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Latest Junco Stories

Promiscuousness Results In Genetic Trade-up, More Offspring
2011-09-01 10:23:31

  It's all about the grandkids! That's what a team led by an Indiana University biologist has learned about promiscuous female birds and why they mate outside their social pair. Many humans find the idea of mating for life a romantic ideal, but in the natural world, non-monogamous relationships may have their benefits. According to new research published online Aug. 31 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, IU postdoctoral research associate Nicole Gerlach and colleagues have...

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2011-07-20 12:23:50

In a case of life imitating art, avian scents given off by male songbirds have the females (and males) flocking in. A Michigan State University researcher revealed the process of how males draw attention to themselves through chemical communication in the current issue of Behavioral Ecology. Scents are used in all organisms for many purposes, such as finding, attracting and evaluating mates. But this is the first study of its kind that demonstrates that it is happening among songbirds, said...

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2010-05-04 09:36:57

A field study of the relationship between testosterone and natural selection in an American songbird, the dark-eyed junco, has defied some expectations and confirmed others. Scientists from Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Virginia, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and the University of Southern Mississippi report in the June issue of The American Naturalist (now online) that extreme testosterone production -- high or low -- puts male dark-eyed junco at a...

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2010-03-23 10:37:26

Two recently diverged populations of a southern California songbird produce unique odors, suggesting smell could contribute to the reproductive isolation that accompanies the origin of new bird species. The Indiana University Bloomington study of organic compounds present in the preen oils of Dark-eyed Juncos is described in this month's Behavioral Ecology. "There's so much we don't know about the role of smell in bird behavior," said biologist Danielle Whittaker, the study's lead author....

2009-12-04 15:04:24

Birds' alarm calls serve both to alert other birds to danger and to warn off predators. And some birds can pull a ventriloquist's trick, singing from the side of their mouths, according to a UC Davis study. Many animals respond vocally when they detect predators, but it's not clear to whom they are signaling, said Jessica Yorzinski, a graduate student in animal behavior at UC Davis who conducted the study with Gail Patricelli, professor of evolution and ecology. They might be warning others...

2006-05-31 00:05:00

WASHINGTON -- Testosterone may help some songbirds "live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse," as the adage goes. For dark-eyed junco males, having a little extra testosterone made them more attractive to females -- especially older ones -- helped them fly farther and sing more sweetly, scientists said on Tuesday. And the hormone-laden males produced more offspring, North Dakota State University assistant biology professor Wendy Reed found. But the chicks were smaller and less...


Latest Junco Reference Libraries

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2006-02-21 06:51:13

The Abert's Towhee (Pipilo aberti) is a bird of the family Emberizidae, which is currently threatened by cowbird nest parasitism and habitat loss in its small range along the U.S. state of Arizona's borders with California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Mexico. This bird is common in brushy habitats and deserts but requires some effort to spot. One way to coax the bird out into the open is to attract it with feeders filled with cracked corn on the ground. These birds are easily recognizable...

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2006-02-21 05:27:14

The Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) is the best-known species of junco, a genus of small American sparrows. Adult juncos are generally grey on top and have a white belly and white outer tail feathers. The bill is usually pinkish. Other than those similar characteristics, there are several regional variations: The Slate-colored Junco (J. hyemalis hyemalis) has a dark slate-grey head, breast and upper parts. Females are brownish grey. It is found in North America in taiga forests from...

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Word of the Day
maffling
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.