Questions tagged [ornithology]

Questions relating to the study of birds.

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3 votes
2 answers
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How do birds concentrate their urine?

I've read that birds have shorter loops of Henle in their kidneys, and their primary strategy of water conservation is expelling nitrogenous waste in the form of uric acid. However, the nephrons of ...
Nibelung's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
49 views

Any idea what type of hawk this is?

Would like to know what this hawk is. Ground in So Cal
Dennis Bravo's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
91 views

What bird species were featured on this album?

I am very curious about the identity of the feathered subjects on the cover for Susumu Yokota's 2000 Album "Sakura." The one on the left seems to be some kind of hummingbird. Not sure what ...
KeturiosBlue's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
38 views

How badly will warmer air affect birds' ability to migrate long distances?

I recently read about how warmer air decreases lift for airplanes. I wondered whether birds would also experience reduced lift, and whether that might make it harder for them to migrate long distances....
vknowles's user avatar
  • 173
0 votes
1 answer
97 views

How often do birds steal from fish traps?

Does anyone have any solid information about how often birds (e.g. cormorants, mergansers, gulls etc) steal fish from any sort of fish trap? Fish traps include, but are not limited to, fyke nets, ...
JuhaniH's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Large grey bird at creek mouth (east of Toronto)

What species of bird is this? Spotted at the mouth of Graham Creek at Newcastle Marina (Bond Head), Lake Ontario, Canada September 9, 2023 The bird was roughly 18 inches tall; dark grey body; light ...
User1974's user avatar
  • 852
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Training AI models to identify the sex in some bird species

Through my limited knowledge and experience with parrots (especially African greys and quacker parrots), I came to notice that most often some species, in which the male and the female are highly ...
youssef hafidi's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
97 views

Bird in Taipei knocking on the window glass - juvenile hawk? white throat, white beak(?) striped breast, black head(?) brownish body(?), not small

I received these photos from a friend today - a slightly larger than average size bird tapping on the window glass; maybe a brownish body with a white throat and white beak and black head. The tail is ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,436
2 votes
2 answers
201 views

Bite force of seagulls

I'd like to know whether the biggest seagulls are strong enough to bite off a finger?
mu88's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
0 answers
130 views

What's the fastest dinosaur? and what properties make it so fast?

I am a new user. I was curious about the fastest dinosaur that existed during the Mezozoic era. However as I researched, via Google, I was unable to find any precise information as few of them gave ...
Arjun's user avatar
  • 109
2 votes
0 answers
28 views

How good is the vision of diurnal birds of prey really?

Diurnal raptors (especially eagles and hawks) are commonly thought to have incredible visual acuity, up to 5 or 8 times higher than a typical human. However, I haven't been able to find any scientific ...
Daniel Mazdak Honar's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

Does somebody knows this european bird that i saw close to a river in an open grasland?

I saw today afternoon (10. June) this bird and would like to know the species name. It was on a sunny day in the middle of the Netherlands (central Europe) in an wet meadow close to a big river. I ...
and-bri's user avatar
  • 282
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Do songbirds prefer clean water?

The other day, the water in our backyard birdbath (Eastern US) had become fairly murky. So my wife cleaned it out and replaced it with fresh. Seemingly immediately began an amazing run on the thing. ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
598 views

Identification of these birds

We recently put up a bird house and put a camera in it. We appear to have two new neighbours, but what is the species? We live in the south-western part of Norway.
Arnfinn's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Why are mallards ornately green despite lack of sexual selection?

Mallards reproduce by group sex, with multiple males mating with a female against its will. This means that the common explanation of ornate birds evolving due to sexual selection isn’t applicable to ...
user75107's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

Has a bird ever been seen stalling?

Note: I am not sure this is the right site, but I believe birds are off-topic on Aviation SE. Has a bird of any species ever been seen experiencing an aerodynamic stall by increasing the angle of ...
Someone's user avatar
  • 149
2 votes
0 answers
27 views

How did birds reduce their tail and fuse the last caudual vertebrae into a pygostyle?

I was just looking at the phylogeny of Avialae and saw that birds go from having long tails made up of many caudal vertebrae (ex: Archaeopteryx, Jixiangornis, Jeholornis) to ones with very few ...
RenaMoon's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

Which species of bird does this feather belong to?

I found a feather at work when cleaning, a pleasant surprise. However, I cannot identify which bird species it belongs it. Between a friend and I, we deduced it to most likely be a falcon feather. ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
236 views

Ducks highest body temperature

Normal body temperature for ducks are 106-108°F (41.1-42.2°C). Young ducks 102-106°F (38.9-41.1°C). How hot can a duck's body temperature get? Possible causes are fever and viruses, as well as stress ...
Albert's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
1 answer
66 views

Should I scare the swan to help him survive?

There's a young swan in my local park. He is young and I don't see his parents around. The young swan isn't affraid of humans and one can easily feed him from one's hand, and even pet on his head. But ...
user46147's user avatar
  • 295
4 votes
1 answer
126 views

Identification by tail feather

I saw the remains of a bird today I did not recognize, and it was pretty mangled so it was hard to describe it. It was about the size of a robin. However, it had a dark brown mottled body like nothing ...
Imprisoned Rhesus's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
195 views

What is the species of this small bird in Germany?

I've recently (Steptember 2022) found this little guy in Frankfurt (Germany) in the morning. It could have fitted in my hand. It was staying very clam on the ground so I could go really close and take ...
Martin Thoma's user avatar
  • 1,625
1 vote
0 answers
111 views

What is the bird that are on house and make sound during part of the night?

For a few weeks, my neighbour is disturbed by a sound that seems to comes from me. It's mostly heard at the end of a day, but he said the sound stops in the night. After checking, yes, it seems to be ...
Elikill58's user avatar
  • 143
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Can New Caledonian crows survive on their own in Europe?

Is it possible to insert New Caledonian crow in Europe and have them survive on their own, mate, lay egg, hatch and so on? The motive for the question is to find cheap labor, highly capable animals ...
David Jonsson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
400 views

Ecology of the environment for the ruffed grouse

I live in a coastal New England town and while reading a local history I noticed frequent mention of the "partridge" as being a commonplace bird in the area. Now, however, this bird which is ...
Imprisoned Rhesus's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
27 views

What are the implications for a small bird flying at high altitudes?

Are the aerodynamics of a bird flying at high altitude significantly different than a bird flying at low altitude? I would imagine a bird adapted for low, short flights (such as between bushes and ...
Aetherfox's user avatar
  • 121
9 votes
2 answers
178 views

Why the "trailing" woodpecker sound?

I recently (March 26th, 2022) recorded a woodpecker in the woods around Habo Ljunga, Lomma, Skåne, Sweden and that gave me an idea. While cutting the audio, I noticed that the woodpecker's sound seems ...
user1202136's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
77 views

What bird is singing at almost 3 AM in Hong Kong? (recording included)

I live in Hong Kong and there’s a bird around my street that sings around 3 AM, when there isn’t the slightest bit of twilight. I have recorded its song here: https://youtube.com/shorts/0dBNvPAgLmU?...
Kal's user avatar
  • 1,328
-2 votes
1 answer
136 views

Giant inflatable laboratory in the jungle. How to find it?

When I was a child (circa year 2000), I watched a documentary (in English) about some biologists doing research about jungle (perhaps Amazon). The biologists lived in a base which was a huge ...
user46147's user avatar
  • 295
3 votes
0 answers
84 views

Do wild birds eat the egg shells of their own offspring?

Background: I'm a volunteer who is monitoring nest boxes that were established for American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). This spring I've cleaned several boxes that were newly-installed the previous ...
Stu Smith's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
1 answer
150 views

Feather identification

One of my sister's chickens was killed a few days ago. This feather was left at the scene of the crime. The location was Idaho, near Boise. The death of the chicken leads us to believe it is a hawk ...
VexingEve's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
47 views

Birds with overlapping summer and winter ranges

My question is about bird species with overlapping summer and winter ranges, like fieldfares. What happens in the overlap area? Do the birds that breed there also stay there, or do they migrate to the ...
Der Gnirreh's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

How many of their caches do chickadees retrieve?

