Questions tagged [ornithology]

Questions relating to the study of birds.

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6
votes
2answers
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.
1
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0answers
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 ...
2
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2answers
272 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
273 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 ...
1
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0answers
22 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 ...
0
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1answer
143 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
398 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 ...
7
votes
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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0answers
173 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
131 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
334 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
140 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....
2
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0answers
594 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?...
9
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2answers
246 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 ...
2
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1answer
126 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).
5
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1answer
147 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 ...
0
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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 ...
3
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2answers
452 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
votes
1answer
91 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
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
4
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0answers
126 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
318 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 ...
1
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1answer
468 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)
6
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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?
2
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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.
1
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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....
0
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1answer
162 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
votes
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
103 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
6
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2answers
283 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.
-3
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1answer
214 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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
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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
1k 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
287 views

What animal / bird is this?

We heard this animal outside in Western Washington (Port Townsend area) during the late evening. I think it is a bird, but it honestly sounds sort of like some creepy woman singing or something. The ...
3
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0answers
42 views

Mechanics of Peregrine Falcon Dive Pull Up

There are loads of information on how fast the Peregrine Falcon dives, but aside from having specialized lungs, eyes, etc... to survive the dive. What mechanics does it use to pull out of such a dive,...
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0answers
113 views

Is it true that pigeons became less afraid of humans in recent years?

My grandfather had told me when I was a kid that at his time the pigeons would not approach humans closer than about 15 meters. At the time he said it the pigeons were approaching us not closer than ...
3
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0answers
85 views

What type of skull is this? [duplicate]

This skull was found in the mountains/woods of extreme southwestern Virginia (Dickenson County). There is not (to my limited knowledge) any animal native to this area that has this type of skull. ...
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0answers
140 views

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. ...
3
votes
1answer
257 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
279 views

How do marine mammals and penguins maintain bone density?

After much searching on Google with no results, I decided to ask my question here. If I'm not mistaken, swimmers' bone density is less than normal; at least for lifetime swimmers. Astronauts also ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

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/...
3
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1answer
187 views

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 assume ...
1
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1answer
192 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Please identify bird call / animal call

What species is making this sound? You can hear it from the opening samples of this song: Earthgarden by Nada (2003). I wish to study the frequency distribution of the bird call.
18
votes
2answers
3k views

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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