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Effects of supplemental food on the behaviour and paternity status of male Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea)

Posted on 11. June, 2018.

Breeding is energetically costly and, if energy-limited, birds may alter their time budgets, spending less time engaged in some activities and more time in others. Investigators who have provided breeding birds with supplemental food have noted changes in time budgets, but the extent and types of changes have been found to vary among species. 


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Chick magnet? It's all about what you eat

Posted on 2. April, 2013.

Research by the Zoological Society of London and University of Cambridge shows that male hihi birds develop more colourful and attractive breeding feathers if they receive a nest diet rich in carotenoids – natural pigments found mainly in fruit and vegetables. The paper, published in Proceedings of The Royal Society B, looks at the effects of newborn nutrition on male plumage in the rare New Zealand hihi (Notiomystis concta) over the course of a year.


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First nest ever discovered of world's most endangered birds

Posted on 28. March, 2013.

The first known nest of one of the world's rarest birds – the Critically Endangered Stresemann's Bristlefront – has been discovered in Brazil, according to the American Bird Conservancy. Of perhaps equal significance is that strong evidence of active nestlings was also found.


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Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in UK salmonella infections

Posted on 28. March, 2013.

Mass poultry vaccination programmes introduced to combat Salmonella infections have led to a dramatic fall in the number of cases since the late 1990s, according to research at the University of Liverpool. The results were published in the 1 March 2013 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.


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First fossil bird with teeth specialised for tough diet

Posted on 28. March, 2013.

While living birds have a beak to manipulate their food, their fossil bird ancestors had teeth. Now a new fossil discovery shows that some fossil birds evolved teeth adapted for specialised diets.


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Nest quality - a sexual signal?

Posted on 20. December, 2012.

Nests, often seen just as receptacles for eggs and chicks, are also “signals” of other aspects of reproductive biology. Nest quality may act as key sexual signal in mate choice or play a role in communal nesting. Other behavioural aspects of nest construction as well as the impact of environmental factors are considered in Avian Biology Research Volume 5 number 4.


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Red-legged Partridges Go Wild

Posted on 20. September, 2012.

In Tuscany, the red-legged partridge became extinct at the beginning of the 20th century. Attempts to re-establish this wild populations using farm reared birds have proved difficult. New research reported in Avian Biology Research suggests that natural rearing may be an important tool for improving the success of partridge reintroduction.


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Birds cultivate decorative plants to attract mates

Posted on 21. June, 2012.

An international team of scientists has uncovered the first evidence of a non-human species cultivating plants for use other than as food. Researchers from the Universities of Exeter (UK), Postdam (Germany), Deakin and Queensland (Australia) found that male bowerbirds had unusually high numbers of fruit-bearing plants growing around their bowers, and used these fruits in order to attract females. The study was published 24 April  2012, issue of Current Biology.


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Puffincam returns!

Posted on 21. June, 2012.

RSPB’s popular Shetland Puffincam is back. The birds have returned, the nest is ready, all that is needed now is an egg in the puffin burrow at Sumburgh Head RSPB reserve. RSPB Scotland is urging virtual visitors to help them monitor a pair of breeding puffins. The birds look set to be the stars of this year’s live webcam footage, which lifts the lid on the secret lives of this colourful species as they attempt to raise their young.


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