Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

City birds adapt to their new predators

Date:
November 7, 2012
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Urban growth alters the behavior of birds. Faced with the same threat, city and country birds do not react in the same way despite being from the same species. According to a new study, urban birds have changed their anti-predator behavior in new environments.

Blackbird in a city park.
Credit: J.D. Ibáñez-Álamo

Urban growth alters the behaviour of birds. Faced with the same threat, city and country birds do not react in the same way despite being from the same species. According to a new study, urban birds have changed their anti-predator behaviour in new environments.

When a bird is faced with a predator, its only objective is to escape. However, city birds do not react in the same way as their countryside counterparts, despite being from the same species. Urbanisation plays an influential role in their survival strategies.

To study this phenomenon, Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo, researcher at the University of Granada (UGR) and Anders Pape Møller from Paris-Sud University (France) analysed the escape techniques of 1,132 birds belonging to 15 species in different rural and urban areas.

Published in the journal Animal Behaviour, the results show that city birds have changed their behaviour to adapt to new threats like cats (their main predator in the city) instead of their more traditional enemies in the countryside, such as the sparrow hawk.

"When they are captured, city birds are less aggressive, they produce alarm calls more frequently, they remain more paralysed when attacked by their predator and they loose more feathers than their countryside counterparts," as explained by Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo.

The surprising thing is that urbanisation is directly linked with these differences, which become more acute the earlier the former has taken place. This suggests that escape strategies evolve alongside the expansion of cities; a concept that is on the increase worldwide.

Adapt or die in the territory of man

Like the habitat of many animals and plants, the habitat of birds changes and fragments. Discovering how they adapt to transformations in their habitat is "crucial" for understanding how to lessen their effects. "Predation change caused by city growth is serious," outlines Ibáñez-Álamo.

As the scientist indicates, tactics against their hunters are "crucial" so that birds can adapt to their new environment: "Birds should modify their behaviour to be able to survive in cities because if not, they will become extinct at the mercy of urban growth."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A.P. Møller, J.D. Ibáñez-Álamo. Escape behaviour of birds provides evidence of predation being involved in urbanization. Animal Behaviour, 2012; 84 (2): 341 DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.04.030

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "City birds adapt to their new predators." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107073044.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2012, November 7). City birds adapt to their new predators. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107073044.htm
Plataforma SINC. "City birds adapt to their new predators." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107073044.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins