Tag: birds

  • Teamwork makes the dreamwork: success in Western Malaysia | Miles O'Brien Productions

    Teamwork makes the dreamwork: success in Western Malaysia

    Ed. Note: Elizabeth Scordato is an evolutionary biologist at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, studying how environmental variation influences the evolution of bird signaling and the formation of new species. From April to June of this year, Liz is conducting field research on the Pacific swallow in Malaysia, Fiji, and Japan, and will be making…

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  • How to catch a Pacific swallow--dispatches from the front lines of biological research. | Miles O'Brien Productions

    How to catch a Pacific swallow–dispatches from the front lines of biological research.

    On the fourth day of my field season, I found myself on a tiny boat with three students from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, setting off down a remote jungle river in search of birds. The putt-putt of the outboard motor mingled with the sounds of bird songs, monkey calls, and the rustling of palm leaves…

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  • What do scientists take into the field? A visual breakdown. | Miles O'Brien Productions

    What do scientists take into the field? A visual breakdown.

    Right now, I am conducting fieldwork in Malaysia on the Pacific swallow. For the next two months, I will travel to several countries in southeast Asia and the Pacific and keep you updated on my progress. Here’s what’s I’m bringing with me to ensure a successful field season: Mist Nets: Mist nets are the number…

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  • Fieldwork is an important part of biological research. Here’s how I prepare. | Miles O'Brien Productions

    Fieldwork is an important part of biological research. Here’s how I prepare.

    One of the most exciting parts of being a field biologist is starting a new season. In fact, we talk about “field seasons” with a special sort of reverence. After all, it’s when we leave our fluorescently-lit labs and go out into the real world–forests, deserts, oceans, wherever–and study organisms in their natural environments. Why…

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  • Human activity may be changing how birds communicate | Miles O'Brien Productions

    Human activity may be changing how birds communicate

    When we study animals, we often try to work in pristine, “natural” habitats. I have spent many months wandering around remote forests with binoculars, a notebook, and a recorder, tracking down singing birds and recording their songs, with the goal of understanding what types of information singing birds are communicating to each other. These types…

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  • A warming climate causes birds to shrink, study shows | Miles O'Brien Productions

    How are some species evolving to survive in a warmer world? Sparrows are shrinking, study shows.

    A new study has shown that house sparrows grow to be smaller in hotter climates, giving an interesting perspective on the effect climate change is having on the species that inhabit our world. In this experiment, a group of evolutionary biologists tracked the growth of almost 2,000 house sparrows in 30 various areas of Australia…

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