Category Archives: Science & Tech

Leiden Study: City Birds Sing A Different Tune

A recent study indicates that birds living in urban environments sing faster, shorter songs than their country counterparts. The study was conducted by Dr. Hans Slabbekoorn of the University of Leiden.

Songs of Great Tits in different European cities were recorded and compared to songs from the same species in nearby natural areas. City birds were found to use higher frequencies in their songs, and to sing faster.

Read more about this fascinating study.

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Subspecies Of Winter Wren Reunited In Canada

“Two sub-species of a singing bird have met in Tumbler Ridge, B.C. the first sighting since the eastern and western winter wren split apart during the last Ice Age. Up until last year, scientists weren’t even sure if the two populations co-existed since nobody had ever been able to find their elusive contact zone.” Read about the discovery by zoology professor Darren Irwin at

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Bird Study Could Provide Memory Clues

“Scientists at the University of New Hampshire hope to learn more about memory and its evolution by studying the Clark’s nutcracker, a bird with a particularly challenging task: remembering where it buried its supply of food for winter in a 15-mile area. Like many animals preparing for the winter, every fall the Clark’s nutcracker spends several weeks gathering food stores. What makes it unique is that it harvests more than 30,000 pine nuts, buries them in up to 5,000 caches, and then relies almost solely on its memory of where those caches are located to survive through winter.” Read more about the study on Newswise.

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New Bird Species Discovered In Columbia

A colorful bird, previously unknown to science, has been discovered in a remote part of the Andean rainforest. The Yariguies brush-finch was named after a local tribe that used to live in the area where the bird was discovered. The bird has bright yellow coloring with a vibrant red crown. Read more in the article Colorful New Bird Found in Colombia.

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Research Shows Homing Pigeons Use Smell As Guide

An Italian researcher has shown that pigeons rely on their sense of smell to navigate. It was previously thought that they used variations in the Earth’s magnetic field why flying home. The research involved denying some birds use of their olfactory nerves, while others had nerves linked to magnetic detection severed. The birds without ability to smell became lost while most of the other pigeons returned home from a distance of 30 miles. Read the full story Pigeons’ homing instinct is all down to smell in the Observer.

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Posted in Aside, Pigeons!, Science & Tech | 2 Comments

Longest Migration On Record: 46,000 Miles

A diminutive sea bird has completed the longest migration on record. The Sooty Shearwater travels the Pacific Ocean in a figure-of-eight pattern each year, flying up to 46,000 miles on its migration route. These extraordinary migration routes represent the longest recorded of any animal tracked to date.
read more | digg story

Sooty Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater by Hilary Chambers, Creative Commons on Flickr

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