Tag Archives | birds


Natural selection reducing road kill

Urban environments can be evolutionary hotspots, suggests a study in the journal Current Biology that explored why road kill surveys show a sharp decline in bird mortality over the last 30 years. Charles R. Brown, of the University of Tulsa, has been studying cliff swallows in Nebraska since 1982. These birds build clusters of mud […]

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La Niña cooking up mutated viruses?

The La Niña weather pattern is altering the migratory patterns of birds and possibly triggering the development of dangerous new strains of influenza, say Columbia University researchers in the journal PNAS. The authors of the new study say their work-in-progress examines the combined effects of influenza genetics, avian migration patterns and climate data. The study […]

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Birds Serve Seduction Apprenticeship

Demonstrations of altruism and selfless behavior in the animal kingdom have long puzzled evolutionary biologists. Why do some individuals sacrifice their own self-interest to help others? Emily DuVal, a UC Berkeley zoologist, believes that in the case of the tropical bird known as the lance-tailed manakin, it’s because there may be a long-term payoff. During […]

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