini as an example.
  • Wader Study Group Bulletin
  • 99: 9.
  • Calf KM & LG Underhill. (2002) Territoriality of African Black Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini on Robben Island. Wader Study Group Bulletin 99: 6-7.
  • Calf KM, CT Downs & MI Cherry (2003) Territoriality of Cape Sugarbirds (Promerops cafer) and its role in mating and reproductive success. Emu 103: 29-35.
  • Underhill LG, KM Calf, RJM Crawford, M du Toit, L Waller & PA Whittington (2003) Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes and White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina at Dyer Island, South Africa. Atlantic Seabirds 5: 1-3.
  • Calf KM, CT Downs & MI Cherry (2003) Foraging and territorial behaviour of male Cape and Gurney's sugarbirds (Promerops cafer and P. gurneyi). African Zoology 38: 297-304.
  • Calf KM, CT Downs & MI Cherry (2003) Territoriality of Cape Sugarbirds (Promerops cafer) between and within breeding seasons. Ostrich 74: 125-128.
  • Calf KM, J Cooper & LG Underhill (2003) First breeding records of Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus vetula at Robben Island, Western Cape, South Africa. African Journal of Marine Science 25:391-393.
  • Calf KM, GH Visser & LG Underhill. (2003) Chick energetics of African Black Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini. Die Vogelwarte 42: 96.
  • Calf KM (2004) Mole Snake Pseudaspis cana predation of African Black Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini eggs. Wader Study Group Bulletin 104: 103-104.
  • Underhill LG & KM Calf (2005) How far is an egg through incubation? Wader Study Group Bulletin 106: 39-41.
  • Calf KM, H Geertsema & LG Underhill (2005) Do sugarbirds feed on arthropods inside or outside of Protea inflorescences? Emu 105, 293-297.
  • Calf KM & LG Underhill (2005) Tidal impact on breeding African Black Oystercatchers on Robben Island, Western Cape, South Africa. Ostrich 76:219-221.
  • Parsons NJ, KM Calf, LG Underhill & V Strauss (2006) The rehabilitation of Swift Terns Sterna bergii incapacitated by a surf zone diatom blood on Robben Island, South Africa. Ostrich 77, 95-98.

2. Submitted manuscripts and manuscripts in preparation

  • Tjørve KMC & H Geertsema (submitted) Guild composition of arboreal arthropods associated with the inflorescences of Protea trees.
  • Tjørve KMC & C Beuchat (submitted) Timing of nesting and nesting success of Cape Sugarbirds (Promerops cafer).
  • Tjørve KMC & G Scholtz (submitted) Cape Sugarbirds (Promerops cafer) from Helderberg Nature Reserve: morphology and movements.
  • Tjørve KMC & LG Underhill (submitted) Breeding phenology of African Black Oystercatchers, Haematopus moquini on Robben Island, South Africa.
  • Tjørve KMC & LG Underhill (submitted) Is the population of African Black Oystercatchers, Haematopus moquini, on Robben Island, South Africa, increasing?
  • Tjørve KMC & LG Underhill (submitted) Breeding success of the African Black Oystercatcher, Haemotopus moquini, on Robben Island, South Africa.
  • Tjørve KMC, LG Underhill & GH Visser (submitted) Growth and sibling rivalry and their relationship to fledging success of African Black Oystercatcher, Haemotopus moquini, chicks.
  • Tjørve KMC, LG Underhill & GH Visser (submitted) Growth and energetics of Little Stint, Calidris minuta, chicks on the Taimyr Peninsula, Siberia.
  • Tjørve KMC, LG Underhill & GH Visser (submitted) The energetic implications of precocial development of shorebirds breeding in a warm environment.
  • Tjørve KMC, LG Underhill & GH Visser (submitted) Energetics of growth in semi-precocial shorebird chicks in a warm environment: the African Black Oystercatcher, Haematopus moquini.
  • Tjørve KMC, LG Underhill & GH Visser (submitted) Prefledging energy requirements of the nocturnally-fed semi-precocial chicks of the Spotted Thick-knee, Burhinus capensis.
  • Tjørve KMC (submitted) Does chick development relate to breeding latitude in shorebirds?
  • Visser GH, KM Tjørve, T Bakker & LG Underhill (manuscript) The growth and energetics of Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus vetula chicks at Robben Island, Western Cape, South Africa.
  • Underhill LG, KM Calf & RJM Crawford (manuscript) The heronry on Robben Island, Western Cape, South Africa.

3. Popular articles

  • Calf KM (2000) The role of territory size and quality in mating and reproductive success of Cape and Gurney's sugarbirds, Promerops cafer and Promerops gurneyi. Promerops, 241: 8-9.
  • Calf KM (2001) Prefledging energy requirements in subtropical waders: the energetic implications of self-feeding precocial development. Bird Numbers 10(2): 18-19.
  • Calf KM (2001) The dangers of academic ornithology. Bird Numbers 10(2): 20.
  • Calf KM (2002) Running hot and cold: comparing energetics in local and Arctic environments. Bird Numbers 11(1): 17.
  • Calf KM & D Chalton (2002) Multiple clutches in a single season - Dikkops ensuring breeding success in triplicate. Promerops 252: 13.

4. Reports

  • Calf KM & LG Underhill (2002) Productivity of African Black Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini on Robben Island, South Africa, in the 2001-2002 breeding season. ADU Research Report 44: 1-11.
  • Calf KM & LG Underhill (2003) Productivity of African Black Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini on Robben Island, South Africa, in the 2002-2003 breeding season. ADU Research Report 51: 1-13.
  • De Villiers MS, KM Calf, BM Dyer, DM Harebottle, S Mecereno, HD Oschadleus, VL Ward, HU Peter, J Amlacher, R Fache, A Gorschewski, E Heinze, L Jung, A Kahles, L Merbold, R Müller, A Nordt, K Schultz & V Sternkopf (2003) The Institute of Ecology (Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena) and the Avian Demography Unit (University of Cape Town) collaborative research project, 20 September-9 October 2003. ADU Research Report 53. Avian Demography Unit, Cape Town.
  • Calf KM & LG Underhill (2005) Productivity of African Black Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini on Robben Island, South Africa, in the 2003-2004 breeding season. ADU Research Report 67: 1-13.

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    Last Modified 12-07-2006