Questions tagged [ornithology]

Questions relating to the study of birds.

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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9 votes
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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 ...
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What bird is singing at almost 3 AM in Hong Kong?

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?...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Can you identify the species of this bird?

Recently I found these baby birds on a window. I reside in central India. It appears as if they're baby pigeons or Grey francolins, but I'm not sure. They seem to grow pretty fast. Until yesterday, ...
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3 votes
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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 ...
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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?...
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14 votes
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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.
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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.
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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bird that might be a young one that didn't fledge happily

Can anyone identify this bird - located in Massachusetts
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1 vote
1 answer
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Bird identification - hawk

These fledglings are learning to fly in Salt Lake City, UT. What species are they?
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9 votes
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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 ...
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11 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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1 vote
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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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why are the shells of birds' eggs fragile but not those of other creatures?

In my limited understanding, eggs of oviparous creatures other than birds have a flexible outer membrane. Is there any obvious reason that bird eggs should have fragile shells? Notes I'm asking why ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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How do birds eliminate oxygen free radicals [closed]

Birds breathe in a lot. Do they produce a lot more of oxygen free radicals than mammals? And how do they cope with oxydative stress? Thanks!
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Do airsacs contract and expand when birds breathe? [closed]

Something I was wondering. When birds breathe, do their airsacs contract and expand like the lungs do? Also, if they do, do they contract and expand as much as the lungs do? Thanks so much!
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1 answer
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Which Hawaii bird makes this call at night?

I'm on Big Island right now and keep hearing this bird starting at 6-7PM every night: https://voca.ro/18XEepbDmpCy. Which bird could it be?
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9 votes
2 answers
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What species of duck is this?

What species of duck is this? See below photo. Head colour is green like a mallard, but that's pretty much the only similarity. Spotted in Leicestershire, UK.
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Wounded Pigeon in my balcony

There is a, probably wounded, pigeon (common rock pigeon) in my balcony. It is dark right now and thus, I have very little idea about its condition. But it seems it is finding it difficult to fly/move ...
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Why are some bird hybrids fertile?

So, we all know that hybrids are infertile, that's the definition of a species, but how come some parrot species can interbreed and still be fertile. For instance a military macaw and a blue and gold ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the name of this bird from Tanzania?

I took this picture in late 2018 in Tanzania. The Birds of East Africa book does not include it and I've been unable to identify it looking on the web. Can someone help me identify it, please. Thank ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Source for Specific Models of Birds' Habitat Suitability

This source gives a very detailed analysis of what habitats are best suited for many different species. However, this is a government funded project and, to the best of my knowledge, not published in ...
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How did migrations evolve?

Disclaimer: I know nearly nothing about biology. I was wondering how did the migratory behaviour of birds evolve. Assuming that evolution/natural selection works slowly and gradually (at least most of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What factors have led to selection for intelligence in crows and rooks?

The Corvidae family could include some of the smartest species after primates. What could be the factors that differentiate them from other species of birds that have determined their potential for ...
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Can I relocate bird's nest?

Doing a deck project and found a bird's nest. Can I safely move it in order to continue working? Think they'll fledge soon? This is in New Jersey.
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Why is it (allegedly) dangerous to feed ducks with breadcrumbs and pieces of bread?

I used to go down to the local lake all the time with leftover bread and throw little pieces of it to the hungry duckies, who very eagerly fetched it and ate it while happily quacking away. I thought ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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What is the primary cause of death for small animals in urban and suburban areas?

Small birds (sparrows, robins, jays, finches) and mammals (squirrels, rats, opossums, raccoons) are a common sight in many urban and suburban communities with green space. However, I observe carcasses ...
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Do fledglings die if they are not fed constantly?

There is a bird's nest on my balcony in the wall above the door with birds who breed. They have fledglings who already hatched. (I assume this because I sometimes hear quiet sweet chirping.) I sit on ...
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1 answer
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Identity of strange bird with fish net tangled around one foot

This bird was photographed at a small beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What kind of (ocean?) bird is this??
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1 vote
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In what "space" does egg mature in Kiwi?

This huge egg here, is it sort of tethered to the ovary, filling up the coelomic cavity, and then exiting out of the infundibulum, or, where is it in the bird exactly? What "space" does it occupy?
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7 votes
1 answer
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Why do birds legs' not get frostbite?

In a nature documentary I watched a while ago, there was a scene where a flock of flamingos slept in a lake that froze overnight. Each morning they just had to wait until the lake defrosted ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Do some birds really clean themselves using wet leaves?

While researching native shrubs to put in my garden for bird habitat, I read that some birds will take advantage of bushes to clean themselves by rubbing themselves against a wet leaf after rainfall (...
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1 answer
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How are Moluccan cockatoos so loud?

They say a Moluccan cockatoo's screech has a decibel level of around 129 or even more (e.g., 135). That is almost as loud as a jet engine (140 dB at 100 feet). How are they able to emit a screech ...
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2 votes
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Help identifying this bird skull

The skull is 4 to 6 inches long and still has tendons attached. I found this on a beach in central California, which leads me to think it's probably from a seabird. I believe this is from a smaller ...
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1 vote
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Why are these nesting magpies building another nest

Pair if eurasian magpies occupy a nest visible from my balcony. It's the nesting season for them here, and I assumed they have laid eggs. I can't see the eggs directly, but one of the magpies has been ...
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