A Wildlife Conservation Society delegation is heading to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals CoP14, Feb. 12-17, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
According to recent data, bird populations in North America have declined by approximately 2.9 billion birds, a loss of more than one in four birds since 1970. Experts say this bird loss will continue to grow unless changes are made in our daily lives.
Scientists discover genes that help kingfishers dive without hurting their brains
The prime directive for Project FeederWatch has been and continues to be gathering data about how bird populations and distributions are changing across the United States and Canada—vital information for conservation.
Predators must eat to survive — and to survive, prey must avoid being eaten. One theory, the Wolf-Mangel model, suggests predators could use false attacks to tire prey out or force them to take bigger risks, but this has been hard to show in practice.
It’s tough to catch the eye of a potential mate when you’re dressed all in black with no fancy feathers to jiggle around. But a tiny bird called the Blue-black Grassquit has found a way. Learn about this fascinating species during the 2023 Paul C. Mundinger Distinguished Lectureship presented by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
For the first time, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are being used to model hidden patterns in nature, not just for one bird species, but for entire ecological communities across continents. And the models follow each species’ full annual life cycle, from breeding to fall migration to nonbreeding grounds, and back north again during spring migration.
Palaeontologists at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland have discovered X-ray evidence of proteins in fossil feathers that sheds new light on feather evolution.
For the first time, researchers have estimated the Spotted Owl population across the entire Sierra Nevada ecosystem.
A study done on 336 cities in China concludes that heat-retaining buildings and paved surfaces are directly related to a loss in bird diversity. It is likely that the patterns documented in this study are occurring in other large cities across the globe that have abundant asphalt, steel, and concrete with little green vegetation
The discovery that birds evolved from small carnivorous dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic was made possible by recently discovered fossils of theropods such as Tyrannosaurus rex and the smaller velociraptors. In a way, you could say that dinosaurs are still with us and seen tweeting from your own backyard! Below are the latest research headlines in the Birds channel on Newswise.
Scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have developed a novel way to model whether the populations of more than 500 bird species are increasing or decreasing.
City life favors species that are adaptable and not too fussy about what they eat, among other characteristics. A worldwide consortium of scientists calls the resulting collection of traits an “Urban Trait Syndrome.”
The material a bird selects for its nest depends on the dimensions of its beak, according to researchers.
Pseudo-nitzschia spp., an algae that produces the neurotoxin domoic acid, can bioaccumulate within food webs causing harm to humans and animals. A molecular study of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon shows this algae was present in 87 percent of the water samples collected. All isolates showed toxicity, and domoic acid was found in 47 percent of surface water samples. As a nursery for many organisms that supports a high amount of biodiversity, the presence of domoic acid could negatively impact the lagoon system.
A new study demonstrates that birds can partially compensate for these changes by delaying the start of spring migration and completing the journey faster. But the strategy comes with a cost—a decline in overall survival.
A new study led by researchers at the University of Utah explores a record of birds’ diets preserved in their feathers and radio tracking of their movements to find that birds eat far fewer invertebrates in coffee plantations than in forests, suggesting that the disturbance of their ecosystem significantly impacts the birds’ dietary options.
The 2023 Great Backyard Bird Count exceeded all expectations. Organizers estimate that more than 500,000 participants from around the globe made the latest count the best ever.
Spring has arrived officially and brings with it another season of the NestWatch citizen-science project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, building its ever more valuable database on nesting birds. NestWatch participants say watching birds raise their young is incredibly rewarding.
Hummingbirds have the fastest metabolism of any animal. The tropical hummingbirds that live in the Andes Mountains in South America must expend considerable energy to maintain their high body temperatures in cold environments. One tool that they use to survive cold nights is called torpor, a hibernation-like state that allows them to ramp down energy consumption to well below what they normally use during the day.
Much of the progress made in understanding the scope of bird deaths from building and window collisions has come as the result of citizen science, according to a newly published study. But the study also concludes that such grassroots efforts need more buy-in from government and industry, and better funding so they can keep a foot on the gas in their efforts to reduce bird-window collisions.
Scientists wanted to learn if birds that have evolved to be more social have also evolved to be less aggressive.
While most animals don’t learn their vocalizations, everyone knows that parrots do – they are excellent mimics of human speech. Researchers aim to add to what we know about animal vocal learning by providing the largest comparative analysis to date of parrot vocal repertoires.
Scientists have so far found at least two genetic pathways leading to the same physical outcome: all-black feathers. This change was no random accident. It was a result of nature specifically selecting for this trait. The new study is published in the journal PLOS Genetics.
The journeys of night-migrating birds are already fraught with danger. Light pollution adds yet another hazard beyond the increased risk of collisions with buildings or communication towers.
Project FeederWatch is back—with more ways to participate, more time to participate, and more ways to keep track of who is seeing what, where.
