Current Migratory Birds News and Events

Current Migratory Birds News and Events, Migratory Birds News Articles.
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Drifter or homebody? Study first to show where whitespotted eagle rays roam
It's made for long-distance travel, yet movement patterns of the whitespotted eagle ray remain a mystery. Between 2016 and 2018, scientists fitted 54 rays with acoustic transmitters and tracked them along both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of Florida, which differ in environmental characteristics. Results of the study reveal striking differences in travel patterns on the Atlantic coast compared to the Gulf coast and findings have significant conservation and adaptive management implications for this protected species. (2021-02-23)

Parasitic plants conspire to keep hosts alive
The plant that encourages kissing at Christmas is in fact a parasite, and new research reveals mistletoe has an unusual feeding strategy. When two mistletoes invade the same tree, they increase photosynthesis to get the nutrients they need, essentially sharing the tree and causing it less harm. (2021-02-23)

Animal evolution -- glimpses of ancient environments
Zoologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich report the discovery of a trove of fossil fly larvae, and an intriguing caterpillar, encapsulated in samples of amber that are tens of millions of years old. (2021-02-19)

The distribution of vertebrate animals redefines temperate and cold climate regions
The distribution of vegetation is routinely used to classify climate regions worldwide, yet whether these regions are relevant to other organisms is unknown. Umeå researchers have established climate regions based on vertebrate species' distributions in a new study published in eLife. They found that while high-energy climate regions are similar across vertebrate and plant groups, there are large differences in temperate and cold climates. (2021-02-18)

Migratory birds track climate across the year
As climate change takes hold across the Americas, some areas will get wetter, and others will get hotter and drier. A new study of the yellow warbler, a widespread migratory songbird, shows that individuals have the same climatic preferences across their migratory range. (2021-02-18)

Songbirds' reproductive success reduced by natural gas compressor noise
Some songbirds are not dissuaded by constant, loud noise emitted by natural gas pipeline compressors and will establish nests nearby. The number of eggs they lay is unaffected by the din, but their reproductive success ultimately is diminished. (2021-02-18)

Wintering bird communities track climate change faster than breeding communities in Europe and North America
A study recently completed in Europe and North America indicates that the composition of wintering and breeding bird communities changes in line with global warming. However, wintering bird communities are considerably faster at tracking the changing climate compared to breeding communities. (2021-02-17)

Higher elevation birds sport thicker down "jackets" to survive the cold
A new study examines feathers across 249 species of Himalayan songbirds, finding that birds at higher elevations have more of fluffy down than lower elevation birds. Finding such a clear pattern across many species underscores how important feathers are to birds' ability to adapt to their environments. Furthermore, finding that birds from colder environments tend to have more down may one day help predict which birds are vulnerable to climate change simply by studying feathers. (2021-02-15)

Birds can 'read' the Earth's magnetic signature well enough to get back on course
Birdwatchers get excited when 'rare' migratory birds makes landfall having been blown beyond their normal range. But these are rare for a reason; most birds that have made the journey before are able to correct for large displacements and find their final destination. Now new research shows how birds displaced in this way are able to navigate back to their migratory route and gives us an insight into how they accomplish this feat. (2021-02-12)

Play and meaty food reduce hunting by cats
Domestic cats hunt wildlife less if owners play with them daily and feed them a meat-rich food, new research shows. (2021-02-11)

Gulls, sentinels of bacteria in the environment
Gulls are one of the main wild birds that act as reservoirs of Campylobacter and Salmonella, two most relevant intestinal antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing gastroenteritis in humans. Therefore, according to an article published in the journal Science of the Total Environment seagulls could act as sentinels of the antibiotic pressure in the environment. (2021-02-10)

Starling success traced to rapid adaptation
Love them or hate them, there's no doubt the European Starling is a wildly successful bird. A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology examines this non-native species from the inside out to learn what exactly happened at the genetic level as the starling population exploded across North America? (2021-02-09)

