Why acorn woodpeckers share nests


This October 2017 video says about itself:

The Anomalies: The Acorn Woodpecker | bioGraphic

These highly social birds defy the typical two-parent family structure, proving that cooperation can make good evolutionary sense.

From Cornell University in the USA:

What drives multiple female acorn woodpeckers to share a nest?

Study explores the possible benefits of rare behavior

May 2, 2019

Summary: In some acorn woodpecker family groups, related females lay eggs in the same nest and raise the chicks cooperatively with one or more related males

Acorn Woodpeckers live in close-knit family groups and have one of the most complex breeding systems of any bird in the world. In about 20 percent of family groups, up to 3 related females may lay eggs in the same nest. They raise the chicks cooperatively with one or more related males. This behavior is known as joint nesting or “cooperative polyandry”. Only five other species of birds worldwide are known to do this. The reasons that may be driving the behavior are outlined in a study recently published in The American Naturalist.

Lead authors Sahas Barve at Old Dominion University (Cornell Ph.D. ’17), and Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientist Walt Koenig, used demographic data collected during 35 years (1982-2016) at the Hastings Natural History Reservation in central coastal California. They analyzed the costs and benefits of joint nesting, hoping to explain why some woodpecker females exhibit this rare behavior.

They found that joint nesting was more common in years when Acorn Woodpecker population density was high, all the breeding territories were occupied, and opportunities for a female to nest on her own were very unlikely.

Although nesting with others reduces the number of offspring each female can produce compared to when she nests alone, Barve says such females make the “best of a bad situation” by nesting jointly with their mother or sister rather than not nesting at all because of the lack of real estate.

Females that decide to nest jointly do so in groups where there are two or more breeder males, thus increasing the number of caregivers and the total number of chicks that females can successfully raise. Years of population boom may have therefore been an important mechanism driving the evolution of such highly social behaviors like joint nesting among Acorn Woodpeckers.

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Bird webcams 2018 highlights video


This 5 February 2019 video says about itself:

The Bird Cams [of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology] shared a window into the intimate lives of wild birds with millions of viewers from across the globe in 2018. Watch the top moments from a year that brought us unforgettable perspectives, lasting memories, and new discoveries. As always, thanks for watching and learning along with us!

Watch LIVE at AllAboutBirds.org/Cams

Baby red-tailed hawks hatching on webcam


This video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York state in the USA says about itself:

Two Eggs Hatching On Cornell Hawks Cam! – April 23, 2018

The hawks’ first chick has officially emerged from its shell! Watch fluffy-headed hatchling clumsily wriggle around the nest bowl underneath BR [Big Red, the female]’s watchful eye. Interestingly, this chick is from egg #2, meaning it hatched prior to the hawks’ first egg (which is also well on it’s way to hatching). Welcome to the world H1!

Watch live at allaboutbirds.org/cornellhawks

A Red-tailed Hawk pair has been nesting above Cornell University’s athletic fields since at least the 2012, making use of two different light towers for their nest sites. In 2012 and 2015, they used a tower near Fernow Hall, and in 2013, 2014, and 2016, they used the tower nearest Weill Hall. We installed cameras at both of these sites to get a better look at the intimate behavior of these well-known birds as they raise their young amid the bustle of a busy campus.

New red-tailed hawk at Cornell nest, name him


This video from the USA says about itself:

Cornell Red-tailed Hawks Nest Building, 2/10/2018 (HD)

A female Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) named Big Red, and a young adult companion work to prepare her nest for the coming season. Cornell University campus, Ithaca, New York, 2/10/2018.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA today:

Suggest a Name For Big Red‘s New Mate

After nearly a year of uncertainty following the death of Big Red’s former mate Ezra, we’ve all wondered if and when Big Red would find a new mate, and whether they might nest again on one of the Red-tailed Hawk cams. Thankfully, as the months have progressed, it has become clear that she’s formed a bond with a new companion and that they are investing in nestbuilding on the tower opposite Fernow Hall (the “original” site that was live streamed back in 2012). Nothing is ever a sure thing, but we are cautiously optimistic that they will attempt to nest at the Fernow site this year.

Back in 2012, we worked with the viewing community to name Big Red’s former mate Ezra, and we would like to continue that tradition. You can submit a name until February 25 using the form at right. After the submissions end, five potential names will be chosen from the submitted names and you’ll be able to vote on your favorite choice.

Thanks for taking the time to help name Big Red’s new companion!

Birds and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology


This 3 January 2018 video is about birds and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA; which thanks its supporters for helping birds in 2017.

Ocean wildlife and noise pollution, new film


This video is the trailer of the new film Sonic Sea.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA writes about it:

The documentary Sonic Sea recently won two Emmy Awards, for Best Nature Documentary and for Best Music and Sound. The film is about protecting ocean life from noise pollution, featuring research by scientists including Dr. Christopher Clark from the Cornell Lab’s Bioacoustics Research Program.

World’s biggest archive of animal sounds


This video from the USA says about itself:

Decades of bird signals, songs digitized for scientific research – Science Nation

21 August 2017

Tease: Cornell Lab of Ornithology leads 21st century makeover for animal behavior studies

Description: The world’s largest scientific archive of animal signal recordings, the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds, is partnering with other institutions to co-curate and digitize an enormous archive of animal audio and video recordings from the library’s vaults.

The analog material in the library’s collection at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology includes recordings of mainly birds, but also frogs, fish and insects, going back a few decades. The collections are a bonanza for animal behaviorists, who use the archives to study birds and other animals from all over the world, including some that are now extinct, such as the imperial woodpecker.

Accessible digital audio recordings of animal signals will make it easier for researchers to investigate a host of scientific questions, including what can scientists learn about the responses of animals to anthropogenic noise and other human activities.

By providing a useful co-curation system and encouraging collection of recordings along with physical specimens, this project is expected to transform the way researchers collect and use biological specimens in the future.

The research in this episode is supported by NSF award #1304425, Collaborative Research: Digitization – Thematic Collections Networks: Developing a Centralized Digital Archive of Vouchered Animal Communication Signals.