Questions tagged [ornithology]

Questions relating to the study of birds.

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0answers
101 views

Why did black swans to evolve black colouring?

What environmental factor caused black swans, which are native in Western Australia, to evolve black feathers ? Note swans are either black or white, there are no brown or grey colurings, which can be ...
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1answer
4k views

Do birds ever fly in clouds?

Do (some) birds ever fly in fog or clouds so that they would not be able to see either the ground or the sun? Assuming the visibility is good enough so they can see obstacles in time to avoid them. ...
3
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1answer
142 views

What is this bird of prey?

I recently took a picture of this bird flying around Geneva, Switzerland: In the beginning, and because it was bright and the subject was against the light, I though it was simply another Buteo buteo ...
3
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1answer
576 views

How do baby birds get fed when they are only a day or two old?

The eggs belonging to the robin on my porch hatched. The baby birds are very tiny, just lumps. They are not opening their mouth and cannot even seem to lift their heads. How do they get fed when they ...
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2answers
8k views

What species is this black, blue and white bird?

I think this species is native to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as I see it regularly, especially around the urban locality (Downtown Edmonton). Season: Early Spring Date: May 18, 2017 Basic ...
3
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1answer
154 views

Bird identification: song two low, two high, five short

This morning I heard a bird that had a song which was two low notes, two high notes, and five quick notes in succession. Location is New England. Is there any way, short of asking an expert, that I ...
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2answers
261 views

What type of bird is this?

Can someone identify this white colour bird? Location: unknown (image taken from someone's profile pic).
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2answers
3k views

Why do sparrows jump instead of walk when they are not flying?

I want to talk about sparrows, one of the most common birds around the world. I noticed that when one slowly walks into them (so that they are not frightened enough to fly away), these tiny birds ...
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1answer
3k views

How long before robin no longer needs the nest on my porch?

A robin has made a nest on my porch. Unfortunately, the nest is on my weed wacker which I might want to use at some point this summer. Currently, there are two eggs in the nest. How long will it be ...
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1answer
2k views

What is this bird called?

I've found this bird. Does anyone know what is it?
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1answer
857 views

Did birds descend from a single or multiple species of dinosaur?

It seems like there are mixed results because sometimes I read about a single missing link, like an archaeopteryx that somehow single-handedly explains all modern-day birds, but then I see conflicting ...
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1answer
568 views

During a large forest fire, what is the evacuation behavior of birds?

I'm interested in birds' behavior during large forest fires. Do they fly away as soon as they smell smoke, or wait until seeing fire itself? Do they fly away in flocks, or individually? Do they ever ...
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1answer
180 views

What bird is this?

Not very good pictures, but saw this bird I have never seen before out my window Location: Salem, Oregon, USA
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3k views

What is this feather like bug with no legs?

Seen on leaf in North Texas, USA in April 2017. Critter will attach itself to any object put next to it.
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29 views

Does the cactus wren use a call to elicit insect prey movement and detection?

I will be referring primarily to a 2013 paper, If a bird flies in the forest, does an insect hear it?, and my own investigation. Bird flight sound frequencies overlap with the hearing range of most ...
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2answers
273 views

Why do birds sing? [closed]

Some birds sing. But why do they do it? Does singing gives them any biological advancement? Like in mating, communication etc. Or they do it for enjoyment like humans? ( Might be possible!) Edit: I ...
10
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1answer
287 views

What bird is this?

Location: Urban area near the Western Ghats, Kerala, South India. Date: 20th April, 2017 Current Climate: Hot and humid. Occasional rains. Brief Description: Not large, about the size of a house ...
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23 views

Why are some bird species placed as family Incertae sedis while some families are simply monotypic?

The Bananaquit and Western Spindalis are passerines of Incerta sedis. But species such as the Osprey, Limpkin and Olive Warbler belong to their own, monotypic, family. Why aren't Bananaquit and ...
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1answer
150 views

What species is this bird (found in Cousset, Switzerland)?

A friend of mine saw that bird in Cousset, Switzerland but it doesn't look like anything we know or we've already seen before around here. Does anyone have an idea of what species it could be? Thank ...
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1answer
403 views

ID of a pair of similar-looking birds in NT, Australia

I spotted these two birds in Yellow Water, Kakadu NP. They were not in each other's vicinity, so it's not a pair in the sense that they were mates (not that I can tell at least :-). Their appearance ...
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1answer
254 views

What is the impact of the invasiveness of the European Starling in North America?

Currently there is a campaign to eradicate the European Starling from North America because of its threat to other species. Are there actual data regarding the extent of the ecological risk to native ...
4
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187 views

Is there such thing as a bird with infrared vision? [duplicate]

I am writing a story and I specifically need a bird with infrared vision. Worst case scenario I just invent one but that would break the pattern in my story. The closest thing I have seen from ...
4
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1answer
135 views

Do Asian koel males communicate through calls?

Male Asian koels are heard making long koo-Ooo s which are returned by similar koo-Ooo s1 from some far away place. While the female makes short shrills. I never had the opportunity to see the ...
4
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2answers
368 views

How do migrating birds know where to migrate?

