Questions tagged [ornithology]

Questions relating to the study of birds.

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6
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2answers
291 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
43 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
114 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
87 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. ...
1
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0answers
148 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
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1answer
275 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
284 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
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1answer
241 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
190 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
198 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
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1answer
127 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.
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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 ...
4
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1answer
341 views

Do blind birds bob their head when they walk?

Birds try to keep their heads still for short periods of time between steps to improve their ability to see. You can find amusing videos of chickens used as small video camera stabilizers. But does ...
6
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1answer
168 views

How much do urban pigeons move around cities?

Do they tend to live their lives in one area of the city or do they move around? For example, do pigeons born on London's Trafalgar Square live their whole lives centered around Trafalgar Square or ...
2
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0answers
56 views

Can you suggest me some books/articles about how female birds indicate receptivity to copulation? [closed]

Where can I find informations about the topic? I need to find some examples. I also really need this particular information: I know that many female mammals display lordosis behavior that indicate ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Why do emperor penguins breed during the antarctic winter?

No land animal, and I think no sea animals either, stay in the antarctic during winter - except for one: The emperor penguin. These penguins not only stay there, but their prolonged stay involves 4 ...
2
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1answer
74 views

Is the birds' decision to fly away congenital or learned behaviour?

I see two possibilities how could the birds know what to do every fall: The birds' migrations are driven entirely by the vertical memetics and today it is just a custom transferred from parents to ...
0
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1answer
82 views

Clarification in the name “white cheeked barbet”

Everyday I was listening sound of the birs "white cheeked barbet". Then I was wondering how this name came to it? It should be by certain properties of them. In wikipedia it says Barbets are named ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What is this bird of prey with white belly?

This bird was around the house in northern Switzerland (alt: ~700 m) on January 17th 2016, and I am just wondering what kind of species it is. The legs are yellow and the under (I do not have picture ...
39
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2answers
3k views

Do homing pigeons fly straight home or follow certain “highways”?

Homing pigeons (Columba livia) have been prized for their navigational abilities for thousands of years. They’ve served as messengers during war, as a means of long-distance communication, and as ...
6
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2answers
125 views

Why was the cackling goose split off as a distinct species from the Canada goose in 2004?

According to Wikipedia, in 2004 the American Ornithologists' Union made the cackling goose a new species, splitting it away from the Canada goose. The British followed suit in 2005. What was the ...
3
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0answers
235 views

Is the male satin bowerbird's bower-building behavior innate?

The male satin bowerbird builds a stick structure, known as a bower (distinct from a nest), where courtship and mating take place. They curiously decorate their bowers using blue or shiny objects. (...
2
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1answer
43 views

A limit to birds affinity for high vantage points [closed]

Birds seem to have a natural affinity for high vantage points, including power wires, the tops of trees, and the sides and tops of buildings. However I presume the top of the Burj Khalifa is not ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Why do crows sit on treetops even when it is cold?

It is cold outside: -1 degrees Celsius, wind 14 km/h and snow from time to time. I was wondering why crows (maybe birds in general in Northern Europe) are calmly sitting in relatively windy places ...
3
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2answers
211 views

How do small birds survive the winter?

I live in a region with cold winters (ca. -40 C) and many quite small birds (sparrows, crows, ducks) stay for the winter. How can the birds survive this? As I understand it, smaller bodies will be ...
0
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1answer
6k views

Why do we have two eyes? [duplicate]

Humans, animals and birds all have two eyes. Why? In addition to why two instead of one, why aren't there more than two?
1
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1answer
348 views

Is there a GPS super tiny for passerine birds?

I wonder if there is a really tiny GPS device that can be mounted on passerine birds (or circa 10 grams birds) without affecting their flight. This web site shows information for bat’s GPS. But it ...
21
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1answer
19k views

Is it painful for the hen to lay eggs?

My little son just asked me this question. His mother used to complain about the excruciating pain she suffered when she gave birth to him. He is a compassionate kid and wonders whether the hen goes ...
2
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2answers
122 views

Large congregation of birds?

This year in October, I saw a lot of robins, male and female, finches and chickadees, and geese flying south. Surprisingly I didn't see many juveniles from previous broods. My guess is that juveniles ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Do mammals and birds have a common warm-blooded ancestor?

