Are Egg Shells a Sun Screen for Birds?

Are Egg Shells a Sun Screen for Birds?

Are Egg Shells a Sun Screen for Birds?

The eggshells of wild birds may act like “sunblock”, scientists have said.

A range of UK birds’ eggs showed adaptations in pigment concentration and thickness to allow the right amount of sun to reach the embryos inside.

Researchers examined 75 species’ eggs kept in a museum collection.

“Embryos do need UV exposure to develop – too little and they don’t develop enough… too much and it causes damage,” said team member Dr Steven Portugal from the University of London. Continue reading

‘Light Pollution’ Affects Love Lives of Viennese Birds

"Light pollution" from artificial light in cities may affect the love lives of birds in the Viennese Forest, according to recent research. (Photo : Pixabay)

“Light pollution” from artificial light in cities may affect the love lives of birds in the Viennese Forest, according to recent research. (Photo : Pixabay)

“Light pollution” from artificial light in cities may affect the love lives of birds in the Viennese Forest, according to recent research.

Artificial light has negative affects on humans and the environment, but it reportedly impacts the reproductive behavior of blue tits. Researchers are hopeful that their study could help develop concepts, minimizing negative effects on the lives of animals and the ecological system, by reducing light sources in specific regions. Continue reading

Technology tracks the elusive Nightjar

European nightjar | Bbc Nature

European nightjar | Bbc Nature

Bioacoustic recorders could provide us with vital additional information to help us protect rare and endangered birds such as the European nightjar, new research has shown.

The study, led by Newcastle University, found that newly developed remote survey techniques were twice as effective at detecting rare birds as conventional survey methods.

Using automated equipment to record the nightjars at dawn and dusk, when the birds are most active, the team found a 217% increased detection rate of the nightjar over those carried out by specialist ornithologists. Continue reading

Study provides insights into birds’ migration routes

A songbird

A songbird

By tracking hybrids between songbird species, investigators have found that migration routes are under genetic control and could be preventing interbreeding. The research, which is published in Ecology Letters, was conducted using geolocators that, like GPS, record the position of a bird and allow its long distance movement to be tracked. Continue reading

Fruit colours evolved to please picky birds

Tropical Asian birds have a penchant for red and black — a proclivity that likely prompted jungle plants to sprout fruit in these colours, scientists said on Thursday.

It has long been suspected that an abundance of red and black fleshy fruits in nature was partly inspired by a pigment preference of the keen-eyed birds that eat them and spread the seeds.

A team in China decided to test the theory by determining once and for all whether birds do have colour favourites. Continue reading

Scientists develop birdsong identifier software

Scientists have developed a highly advanced bird song decoder, which can automatically identify the call of a vast variety of birds.

Scientists have developed a highly advanced bird song decoder, which can automatically identify the call of a vast variety of birds.

Scientists have developed a new system that decodes birdsongs from large sets of recordings to identify which birds are present.

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London used recordings of individual birds and of dawn choruses to identify characteristics of bird sounds.

It took advantage of large datasets of sound recordings provided by the British Library Sound Archive, and online sources such as the Dutch archive called Xeno Canto. Continue reading