Chickadees are scatter-caching birds and I've heard they can hide as many as 10,000 seeds for retrieval over the winter. How many of these cached seeds actually end up getting used in a typical winter?...
Empiromancer's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Owl identification. Winter in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada

Is this owl a 'Great Grey Owl' or 'Barred Owl'? I'm thinking a Great Grey because it was quite huge - about 1.5 to 2 feet tall.
OrbitRob's user avatar
  • 647
0 votes
2 answers
126 views

If male songbirds fail to learn songs from older males, which makes them less attractive to females, will that species eventually die out?

I recently read that a species of critically endangered song bird (Regent honeyeater) may go extinct if there aren't any older males around for younger males to learn their song. From this article. ...
Cory Hom-Weaver's user avatar
11 votes
0 answers
141 views

The almost extinct dinosaurs

Dinosaurs split into "lizard-hipped" and "bird-hipped" dinosaurs. Of these two groups, only the "lizard-hipped" (Saurischia) survived (these names are backwards). Of ...
Kevin Kostlan's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
173 views

What is this bird species in the Pacific NW?

I don’t think it’s a Black Phoebe, as they have black beaks not white. Is it a Grosbeak? This was taken in the Pacific NW.. . Sorry for the pic quality. If this isn’t the right place to post this, ...
iMerchant's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
1 answer
92 views

Identification of bird observed in Western Australia near the city of Perth in February

This bird was observed during a holiday in Western Australia near the city of Perth in February 2019. Maybe somebody can help me figure out the species.
nevrome's user avatar
  • 197
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

What’s the largest animal in the evolutionary history of birds?

I know that birds evolved from dinosaurs (or a related clade). However, some dinosaurs are large and others are small. Did birds evolve only from a line of dinosaurs that stayed small throughout ...
Geoffrey Irving's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
500 views

When do Blue Jays form their crests?

I've noticed that not all Blue Jays appear to have a crest. I know that at certain times the crest may be down and less visible, but I notice in most images of juvenile Blue Jays they don't appear to ...
Rosie's user avatar
  • 123
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

What is the name of this black and white dove/pigeon?

July 19, 2021. My sister found this bird outside near our bird feeders. We’ve never seen one of this coloring or size before, and I’m not sure it’s native to where we live (Northern New Jersey). It ...
user66753's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this bird similar to a seagull but with a forked swift-like tail?

I observed these birds in Saint Petersburg, Russia this June, mainly in the evening when the sun was setting. They are similar to seagulls and often fly (presumably hunting) at the same location as ...
Ruslan's user avatar
  • 425
-2 votes
1 answer
40 views

Little owl as decoy for skylark

I read that hunters used (now is forbidden) little owls tethered to attract skylarks. They say this is due to their magnetic look of the eyes. I didn't find any scientific documentation of this. Any ...
Vilnius's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
152 views

bird that might be a young one that didn't fledge happily

Can anyone identify this bird - located in Massachusetts
dottie mackeen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
98 views

Bird identification - hawk

These fledglings are learning to fly in Salt Lake City, UT. What species are they?
jdickson's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes
1 answer
96 views

Do Scrubjays weigh peanuts by picking them up?

I have been feeding scrubjays where I live (Monterey, California) with peanuts in the shell. Something interesting I've noticed them do is, after I've laid out a selection of peanuts for them, they ...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
287 views

Identification of an animal building

I live in south-west Germany and today while mowing the lawn I discovered a strange structure. It looks like a molehill on which additional branches were placed. This kind of branches are easy to find ...
Michi_666's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

Can anyone tell me what species this baby bird this is?

Can anyone tell me what species this baby bird this is? He or she is less than two weeks old. Fell out of nest. He is doing well. I live in Sacramento Ca, Thank you.
melissa valdez's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

What is happening with this hummingbird and how can I help him?

Today I noticed a hummingbird next to my feeder (California) which looks very strange. From my observation it seems that something sticks from its head. This thing is rigid (does not look like a ...
little_hummingbird's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Do penguins "test the ice"?

Do penguins have a way to test the ice that they stand on to ensure that the ice will not break? In other words, do penguins make sure that they will not fall into the ice before stepping onto it? I ...
ASA MATTHEWS's user avatar

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