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Departure of migratory birds from stopover sites is hormone-controlled

Save the date: On July 8, 2017 will be our next open day in Seewiesen with many guided tours, talks, presentations and a childrens' university - mostly in German but also in English. The Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology gladly welcomes all, to visit and explore the latest state of the art research.

Open day 2017

Save the date: On July 8, 2017 will be our next open day in Seewiesen with many guided tours, talks, presentations and a childrens' university - mostly in German but also in English. The Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology gladly welcomes all, to visit and explore the latest state of the art research. [more]
After having journeyed half way across the globe, male pectoral sandpipers visit up to 24 potential breeding sites within their breeding range in the Arctic to increase their reproductive success, shows a study in the journal NATURE from Mihai Valcu and Bart Kempenaers.

Speed dating: Male pectoral sandpipers visit up to 24 breeding sites in four weeks

After having journeyed half way across the globe, male pectoral sandpipers visit up to 24 potential breeding sites within their breeding range in the Arctic to increase their reproductive success, shows a study in the journal NATURE from Mihai Valcu and Bart Kempenaers.
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Researchers from Seewiesen investigated whether the timing of dawn singing in wild songbirds is influenced by artificial light. They illuminated eight previously dark forest edges with white, green, red or no light, and recorded daily onset of dawn singing during the breeding season. They predicted that onset of singing would be earlier in the lighted treatments but found no significant effect of the experimental night lighting (of any colour) in 14 species.

No effects of lights of different colours on the onset of the dawn chorus in songbirds

Researchers from Seewiesen investigated whether the timing of dawn singing in wild songbirds is influenced by artificial light. They illuminated eight previously dark forest edges with white, green, red or no light, and recorded daily onset of dawn singing during the breeding season. They predicted that onset of singing would be earlier in the lighted treatments but found no significant effect of the experimental night lighting (of any colour) in 14 species. [more]
Niels Rattenborg and colleagues have discovered that birds can sleep in flight, which has received large national and international attention. Now the study got awarded from the magazin discover as one of the Top 100 stories of 2016 - congratulation!

Study about birds sleeping in mid-flight under Top 100 Stories of 2016

Niels Rattenborg and colleagues have discovered that birds can sleep in flight, which has received large national and international attention. Now the study got awarded from the magazin discover as one of the Top 100 stories of 2016 - congratulation! [more]
In barred buttonquails (Turnix suscitator), females show male typical behaviours like courtship or territoral defense. A study from Cornelia Voigt of the Department of Neurobiology in Seewiesen now showed that hormone profiles were not sexually reversed. However, female-biased sex differences in androgen receptor gene expression in hypothalamic and limbic brain regions were found that were already in place at hatching. Such sex differences are unknown from non-sex-role reversed species and suggest that increased neural androgen sensitivity could be involved in the mechanisms mediating sex-role reversed behaviours.

Reversed sex roles in barred buttonquails

In barred buttonquails (Turnix suscitator), females show male typical behaviours like courtship or territoral defense. A study from Cornelia Voigt of the Department of Neurobiology in Seewiesen now showed that hormone profiles were not sexually reversed. However, female-biased sex differences in androgen receptor gene expression in hypothalamic and limbic brain regions were found that were already in place at hatching. Such sex differences are unknown from non-sex-role reversed species and suggest that increased neural androgen sensitivity could be involved in the mechanisms mediating sex-role reversed behaviours.

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Current levels of road traffic noise mask alarm calls, impeding the ability of great tits to perceive these critical signals. This is shown by a new study in Current Biology led by Henrik Brumm from Seewiesen. Only at a distance of 40 m, the researchers observed some relief from masking with their playback experiments and therefore urgently suggest measures to minimize anthropogenic noise to avoid negative fitness consequences for animals living close to roads.

Traffic noise drowns out great tit alarm calls

Current levels of road traffic noise mask alarm calls, impeding the ability of great tits to perceive these critical signals. This is shown by a new study in Current Biology led by Henrik Brumm from Seewiesen. Only at a distance of 40 m, the researchers observed some relief from masking with their playback experiments and therefore urgently suggest measures to minimize anthropogenic noise to avoid negative fitness consequences for animals living close to roads. [more]
On January 1st, the research group of Clemens Küpper has officially started. He and his colleagues will study how natural variation in behaviour, i.e. different strategies of mating and parental care behaviour evolve and co-exist next to each other.

New Max Planck Research Group in Seewiesen

On January 1st, the research group of Clemens Küpper has officially started. He and his colleagues will study how natural variation in behaviour, i.e. different strategies of mating and parental care behaviour evolve and co-exist next to each other. [more]
Social play is a frequent behaviour in great apes, which involves sophisticated forms of gestural exchanges. However, relatively little is known about whether signals are adjusted to specific attributes of conspecifics. Marlen Fröhlich and Simone Pika of the Humboldt Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, in collaboration with Roman Wittig from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, carried out the first study on the exchange of play-soliciting gestures in two chimpanzee communities in their natural environments. The results of this study strengthen the view that our closest living relatives are able to adjust gestures flexibly according to social circumstances and individual matrices of their interaction partners.

Play-soliciting gestures in chimpanzees

Social play is a frequent behaviour in great apes, which involves sophisticated forms of gestural exchanges. However, relatively little is known about whether signals are adjusted to specific attributes of conspecifics. Marlen Fröhlich and Simone Pika of the Humboldt Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, in collaboration with Roman Wittig from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, carried out the first study on the exchange of play-soliciting gestures in two chimpanzee communities in their natural environments. The results of this study strengthen the view that our closest living relatives are able to adjust gestures flexibly according to social circumstances and individual matrices of their interaction partners. [more]
Martin Wikelski, director in Radolfzell and honorary professor at the University of Constance receives this year's Max Planck Research Award for his research into the sensory perception of organisms. Using the satellite-based monitoring system Icarus, he is a pioneer in the field of wild animal telemetry.

Martin Wikelski received Max Planck Research Award

Martin Wikelski, director in Radolfzell and honorary professor at the University of Constance receives this year's Max Planck Research Award for his research into the sensory perception of organisms. Using the satellite-based monitoring system Icarus, he is a pioneer in the field of wild animal telemetry. [more]
The list of animal species you can follow with the Animal Tracker increased considerably. New species are:Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Black Storks, Bald Eagles, Whooper Swans, and our first mammal species:Black Flying Foxes!Often requested, now implemented: search and filter features!

New Animal Tracker features and species

The list of animal species you can follow with the Animal Tracker increased considerably. New species are:Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Black Storks, Bald Eagles, Whooper Swans, and our first mammal species:Black Flying Foxes!
Often requested, now implemented: search and filter features! [more]
Buteo-morph is a hand-on-project of our institute for all interested bird observers: Data is collected throughout whole Europe on the geographical and temporary differences in the distribution of the various morph-types in the common buzzard.

Citizen Science project on plumage colour polymorphism of common buzzards

Buteo-morph is a hand-on-project of our institute for all interested bird observers: Data is collected throughout whole Europe on the geographical and temporary differences in the distribution of the various morph-types in the common buzzard. [more]
 
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