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Research Spotlight

New species identified (Rasmussen does it again!)

Jan 20 2016 02:06 PM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

A new species of bird has been discovered in northeastern India and adjacent parts of China by a team of scientists from Sweden, China, the U.S., India and Russia. The bird, described in the current issue of the journal Avian Research, has been named Himalayan forest thrush Zoothera salimalii.

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IBP pursues science to benefit avian conservation

Jul 24 2014 10:21 AM | Chris Merkord in Research Spotlight

This summer scientists from the Institute of Bird Populations and their colleagues published three scientific papers that showcase how the organization employs rigorous science in pursuit of bird conservation.

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Diet and home range size of California Spotted Owls in a burned forest

Oct 15 2013 09:04 AM | Chris Merkord in Research Spotlight

In a recent paper in the journal Western Birds, scientists from the Institute for Bird Populations and the Wild Nature Institute suggest that Spotted Owls foraging on gophers in burned forests do not require home ranges substantially larger than the home ranges used by owls in unburned forests.

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New Forest Service Video Highlights IBP's Black-backed Woodpecker Research

Sep 16 2013 10:00 AM | Chris Merkord in Research Spotlight

IBP is partnering with the US Forest Service to study and monitor Black-backed Woodpeckers breeding in recently burned forests of California. The Forest Service recently highlighted one component of this work in a short web-video.

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Using Feathers Collected at MAPS And MOSI Stations to Link Breeding and Wintering Locales of Migratory Birds

Aug 30 2013 01:00 AM | Chris Merkord in Research Spotlight

A new paper in the journal Molecular Ecology describes how scientists at the Institute for Bird Populations joined a team of researchers to present a new analytical approach to studying migratory bird connectivity by integrating genetic and isotopic information into a single model.

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EPIC Effort for Caribbean Seabirds

Jan 18 2012 08:30 AM | epicbirds in Research Spotlight

Landmark atlas of Caribbean seabird colonies now available: what two people in a small boat can do!

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New meta-analysis on the impact of researcher presence on nest predation: you may actually be doing those birds a favor!

Nov 13 2011 03:25 PM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Have you been worrying that your presence may cause the birds you study to have a lower rate of breeding success? Well, for some species and in some conditions, you may actually be helping them to increase their breeding success by deterring predation!

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Shake it up baby! Twist and shout! Hummingbird feathers do the talking

Nov 09 2011 03:42 PM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Wings that “sing” are nothing new to ornithologists. The American Woodcock and Club-winged Manakin both create sounds with feathers. New research published in Science by Yale ornithologist Chris Clark and coauthors shows that the 35 species of “bee” hummingbirds have some talking feathers of their own.

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Bullying behavior in Nazca Boobies: intergenerational cycle of violence

Oct 13 2011 12:32 PM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Do abused children grow up to become abusers? David Anderson and his colleagues have found evidence of an intergenerational cycle of abuse in Nazca Boobies. This paper, published in the AUK, has drawn wide attention from the press, including the New York Times and BBC Nature.

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A tool to measure stress hormone in birds -- feathers

Aug 16 2011 10:15 AM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

When faced with environmental threats like bad weather, predators or oil spills, wild birds secrete a hormone called corticosterone. Traditionally, researchers have analyzed blood samples to detect corticosterone levels in wild birds. But recently, scientists have shown that corticosterone spikes can also be detected by analyzing bird feathers.

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UPDATED: How Safe is Mist Netting? First Large Scale Study into Bird Capture Technique Evaluates the Risks

Jun 30 2011 05:04 AM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Capturing birds using mist nets to study behaviour, movement or the demographics of a species is one of the most common research techniques in ornithology, yet until now there have been no large scale studies into the risks mist nets pose to birds. Writing in the British Ecological Society’s Methods in Ecology and Evolution researchers from California used a dataset of over 345,000 records to evaluate the risks of mist netting.

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Mixed Species Bird Flocks: A Bibliography

Sep 16 2010 12:00 PM | Chris Merkord in Research Spotlight

Mixed-species flocks of birds are exciting models for community ecology because they can be found throughout the world, and thus by studying communities with different evolutionary histories one can search for general patterns in community structure. Here we list those descriptive studies that we have encountered that are in terrestrial landscapes.

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