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  1. Up to now, researchers have believed that birds stay at home and altruistically help raise younger siblings because this is the only way to pass on genes when you cannot breed yourself. But this idea is only partially true. A new study shows that birds benefit from being helpful because it also increases their chances of reproducing in the future. View the full article
  2. Experts have shed new light on the impact of habitat fragmentation on migrant birds. View the full article
  3. The pecking order of garden birds is determined by their size and weight, new research shows. View the full article
  4. Both genetic and environmental factors explain cognitive traits, shows a new study carried out on red junglefowl. Researchers have shown that the ability of fowl to cope with difficult learning tasks is heritable, while their optimism can be explained by environmental factors. View the full article
  5. Researchers made a new algorithm for enabling a single robotic unmanned aerial vehicle to herd a flock of birds away from a designated airspace. This novel approach allows a single autonomous quadrotor drone to herd an entire flock of birds away without breaking their formation. View the full article
  6. One of the rarest birds in the western hemisphere, the Bahama Nuthatch, has been rediscovered by research teams searching the island of Grand Bahama. The finding is particularly significant because the species had been feared extinct following the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and had not been found in subsequent searches. But it is feared that there could only be two left -- placing the species on the verge of extinction and certainly among the world's most critically endangered birds. View the full article
  7. Parrots -- highly intelligent and highly verbal -- may also ruffle their head feathers and blush to communicate visually, according to a new study. The study extends the understanding of the complex social lives of these remarkable birds. View the full article
  8. An economic decision-making involves weighing up differently beneficial alternatives to maximize profits. This sometimes requires foregoing one's desire for immediate rewards. Not only does one have to control one's own impulses, but also to assess the expected outcomes in order to decide whether waiting is worthwhile. View the full article
  9. ScienceDaily

    How birds learn

    Songbirds can acquire new abilities both through observation and through trial and error. However, skills acquired with the latter method are more easily adapted to new situations, as scientists have been able to demonstrate. The researchers also see parallels to how children learn. View the full article
  10. 'Partial migration' -- where some individuals within a population migrate and some don't -- is common among birds, but scientists know very little about how it actually works. A new study tracks where American Crows go during the winter and shows that while individuals are consistent in whether they migrate or stay put, partial migration might give them enough flexibility to adapt to changing environmental conditions. View the full article
  11. Protected riverbank habitats within areas of oil palm cultivation can play a key role in reducing the negative impacts on tropical bird numbers but need to be increased in size, new research has shown. View the full article
  12. A new study shows that small birds migrating from Scandinavia to Africa in the autumn occasionally fly as high as 4,000 meters above sea level -- probably adjusting their flight to take advantage of favorable winds and different wind layers. View the full article
  13. Birds often eavesdrop on the alarm calls of other species, making it possible for them to take advantage of many eyes looking out for danger. Now, researchers have found that fairy-wrens can learn those unfamiliar calls -- which they liken to a foreign language -- even without ever seeing the bird that made the call or the predator that provoked it. View the full article
  14. Birds create songs by moving muscles in their vocal organs to vibrate air passing through their tissues, and new research shows that these muscles act in concert to create sound. Scientists describe how zebra finches produce songs: Using electromyographic signals, they tracked the activity of one muscle involved in creating sound, the syringealis ventralis. They then used the data from this muscle to create a synthetic zebra finch song. View the full article
  15. The diamond dove may preferentially select large, stiff materials for takeoff and landing sites, according to a new study. The unexpected findings suggest that the diamond dove does not adjust its takeoff or landing behavior depending on the flexibility of the perch. View the full article
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