New study shows birds can learn from others to be more daring

House sparrows can be found on nearly every continent including North America, South America, Africa and Australia, where they are not native but an invasive species. New research into these highly social songbirds reveals ...

Inbreeding detrimental for survival

Biologists have long known that inbreeding can be detrimental. Inbreeding results in less genetic variation, making species more vulnerable if changes occur that require them to adapt.

Victorian efforts to export animals to new worlds failed, mostly

In 1890, a New York bird enthusiast released several dozen starlings in Central Park. No one knows for sure why Eugene Schieffelin set the birds aloft, but he may have been motivated by a sentimental desire to make the American ...

Bird immune systems reveal harshness of city life

They may peck greedily at feeding tables—and have it easier than country birds do in the warmer urban winters—but city birds, it turns out, are in turmoil on the inside.

House sparrow status signalling theory no longer flies

The size of a male house sparrow's bib has long been associated with the bird's fighting abilities and status within the flock. But an international team of researchers has shown there is little evidence to support it.

How the house sparrows came to be

House sparrows are closely associated with humans and are found in most parts of the world. By investigating the DNA of several species of sparrows, researchers have shown that the house sparrow diverged from a sparrow in ...

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