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'Teenage' songbirds experience high mortality due to many causes, study finds


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The majority of juvenile bird deaths occur in the first three weeks after they leave the nest, a researcher has found. "Just like teenagers leaving home to live on their own for the first time, these juvenile birds are inexperienced and vulnerable to the outside world," said one researcher. "It is important for conservationists to find ways to provide the right habitats for these birds to survive during what is an important, yet vulnerable, time in their development."UJ9Csw-fFUs

 

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Nearly one-third of songbird species across North America are experiencing long-term declines. Scientists have spent years researching potential causes for these population declines, focusing on the birds when they have just hatched as well as when they are adults. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that songbirds are vulnerable to environmental dangers particularly when they are juveniles, shortly after they have left their parents' nests. Frank Thompson, a scientist with the USDA Forest Service and an associate cooperative professor in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), worked with several colleagues to find that the majority of juvenile bird deaths occur in the first three weeks after they leave the nest.

 

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