Captive-bred juvenile salmon unlikely to become migratory when released into streams
Researchers at the Kobe University Graduate School of Science have revealed that when captive-bred juvenile red-spotted masu salmon are released into natural streams, very few individuals become migrants. This was an important species in the rivers of west Japan for the fishing industry, however in recent years their numbers are declining rapidly. The results of this research offer important suggestions for stocking practices and the management of river environments. (2021-02-08)

Birds living in natural habits can help inform captive care
Bird species that live in their natural habitats can help zoos learn how to manage those in captivity, according to a new review. (2021-02-05)

Fossil pigments shed new light on vertebrate evolution
This new paper shows that melanin is more than just something that gives colour to the body. It played an important role in the evolution of warm-blooded animals and helped defined what birds and mammals look like today. By studying where melanin occurs in the body in fossils and modern animals researchers have produced the first model for how melanin has evolved over the last 500 million years. (2021-02-04)

Songbirds exposed to lead-contaminated water show telltale signs about human impacts
Researchers discovered lead levels like those reported in Flint, Michigan, can interfere with the neural mechanisms of vocal development of songbirds and affect mate attraction. (2021-02-04)

Even in same desert location, species experience differences in exposure to climate warming
Despite living in the same part of the Mojave Desert, and experiencing similar conditions, mammals and birds native to this region experienced fundamentally different exposures to climate warming over the last 100 years, a new study shows; small mammal communities there remained much more stable than birds, in the face of local climate change, it reports. (2021-02-04)

In a desert seared by climate change, burrowers fare better than birds
In the Mojave Desert, small mammals are weathering the hotter conditions triggered by climate change much better than birds, finds a new study in Science. Using computer models, the study team showed that small mammals' resilience is likely due to their ability to escape the sun in underground burrows and their tendency to be more active at night. This gives small mammals lower ''cooling costs'' than birds, which have less capacity to escape the heat. (2021-02-04)

Forming sound memories: Autism gene plays key aspect in birdsong
Inactivating a gene in young songbirds that's closely linked with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevents the birds from forming memories necessary to accurately reproduce their fathers' songs, a new study led by UT Southwestern shows. (2021-02-03)

Finding rare birds is never a picnic, contrary to popular Patagonia belief
One of birdwatching's most commonly held and colorfully named beliefs, the Patagonia Picnic Table Effect, is more a fun myth than a true phenomenon, Oregon State University research suggests. (2021-02-01)

Eyes reveal life history of fish
If you look deep into the eyes of a fish, it will tell you its life story. Scientists from the University of California, Davis, demonstrate that they can use stable isotopic analysis of the eye lenses of freshwater fish -- including threatened and endangered salmon -- to reveal a fish's life history and what it ate along the way. (2021-01-28)

Harpy eagles could be under greater threat than previously thought
New research led by the University of Plymouth (UK) suggests estimates of the species' current distribution are potentially overestimating range size. (2021-01-27)

New study identifies bird species that could spread ticks and Lyme disease
A new study published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography used machine learning to identify bird species with the potential to transmit the Lyme disease bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) to feeding ticks. The team developed a model that identified birds known to spread Lyme disease with 80% accuracy and flagged 21 new species that should be prioritized for surveillance. (2021-01-27)

In Brazil, many smaller dams disrupt fish more than large hydropower projects
A new paper published Jan. 11 in Nature Sustainability quantifies the tradeoffs between hydroelectric generation capacity and the impacts on river connectivity for thousands of current and projected future dams across Brazil. The findings confirm that small hydropower plants are far more responsible for river fragmentation than their larger counterparts due to their prevalence and distribution. (2021-01-27)

When push comes to shove, what counts as a fight?
Biologists often study animal sociality by collecting observations about behavioral interactions. These interactions can be things like severe or minor fights, cooperative food sharing or grooming. But to analyze animal behavior, researchers need to make decisions about how to categorize and code these interactions. That gets tricky. (2021-01-26)

Scientists show impact of human activity on bird species
Scientists have shown where bird species would exist in the absence of human activity under research that could provide a new approach to setting conservation priorities. (2021-01-25)

Female Bengalese finches have lifelong preference for their father's song to other birds'
Daddies' girls? Female Bengalese finches prefer their father's song to that of other birds throughout their lives - while sons lose this preference as they grow up. (2021-01-20)

All-purpose dinosaur opening reconstructed for first time
For the first time ever, a team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have described in detail a dinosaur's cloacal or vent -- the all-purpose opening used for defecation, urination and breeding. (2021-01-19)

With a little help from their friends, older birds breed successfully
The offspring of older animals often have a lower chance of survival because the parents are unable to take care of their young as well as they should. The Seychelles warbler is a cooperatively breeding bird species, meaning that parents often receive help when raising their offspring. A study led by biologists from the University of Groningen shows that the offspring of older females have better prospects when they are surrounded by helpers. (2021-01-19)

Well-built muscles underlie athletic performance in birds
Muscle structure and body size predict the athletic performance of Olympic athletes, such as sprinters. The same, it appears, is true of wild seabirds that can commute hundreds of kilometres a day to find food, according to a recent paper by scientists from McGill and Colgate universities published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. (2021-01-19)

Borrowing from birds, experts reduce search times for novel high-entropy alloys to seconds
Computational materials science experts at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory enhanced an algorithm that borrows its approach from the nesting habits of cuckoo birds, reducing the search time for new high-tech alloys from weeks to mere seconds. (2021-01-14)

Behavioral traits converge for humans and animals sharing an environment
Humans, mammals and birds that live in a particular environment share a common set of behavioral traits, according to a new study, which identifies a local convergence of foraging, reproductive and social behaviors across species. (2021-01-14)

Foraging humans, mammals and birds who live in the same place behave similarly
Foraging humans find food, reproduce, share parenting, and even organise their social groups in similar ways as surrounding mammal and bird species, depending on where they live in the world, new research has found. (2021-01-14)

Scientists discover bizarre new mode of snake locomotion
Researchers have discovered a new mode of snake locomotion that allows the brown tree snake to ascend much larger smooth cylinders than any previously known behavior. (2021-01-11)

This tree snake climbs with a lasso-like motion
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on January 11 have discovered that invasive brown tree snakes living on Guam can get around in a way that had never been seen before. The discovery of the snake's lasso-like locomotion for climbing their way up smooth vertical cylinders has important implications, both for understanding the snakes and for conservation practices aimed at protecting birds from them. (2021-01-11)

Researchers find nonnative species in Oahu play greater role in seed dispersal
Oahu's ecosystems have been so affected by species extinctions and invasions that most of the seeds dispersed on the island belong to nonnative plants, and most of them are dispersed by nonnative birds. (2021-01-11)

Unusual sex chromosomes of platypus, emu and duck
Three studies uncovered the unusual sex chromosomes of platypus, emu and Peking duck. Platypus have five pairs of sex chromosomes forming an unusual chain shape, while the sex chromosomes of emu and duck are not as different between sexes as those of human. The studies were led or co-led by Qi Zhou's group at the University of Vienna and Zhejiang University of China and are published as research papers in the journals Nature, Genome Research and GigaScience. (2021-01-07)

Eurasian eagle owl diet reveals new records of threatened giant bush-crickets
Bird diets provide a real treasure for research into the distribution and conservation of their prey, conclude scientists after studying the Eurasian Eagle Owl in southeastern Bulgaria. In their paper, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Travaux du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle ''Grigore Antipa'', they report the frequent presence of the threatened Big-Bellied Glandular Bush-Cricket, and conclude that studies on the Eurasian Eagle Owl could be used to identify biodiversity-rich areas in need of protection. (2021-01-05)

Caspian crisis: Sinking sea levels threaten biodiversity, economy and regional stability
Coastal nations are rightly worried about a sea level rise, but in the countries around the Caspian Sea over a hundred million people are facing the opposite problem: an enormous drop in sea level. Since the '90s, the water level has been dropping a few centimeters every year. This drop will accelerate during the upcoming decades, scientists from the German universities of Gießen and Bremen calculated, together with Dutch geologist Frank Wesselingh. (2020-12-23)

Global study on bird song frequency
Competition for mates leads to a deeper voice than expected based on size (2020-12-22)

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