Quantcast
Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

Latest Max Planck Institute for Ornithology Stories

Baby Owls Seen Sleeping Like Baby Humans
2013-08-02 08:24:01

AlphaGalileo Foundadtion Baby birds have sleep patterns similar to baby mammals, and their sleep changes in the same way when growing up. This is what a team from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Lausanne found out working with barn owls in the wild. The team also discovered that this change in sleep was strongly correlated with the expression of a gene involved in producing dark, melanic feather spots, a trait known to covary with behavioral and physiological...

Ravens Use Gestures To Signal Potential Partners
2011-11-30 06:37:06

Ravens use their beaks and wings to point and hold up objects in order to attract attention, much like humans use our hands to make gestures, according to a new study by German and Austrian experts. The study is the first time researchers have observed such gestures in the wild by animals other than primates, suggesting that ravens (Corvus corax) may be far more intelligent than previously believed. Simone Pika from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Thomas Bugnyar from the...

f8003e2f45b3759e7341dcc36a43ca2f
2011-07-14 10:39:47

The different populations of the South American Burrowing Parrot originated in Chile The Andes of southern South America form a hostile mountain range with glaciers, salty deserts and meager high elevation steppes. Birds from more moderate climate zones cross this mountain range only rarely. Nevertheless, many species live on both sides of the Andes, as in the case of the Burrowing Parrot Cyanoliseus patagonus. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, together with...

6b5440706e52bb302bd3e2f41e3462fd
2011-06-14 07:47:13

Sex difference in the brain varies according to social status The brains of all vertebrates display gender-related differences. In songbirds, for example, the size of the brain areas that control their singing behavior could be linked to the size of their song repertoires. In many songbird species, only the males sing and indeed, they do have larger song control areas in the brain than females. However, even species where both sexes sing identically, display the same sex differences in their...

95dde8d4cbb6d67b1f64f3ec3eb797271
2011-03-25 07:58:21

The use of different environments by males and females in the parti-colored bat makes population estimation and thereby the conservation of the species more difficult The use of different resources by males and females exacerbates the estimation of population sizes. However, the monitoring of population sizes, particularly for rare and threatened species, is pivotal to quick and effective conservation action. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell investigated...

d4ed6959db375408ba3e40c1323934381
2010-12-08 14:52:23

Large birds, such as storks, save energy on the flight to their wintering grounds by soaring through the air on thermal currents. Until now, however, we knew nothing about the flight patterns of small migrating songbirds, such as whether they flap their wings or soar and whether these styles of flight allow them to save energy. Now, a team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, Ben-Gurion-University of the Negev, and Hebrew University of Jerusalem have...

39a9bc1e34c674fdd896d044a31133361
2010-06-06 07:08:01

High testosterone in house sparrows darkens their bill. The size of the black breast bib - the badge - and bill color of male House Sparrows change over the course of the year. Such ornaments usually signal quality and dominance of a male to his conspecifics and are correlated with his testosterone levels. These levels are generally higher before and during breeding season than for example during moult in autumn. A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen,...

96e5711b5e1596e0c4b3d2ae8dfcc04a1
2010-05-19 13:20:54

Communication across species boundaries by echolocation calls in bats Bats can distinguish between the calls of their own and different species with their echolocation calls, report scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen. This applies even for species closely related and ecologically similar with overlap of call frequency bands (The American Naturalist online, May 11th 2010). As opposed to bird song or the human voice, echolocation calls are primarily used for...

d33147d2d724799f2e51af39e86075751
2010-04-26 09:30:40

Eggs from other females can be found in every fifth nest Some female zebra finches foist a part of their eggs on their neighbors. Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen discovered that in every fifth nest there is one egg that is not produced by its social parents. The female birds act in a very well-targeted way: eggs are being placed in "foster-care" shortly before the hosts commence their own egg laying (online publication in Animal Behaviour, April 15, 2010)....

2010-04-21 13:50:27

The results of genetic studies on migratory birds substantiate the theory that in the case of a continued global warming, and within only a few generations, migratory birds will - subject to strong selection and microevolution - at first begin to fly shorter distances and at a later stage, stop migrating, and will thus become so-called "residents". In a selection experiment with blackcaps from southwest Germany, Francisco Pulido and Peter Berthold at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology...