Editor's choice - Common loon parents defend chicks according to both value and vulnerability

Breeding is obviously a very important part in the life of organisms. However, the effort put into breeding need to be traded off against effort put into defense of the parents’ own soma. One often neglected part of parental effort is to protect young...

Editor's Choice: Breeding season weather determines long-tailed tit reproductive success

It is common that avian scientists working with breeding biology claim that weather has a large impact on breeding productivity although this is usually just a “feeling” and seldom formerly tested.

Editor's Choice: Consistent foraging strategies in individual seabirds

New tracking techniques have opened up possibilities to record individuals on repeated foraging flights and investigate to what degree they show individuality in their behaviour.

Editor's Choice: Seasonal mortality and sequential density dependence in a migratory bird

This study compares annual survival patterns of red knots Calidris canutus islandica between two periods, when winter food at the Wadden Sea was reduced by cockle harvesting and in following years when cockle-dredging was stopped...

Editor's Choice: Delayed timing of breeding as a cost of reproduction

The start of breeding during a season has generally a large impact on reproductive success in passerines. Given the importance of this trait, we know astonishingly little about what factors determine the start of breeding in individual birds...

Common loons defend chicks according to both value and vulnerability

During the spring of 2012, Gabriella Jukkala was just about to graduate from Northland College. After extensive discussions, Gabby and I became interested in how adult loons might protect their chicks during their fragile first weeks of life...

Exploration and exploitation of foraging patches by desert sparrows

Food resources are generally patchily distributed which has triggered a plethora of foraging models predicting both exploration behaviours to find high-quality patches and exploitation levels when foraging in a patch...

From Norway to Mali - Tracking Temminck’s stints

For a long time, I’ve been fascinated by the variation in breeding systems, morphology, habitats and other general lifestyles of waders. When I first learnt about light-level geolocation as a technique for tracking the non-breeding movements...

Editor´s choice - Systematics and evolution of the Pan-Alcidae

A phylogenetic analysis of auks, puffins and their allies including both extant (23) and extinct (28) alcid species gives new and fascinating pespectives about the possible origins and diversification as well as about the reconstruction of ancestral diet...

Editor´s choice - Ratios, adaptations, and metabolic capability of avian flight muscles

The adaptive variation in avian body composition has for a long time been interesting from an energy turn-over point of view. Besides being inferred as the basis of variation in basal metabolic rate, such variation is also important for generating work as for example...

Seasonal survival is the key to effective protection

With a little bit of ‘basic math’, Russian biologist Eldar Rakhimberdiev shows how changes in seasonal survival may be used as a tool to detect problems in bird populations. ‘A dip in survival during a certain period or in a certain place, means the population...

Editor´s choice - Sexual pigmentation and parental risk-taking in yellow warblers

Increased perceived predation risk during breeding is predicted to reduce parental effort as such behaviours often are conspicuous and are traded off against vigilance...

Editor´s choice - Automated tracking of wild hummingbird body mass

A male ruby-throated hummingbird approaches an artificial feeder outfitted with a passive-integrated transponder reader and a precision electronic balance. As this bird perches to feed its ID is detected and its mass is automatically recorded.

Using drones to monitor bird nests

In late winter 2013/14 the crow fieldwork crew of the Wolf Lab at the Evolutionary Biology Centre in Uppsala, Sweden, started planning the next field season. The goal was to sample two dozen hooded and carrion crow nestlings from sites in Sweden and Germany...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Journal of Avian Biology wish all its readers, authors, reviewers and editors a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season. We hope that you all get some well-deserved rest together with family and friends.

Editor´s Choice: Avian body size change in response to environmental change

That avian populations respond to climate change by changes in phenology and distribution is well known but should we predict any consistent trends in body size?

Editor´s Choice - Movements and breeding dispersal of Snowy owls

Tracking snowy owls has been (and still is) a great challenge. The fact that those birds are highly mobile, that they show almost no breeding site fidelity and disperse over huge distances from one year to another yet increases the challenge.

Male testes come in all shapes and sizes

Male testes come in all shapes and sizes. Male mammals usually have two testes that are equal in size but birds, for some unknown reason, usually have one testis bigger than the other, and it is often said that the left testis is larger than the right.

A canary for climate change?

Modern-day puffins and auks have long been recognized as environmental indicator species for ongoing faunal shifts, and fossil records now indicate that ancient relatives were similarly informative.

Long-term phenological shifts and intra-specific differences in migratory change in the willow warbler

Every year, billions of birds move across the Earth to reach their wintering and breeding grounds. One of these mass movement members is the willow warbler, a long-distance migrant that winters in sub-Saharan Africa and breeds in northern Europe and Asia.


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