Smithsonian scientists track endangered bird through its annual cycle

To fully know a species and develop sound conservation efforts, its full life cycle must be understood. But tracking small migratory birds for thousands of miles has proven challenging, if not impossible, in the past. However, using new and minute technology...

Avian malaria affects lekking behaviour of blue-crowned manakins

This research shows the effects of avian malaria, caused by the infection of protozoans of the genus Plasmodium on the social behavior of Blue-crowned manakins. The birds of this species are well-known for holding exhibitions of dances to females during...

Gut microbiota of migratory passerines during stopover

Studies from mammalian systems have highlighted an important role of the gut microbiota in regulating host digestion, metabolism, and immune function; however the makeup and impacts of gut microbiota in avian gastrointestinal tracts is poorly known.

Editor's Choice: A test for repertoire matching in eastern song sparrows

By critical and elegant playback experiments the authors of this highly interesting study demonstrate that vocal signalling behaviour differs fundamentally between a western and eastern population of the same species (song sparrow, Melospiza melodia).

Comparing geolocator and high-precision GPS data

Few recent technologies have been embraced by the ornithological community as rapidly as solar geolocation tracking devices. Although the first and rather large ‘geolocators’ became available more than two decades ago, with their recent miniaturization...