The scent of a bird is generally a complex fragrance made up of a suite of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Identifying these VOCS and their relative contributions to a species’ or individual’s scent is central to understanding their chemical nature, their potential biological source, and, eventually, whether or how they influence behavior. Not surprisingly, the instrumental analysis of VOCs is a rapidly expanding field in the race to find compounds of potential biological significance among birds, but robust methodological standards for odor collection and analysis are still being established. Here we provide a brief overview of the general sources of odors in birds, a description of the functional groups of interest for the ‘non-chemist’, and a critique of the instrumental methods currently being used for this purpose.
|Title of host publication||The Chemistry of Avian Odors: An Introduction to Best Practices|
|State||Published - Nov 2015|