The expanded 36th season of FeederWatch
begins November 1 and ends April 30, 2023.
When states want to gauge quail populations, the process can be grueling, time-consuming and expensive. It means spending hours in the field listening for calls. Or leaving a recording device in the field to catch what sounds are made—only to spend hours later listening to that audio. Then, repeating this process until there’s enough information to start making population estimates.
But a new model developed by researchers at the University of Georgia aims to streamline this process. By using artificial intelligence to analyze terabytes of recordings for quail calls, the process gives wildlife managers the ability to gather the data they need in a matter of minutes.
. In a paper published today in Royal Society Biology Letters, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) demonstrate a clear connection between personality in wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) and the likelihood of divorce. Though the link between personality and relationship outcomes in humans is well-established, this is the first study to do so with animals.
Along with implications for the future, the findings illuminate important moments in our past, including human migration into the Americas, the variable human use of coastal and interior habitats and the extinction of the flightless duck Chendytes.
A new study examines how the geographic characteristics of the world’s islands influence seasonal variation in the number of bird species. The study determines how seasonal species richness of birds is affected by the size of the island, how isolated it is from the mainland and other islands, and the latitude in which it lies.
Adults who want to connect kids with nature now have some expert guidance, thanks to a new online course from Bird Academy, the e-learning arm of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Let’s Go Outside: How to Connect Kids with Birds and Nature,” contains six lessons with dozens of field-tested activities to reduce screen time for kids and boost their curiosity about the natural world.
Songbirds learning from nearby birds that food supplies might be growing short respond by changing their physiology as well as their behavior, research by the Oregon State University College of Science shows.
New research from the Oxford Flight Group using computer simulations and Hollywood-style motion capture shows how birds optimise their landing manoeuvres for an accurate descent.
The BirdNET app, a free machine-learning powered tool that can identify more than 3,000 birds by sound alone, generates reliable scientific data and makes it easier for people to contribute citizen-science data on birds by simply recording sounds. Results of tests to measure the app’s accuracy are published in the open access journal PLOS Biology.
New research published in Ibis has identified the Red-billed Leiothrix, a small brightly colored bird native to subtropical Asia, as an emerging example of an invasive non-native species (INNS) in Britain.
Staggering declines in bird populations are taking place around the world. So concludes a study from scientists at multiple institutions, published today in the journal Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Loss and degradation of natural habitats and direct overexploitation of many species are cited as the key threats to avian biodiversity. Climate change is identified as an emerging driver of bird population declines.
The BirdCast program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is exploring these unseen movements of bird migration with its new Migration Dashboard. The Dashboard reveals bird migration in localized detail previously unavailable to the general public.
New, highly detailed and rigorous maps of bird biodiversity could help protect rare or threatened species. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison developed the maps at a fine-enough resolution to help conservation managers focus their efforts where they are most likely to help birds — in individual counties or forests, rather than across whole states or regions.
Spring is in the air. Birds are singing and beginning to build their nests.
Human-caused bird extinctions are driving losses of functional diversity on islands worldwide, and the gaps they leave behind are not being filled by introduced (alien) species, finds a new study led by UCL and University of Gothenburg researchers.
For the first time, researchers have shown that there is a genetic component underlying the amazing spatial memories of Mountain Chickadees. Although the genetic basis for spatial memory has been shown for humans and other mammals, direct evidence of that connection has never before been identified in birds.
Many people have turned to Project FeederWatch as an antidote to troubling times and long winter months. FeederWatch data are used to detect shifts in the numbers and distributions of winter birds in the United States and Canada. The 35th season of FeederWatch begins Saturday, November 13.
African grey parrots may be better able than macaws to delay gratification – rejecting an immediate reward in favour of a better one in the future – according to a study published in the journal Animal Cognition.
New Research from Oxford University has revealed that shifts in the timing of egg laying by great tits in response to climate change vary markedly between breeding sites within the same woodland and that this variation is linked to the health of nearby oak trees.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and University of Konstanz in Germany have identified how large land birds fly nonstop for hundreds of kilometers over the open ocean—without taking a break for food or rest.
Urbanization is one of the most drastic forms of land-use change, and its negative consequences on biodiversity have been studied extensively in temperate countries such as Germany.
BRI’s research is included in a published collaborative study to understand how risk factors affect migratory bird populations across their annual cycle. For example, disease outbreaks may happen on the breeding grounds, the wintering grounds, or during migration and are…
A team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Stanford University, and the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) has uncovered new clues as to how poisonous frogs and birds avoid intoxicating themselves.
Toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes region cause mixed reactions in wildlife, from higher stress levels to weaker immune systems.
New findings from zoologists working with birds in Southeast Asia are shining fresh light on the connections between animal behaviour, geology, and evolution – underlining that species can diversify surprisingly quickly under certain conditions.