Related topics: birds

New website can identify birds using photos

In a breakthrough for computer vision and for bird watching, researchers and bird enthusiasts have enabled computers to achieve a task that stumps most humans—identifying hundreds of bird species pictured in photos.

Birds migrate using magnetic map

Migrating birds use magnetic particles within their body to create a 'map' with which to navigate using the earth's magnetic field, according to new research published today in Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Faithful males do not bring flowers

(PhysOrg.com) -- Fairy-wrens are notorious for their infidelity: despite living in seemingly harmonious monogamous pairs, females produce mostly illegitimate young, and males spend more time courting other females than their ...

Even low-level PCBs change bird songs

It may not kill them outright, but low-level PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) contamination disrupts how some birds sing their songs, report Cornell researchers.

Power struggles are best kept out of the public eye

For animals, prevailing in a fight affects their likelihood of winning future conflicts. The opposite is true of losing a fight. The sex hormone testosterone is often believed to mediate this "winner effect". Researchers ...

New study finds evolution mostly driven by brawn, not brains

The most common measure of intelligence in animals, brain size relative to body size, may not be as dependent on evolutionary selection on the brain as previously thought, according to a new analysis by scientists.

Fraternal singing in zebra finches

The song of songbirds is usually transmitted from one generation to the next by imitation learning and is thought to be similar to the acquisition of human speech. Although song is often learnt from an adult model, there ...

Brain regions sleep more deeply when used more -- also in birds

(PhysOrg.com) -- When we are asleep, those regions of our brain that were particularly active during wakefulness sleep more deeply. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany and colleagues ...

Monarch butterflies with a heavy load

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have succeeded for the first time in fitting monarch butterflies with a radio transmitter and in tracking them from an aircraft over a long distance on their flight northwards during the butterflies’ ...

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Ornithology

Ornithology (from Greek: ὄρνις, ὄρνιθος, ornis, ornithos, "bird"; and λόγος, logos, "rationale" or "explanation") is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds. Most marked among these is the extent of studies undertaken by amateurs working within the parameters of strict scientific methodology.

The science of ornithology has a long history and studies on birds have helped develop several key concepts in evolution, behaviour and ecology such as the definition of species, the process of speciation, instinct, learning, ecological niches, guilds, island biogeography, phylogeography and conservation. While early ornithology was principally concerned with descriptions and distributions of species, ornithologists today seek answers to very specific questions, often using birds as models to test hypotheses or predictions based on theories. Most modern biological theories apply across taxonomic groups and the number of professional scientists who identify themselves as "ornithologists" has therefore declined. A wide range of tools and techniques are used in ornithology and innovations are constantly made.

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