Common ravens in Sweden video


This video is about common ravens in Sweden.

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Short-toed treecreeper, other cemetery birds


This is a short-toed treecreeper video.

Today, to the cemetery.

Male and female chaffinches.

A robin on the footpath.

A short-toed treecreeper climbing up a tree.

On smaller branches, blue tits and long-tailed tits.

Jays. Wood pigeons.

Male and female blackbirds.

Magpies.

Great spotted woodpecker sound.

Beautiful birds in Panama


This video says about itself:

Chestnut-headed Oropendola and male Green Honeycreeper, Feb. 15, 2018 | Panama Fruit Feeder Cam

Watch LIVE 24/7 with highlights and viewing resources at http://allaboutbirds.org/panamafeeders

The Panama Fruit Feeder Cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Canopy Family.

About the site: The Panama Fruit Feeder Cam is located on the grounds of the Canopy Lodge in El Valle de Antón, Panama. This site is just over 2,000 ft above sea level in the low mountains of Cerro Gaital, with a mild springtime climate year-round. A small stream called Rio Guayabo runs past the feeders in the background, and the lush landscaping of the Canopy Lodge grounds grade into the forested slopes around them. The feeding table is around 40 feet from the main lodge, and is one of several feeders provisioned throughout the day so that guests to the lodge are greeted to spectacular views of many of the common birds found in this ecosystem.

The video features clay-coloured thrushes as well.

Bird, primate, alligator brains and intelligence


This video from the USA says about itself:

Bird Brain: Smarter Than You Think

13 June 2016

The first study to systematically measure the number of neurons in the brains of birds has found that they have significantly more neurons packed into their small brains than are stuffed into mammalian and even primate brains of the same mass.

From the University of Chicago Medical Center in the USA:

Birds and primates share brain cell types linked to intelligence

Bird and reptile brains have a vastly different anatomy from mammalian brains, but contain cell types linked to mammalian cognitive abilities

February 15, 2018

Summary: In a new study scientists show that some neurons in bird brains form the same kind of circuitry and have the same molecular signature as cells that enable connectivity between different areas of the mammalian neocortex. The researchers found that alligators share these cell types as well, suggesting that while mammal, bird and reptile brains have very different anatomical structures, they operate using the same shared set of brain cell types.

Neuronal cell types in the brains of birds linked to goal-directed behaviors and cognition are similar to cells in the mammalian neocortex, the large, layered structure on the outer surface of the brain where most higher-order processing takes place.

In a new study, published this week in the journal Current Biology, scientists from the University of Chicago show that some neurons in bird brains form the same kind of circuitry and have the same molecular signature as cells that enable connectivity between different areas of the mammalian neocortex. The researchers found that alligators share these cell types as well, suggesting that while mammal, bird and reptile brains have very different anatomical structures, they operate using the same shared set of brain cell types.

Birds are more intelligent than you think, and they do clever things. So, the question is: What kind of brain circuitry are they using?” said Clifton Ragsdale, PhD, professor of neurobiology at UChicago and senior author of the study. “What this research shows is that they’re using the same cell types with the same kinds of connections we see in the neocortex, but with a very different kind of organization.”

Both the mammalian neocortex and a structure in the bird brain called the dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR) develop from an embryonic region called the telencephalon. However, the two regions mature into very different shapes. The neocortex is made up of six distinct layers while the DVR contains large clusters of neurons called nuclei.

Because of this different anatomy, many scientists proposed that the bird DVR does not correspond to the mammalian cortex but is instead analogous to another mammalian brain structure called the amygdala.

In 2012, Ragsdale and his team confirmed a 50-year-old hypothesis by University of California San Diego neuroscientist Harvey Karten that proposed the DVR performs a similar function to the neocortex, but with dramatically different anatomy. In that study, the UChicago researchers matched genetic markers of the “input” and “output” neurons of the mammalian neocortex with genes expressed in several bird DVR nuclei.

In the new study, led by graduate student Steven Briscoe, the team found that other populations of neurons in the bird DVR share molecular signatures with neocortical intratelencephalic cells, or IT neurons. These IT neurons form a critical link in the circuitry of the neocortex. They help communicate between different neocortical layers and across cortical areas from one side of the brain to the other. The team then extended their work from birds to reptiles and identified IT neurons in a similar place in the alligator DVR.

“The structure of the avian DVR looks nothing like the mammalian neocortex, and this has historically been a huge problem in comparative neuroscience”, Briscoe said. “Anatomists have debated how to compare the DVR and neocortex for over a century, and our identification of IT neurons in the bird DVR helps to explain how such different brain structures can give rise to similar behaviors.”

The research suggests an interesting possibility that birds and primates evolved intelligence independently, developing vastly different brain structures but starting with the same shared sets of cell types.

“The input cell types, the output cell types and the intratelencephalic cell types are all conserved. They’re not just found in mammals, which we knew, but in non-avian reptiles like alligators and avian reptiles, or birds,” Ragsdale said. “It begins to clarify where and how in evolution we got this fantastic structure, the neocortex.”

Mites on hummingbirds’ tails, new study


This 2017 video from the USA is called Stunning up-close footage of an Anna’s Hummingbird.

From PLOS:

Majority of Anna’s hummingbirds may have feather mites on their tail feathers

Tabletop scanning electron microscopy enabled analysis of P. huitzilopochtlii distribution in situ

February 14, 2018

The majority of Californian Anna’s Hummingbirds appear to have P. huitzilopochtlii feather mites on their tail flight feathers, according to a study published February 14, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Youki Yamasaki from Washington State University, U.S., and colleagues.

Hummingbirds are known to host a diversity of feather mites, but this relationship is not well-understood. In particular, mite distribution in situ has not been previously studied. The authors of the present study examined 753 hummingbirds of five species from urban locations in California: Anna’s, Allen’s, Black-chinned, Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds. They documented the presence of the feather mite Proctophyllodes huitzilopochtlii on tail flight feathers.

The researchers found that feather mites were present on the tail flight feathers of nearly 60 percent of Anna’s hummingbirds, but less than 10 percent of the other species. Across all the species, the mite was more prevalent on the tail feathers of males (44.9 percent) than on those of females (36.2 percent), possibly because of the nesting habits of females.

The authors used tabletop scanning electron microscopy to analyze individual feathers, building a detailed 3D picture of the distribution of live mites in situ. They found that there tended to be more mites on the hummingbirds’ outer tail feathers than inner, and saw that mites often nestled between the barbs of individual feathers, sometimes in high numbers.

The authors state that their study provides the first prevalence and distribution information for these feather mites on both Anna’s and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. This is especially important given that Anna’s Hummingbirds co-reside seasonally with other hummingbird species, with the potential for spread of mites.

Co-author Lisa Tell summarizes: “This study was exciting because not only were we able to document the presence of a mite on feathers from two species of hummingbirds found in California, but we were also able to examine the positioning of live feather mites in situ with electron microscopy that is portable enough to use in the field.”