Panamanian city frogs more attractive


This February 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

The Túngara Frog‘s “Taste For the Beautiful”

Department of Integrative Biology faculty member Michael J. Ryan discusses animal sexual selection and evolution in his new book “A Taste for the Beautiful”. Ryan is the Clark Hubbs Regents Professor in Zoology at The University of Texas at Austin and a Senior Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He is a leading researcher in the fields of sexual selection, mate choice, and animal communication.

From the University of Texas at Austin in the USA:

Females prefer city frogs’ tunes

December 10, 2018

Urban sophistication has real sex appeal — at least if you’re a Central American amphibian. Male frogs in cities are more attractive to females than their forest-frog counterparts, according to a new study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Frogs in urban areas have more conspicuous and complex vocal calls, in part because they have fewer predators than those in natural habitats, say scientists from Vrije Universiteit (VU) in the Netherlands, The University of Texas at Austin, Purdue University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

University of Texas at Austin professor of integrative biology Mike Ryan joined team leader Wouter Halfwerk and colleagues to investigate how city life has altered the signaling behavior of male túngara frogs. The trappings of cities often interfere with animal communication, as noise and light pollution affect the visual and auditory signals animals use to attract mates. Halfwerk previously has published work showing how urbanization affects birdsong in Europe.

The research team recorded the characteristic ‘chuck’ calls made by the one-inch frogs living in forests near the Panama Canal and in nearby human-disturbed areas, including small towns and cities. They found that the urban males would call more often and with greater call complexity, meaning they made more of the ‘chuck’ sounds that females prefer, compared to the frogs in the forest. The authors played back both calls to female frogs in a lab, and they discovered that three-quarters of the females were more attracted to the complex urban calls, compared to the simpler forest calls.

“In the forest, these more attractive calls have a higher cost,” Ryan explained. “The sound can attract frog-eating bats and bloodsucking midges.”

Evolution may select for the trait that allows the frogs to make more complex vocal calls in cities and towns, where the eavesdropping predators are scarcer there than in the forest. To help test this idea, the researchers examined what would happen when they moved urban frogs into forest habitats and forest frogs into urban habitats. It turned out that the urban frogs were able to actively reduce the complexity of their calls in the new environment, but forest frogs couldn’t make the switch to making their calls more complex to attract females.

Ryan, his graduate students and colleagues have been studying sexual selection and communication in the túngara frog for decades. His 2018 popular science book A Taste for the Beautiful describes how males of this species and other species have evolved over the years to attract more females.

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Green hermit hummingbird at Panama feeder


This 30 November 2018 video says about itself:

New Cam Species: Green Hermit on the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam at Canopy Lodge | Cornell Lab

With a flutter and a dip of its bill, this Green Hermit became the first of its species to visit the Panama Fruit Feeder cam.

Green Hermits are relatively large hummingbirds of the Neotropics. Adults are sexually dimorphic: females are more strongly patterned than males, and have more elongated central tail feathers. Both sexes have a long, decurved bill, a tawny streak in the center of the throat, and elongated central tail feathers with white tips.

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

Warbler and opossums at Panama feeders


This 29 November 2018 video from Panama says about itself:

New Species: Mourning Warbler Flits Through Background of Canopy Lodge’s Fruit Feeders

A Mourning Warbler flits through the background of the canopy, marking another new species to visit the Panama Fruit Feeder cam. This small songbird of second-growth forests of eastern and central North America spends its winters in Costa Rica, Panama, and northwestern South America.

Watch LIVE 24/7 with highlights and viewing resources here.

This video says about itself:

Common Opossums Interact and Knock Log Off Panama Fruit Feeder Cam at Canopy Lodge, Nov 28, 2018

When the sun goes down, there’s still plenty to be seen on the Panama Fruit Feeder cam. Last night these two Common Opossums squabbled over the rights to the leftovers on the feeder platform. One opossum finally relinquishes and opts to take its food on the run, but we bet it wasn’t expecting what comes next!

Motmot, aracaris feeding in Panama


This video says about itself:

Panama Feeder Empties After Rufous Motmot‘s Arrival – Nov. 28, 2018

As we’ve seen time and time again on our feeder cams, it pays to be bigger than everyone else!

Watch as a Rufous Motmot‘s arrival causes the other feeder visitors to quickly suspend their foraging activities and depart the feeder.

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.

This video says about itself:

Collared Aracaris Congregate At The Panama Fruit Feeders – Nov. 28, 2018

Thrushes feeding in Panama


This video says about itself:

Clay-colored Thrushes Peck Away At Fresh Watermelon – Nov. 26, 2018

Clay-colored Thrushes are some of the most ubiquitous birds on the Panama Fruit Feeder cam. Watch for a while, and you’re likely to spot at least one of these relatives of the American Robin darting to and fro on the tray feeder, clucking, flicking its tail, and foraging on fresh fruit🍉.

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.

Bats at Panama bird feeders


This video says about itself:

Bats Visit Panama Feeders in Middle of the Night – Nov. 13, 2018

Birds aren’t the only winged creatures you’ll find enjoying the offerings at the Panama fruit feeders. Watch here as a group of bats take turns foraging on sweet nectar in the middle of the night!

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.

Collared aracaris eating bananas in Panama


This video says about itself:

A Banana Bonanza With Collared Aracaris – Nov. 5, 2018

Watch this group of Collared Aracaris go bananas on the Panama Fruit Feeder cam! These frugivores are often spotted in groups traveling between fruiting trees in southern Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Thankfully, the tasty offerings at the fruit feeder tempted these toucans to make a pit stop in front of the camera.

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.

I was privileged to see this species in Costa Rica.