Current Songbirds News and Events

Current Songbirds News and Events, Songbirds News Articles.
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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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Guinea baboons grunt with an accent
Vocal learning leads to modification of call structure in a multi-level baboon society (2021-01-06)

Zebra finches amazing at unmasking the bird behind the song
Like humans who can instantly tell which friend or relative is calling by the timbre of the person's voice, zebra finches have a near-human capacity for language mapping. (2020-11-20)

Songbird parents evict young for their own benefit
Parents, you might know the feeling. When kids get pushy and demanding, it's a tempting fantasy to shove them out of the house and let them survive on their own. Of course, we'd never put our babies in harm's way, but according to new research from the University of Illinois, many songbird parents give nestlings the boot well before they're ready. (2020-11-16)

New bird genomes give insight into evolution of genomic diversity
The Bird 10,000 Genome Project (B10K), an initiative to sequence the genomes of all living bird species, announces the completion of its second milestone--the release of genomes representing 92% of all bird families. (2020-11-12)

Migration and molt affect how birds change their colors
Before their big journey, many birds molt their bright feathers, replacing them with a more subdued palette. Watching this molt led scientists to wonder how feather color changes relate to the migrations many birds undertake twice each year. (2020-11-06)

Childlessness by circumstance
Why zebra finches have problems with reproduction. (2020-10-20)

The first human settlers on islands caused extinctions
Though some believe prehistoric humans lived in harmony with nature, a new analysis of fossils shows human arrival in the Bahamas caused some birds to be lost from the islands and other species to be completely wiped out. (2020-10-06)

Rare pattern observed in migrating common swifts
Compared with other migratory birds, the common swift follows a very unusual pattern when it migrates from the breeding areas in Europe to its wintering locations south of the Sahara. This is what researchers have observed in a major eleven-year international study of the birds. (2020-09-15)

'No, you go first'
New research into highly social yet invasive house sparrows reveals that they can learn from each other and adapt their behavior. This research was published this week in Biology Letters. (2020-09-02)

Songbirds reduce reproduction to help survive drought
New research from the University of Montana suggests tropical songbirds in both the Old and New Worlds reduce reproduction during severe droughts, and this - somewhat surprisingly -- may actually increase their survival rates. (2020-08-27)

No leg to stand on for Australia's flamingos
The sweeping pink salt lakes across Australia's interior are all that remain of the lush green places three species of pink flamingos once thrived the outback. Some much larger than flamingos now found in Africa and other parts of the world, Australian flamingos enjoyed a range of freshwater habitats for about 25 million years, Flinders University researchers say. (2020-06-26)

Microscopic feather features reveal fossil birds' colors and explain why cassowaries shine
Some birds are iridescent because of the physical make-up of their feathers, but scientists had never found evidence of this structural color in the group of birds containing ostriches and cassowaries -- until now. Researchers have discovered both what gives cassowary feathers their glossy black shine and what the feathers of birds that lived 52 million years ago looked like. (2020-05-13)

How the brain controls the voice
A particular neuronal circuit in the brains of bats controls their vocalisations. This was recently discovered by biologists at Goethe University Frankfurt. Based on the rhythm with which the circuit oscillated, the Frankfurt researchers were able to predict the kind of sounds the bats were about to make. These research results could contribute to a better understanding of human diseases in which language is impaired such as Parkinson's or Tourette syndrome. (2020-03-20)

Fifty years of data show new changes in bird migration
A growing body of research shows that birds' spring migration has been getting earlier and earlier in recent decades. New research from The Auk: Ornithological Advances on Black-throated Blue Warblers, a common songbird that migrates from Canada and the eastern US to Central America and back every year, uses fifty years of bird-banding data to add another piece to the puzzle, showing that little-studied fall migration patterns have been shifting over time as well. (2020-02-20)

What birdsong tells us about brain cells and learning
New research by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago uses a unique model -- the intricate mating songs of birds -- to show how the intrinsic properties of neurons are closely tied to the complex processes of learning. (2020-02-19)

Male songbirds can't survive on good looks alone, says a new study
Brightly colored male songbirds not only have to attract the female's eye, but also make sure their sperm can last the distance, according to new research. (2020-01-15)

Collection of new bird species discovered on small Wallacean islands
Hidden away on a trio of tiny and under-explored Wallacean islands off the eastern Indonesian coast, researchers discovered 10 new species and subspecies of songbirds, according to a new study, bringing a long-overlooked pocket of local biodiversity to light. (2020-01-09)

Understanding why songbirds choose their homes
New research by University of Alberta biologists uses a new approach to modelling the populations of six species of songbirds in Canada's boreal forest -- and the results show that standard modeling methods may not be accurately capturing species distribution patterns. (2019-12-19)