Is it homogeneous or did they converge? Did we both evolve from warm-blooded reptiles that are extinct maybe?
0
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1answer
445 views

How does the modern synthesis theory explain the evolution of birds from dinosaurs? [closed]

The theory of evolution claims that birds evolved from dinosaurs only by mutation, genetic drift, migration and natural selection. However, it seems to me that wings were not selectively advantageous ...
-5
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1answer
157 views

Two 20 million yr old fossils of Hummingbirds found "The amazing thing about the fossil is that it's essentially a modern hummingbird [closed]

does this only mean that the Hummingbird is perfect in creation and needs no change to survive? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3691169.stm
9
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1answer
3k views

Do mantises stalk cicadas?

The Chinese Idiom The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind (螳螂捕蝉,黄雀在后), which the story behind the idiom comes from Shuo Yuan(说苑), refers to those who are attracted by immediate ...
4
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2answers
196 views

Why do some Brown Pelicans have orange or reddish parts on their bills?

I am doing research on Brown Pelicans and have photos/descriptions of the breeding and nonbreeding appearances of adults, esp. the California and eastern subspecies here on our southern Pacific, Gulf ...
0
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0answers
94 views

Nature vs Nurture in Rooster mating dance: Are roosters lame dancers because they never learned any better?

I've seen, read about, or heard several avian courtship dances, flights, songs, and other rituals. They are general very impressive, fancy, and beautiful. Roosters, by comparison, are quite lame. The ...
2
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2answers
184 views

Are gizzard muscles voluntary or involuntary?

I started raising chickens this year. They have amazing appetites, and I often wonder what eating is like for them. They have no teeth, so they don't chew their food as they eat it. They do seem to ...
5
votes
1answer
576 views

How do non-dimorphic birds distinguish sex of possible partners/rivals?

Some birds, such as my pet Pionus chalcopterus, are not sexually dimorphic. People can't tell them apart, and even trained avian vets are not 100% certain with an inspection probing the vent. I ...
16
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4answers
3k views

Do birds emit infra-red radiation?

I'm an electronics engineering student and I am going to use a sensor that detects infra-red emitted by birds that invade rice paddies. Do birds emit infra-red radiation?
5
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1answer
408 views

hummingbird feeders - is sugar water healthy for them?

The top results on google for DIY hummingbird feeder suggest a white-sugar solution for the feed. In humans we make a big deal about processed sugar vs. the sugar you get from, say, eating a piece of ...
11
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1answer
8k views

Why do chickens not try to get up if laid on their backs?

I've seen a few videos about chickens being laid on their backs for a few seconds after which the chickens stay in that position until they are turned over. Comments around the video suggested that ...
1
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1answer
167 views

Which bird of Upper Michigan is it?

While doing morning-walk in Keweenaw Penisula, Michigan; I found this juvenile bird wandering around looking for her mother ! Can someone spot which bird is it?
5
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0answers
131 views

Negative association between habitat quality and reproductive success in birds

I'm looking for bird studies that have found either a negative correlation or no correlation between habitat quality and reproductive success. Or in other words, bird studies that have found that ...
4
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1answer
381 views

What is the name of this bird?

Does anyone know the name of the bird in the pictures? It was found in the south of Spain in the month of June. (it is certainly neither a house sparrow nor a swallow nor a robin). Thanks for the help!...
8
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2answers
5k views

Crow branch pecking behaviour

I was walking through a small park when two crows started cawing at me, and followed me, flying from tree-to-tree as I walked. I speculate that this is a territorial or protective behaviour, but what ...
22
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2answers
3k views

If dinosaurs could have feathers, would they still be reptiles?

I just finished watching a video where it was mentioned that nowadays birds are dinosaurs and non-avians dinosaurs could have feathers. I confirmed this from wikipedia: Birds are highly advanced ...
11
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1answer
2k views

What is the mass of a pigeon tail feather?

There is question at Space.SE If I drop a feather from orbit, would it burn up or “hit” the ground? there is an attempt to answer the question, but the mass of pigeon tail feather and possibly the ...
5
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1answer
547 views

Do any birds have established “poke a predator's eyes out” behavior?

Is there a pattern/tactics of behavior in any birds species that consists of attacking a predator's eyes with its beak? I'm looking for established tactics, not 1 or 2 anecdotal examples.
0
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1answer
373 views

Advantages of gregarious vs solitary behaviour?

I'm trying to explain why birds (specifically wildfowl) are gregarious during the winter and solitary during the summer. I think that in winter, birds are gregarious to reduce the risk of predation ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Literature that demonstrates organisms have a competitive advantage in numbers

I'm studying two bird populations that are competing against each other for a resource: Population A and Population B. Population A is present in much higher numbers than Population B, and as a ...

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