Related topics: birds

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 ...

Google searches reveal popular bird species

Cross-referencing a decade of Google searches and citizen science observations, researchers have determined which of 621 North American bird species are currently the most popular and which characteristics of species drive ...

Among birds-of-paradise, good looks are not enough to win a mate

Male birds-of-paradise are notorious for their wildly extravagant feather ornaments, complex calls, and shape-shifting dance moves—all evolved to attract a mate. New research published in the open-access journal PLOS Biology ...

Warmer temps push tropical birds up and off mountains

(Phys.org) —Many tropical mountain birds are shifting their ranges upslope to escape warming temperatures, but tropical species appear to be more sensitive to climate shifts than species from temperate regions, report Cornell ...

Philandering fairywrens keep their species intact

(Phys.org) —A common, chickadee-sized Australian bird is one of the most prolific cheaters in the avian world – and new research suggests that choices made by straying females may actually be keeping the species from ...

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.

City-life changes blackbird personalities, study shows

The origins of a young animal might have a significant impact on its behavior later on in life. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, Germany, have been able to demonstrate in hand-reared ...

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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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