Significance of Egg Coloration to Embryo Development Research

Significance of Egg Coloration to Embryo Development

October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

Researchers continue to debate the purpose of bird egg pigmentation, with the most popular theory being that camouflage is the main reason for the variation in eggshell colors, with the speckles and splotches of color providing protection from predators. This was the theory put forward by renowned biologist Alfred Russel Wallace in the late 19th century, a position that was challenged by naturalist Alexander M’Aldowie who believed the pigmentation of eggshells served to shield developing embryos from harmful radiation.

Sigurgeirs Bird Museum in Iceland

October 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Surrounded by volcanic landforms and wetlands, Lake Mývatn, located near the Krafla volcano in the north of Iceland, is home to a wide range of birdlife, particularly waterfowl. Its rich biodiversity and intriguing geology continues to attract biologists, naturalists, geologists and bird watchers from around the world.

Oology – The Study of Bird Eggs

June 7, 2011 by  
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Oology can have two meanings. It is used to either refer to the study of bird eggs, or it can be used to describe the collecting of bird eggs. Even though the name is the same, the impact on bird life and ecosystems is vastly different. Studying bird eggs allows scientists and conservationists to understand the breeding habits of various birds and their nests. Collecting bird eggs almost led to the extinction of many bird species, as it had become a popular hobby that is now illegal in most countries.

Warblers Ward off Imposters

April 19, 2011 by  
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Cuckoos have never been very popular amongst other birds species. They are known to be lazy parents and have become sophisticated in their methods of camouflaging their own eggs to look like those of other species, so that they are able to introduce their own eggs into the nest and have the other birds raise their chicks. But host birds are beginning to wise up to the counterfeit eggs being laid in their nests and have developed their own skills to fight off imposter eggs.

Raising a Chick at the Age of Sixty

March 15, 2011 by  
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Wisdom’s first band was placed on her while incubating an egg in the year 1956, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been keeping an eye on her ever since. To be able to breed, a Laysan Albatross needs to be five years old, which now puts her age at an estimated sixty years. Wisdom is a celebrity of the North American Bird Banding Program, as she is the oldest bird on their records since the project was initiated ninety years ago. Now she is raising another chick, which brings her total number of chicks raised during her lifetime to approximately thirty to thirty-five. What is even more amazing, is the fact that these birds mate for life, meaning that her partner is either still accompanying her on her journey or she has outlived him.

Bird Breeding

February 9, 2009 by  
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Bird breeding generally begins as the daylight hours of summer increase. Territorial behavior becomes evident with males selecting and defending their territory by means of singing and flight displays. Territories vary in size depending on availability of food and requirements of birds breeding in the area. When a female enters a male’s territory she may [...]

The Pleasure of Pet Duck Ownership

January 16, 2008 by  
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When seeing a cute little duckling, many an animal-lover is tempted to pick it up, cuddle it and take it home. This urge can become almost impossible to resist if the animal-lover is accompanied by children. Ducks make wonderful pets, but before making a commitment to care for a pet duck that could be around for up to twelve years, it is wise to give the matter careful thought, weighing up (and even writing down if necessary) the pros and cons of adding this fluffy little bird to the household.

The Bane of Brood Parasites

December 17, 2007 by  
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When we hear the word “parasites”, most of us would assume it is referring to an organism that feeds off another. In brood parasites, in the avian world, it works a little differently. To put in laymen’s terms, it is when one bird species lays their eggs in a different species’ nest, so that the parasite species do not have to take care of their young. Over the years, host bird species became wise to the brood parasites, but as a parasite does not give up that easily, the brood parasites have come up with various devious plans to fool the hosts.

A Closer Look at the Intriguing Galapagos Hawk

October 12, 2007 by  
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The Galapagos hawk is found exclusively in the Galapagos Islands. The adult Galapagos hawk is almost completely different shades of brown and the female is larger than the male with an average size of 56 cm in length. It is one of the few terrestrial predators on the islands and has no natural enemies.

The Bad Habits of Cowbirds

September 29, 2006 by  
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Cowbirds have an unusual life strategy: they lay their eggs in other birds species‘ nests. North America’s Brown-headed Cowbird first evolved this strategy in order to follow herds of buffalo. The cowbirds fed on insects flushed up by the buffalo’s feet. As the buffalo migrated around the Great Plains, the cowbirds followed- even during the birds’ breeding season. If the cowbirds took care of nests, they couldn’t follow the buffalo. So they left their eggs behind in other songbirds’ nests.

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