Author Topic: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds  (Read 4930 times)

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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Passerines
« Reply #45 on: May 24, 2016, 19:12 »
This is very very cool .... but its from a few years ago, which seems appropriate ...


World War II Carrier Pigeon With Coded Message Found In England
Huffington Post - 2 Nov 2012

A retired probation officer in England cleaning out his chimney recently was startled to sweep up a 70-year-old secret amid the soot: the skeleton of a World War II carrier pigeon with a coded message still attached to its leg.



Read the rest here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/world-war-ii-carrier-pigeon-surrey_n_2057149.html

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: Passerines
« Reply #46 on: May 24, 2016, 19:59 »
I hope there is a follow-up to tell all that are interested what exactly the message was.  I am now very curious.

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2017, 06:42 »
Four rare chimney swift chicks that tumbled from a chimney in Lower Fort Garry have been rehabilitated.

Read the news story here: Rare chicks rescued in Manitoba catch flight to Ontario before heading south

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #48 on: November 30, 2017, 23:32 »
Trouble in Manitoba’s golden-winged warblers population

NOVEMBER 28, 2017 — Manitoba offers a special home to golden-winged warblers and until recently we were thought to have the most genetically pure populations of these striking songbirds. But new research suggests this is changing.

Link to entire story: https://news.umanitoba.ca/manitobas-golden-winged-warblers-worlds-last-pure-population-touched-by-local-and-distant-conservation-problems/

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2017, 13:59 »
I came across a little more information regarding the study on Manitoba’s golden-winged warblers.

Manitoba's unique golden-winged warbler population threatened by influx of blue-winged mates: study

The long-term survival of a unique bird that calls Manitoba home is being threatened by the fact the species is finding love with blue-tipped mates, a new study shows.

The province is home to the golden-winged warblers and until recently, it was believed to host one of the most genetically pure populations of the songbird in the world.

But a study from the University of Manitoba published in the Conservation Genetics journal says that some of the beautiful little birds are also carrying blue-winged warbler DNA.

"When they hybridize with the blue-winged warbler, in almost all previous populations within 50 years, the blue-winged warblers have almost completely taken over and the golden-winged warblers disappear," said Nicola Koper, a professor in the University of Manitoba Natural Resources Institute who supervised the research, on CBC Radio's Weekend Morning Show.


The entire CBC news story includes further comments by Nicola Koper.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/golden-winged-warbler-study-1.4430074

Offline dupre501

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2018, 12:37 »
Different kind of tweet: Study says oilpatch causes sparrows to sing a new song

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/oilpatch-sparrow-songbird-study-1.4503932

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2019, 12:45 »
Parasites ruin some finches’ songs by chewing through the birds’ beaks
Carolyn Wilke / Science News / 21 June 2019

Invasive parasites in the Galápagos Islands may leave some Darwin’s tree finches singing the blues.

The nonnative Philornis downsi fly infests the birds’ nests and lays its eggs there. Fly larvae feast on the chicks’ blood and tissue, producing festering wounds and killing over half of the baby birds. Among survivors, larval damage to the birds’ beaks may mess with the birds’ songs when they’re older, possibly affecting their appeal to potential mates, researchers report June 12 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“What’s heartbreaking, when you’re walking through this beautiful forest, is to hear these medium tree finch males just singing and singing and not being able to attract a mate,” says Sonia Kleindorfer, a behavioral ecologist at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia and the University of Vienna.

The fly arrived in the Galápagos probably in the 1960s. The researchers studied two finch species on Floreana Island that the fly larvae plague: the critically endangered medium tree finch (Camarhynchus pauper) and the related small tree finch (C. parvulus).

In one life stage, the larvae reside in the birds’ beaks, where they chew up the keratin and soft tissue, enlarging the birds’ nostrils, called nares. Kleindorfer and colleagues wondered how this impacts the birds’ song and the sexual selection that results from it.

So the scientists captured finches, measured their nares and then tagged and released them back into the wild. Then, the researchers recorded and analyzed the songs of 77 birds.

The medium tree finch usually makes a more metallic bell-like sound, while the small tree finches’ lower-pitch tune sounds like “cha cha cha,” Kleindorfer says. But in both species, birds with the most deformed beaks sang at a lower pitch than birds with normal beaks.

The song of the medium tree finch normally sounds bell-like (first sound clip). But those with parasite-deformed beaks tend to make lower-pitched sounds (second sound clip), more similar to the related small tree finch.

“If you have a beak with a gaping hole, you cannot hit the high notes,” she says. For medium tree finches, the deformity meant they sounded similar to a small tree finch with a healthy beak. That may explain why scientists had previously had observed female medium tree finches choosing small male tree finches as partners, instead of males from their own species. The researchers did not observe female small tree finches choosing medium tree finch mates.

The research also suggests that the parasites’ impact on birdsong is affecting the birds’ success in finding a mate. From 2004 to 2014, the researchers tracked the courtships of 52 males, watching the birds during two-week stretches in February that coincided with when males prepare a nest and work to impress a female.

The birds with the most altered songs took 36 to 73 percent more days to woo a female, the team found. And those were the lucky ones. Overall, about half of the seven small and 15 medium tree finches followed never wound up with a mate.

