Questions relating to the study of birds.

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How can I measure the curvature of bird's beak on the field?

I'm wondering if there is a standard tool to measure the bird's beak curvature. It seems that a spherometer wouldn't work because the beaks that I'm measuring are not circular but more parabolic. ...
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What is the name of the bird which feeds on penguin blood and meat in Tristan island?

I just watched a National Geographic documentary "Unseen Islands: Atlantic Arks" and there was some thing strange in Tristan island. Some small bird which changed its diet to feed on the blood and ...
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How do marine mammals and penguins maintain bone density?

After much searching on Google with no results, I decided to ask about my question here. If I'm not mistaken, swimmers' bone density is less than normal; at least for lifetime swimmers. Astronauts ...
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How to stop common myan(invasive species) from nesting in nestbox made for oriental magpie Robin (residential species) ? [duplicate]

How to stop common myna from coming to nestbox made for oriental magpie Robin, use of anti-myna baffle and removal of nesting materials from nest is also done, even though common myna comes at nestbox ...
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Taking care of Birds: Unwanted species scaring away a less common one from a birdhouse

Near my house, I have set up a birdhouse, which has become home to a pair of Oriental Magpie Robins. They are not a common species in Delhi, India, and are generally shy of human interaction and avian ...
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What Species of Duck/Waterfowl is this

I snapped a picture of this beaut in Irvine, CA, but I do not believe it is in the list given in "Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl Identification Guide" by Bob Hines (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/...
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Can someone identify this bird? It looks like it has a few deformities

All pictures taken at Lake Roberta in Tampa, FL. All pictures depict the same bird. (The wing deformities can be explained by the lake water being slightly highly toxic, but the neck I can only ...
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623 views

For how long can a raven stay airborne (a week or more)?

I'm wondering for how long a raven can stay continuously airborne, if strained to do so? If it makes a difference, I'm mostly interested in the Common raven, Corvus corax. Are there for instance any ...
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How much do urban pigeons move around cities?

Do they tend to live their lives in one area of the city or do they move around? For example, do pigeons born on London's Trafalgar Square live their whole lives centered around Trafalgar Square or ...
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Why do blue jays eat my cat food?

We buy some run of the mill big-box store cat food. Over the last several weeks, I've observed a blue jay landing on the cat food dish, taking a piece or two, and flying off with it. I assumed it was ...
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How do small birds survive the winter?

I live in a region with cold winters (ca. -40 C) and many quite small birds (sparrows, crows, ducks) stay for the winter. How can the birds survive this? As I understand it, smaller bodies will be ...
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Is it painful for the hen to lay eggs?

My little son just asked me this question. His mother used to complain about the excruciating pain she suffered when she gave birth to him. He is a compassionate kid and wonders whether the hen goes ...
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Please identify bird call / animal call

from the opening samples of this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC3XZEWB5GM I wish to study the frequency distribution of the bird call.
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How do non-dimorphic birds distinguish sex of possible partners/rivals?

Some birds, such as my pet Pionus chalcopterus, are not sexually dimorphic. People can't tell them apart, and even trained avian vets are not 100% certain with an inspection probing the vent. I ...
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How can birds disperse seeds when they are able to digest them?

I've just read in a book that birds' guts can digest almost all the consumed seeds with the exception of mistletoe and loranthus (which stays stuck on the branches). On the other hand, I know that the ...
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Do blind birds bob their head when they walk?

Birds try to keep their heads still for short periods of time between steps to improve their ability to see. You can find amusing videos of chickens used as small video camera stabilizers. But does ...
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Can you “spam” bird sounds so that birds no longer interpret them right?

Is it possible to make birds confused by repeating recorded chirping or singing? Or do they always perceive them as usual, even if the situation is clearly not as described by those sounds? For ...
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Clarification in the name “white cheeked barbet”

Everyday I was listening sound of the birs "white cheeked barbet". Then I was wondering how this name came to it? It should be by certain properties of them. In wikipedia it says Barbets are ...
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How did birds survive the KT impact? [closed]

As I understand it, the ejecta resulting from the K-T impact (also known as the end-Cretaceous or Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event) re-entered the atmosphere all over the world; the heat from ...
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Can you suggest me some books/articles about how female birds indicate receptivity to copulation? [closed]

Where can I find informations about the topic? I need to find some examples. I also really need this particular information: I know that many female mammals display lordosis behavior that indicate ...
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Is the birds' decision to fly away congenital or learned behaviour?

I see two possibilities how could the birds know what to do every fall: The birds' migrations are driven entirely by the vertical memetics and today it is just a custom transferred from parents to ...
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What is this bird of prey with white belly?

This bird was around the house in northern Switzerland (altitude approximately 700 metres) on January 17th 2016, and I am just wondering what kind of species it is. The legs are yellow and the ...
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Do homing pigeons fly straight home or follow certain “highways”?

Homing pigeons (Columba livia) have been prized for their navigational abilities for thousands of years. They’ve served as messengers during war, as a means of long-distance communication, and as ...
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Can someone identify this bird?

We recently found a nest in the back garden and a little bird inside. Can you help us identify it? The nest is quite small like the bird so we are wondering whether this is the parent or a baby chick. ...
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Are there birds with knees instead of elbows?

