The Birds and the Bees: New Scientific Studies

Here is a compilation of some interesting, new scientific study findings on the Birds and the Bees, including Macaws that communicate by blushing, African Grey parrots that hedge their bets, bees that seek out variety, and woodpeckers who adapt to suburban sprawl.


macaws blushing

Macaws may communicate visually with ‘blushing,’ ruffled feathers

Parrots — highly intelligent and highly verbal — may also ruffle their head feathers and blush to communicate visually, according to a new study. The study extends the understanding of the complex social lives of these remarkable birds.




african grey parrot hedges bet

If the birds can expect a larger profit in the future, they forego their desire for immediate reward

An economic decision-making involves weighing up differently beneficial alternatives to maximize profits. This sometimes requires foregoing one’s desire for immediate rewards. Not only does one have to control one’s own impulses, but also to assess the expected outcomes in order to decide whether waiting is worthwhile.



animal bees bloom blooming

Bees need it colorful

Stopping bee extinction is a goal of scientists. Researchers have discovered that a diversified plant environment helps bees in maintaining stable populations.
focus photography of northern flicker


Woodpeckers and development coexist in Seattle

A new study tracked birds in suburban Seattle and found that as long as tree cover remains above a certain threshold, pileated woodpeckers and housing developments can coexist.




selective focus photography of green heron


Traffic noise may make birds age faster

Traffic noise may be associated with an increased rate of telomere loss in Zebra finches that have left the nest, according to a new study. Telomeres are caps on the ends of chromosomes that protect genes from damage. Shortening of telomeres indicates accelerated biological aging.

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