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Top peer-reviewed papers on bird biology explained as easy as possible in English and Catalan
It is generally recognized that pointed wings allow a faster flight than rounded wings and hence, this shape has been favoured in migrating species or subpopulations. On the other side, rounded wings allow more manoeuvrability, being favoured in closed habitats....... Read more »
Desrochers, A. (2010) Morphological response of songbirds to 100 years of landscape change in North America. Ecology, 91(6), 1577-1582. DOI: 10.1890/09-2202.1
On the surprising connection between mite behavior and God existence. ... Read more »
Jovani, R. (2001) Feather mites (Astigmata) avoid moulting wing feathers of passerine birds. Animal Behaviour, 62(4), 723-727. DOI: 10.1006/anbe.2001.1814
Take a cable from your computer and measure the perimeter of your fist. This is, more or less, the length of your foot (check it now!). This is useful to buy socks without compromising the hygiene of the country, but it also enhances our understanding of bird moult. The ratio fist perimeter/foot length is constant among people; that is, it follows an isometric law: if you plot for different people fist perimeter on the x-axis and foot length in the y-axis, both in log-scale, you will find a line........ Read more »
Rohwer, S., Ricklefs, R., Rohwer, V., & Copple, M. (2009) Allometry of the Duration of Flight Feather Molt in Birds. PLoS Biology, 7(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000132
A dancing flock of starlings hypnotize us like the fire. The flock fly as a single bird; contracting and expanding, going up and then down into the trees of the avenue. The flock is clearly more than the messy sum of some hundreds of birds: it is a self-organized dynamic system showing emergent properties that escape to our comprehension.This is why science exists, to explain the magic trick, and enjoy nature with renewed yes. We know from a long time ago that in a flock of starlings there isnâ€........ Read more »
Ballerini, M., Cabibbo, N., Candelier, R., Cavagna, A., Cisbani, E., Giardina, I., Lecomte, V., Orlandi, A., Parisi, G., Procaccini, A.... (2008) From the Cover: Interaction ruling animal collective behavior depends on topological rather than metric distance: Evidence from a field study. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(4), 1232-1237. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0711437105
Common quails (Coturnix coturnix) breed in Spanish wheat and barley fields; when harvesters arrive, destroy their habitat as if you cut the forest of a woodpecker. Harvesting is not simultaneous through Spain and the authors of this paper already suspected from long ago that quails respond to this ecological threat migrating from early towards later fields. Butâ€¦. How to test this hypothesis? Domingo RodrĂguez-Teijeiro and his team have confronted the issue with three information sources: ring........ Read more »
RodrĂguez-Teijeiro, J., SardĂ -Palomera, F., Nadal, J., Ferrer, X., Ponz, C., & Puigcerver, M. (2009) The effects of mowing and agricultural landscape management on population movements of the common quail. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02109.x
The pairs of some bird species, as the Hypocnemis peruviana, sing together performing duets (listen here). Sometimes, the male and the female are well coordinated (sonogram A and B) but other times the duet is much more complex and overlapped (C and D). Nathalie Seddon Joseph Tobias did a study in Peru in order to understand how duets are created by means of experiments with 17 pairs. Different situations were simulated with speakers: the intrusion of a nearby couple, and the intrusion of an unp........ Read more »
Tobias, J., & Seddon, N. (2009) Signal Jamming Mediates Sexual Conflict in a Duetting Bird. Current Biology, 19(7), 577-582. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.02.036
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