Navigation Links
Feathered friends are far from bird-brained when building nests
Date:9/25/2011

Nest-building is not just instinctive but is a skill that birds learn from experience, research suggests.

Scientists filmed male Southern Masked Weaver birds in Botswana as they built multiple nests out of grass during a breeding season. Their findings contrast with the commonly-held assumption among scientists that nest-building is an innate ability.

The researchers found that individual birds varied their technique from one nest to the next. They also saw that some birds build their nests from left to right, and others from right to left.

Also, as the birds gained more experience in building nests, they dropped blades of grass less often, implying that the art of nest building requires learning.

Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Glasgow together with scientists from Botswana say their findings may help to explain how birds approach nest-building and whether they have the mental capacity to learn, or whether their skills are developed through repetition.

Researchers chose the colourful African bird because they build complex nests, which is potentially a sign of intelligence. More importantly, Weaver birds build many nests often dozens in a season, allowing the team to monitor differences in nests built by the same bird.

Dr Patrick Walsh of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who took part in the study, said: "If birds built their nests according to a genetic template, you would expect all birds to build their nests the same way each time. However this was not the case. Southern Masked Weaver birds displayed strong variations in their approach, revealing a clear role for experience. Even for birds, practice makes perfect."

The research was published in the journal Behavioural Processes and was funded by the Leverhume Trust.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catriona Kelly
Catriona.Kelly@ed.ac.uk
44-131-651-4401
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Secret lives of the furred and feathered
2. Mating rivalry among furred and feathered: Variety is spice of life
3. Beetles get by with a little help from their friends
4. When under attack, plants can signal microbial friends for help
5. Virginia Techs Mueller receives friendship award from China
6. Successful mothers get help from their friends: Dolphin study
7. Suggesting genes friends, Facebook-style
8. Early male friendship as a precursor to substance abuse in girls
9. Bird-brained? Birds personalities are correlated with their hormone levels
10. Building a better bee
11. Building the blood-brain barrier
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2016)... --> --> Fourth quarter 2015:   ... compared with fourth quarter of 2014. Gross margin was 46% ... Earnings per share increased to SEK 6.39 (loss: 0.49). ... , --> --> January ... (233.6), up 1,142% compared with 2014. Gross margin was 43% ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 This BCC Research ... market by reviewing the recent advances in high ... drive the field forward. Includes forecast through 2019. ... the challenges and opportunities that exist in the ... solution developers, as well as IT and bioinformatics ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive ... through 2020   --> ... advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Febr. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: ... pleased to announce that Mitsui & Co. Ltd., its ... succinic acid plant, is investing an additional CDN$25 million ... increasing its stake from 30% to 40%.  Mitsui will ... bio-succinic acid produced in Sarnia , ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... WASHINGTON , Feb.10, 2016 ASAE is ... and Association Management Companies (AMC) the option of joining ... flat annual fee determined by staff size, every employee ... to join ASAE and reap all available member benefits.   ... CAE. "Our new organizational membership options will allow organizations ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing in ... companies, announced today the appointment of Jim ... brings nearly 25 years of experience in supply ... nearly two decades in executive level roles as ... Genzyme and, most recently headed global logistics and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... highly anticipated expansion to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalinkā„¢ remote monitoring. ... Sonablate® HIFU procedures performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: