Research identifies drivers of rich bird biodiversity in Neotropics

Research identifies drivers of rich bird biodiversity in Neotropics

An international team of researchers is challenging a commonly held view that explains how so many species of birds came to inhabit the Neotropics, an area rich in rain forest that extends from Mexico to the southernmost tip of South America. The new research, published today in the journal Nature, suggests that tropical bird speciation … Continue reading

Migrating birds sprint in spring, but take things easy in autumn

Migrating birds sprint in spring, but take things easy in autumn

Passerine birds, also known as perching birds, that migrate by night tend to fly faster in spring than they do in autumn to reach their destinations. This seasonal difference in flight speed is especially noticeable among birds that only make short migratory flights, says researcher Cecilia Nilsson of Lund University in Sweden, in Springer’s journal … Continue reading

Nighttime Lights Reset Birds Internal Clocks

Nighttime Lights Reset Birds Internal Clocks

Streetlights and the light from shopping centers, stadiums, and houses turn night into day, a “loss of night” that is shifting the internal clocks of birds worldwide. Now, scientists are trying to understand how artificial lights are affecting birds’ songs, mating, and reproduction. High on bluffs overlooking the Pacific, Dominik Mosur was strolling along at … Continue reading

Burnt out birds suggest hard work could be bad for your health

Burnt out birds suggest hard work could be bad for your health

Unequal sharing of workloads in societies could leave the most industrious individuals at higher risk of poor health and prone to accelerated ageing, according to a new study of a cooperative bird in the Kalahari Desert. A team of scientists at the University of Exeter studied white-browed sparrow weavers, a social species in which all … Continue reading

Crimson rosella uses beak to sniff fellow birds and potential mates, Deakin research finds

Crimson rosella uses beak to sniff fellow birds and potential mates, Deakin research finds

Researchers at Deakin University have found an iconic Australian bird uses it beak to sniff out its own species, and even potential lovebirds. Deakin’s Centre for Integrative Ecology found that crimson rosella parrots can recognise each other by a distinct smell left over from their feathers. The finding proves that the colourful creatures are more … Continue reading

Warblers and turtle doves join RSPB list of birds at risk of dying out

Warblers and turtle doves join RSPB list of birds at risk of dying out

Any true love who wants to give their significant other two turtle doves to celebrate the second day of the 12 Days of Christmas may soon be looking for an alternative gift. In a move that will dismay ornithologists and poets alike, the bird, immortalised in verse by Shakespeare and Wordsworth, could shortly find itself … Continue reading

Wild Birds’ Songs, Feather Colors Changed by Mercury Contamination

Wild Birds’ Songs, Feather Colors Changed by Mercury Contamination

WAYNESBORO, Virginia—Standing in the woods along the South River, Kelly Hallinger held the microphone up to capture the cacophony of songs, one at a time: the urgent, effervescent voice of the house wren; the teakettle whistle of the Carolina wren; and the sharp, shrill notes of the song sparrow. (Read More Here)  

Chemical Pollution and Climate Change Threatening 1,300 Species of Birds

Chemical Pollution and Climate Change Threatening 1,300 Species of Birds

More than 1,300 species of birds are threatened with extinction, with chemical pollution and climate change two major culprits. Because of these and other dangers, the status of most of the endangered species is deteriorating, according to BirdLife International. In the majority of cases, the blame lies with humans, with loss of habitat and chemical contamination … Continue reading