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Latest Ornithology Stories

2011-02-01 01:50:44

It takes songbirds and baseball pitchers thousands of repetitions "“ a choreography of many muscle movements -- to develop an irresistible trill or a killer slider. Now, scientists have discovered that the male Bengalese finch uses a simple mental computation and an uncanny memory to create its near-perfect mate-catching melody -- a finding that could have implications for rehabilitating people with neuromuscular diseases and injuries. Young male Bengalese finches practice their...

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2011-01-25 12:13:19

The number of birds flying south for the winter in the Philippines has dropped this year and experts say the cause is the collapse of wetlands and hunting. Philippine-based Danish ornithologist Arne Jensen said the despite some harsh, cold weather across the Eurasian landmass, some waterbirds that usually migrate in huge flocks to the tropical islands have been completely absent. "The flyway populations of several waterbird species are in constant and dramatic decline," Jensen, who advises...

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2011-01-21 06:05:00

You've heard the saying: One man's trash is another man's treasure - and when it comes some birds, our trash can be the perfect choice of material for their nests, according to Spanish research released Thursday. By examining 127 nests of black kites in Spain's Donana National park, researchers reported in the journal Science that the strongest birds showed their ferocity by decorating their homes with lots of white pieces of plastic they find littering the ground. And only white would do,...

2011-01-20 22:02:33

It's a common assumption that animal migration, like human travel across the globe, can transport pathogens long distances, in some cases increasing disease risks to humans. West Nile Virus, for example, spread rapidly along the East coast of the U.S., most likely due to the movements of migratory birds. But in a paper just published in the journal Science, researchers in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology report that in some cases, animal migrations could actually help reduce...

2011-01-19 11:13:00

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you are interested in connecting with wildlife in your own backyard, beginning Monday, Jan. 24, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will be selling bluebird nesting boxes at its Harrisburg headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Avenue. The boxes sell for $7, and customers can select from assembled boxes or kits that can be assembled as a wood-working project. "Bluebirds are early nesters, so now is the time put up new nest boxes, as well...

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2011-01-14 09:49:34

3,607 finches and mockingbirds housed at the California Academy of Sciences provided critical data for research about the spread of disease in Darwin's famous islands A research team from across the United States and Ecuador has pinpointed 1898 as the year the avipoxvirus, or avian pox, hit the Galapagos Islands and started infecting its birds. This estimation is vital to understanding avian diseases that affect today's Galapagos birds. The scientists' paper on the subject, "110 Years of...

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2011-01-02 15:05:50

Researchers have developed a simple rubber device that is capable of replicating complex bird songs. According to the researchers, a song can be produced by blowing air through the device, which mimics a bird's vocal tract. The study challenges the theory that birds have to learn complicated neurological controls in order to produce distinctive cells. The researchers plan to share their data with biologists to see if it sheds new light on how birds produce their music. "I definitely did...

2010-11-22 13:31:06

Stretched tube designed by harvard researchers mimics zebra finch songs For centuries, hunters have imitated their avian prey by whistling through their fingers or by carving wooden bird calls. Now a team of physicists at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has reproduced many of the characteristics of real bird song with a simple physical model made of a rubber tube. "We wanted to know if you [could] build a simple device, which has minimal control but reproduces some non-trivial...

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2010-11-17 11:42:07

Research from a six year study on migrating geese has discovered an interesting outcome "“ they return to the same spots they were taken to as youngsters. The findings of the study, published online November 17 in the journal Molecular Ecology, suggest young light-bellied Brent geese learn their migratory destinations from parents. This means their routes are learned through culture rather than inherited genetically, raising some interesting questions about why this species of goose...

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2010-11-09 08:50:00

By Katrina Voss, Penn State University A team of scientists has observed the activity of nerve cells in a songbird's brain as it is singing a particular song. Dezhe Jin, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at Penn State University and one of the study's authors, explained that understanding how birds string together sets of syllables "” or notes in a song "” may provide some insight into how the human brain learns language and produces speech. The research will be...


Latest Ornithology Reference Libraries

Mauritius Blue Pigeon, Alectroenas nitidissima
2014-04-18 12:27:42

The Mauritius Blue Pigeon (Alectroenas nitidissima) is an extinct species of blue pigeon previously native to the Mascarene island of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean eastwards of Madagascar. It has two extinct relatives from the Mascarenes and three living ones from other islands. It is the type species of the genus of blue pigeons, Alectroenas. It had white colored hackles around the head, neck, and breast and blue colored feathers on the body, and it was red on the tail and the...

Newton’s Parakeet, Psittacula exsul
2014-04-18 12:25:06

Newton’s Parakeet or the Rodrigues Parakeet (Psittacula exsul) is an extinct species of parrot that was native to the Mascarene island of Rodrigues located in the western Indian Ocean. It was closely related to the Alexandrine Parrot of the same genus and was likely descended from it. It diverged from related species in several of its features, signifying that it had most likely been isolated on Rodrigues for a long period of time. It was roughly 16 inches in length, about the size of a...

Mascarene Parrot, Mascannus mascannus
2014-04-18 12:00:54

The Mascarene Parrot (Mascannus mascannus) is an extinct species of parrot that was native to the Mascarene Island of Reunion located in the Indian Ocean. The taxonomic relationships of this species has been subjected to some debate. It has been connected to the Psittaculini parrots based on that anatomical grounds, but the vasa parrots based on the genetic grounds. The precise placement is unresolved. The Mascarene Parrot was 14 inches long with a large red colored tail and long, rounded...

Carolina Parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis
2014-04-18 11:57:25

The Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) or the Carolina Conure was a small green colored Neotropical parrot with brilliant yellow colored head, reddish orange face and pale beak that was native to the eastern, Midwest, and plains states of the United States and was the only indigenous parrot within its range. It was found from southern New York and Wisconsin to Kentucky, Tennessee and the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic seaboard to as far west as eastern Colorado. It resided in...

Choiseul Pigeon, Microgoura meeki
2014-04-18 11:39:05

The Choiseul Pigeon or Solomon’s Crested Pigeon (Microgoura meeki) is an extinct species of bird belonging to the pigeon and dove family Columbidae. It was native to the islands of Choiseul located in the Solomon Islands, although there are unsubstantiated reports that it might have once lived on several nearby islands. The pigeon was monotypic within the genus Microgoura and had no known subspecies. The closest living relative is believed to be the Thick-billed Ground Pigeon, and some...

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