Ornithological News

Below you will find all of the Ornithological News posted on HBW Alive. You can order the news pieces by post date, title or most viewed.
In the sidebar on the right, you will find a list of First Country Reports.

Unlike adults, juvenile Streaked Shearwaters overfly mountains during their first migration

16 Nov 2017 - 18:00 -- Ernest Garcia

Telemetric studies have shown that juvenile Streaked Shearwaters Calonectris leucomelas from a colony in the north of Honshu Island, Japan, take a different route from adults during their first southward migration. Juveniles orientate south, resulting in an overland crossing that includes mountains. Adults travel over water, around the land mass. Experience thus seems to modify an innate tendency to migrate south, so that birds remain in contact with the marine environment#R.

Why do grebes eat feathers?

14 Oct 2017 - 11:23 -- Eduardo de Juana

Grebes (order Podicipediformes) are unique among birds in the habit of eating their own feathers and later casting them in pellets. Why they do this has been the subject of controversial speculation for centuries. Suggestions include: 1) protection of the digestive tract; 2) enabling pellet formation; 3) guarding against or reducing parasites; 4) aiding digestion. Observations of the Black-necked or Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) in western North America suggest that the last of these may be the best explanation#R. Feather-eating may assist these birds to exploit abundant tiny aquatic invertebrates, such as brine shrimp, that can be hard to digest.