Questions tagged [ornithology]

Questions relating to the study of birds.

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Can crows see in ultraviolet? If so, does their plumage look different in UV?

Apparently birds which appear identical to the human eye can look quite distinct under UV light. Additionally, drab looking birds might have more "spectacular" looking plumage when considering ...
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Chickens and dust: Resistance and impacts on pulmonary function

A dusty, dry chicken is a happy chicken. Notably, the concept of dust-bathing, but also the dander they constantly produce which can lead to silicosis in humans where there is overexposure. (Photo: ...
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Do birds grieve and feel emotion?

Crows are surprisingly clever with tool making/use and even understanding displacement water over sand! Clearly there's some relatively high level cognitive processes going on up in those avian brains....
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Anyone knowledgeable of young cardinals? [migrated]

A pair of cardinals have nested in my yard for years. Yesterday found a young one in the yard, made it comfortable, just didnt want a cat to get it. Still alive, cant fly. What to do?
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What species is this little white bird?

This bird was found in my backyard in the north east of Italy. It's about 5cm long and can fly as high as 1.5m (so far).
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Can Females Songbirds Have Male Plumage?

Male birds are colorful for courtship displays, females are dull for camouflage. But, is written in a website somewhere that sometimes, when females birds are sterile, they grow male plumage due to ...
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Mysterious spherical mass of feathers (Reddit)

Original posting from Reddit I am posting this here in the hopes that an ornithologist might be able to shed some light on this unusual finding. Locality is Boise, Idaho. This appears to be a ...
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Why are there fewer ospreys in upper New England?

I have a book by the Audubon Society on building bird houses. In this book the chapter on ospreys shows their breeding range to include Canada and then a pocket around the Connecticut and New York ...
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1answer
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Does a bird nest out of its breeding range?

I have a book by the Audubon Society on building bird houses and for each bird they show a breeding, wintering and all year range. Do the birds only breed in their breeding range, or in both breeding ...
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Identifying a mysterious bird in the writings of Hebrew prophet Jeremiah

In Jeremiah 17:11, the verse states: קֹרֵ֤א דָגַר֙ וְלֹ֣א יָלָ֔ד עֹ֥שֶׂה עֹ֖שֶׁר וְלֹ֣א בְמִשְׁפָּ֑ט בַּחֲצִ֤י ימו [יָמָיו֙] יַעַזְבֶ֔נּוּ וּבְאַחֲרִית֖וֹ יִהְיֶ֥ה נָבָֽל׃ Like a 'korei' ...
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What is this Peacock-like creature?

In the below picture I believe bird in the foreground is a female. The one that opens the wings is the male.
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What bird is this (found at Alice Springs Desert Park in Australia)?

I was reviewing photographs of the animals we found on our trip to Australia during the past September and I cannot find what is the bird in the picture. It was found inside Alice Springs Desert Park, ...
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Does anybody knows name of this bird I found in my backyard in India?

I found this bird in my backyard in India. I checked several websites but wasn't able to identify it. Any help would be appreciated.
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2answers
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Is feeding birds only after a snowstorm helpful or harmful?

We had a very rare snowstorm here which left the ground covered in 8" of snow and trees covered in snow and ice. It'll likely all melt away in the coming days as we have sunny days and temps rise ...
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Identify this avian courtship ritual

The female drops a twig from high up on a tree and the males have to catch it midair. The female is checking if the males can catch things midair because this species nests on cliffs, and the chicks ...
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1answer
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How exactly do birds get drunk eating fruit? Fermentation should be anaerobic

The Washington Post article Drunk birds are causing havoc in a Minnesota town. Police say they’ll sober up soon. describes birds becoming intoxicated after eating berries: “The Gilbert Police ...
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Do vultures ever carry food away?

I was wondering if the feet of Vultures enable them to carry food found in one location to another location, or whether they always just eat what's on site, on site? In other words, can Vultures do ...
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1answer
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What mammal or creature dropped this? (Warning: Gross Pictures)

I'm at a loss to explain what creature dropped or created this. This giant pile showed up virtually overnight. If someone could point me in the right direction, I'd greatly appreciate it. The ...
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1answer
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Should I be concerned about health (bacteria/lice) after having birds fly directly over me? [closed]

Yesterday a flock of birds (crows) passed over my head. I've heard that there are many bacteria and lice in the feathers of birds. So I'm thinking about whether to wear or launder the clothes that I ...
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Why ravens play with garbage?

Why ravens play with small plastic details and other garbage? Could you explain how this behavior was formed by evolution for birds-scavengers?
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1answer
493 views

How do seagulls know it is the 9th inning at a baseball game?

Multiple times that I’ve gone to San Francisco Giants games, the seagulls sensed when the game was ending so they could pick up food. https://youtu.be/LPra_ZfwanU
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Do garden bird feeders harm wild birds?

I enjoy watching birds at a garden bird feeder but have started feeling guilty that it is having a negative impact on the birds. For example this study recently showed that birds in the UK have longer ...
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2answers
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Birds brewing beer?

There is a slight bend in the rain gutter next to my window. Over the last 4 years, I observed birds (ravens, magpies and newly doves) to dip their beaks in. I observed ravens to dip what I think was ...
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Why so fewer birds in the yard come late summer and early autumn?

