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DURHAM, N.H. -- Pigeons and humans use similar visual cues to identify objects, a finding that could have promising implications in the development of novel technologies, according to new research conducted by a University of New Hampshire professor.Gibson's also studied navigation and memory in birds. He's currently investigating how Clark’s Nutcracker uses different types of spatial information to find food caches during winter.
Brett Gibson, an assistant professor of psychology who studies animal behavior, details his latest research in the journal article, “Non-accidental properties underlie shape recognition in mammalian and non-mammalian vision,” published [Wednesday] in Current Biology. Gibson and his colleagues found that humans and pigeons, which have different visual systems, have evolved to use similar techniques and information to recognize objects.
“Understanding how avian visual systems solve problems that require considerable computational prowess may lead to future technological advances, such as small visual prosthetics for the visually impaired, in the same way that understanding visual processing in honeybees has led to the development of flying robots and unmanned helicopters,” the researchers say.
Deep in the bayous of eastern Arkansas, two robotic video cameras keep vigil for an elusive bird, aiming to capture conclusive evidence the ivory-billed woodpecker is not, as long feared, extinct.What's next, I wonder.
Recent sightings have revived hope of the survival of the large and dramatically marked bird, with its characteristic white beak and red crest.
Now the search is on for proof -- something scientists hope the robot video cameras can provide.
The cameras are part of a new project funded by the National Science Foundation to create automated observatories that can capture natural behavior in remote settings.
Labels: rubber ducks
Labels: rubber ducks
Dr. David Nabarro said investigators looking into the cause of a bird flu outbreak at a commercial turkey farm in Britain are now focusing on a possible link with the transfer of partly processed birds from a farm in southeastern Hungary, where there was an outbreak last month. ...This falls in line with the presentation given by research scientist Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center during Birdwatch America last month in Atlanta. A description of his talk starts on page 7 of the March/April issue.
Most people killed so far have been infected by domestic fowl and the virus remains very hard for humans to catch. Nabarro said about half the people infected die.
Labels: avian flu
USGS sea bird biologist John F. Piatt, lead author of the review, said none of the known human-caused threats to marbled murrelets — loss of nesting trees to logging, getting caught in gillnets, and oil spills — can by themselves explain the dramatic and widespread decline, particularly in Alaska.Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
"Nobody was really expecting that kind of change," Piatt said from Port Townsend, Washington. "Natural influences may be more important than human-caused," changes.
Even areas like Alaska's Glacier Bay, where there has been no logging, saw dramatic declines, raising the likelihood that something larger was a major factor, he said.
The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) has announced that one of the juvenile cranes presumed lost in the massive storms that hit central Florida last week has been found. Seventeen juvenile whooping cranes died as a result of the storms that swept through central Florida during the evening and early morning of Feb. 1 and 2.
Project biologists with the International Crane Foundation picked up the radio signal of crane 15-06 on Saturday afternoon near the pensite at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge where the other birds perished in the storm. They lost the signal briefly before picking it up again on Sunday, tracking the young bird to an area in Citrus County, some miles away from the pensite. The juvenile crane was observed from the air in good remote habitat with two sandhill cranes. Number 15-06 is in the same area with three whooping cranes from the Class of 2005.
Is this a tell-tale sign of climate change linked to greenhouse gas emissions, with the cardinal moving north in response to a warming planet?
Or are other factors at play, such as the proliferation of bird feeders in urban yards, which may be enticing species away from their historic ranges?
Such debates are bound to heat up with a draft U.N. report on climate change set for release in Paris on Friday.
The northern cardinal's move into Nova Scotia and a northward thrust by the turkey vulture into southern Maine and Nova Scotia from Massachusetts are some of the shifts which can clearly be seen by looking at maps from the two editions.What do you think about the article?
The movements are there over short periods of time, suggesting that human induced changes in the environment are the cause. And they are not dramatic, which could point to gradual shifts from rising temperatures.
But the explanation, at least in the cardinal's case, may simply lie in the bird feeders found in Hale's garden and those of her neighbors.