Migrating birds return to the same spot, year after year. These locations are often thousands of kilometers apart. How do the birds know where to fly to? So far I have found that the birds tend to ...
4
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1answer
145 views

Identification of a Kakadu bird

This species of bird was spotted in Kakadu National Park, NT, Australia. It looks a bit like a lemon-bellied fly catcher, but I think my bird here is a tad bigger than the fly catcher, but I am unsure....
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0answers
625 views

How do birds decide which branch to land on? [closed]

What factors do they weigh on? Shape, position of branch within the tree body/structure, fatigue, nearness to current position, etc. And how fast does a bird's brain and nervous system decide on this?...
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2answers
248 views

Owl identification

This evening I spotted this beautiful owl that had become the centre of concern of my neighbourhood birds. There was a joint commotion of the House crows, Jungle bablers, Bulbuls and Maynas, which is ...
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1answer
129 views

Identification of an Australian pigeon in the NT

This pigeon was spotted in Darwin, NT, Australia. I am not able to solidly identify it using my books or google searches. My best bet is a Torresian Imperial Pigeon (Birds of the NT website).
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1answer
151 views

Bird species ID in the Northern Territory, Australia

I was visiting Darwin, NT, Australia a few years back and I encountered this bird. I must say it was in Darwin's Botanical Gardens, so I can't be absolutely positive the Northern Territory is its ...
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1answer
70 views

Accurate surveys of urban pigeon and bird populations

I've been working on an assignment to develop mathematical models of urban pigeon populations. (As a disclaimer, this is part of a math course, not a biology course). I already understand the ...
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2answers
474 views

White water bird with black 'hat'

The white bird in this picture, swimming between the ducks, was seen in Beijing, China, in januari 2017. It was cold: the water seen in the picture is liquid, but not far from this, the water was ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Help me find out what this bird is (description, no picture)

A while ago I read about this bird(s) whose species status was not confirmed. This was because they had a very large distribution and birds in adjacent population could breed with each other but birds ...
9
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1answer
206 views

How do you call “pocoya” bird in English?

I am translating a Spanish book and I have here a bird named in Spanish "pocoya", about which I know the following: 1) it flies at night 2) it makes sounds that allow to confuse it with an injured ...
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137 views

Are there birds that don't vocalize?

I am wondering whether there are birds that do not vocalize at all. I know about the distinctions between songs and calls in passeriformes. I know that there are species that vocalize very little, ...
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1answer
328 views

What is this raptor on a building in California?

So I took this picture of a bird that was sitting just outside my workplace a few weeks ago: At first I searched the internet for raptors in California and found the Cooper's hawk. It looked so much ...
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1answer
478 views

Why does a stomach come before the gizzard in birds?

Since the gizzard is for mechanical digestion, shouldn't that happen before the stomach digests the food with acids? (to make the morsels smaller)
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3answers
2k views

Why do ostriches have wings? [duplicate]

Wings serve most birds for flying, or (as in penguins) for swimming. But ostriches, which exclusively use only their legs for locomotion, still have wings. Why?
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1answer
51 views

What is the length of tunnels puffins dig in the Farne Islands?

I was watching this video and the host said that the puffins dig over 80km of tunnels in the Farne Islands. Is that true? I couldn't find a source to confirm that number.
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1answer
94 views

Small, brownish bird with reddish spot around eyes

This bird was seen in the Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen nature park, Ghent (Belgium) on December 3rd 2016. It is about the size of a common chaffinch. We couldn't get a very good picture of it, unfortunately....
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1answer
182 views

Why do an eagle’s feet look ridged?

Why are the knuckles of an eagles toes "ridged"? (I found these pictures to explain. One was from PBS and the other is one I found on Pinterest): I circled the parts of the toes/feet I meant in red ...
6
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1answer
194 views

Identification of Sunbirds

Location: Asansol-Durgapur region, West Bengal, India Question: Do they belong to the same species? Note: I presume the bird in Pic-1 is a male Purple-rumped sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica). I think ...
3
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2answers
131 views

Trying to identify a baby bird seen in Palermo, Sicily

I'm trying to identify a baby bird that i saw in a pond in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Unfortunately i did not see any parents! Any help is appreciated. Thanks, Robert
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2answers
324 views

Bird ID (greenish passerine, Sacramento, CA)

Can anyone identify this small, greenish bird I saw in Sacramento, California, in May 2016? I tried using whatBird.com but wasn't able to come up with anything convincing. It looks a little like a ...
47
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2answers
6k views

I just saw this bird outside my apartment. Anyone know what it is? (Texas, US)

Saw this bird outside my apartment in College Station, Texas and have never seen anything like it before! It is about the size of a hand.
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1answer
217 views

What properties of DNA and Chromosones do birds have? [closed]

What properties of DNA and Chromosones do birds have? How many chromosones do males and females have? Are the nucleotides the same (CGAT)? There are a lot of different kinds of birds. Maybe the DNA ...
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2answers
106 views

The Mystery of The Cretaceous' Songbirds

Before Passeriformes perched on the branches of our trees and sang their sweet, inspirational tunes, there was Enantiornithes, the "Opposite Birds". So far, we have discovered at least 80 species ...
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1answer
58 views

Do non-migratory canada geese still exhibit migration behaviors?

I have noticed that many of the geese in my region (NE US) remain overwinter. I also see many of what I guess (but am not sure) may be the same geese flying in migration patterns. One thing that makes ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Sexing spotted doves

I recently took pictures of Spotted doves (Spilopelia chinensis) during their courtship. The one on the right, is large with a off-white breast and the one on the left is comparatively small with ...
3
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1answer
157 views

What species is this bird?

This bird is a frequent "visitor" at a lake south west of Berlin, GERMANY. For more pictures here's a link: https://goo.gl/photos/ADVSZwbDQUpbomCBA
5
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1answer
220 views

Bird identification- Crane

What species of crane is this? Today afternoon, I found this crane among a group of white cranes that were moving around a herd of buffaloes. I live in West Bengal, India if it matters. Is it an ...

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