Progeny of old parents have fewer offspring

Reproduction at old age involves risks that may impact one's own life and may impose reduced biological fitness on the offspring. Such evidence, previously obtained in humans and other taxa under laboratory conditions, has ...

Urban sparrows find new use for cigarette butts

Cigarette butts are widely reviled as an urban nuisance but birds in Mexico City see them as a boon, apparently using them to deter parasites from their nests, scientists say.

Why you should celebrate World Sparrow Day

For the past five years there has been a growing movement to recognise March 20 as World Sparrow Day – a day to celebrate the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) with art, poems, stories and events like office parties and ...

Self-medication in animals much more widespread than believed

It's been known for decades that animals such as chimpanzees seek out medicinal herbs to treat their diseases. But in recent years, the list of animal pharmacists has grown much longer, and it now appears that the practice ...

Male sparrows are less intimidated by the songs of aging rivals

Few singers reach their sunset years with the same voice they had in younger days. Singing sparrows are no different. Duke University-led research reveals that elderly swamp sparrows don't sound quite like they used to—nor ...

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.

Elaborate plumage due to testosterone?

(PhysOrg.com) -- In many bird species males have a more elaborate plumage than females. This elaborate plumage is often used to signal body condition, to intimidate rivals or to attract potential mates. In many cases plumage ...

How tree sparrows recognize foreign eggs in their nests

Many birds have reason to worry that the eggs in their nest might not be their own: birds often deposit eggs into other nests and it is not easy for parents to tell their eggs from others. Researchers at the University of ...

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