Science

Science

(Oregon State University)
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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Siren Song of Avian Real Estate

Migratory songbirds are thought to look for nesting sites where they find good vegetation cover and food supply, but a study of black-throated blue warblers in New Hampshire shows that young birds also rely on the songs of older birds that had already found a good spot. That reliance is so strong that researchers from Oregon State University and elsewhere were able to fool young warblers into nesting in a "lousy habitat" the next year by playing recordings of older birds from there. And males (no surprise?) were four times as easy to fool as females. The study is in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


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