Newly discovered retinal structure may enhance vision for some birds
A newly discovered retinal structure in the eyes of certain kinds of songbirds might help the animals find and track insect prey more easily. (2019-12-17)

Bird bacteria is key to communication and mating
Birds use odor to identify other birds, and researchers at Michigan State University have shown that if the bacteria that produce the odor is altered, it could negatively impact a bird's ability to communicate with other birds or find a mate. (2019-10-29)

Marmoset monkeys can learn a new dialect
Monkeys and other animals communicate through calls that can differ depending on region. The common marmoset is one such animal that communicates using regional dialects. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now found out that they even adapt their dialect when they move to a different area. (2019-10-23)

Daddy daycare: Why some songbirds care for the wrong kids
Interspecific feeding -- when an adult of one species feeds the young of another -- is rare among songbirds, and scientists could only speculate on why it occurs, but now, Penn State researchers have new insight into this behavior. (2019-10-03)

How neuronal recognition of songbird calls unfolds over time
A novel computational approach sheds new light on the response of neurons in the brain of a songbird when it hears and interprets the meaning of another bird's call. Julie Elie and Frédéric Theunissen of University of California, Berkeley, present the new method and findings in PLOS Computational Biology. (2019-09-26)

Genetically tailored instruction improves songbird learning
A new UC San Francisco study conducted in songbirds demonstrates that what at first appear to be genetic constraints on birds' song learning abilities could be largely eliminated by tailoring instruction to better match the birds' inborn predispositions. (2019-09-18)

Conservation of a Central American region is critical for migrating birds
A new paper in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, published by Oxford University Press, identifies a previously overlooked area that is critical for conservation: the region between southern Mexico and Guatemala where songbirds fuel up for a grueling flight across the Gulf of Mexico. (2019-09-12)

Neonicotinoid insecticides cause rapid weight loss and travel delays in migrating songbirds
Songbirds exposed to imidacloprid, a widely used neonicotinoid insecticide, exhibit anorexic behavior, reduced body weight and delays in their migratory itinerary, according to a new study. (2019-09-12)

International scientists shed new light on demise of two extinct New Zealand songbirds
They may not have been seen for the past 50 and 110 years, but an international study into their extinction has provided answers to how the world lost New Zealand's South Island kokako and huia. Lead author Dr. Nicolas Dussex, of the University of Otago and Swedish Museum of Natural History, says the team set out to investigate if it was external (habitat loss, mammalian predators) or internal (demography, genetic effects) factors which led to their extinction. (2019-09-03)

Crows consciously control their calls
Crows can voluntarily control the release and onset of their calls, suggesting that songbird vocalizations are under cognitive control, according to a study published Aug. 27, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Katharina Brecht of the University of Tübingen, and colleagues. (2019-08-27)

These migratory birds will risk their lives for a good nap
As reported in the journal Current Biology on Aug. 19, migrating birds that are low on fat reserves will tuck their heads under their feathers for a deep snooze. They do so despite the fact that this more restful sleeping position slows their reaction to the sound of potential trouble. By comparison, birds in better shape stop and sleep with their head facing forward, untucked, and more alert. (2019-08-19)

Scientists identify brain region that enables young songbirds to change their tune
In a scientific first, Columbia scientists have demonstrated how the brains of young songbirds become tuned to the songs they learn while growing up. The results of this study, published today in Nature Neuroscience, illustrate the extraordinary flexibility of the growing brain. (2019-08-12)

Scent brings all the songbirds to the yard
Lehigh University scientists found that not only can chickadees smell, but the males and females prefer the smell of their own species over the smell of the opposite species. These preferences could be impacting hybridization. Their results have been published in an article entitled: 'Conspecific olfactory preferences and interspecific divergence in odor cues in a chickadee hybrid zone' in Ecology and Evolution. (2019-08-12)

Biodiversity highest on Indigenous-managed lands
More than one million plant and animal species worldwide are facing extinction, according to a recent United Nations report. Now, a new UBC-led study suggests that Indigenous-managed lands may play a critical role in helping species survive. (2019-07-31)

Biologist leads pioneering study on stress
A biologist at Louisiana State University conducted a pioneering research study that could help us to better understand the role of dopamine in stress resilience in humans through analyzing wild songbirds. This study could lead to increased prevention and treatment of stress-related disorders. (2019-07-19)

Hear them roar: How humans and chickadees understand each other
Is there something universal about the sounds we make that allows vocal learners -- like songbirds -- to figure out how we're feeling? Sounds like it, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists. (2019-07-12)

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