But hybrids — with one parent of each species — fared far better in attracting mates, with song quality having no measured effect on whether these birds made a match. Only 2, or 7 percent, of 30 male hybrids studied remained unpaired. Fewer parasites also infest the nests of hybrid birds, and they tend to have less beak deformation, Kleindorfer says. 

“Because the hybrids have such a large advantage, at least one species, the medium tree finch, will disappear,” predicts Heinz Richner, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland who was not involved in the study. In part because of how the parasite messes with their mating signal, the two species may merge into one.


Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/parasites-ruin-songs-darwin-finches-galapagos-islands
There a couple of audio tracks that are worth checking out


Original research citation:
S. Kleindorfer et al. Introduced parasite changes host phenotype, mating signal and hybridization risk: Philornis downsi effects on Darwin’s finch song. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Published online June 12, 2019. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.0461

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2019, 13:32 »
Thank you for the really interesting article, TPC. Very sad that this is happening. Do you know if there is any way to treat this particular type of parasite infestation?

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2019, 16:50 »
My understanding is that that is one of the avenues they are working on - but because the parasite can attack in various stages of its development - inside the bird, then in the nest proper (that's the stage where it comes out and attacks the nestlings at night) how do you treat an entire island system at the same time without injuring everything? It's not going to be easy ...

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2019, 15:34 »
The "migrating birds' are Chimney Swifts, a provincially, federally & internationally designated species-at-risk ...

Over 300 migrating birds smashed into Charlotte's NASCAR building
Amanda Watts & Eric Levenson / CNN / 16 Oct 2019

(CNN) Dozens of migratory birds were killed Tuesday night when more than 300 of them struck a building in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue group said on its verified Facebook page.

The birds, identified as chimney swifts, hit the windows of the NASCAR Hall of Fame building, according to video from CNN affiliate WSOC.  The organization said that of the 310 chimney swifts that flew into the building, roughly a third were killed and 100 were severely injured, sustaining broken wings, legs or other fractures.  Other birds appeared to be stunned and will hopefully be released in a few days, the group said.


The NASCAR Hall of Fame building in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On Wednesday morning, the organization posted a plea for volunteers to help in their recovery.  "We desperately need help feeding them and will be posting for volunteers tomorrow. They all have to be hand fed. I'm not sure how we will manage but where there is a will there is a way," the group said.  When injured, the birds have to be hand fed lots of worms. "It's an expensive endeavor but these birds are an incredible contributor to our ecosystem and eat hundreds of mosquitoes a day," Carolina Waterfowl Rescue said.

The chimney swift, sometimes called a "cigar with wings" because of its appearance, is a migratory bird that travels from the United States to South America in large flocks in the fall. The birds feed on flying insects and commonly live in residential chimneys or hollow trees. 


The chimney swift migrates each fall from the eastern United States to South America.

Every year, around 600 million birds die after striking tall buildings, and Chicago, Houston and Dallas are especially deadly, according to research from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  The problem is exacerbated by the migration's timing, as many birds fly at night. Attracted by the glow of skyscrapers in the dark, they are vulnerable to collision -- either with each other or the buildings. For some, the light can prove so disorientating that they flutter around for hours, eventually becoming exhausted and landing in inhospitable environments.

In a Facebook live video, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue said the birds most likely had been disturbed from their roosting area or were migrating.


source: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/16/us/birds-nascar-building-trnd/index.html

Offline GCG

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2019, 04:55 »
 :'( Most of us look forward to posts that enlightens us and puts a smile on our faces, but sometimes there is a downside, such as this article. This is so sad and hard to read. Thank you TPC for posting this for me/us. I say a little prayer for our migrating falcons and look forward to their return in the spring.

Offline carly

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2019, 18:49 »
 :'( :'( :'(  Heartbreaking  :'( :'( :'(

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2019, 14:31 »
Pigeon steals poppies, creates 'commemorative' nest above Australian war memorial
Christy Somos  /  CTVNews.ca  / 11 Nov 2019

TORONTO – A pigeon has been stealing poppies from the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and making a nest out of the flowers in the alcove of a stained glass window.

“Each day the pigeon has been flying down… to steal poppies, carefully crafting a nest in the lead-up to Remembrance Day in an alcove above the stained-glass window of a wounded Australian soldier,” the website for the Australian War Memorial reads.

The poignancy of the bird using the unusual nest materials is not lost on the Memorial’s staff, as the website explores the history of soldiers using pigeons during wartime.

“Between 1942 and 1943, pigeon fanciers across the country gave some 13,500 trained pigeons to the army for signals use purposes,” the website says. “There are lots of stories of pigeons valiantly going forward and saving people’s lives.” 


 
A pigeon roosts in a nest built of poppies taken from the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra (Australian War Memorial)

 
A pigeon takes a poppy from the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra (Australian War Memorial)


source: https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/pigeon-steals-poppies-creates-commemorative-nest-above-australian-war-memorial-1.4679584

Offline carly

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2019, 15:41 »
 :-* :-* :-* :-*

Offline dupre501

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Re: News: Songbirds, Swifts & Hummingbirds
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2019, 13:07 »
That is so cute and funny. Love it.