Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Reduce That Ecological Footprint > North American News and Current Events > Hey, that's interesting!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-15-2011, 08:44 PM   #1
The Bug Whisperer
 
suunto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe County, WV, USA
Default Birds with beauty — and brains!

From “Nature” v. 472, p. 139 (14 April 2011); published online 13 April 2011

Animal behaviour: Birds with beauty [mdash] and brains : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

"Some birds have it all. Male siskins with brighter, more attractive plumage are better at finding food than their less eye-catching counterparts.

Fernando Mateos-Gonzalez and his team at the Natural History Museum of Barcelona, Spain, measured the length of a yellow stripe on the wings of male siskins (Carduelis spinus; pictured). Females are known to pick mates on the basis of the length of this stripe. The researchers challenged hungry males to unlock a cache of pine seeds blocked by toothpicks.

Birds with longer yellow stripes solved the problem more quickly than those with shorter stripes. The authors ruled out age, size and social dominance as possible contributory factors, and conclude that fancier feathers might help discerning females to select mates that are not only sexier, but also smarter."
__________________
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

Henry Ward Beecher
suunto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2011, 04:40 PM   #2
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

What's next!
How do people come up with the idea of researching these tiny little differences anyway?
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 05:30 AM   #3
The Bug Whisperer
 
suunto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe County, WV, USA
Default

It's all about sussing out the reason(s)/mechanism(s) responsible for the patterns we see - in this instance (as in many others) sexual selection is a powerful driver for natural selection...
__________________
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

Henry Ward Beecher
suunto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

It's just a matter of inquisitiveness...

A bit
Yesterday we were hit with yet another blizzard. A full three inches worth!
I took a drive and noticed all about the deciduous tree bases the snow remained on the ground.... The snow however was melted around the base of all the pines....
It's moments like these that lead to investigation...This case being. Do evergreens have some sort of anti freeze in their root systems?

Everyone notices things differently...I for one would not have noticed the colorful length difference of the feathers.
The person who did the study..... may not have noticed the melted snow.
In any case I found your bird article interesting none the less just as he-she may have thought my tree observations were interesting.
Only difference being.... they researched and found out the whys.
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2011, 07:11 AM   #5
The Bug Whisperer
 
suunto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe County, WV, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
It's just a matter of inquisitiveness...

A bit
Yesterday we were hit with yet another blizzard. A full three inches worth!
I took a drive and noticed all about the deciduous tree bases the snow remained on the ground.... The snow however was melted around the base of all the pines....
It's moments like these that lead to investigation...This case being. Do evergreens have some sort of anti freeze in their root systems?
Knot that I know of - I suspect that the combination of the air temperature at the time the snow fell, the relatively light snowfall itself, and the shape of foliage of the evergreens kept any significant amount snow from accumulating under them - it likely never was there to melt in the first place...
__________________
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

Henry Ward Beecher
suunto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #6
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

Three inches worth!
It was not only void UNDER them, (which is sheltered by their thick growth) but the immediate area beyond their base as well.
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
beauty, bird, bird behavior, bird feathers, bird intelligence, bird plumage, birds, brains, carduelis, carduelis spinus, feathers, intelligence, mate selection, mates, mating, plumage, research, siskins, smart, spinus, study

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2