Amazonian bird chicks mimic poisonous caterpillar to avoid detection

Amazonian bird chicks mimic poisonous caterpillar to avoid detection

A trio of researchers has found and documented the case of a newly hatched bird with plumage that mimics a poisonous caterpillar to ward off predators. In their paper published in American Naturalist, Gustavo Londoño, Duván García and Manuel Sánchez Martínez, describe finding the young birds and observing their habits while in their nests. Scientists … Continue reading

Scientists discover how birds localize sound sources

Scientists discover how birds localize sound sources

German researchers have figured out how birds locate the source of a sound even though they don’t have external ears. Outer ears on mammals help the animal identify whether sounds are coming above, below or at the same level. Technische Universität München (TUM) has solved that mystery, publishing its findings in the journal PLOS ONE. The … Continue reading

We finally know when birds lost their teeth

We finally know when birds lost their teeth

Scientists have figured out when and how birds lost their pearly whites — and it wasn’t a prehistoric fist fight, according to a paper published Thursday in Science. As the modern descendants of dinosaurs, birds must have once had teeth. We’ve known this since 1861, when paleontologists uncovered Archeopteryx, a 150-million-year-old bird fossil with teeth. … Continue reading

Eagle research soars via GPS trackers

Eagle research soars via GPS trackers

A world first study tracking wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax) via GPS satellite transmitters has led one researcher into uncharted territory after a female appeared to have her partner stolen by a new bird, challenging a long-held belief that this species mates for life. Perth Hills-based ornithologist Simon Cherriman used the solar GPS technology—Platform Terminal Transmitters … Continue reading

Highly sociable Australian birds show us the effects of social conformity

Highly sociable Australian birds show us the effects of social conformity

Scientists from LJMU have published research that provides a unique opportunity to investigate how personality can be affected by social context. Dr Leah Williams and Dr Claudia Mettke-Hofmann of the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, published work in the journal Animal Behaviour which reveals that the Australian Gouldian finch birds adjust their behaviour according … Continue reading

Milk bottle-raiding birds pass on thieving ways to their flock

Milk bottle-raiding birds pass on thieving ways to their flock

Great tits are opportunistic copycats. Entire populations can be found performing the same arbitrary behaviour simply because birds copy one another, following a fashion. And it’s this behaviour, reported in a paper published in Nature, that explains the great milk bottle raids that baffled milk drinkers in Britain almost a century ago. Back in 1921 … Continue reading

Birds conform to local ‘traditions’

Birds conform to local ‘traditions’

Birds learn new foraging techniques by observing others in their social network, ‘copycat’ behaviour that can sustain foraging ‘traditions’ that last years, according to a study of how innovations spread and persist in wild great tits (Parus major). The study involved experiments with eight local populations of great tits in Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire (UK). In … Continue reading