We've enjoyed watching birds in our yard this past summer. We're in a suburb, fairly forested, inland northeastern USA hardiness zone 5. As we scaled up the amount of diversity and net primary ...
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The extinction of the passenger pigeon [duplicate]

During the time when the passenger pigeon was hunted down to only captives in the zoo, how could the zoo not maintain a small population and keep the species alive? Why did the population slowly die ...
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Can you identify the bird in this photo?

I spotted this bird in Bangalore, atop a building on a September morning.
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Could an 150 pound human have flown on the back of some species of pterodactyl (assuming they still existed)? [closed]

I'm curious if any type of flying animal that ever existed would have been able to carry your average 150 pound man.
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1answer
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What kind of bird is this and what does it eat?

My father found this little guy in one of the tractors of where he works (in the fields) i’m not sure what species of bird it is and what it eats. It just keeps chirping not stop and I have no clue ...
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1answer
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Could we back-breed birds into dinosaurs? [closed]

Do some species of birds have dinosaur DNA? Seeing as how birds evolved from dinosaurs. I presume this isn't possible as I haven't seen anything else about it on the internet but it's interesting to ...
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1answer
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Confirmation for a picidea

I am sorting some pictures and found this one taken from Swiss Jura Mountains (North part, alt ~700m) in March 2013. The day before I saw a Dendrocopos major (...
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1answer
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Identify the fluff that I have found in tea

I have just opened a new pack of a black Pu'er tea that I've bought at the local store selling it by weight, and found a piece of fluff in there. To me it looks much like some kind of a bird fluff. It ...
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1answer
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Is this a hawk, or an eagle?

I saw this large bird gliding fairly low over the trees while hiking in the late afternoon in some hills near Taipei recently. It seemed quite large compared to what I normally see here. It's quite ...
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What kind of big bird is this seen walking around Taipei?

I've seen this humorous sign warning drivers to keep an eye out for birds many times, but today I finally realized what it's talking about! This is a large bird and I've seen it all around Taipei in ...
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1answer
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Should I help this young Magpie?

I found this young Eurasian Magpie in my garden: He is just standing there, not doing anything. I believe he fell from a tree and can't fly yet and is just waiting for the feeding from his parents ...
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1answer
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Trying to identify an Ontario bird photographed in Spring in the Don Valley

Any help is appreciated! I think this may be a juvenile bird? I thought it might be a brown-headed cowbird, but the plumage and head markings don't seem quite right (compared to examples on the ...
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What species is the smallest bird?

What species is the smallest living bird in the world? What circumstances limit the bird size from the bottom?
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Brood Parasitism - Parasitism/Ammensalism/Commensalism?

Parasitism has the parasite benefitting while the host is harmed. In Brood parasitism, the Cuckoo rests its eggs in Crow's nest for incubation. How does this harm the Host? Why not considered ...
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Hummingbird cross Bering Strait

Hummingbirds travel to Alaska during summer. If global warming continue, allow birds stay longer in Alaska, can hummingbirds cross Bering Strait to Russia, then spread in Asia?
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What advantages do birds gain when they mimic other bird species calls in the wild?

I've read that birds such as crows and blue jays often mimic other bird species calls. There seems to be evidence that birds do learn and react to other bird species calls, specifically when they ...
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1answer
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Is this bird a woodpecker?

This bugger is pecking on the side of my house. I don’t know anything about birds, but it doesn’t look like your typical woodpecker.
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Bird identification by sound; midwestern US

This one's been bugging me for a couple of years. Location is southwest Michigan. Here are a couple of song samples (I couldn't separate it from the Titmouse... they're pretty chatty these days): ...
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1answer
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What do the column labels in this table mean?

This table shows the effect of sound (song and tones) on female birds. However, I'm not sure what the labels (F1 22, P and η2) mean. I've seen the labels on other tables too. (from https://www.ncbi....
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How are homing pigeons' “homes” changed?

Last night I was watching the David Attenborough minidocumentary on animal navigation, and it talked about the homing pigeons used in the two World Wars. Apparently they were donated by UK pigeon ...
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1answer
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Why is the nucleus accumbens in that place?

This description of where the nucleus accumbens is (Ac) says that it should be near the lateral ventricle, when it is quite clearly very far away? How is this? the region surrounding the tip of the ...
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1answer
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What is this type of diagram called and how to interpret?

I'm just starting a project on neuroscience for sixth form. I have had no teaching in this area so had to teach myself entirely. This is a "low-power image of a transverse section through the ...
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What species is this blue and white bird?

I want to know what kind of species this bird is
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Bird Identification: New Delhi, April 2018

I've looked in Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (BNHS version, not Inskipp) and two phone apps and still can't find this, although I am a newbie tourist so am probably making a basic mistake. Seen ...
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Identification of a bird on the beach of a small lake

Last December in France (lake of Divonne, Ain) I took a picture of this bird looking for some food on the beach of the lake. It looks like a specimen of the genus ...
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Identification of Bird feather, probably from a predatory bird

Found in Berlin,Germany Area of Charlottenburg I want to know the species of this bird, someone please tell me. Approximate size 19 cm
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Do puffin beaks have vertical slits or cracks?

I have seen a photo where puffins seem to have vertical lines on their beaks. It is uncertain if those are just line or actual slits or cracks in the beaks. Do puffin beaks have slits or cracks?