research

Journal Club: Scarlet macaw genome sequenced

Scarlet Macaw Tambopata Research Center by Grrlscientist 15 May 2013

SUMMARY: The newly-sequenced scarlet macaw genome will provide many important insights into avian and human biology, behaviours and genetics and will contribute to parrot conservation. Scarlet macaw, Ara macao, in flight. Image: Tambopata Research Center. [NOTE: This image has been altered; it has been cropped.]After many years of research into the behaviours, diseases, genetics and […]

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Banded Ground-Cuckoo stake-out in Western Ecuador.

Thumbnail image for Banded Ground-Cuckoo stake-out in Western Ecuador. by Gunnar 14 October 2012

Banded Ground Cuckoo coming to hand outs right now. I am sure you have already heard about one of the most exciting stake-outs of birds this year. There is a Banded Ground-Cuckoo attending army ant swarms and coming around for hand outs at the relatively new reserve and research station Un Poco de Choco on […]

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Inside the AMNH Collections: Ornithology

Thumbnail image for Inside the AMNH Collections: Ornithology by Grrlscientist 23 November 2011

SUMMARY: This video takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour through the largest and most complete ornithology collection in the world.   Natural history collections are important. These collections, usually maintained by a museum, make up a library that scientists consult to answer all sorts of questions, from deciphering evolutionary relationships of the Hawaiian honeycreepers to […]

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Journal Club: Jumping genes reveal birds and their sex chromosomes evolved together

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: Jumping genes reveal birds and their sex chromosomes evolved together by Grrlscientist 26 October 2011

SUMMARY: Avian retroposons — “jumping genes” — reveal that birds and their sex chromosomes evolved together, and provide us with important clues into the evolution of sex chromosomes and sex in general Like mammals, the sex of individual birds is determined by the combination of sex chromosomes they get from their parents at fertilization. But […]

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Journal Club: The birds and the trees

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: The birds and the trees by Grrlscientist 19 October 2011

Hoarding and breeding strategy of the Gray Jay SUMMARY: Gray jays hoping to survive and reproduce during Canada’s harsh winters must store food in the right kinds of trees If you’ve ever met a gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis, then I think you’ll agree with me that this audacious and personable bird is one of the […]

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Journal Club: Jumping genes reveal deep relationships between parrots and songbirds

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: Jumping genes reveal deep relationships between parrots and songbirds by Grrlscientist 24 August 2011

SUMMARY: A new study adds support to two earlier reports that songbirds and parrots are each other’s closest relatives (Psittacopasserae), indicating that vocal learning abilities appeared in this group of birds 30 million years earlier than originally assumed. Passerines and parrots share a common ancestor as well as the ability to learn vocalization. Vocal learning […]

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Journal Club: Gouldian Finches’ fascinating mating system

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: Gouldian Finches’ fascinating mating system by Grrlscientist 29 June 2011

Gouldian Finches occur in two morphs. Red heads or Black heads. Red-headed females prefer red-headed males – and black prefer blacks. In the small populations it is not always possible for the finches to chose their own type. When they cross the results are not good. However, a “hybrid” female will always have less viability than “hybrid” male. The stress of mating the “wrong”kind makes the Gouldian Finch able to regulate the outcome producing more male “hybrid” offspring which has better viability. Read Grrl Scientist fascinating account how the females do this.

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