Are there any birds whose legs fold the same way human legs do, in a knee, instead of an elbow which is what all the birds I know have?
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Why was the cackling goose split off as a distinct species from the Canada goose in 2004?

According to Wikipedia, in 2004 the American Ornithologists' Union made the cackling goose a new species, splitting it away from the Canada goose. The British followed suit in 2005. What was the ...
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Why do crows sit on treetops even when it is cold?

It is cold outside: -1 degrees Celsius, wind 14 km/h and snow from time to time. I was wondering why crows (maybe birds in general in Northern Europe) are calmly sitting in relatively windy places ...
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Is the male satin bowerbird's bower-building behavior innate?

The male satin bowerbird builds a stick structure, known as a bower (distinct from a nest), where courtship and mating take place. They curiously decorate their bowers using blue or shiny objects. ...
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A limit to birds affinity for high vantage points [closed]

Birds seem to have a natural affinity for high vantage points, including power wires, the tops of trees, and the sides and tops of buildings. However I presume the top of the Burj Khalifa is not ...
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Which bird of Upper Michigan is it?

While doing morning-walk in Keweenaw Penisula, Michigan; I found this juvenile bird wandering around looking for her mother ! Can someone spot which bird is it?
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132 views

How does the ideal free distribution work?

I have recently completed a study on Brent Goose. I found that Brent Geese occupy high quality habitat first then once this is full of geese, they fill up low quality habitat. However, there were ...
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Do birds emit infra-red radiation?

I'm an electronics engineering student and I am going to use a sensor that detects infra-red emitted by birds that invade rice paddies. Do birds emit infra-red radiation?
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Why do we have two eyes? [duplicate]

Humans, animals and birds all have two eyes. Why? In addition to why two instead of one, why aren't there more than two?
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Is there a GPS super tiny for passerine birds?

I wonder if there is a really tiny GPS device that can be mounted on passerine birds (or circa 10 grams birds) without affecting their flight. This web site shows information for bat’s GPS. But it ...
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Large congregation of birds?

This year in October I saw a lot of robins, male and female, finches and chickadees, and geese flying south. Surprisingly I didn't see many juveniles from previous broods. My guess is that juveniles ...
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Do birds have navels?

This picture shows the development inside a bird egg: This shows the connection of the embryo to the yolk sac. Does this mean birds have navels? And if so, what happens to the umbilical cord once ...
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How does the modern synthesis theory explain the evolution of birds from dinosaurs? [closed]

The theory of evolution claims that birds evolved from dinosaurs only by mutation, genetic drift, migration and natural selection. However, it seems to me that wings were not selectively advantageous ...
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hummingbird feeders - is sugar water healthy for them?

The top results on google for DIY hummingbird feeder suggest a white-sugar solution for the feed. In humans we make a big deal about processed sugar vs. the sugar you get from, say, eating a piece of ...
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If dinosaurs could have feathers, would they still be reptiles?

I just finished watching a video where it was mentioned that nowadays birds are dinosaurs and non-avians dinosaurs could have feathers. I confirmed this from wikipedia: Birds are highly advanced ...
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Do mammals and birds have a common warm-blooded ancestor?

Is it homogeneous or did they converge? Did we both evolve from warm-blooded reptiles that are extinct maybe?
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What species of eagle pushes their young to teach them flying?

There are many references to eagle pushing their young off the nest to make them know how to fly, for example this motivational video. It is also described in this website: Let me show you "the ...
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Two 20 million yr old fossils of Hummingbirds found "The amazing thing about the fossil is that it's essentially a modern hummingbird

does this only mean that the Hummingbird is perfect in creation and needs no change to survive? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3691169.stm
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What kind of bird species is this?

Every now and then I got a glimpse of this bird which I'm pretty sure is not native to Northern Germany where I live. There are at least three of these birds around but I usually only see something ...
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Do mantises stalk cicadas?

The Chinese Idiom The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind (螳螂捕蝉,黄雀在后), which the story behind the idiom comes from Shuo Yuan(说苑), refers to those who are attracted by immediate ...
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396 views

Is sexual selection evolutionarily advantageous?

Our biology teacher says that peacocks will soon become extinct because of bigger and bigger (and heavier and heavier) tails. Why natural selection did not eliminate sexual selection?
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Why do some Brown Pelicans have orange or reddish parts on their bills?

I am doing research on Brown Pelicans and have photos/descriptions of the breeding and nonbreeding appearances of adults, esp. the California and eastern subspecies here on our southern Pacific, Gulf ...
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Nature vs Nurture in Rooster mating dance: Are roosters lame dancers because they never learned any better?

I've seen, read about, or heard several avian courtship dances, flights, songs, and other rituals. They are general very impressive, fancy, and beautiful. Roosters, by comparison, are quite lame. The ...
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Are gizzard muscles voluntary or involuntary?

I started raising chickens this year. They have amazing appetites, and I often wonder what eating is like for them. They have no teeth, so they don't chew their food as they eat it. They do seem to ...
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Is it possible to pet/groom birds?

I wonder if it's possible to pet a domestic crow, or an owl. Do birds respond to grooming as cats or dogs, for example? If so, then how does one pet a bird?
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Can anyone identify this bird?

Can anyone identify this bird: it looks like a zebra finch but they are not native to UK are they? Photo taken from my garden in Shoreham, West Sussex on 16/8/2014.