Contact Seewiesen

Dr. Sabine Spehn
Dr. Sabine Spehn
Press and Public Relation Officer
Phone: +49 8157 932-421
Mobil: +49 173 7155753
Room: Seewiesen

Contact Radolfzell

Jennifer Golbol
Jennifer Golbol
Press and Public Relation Officer
Phone: +49 7732 1501-25
Fax: +49 7732 1501-90
Room: Radolfzell

Press Releases

Great tits detox at the expense of a lower life expectancy

November 28, 2018
Males that neutralize free radicals with an enzyme are less likely to survive the next winter [more]
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Appearance is deceiving

November 13, 2018
Bib of house sparrow does not signal its fighting ability [more]
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New Caledonian crows can create compound tools

October 24, 2018
The birds are able to combine individual parts to form a long-distance reaching aid [more]

Couples showing off: Songbirds are more passionate in front of an audience

October 03, 2018
Both sexes of a songbird called the blue-capped cordon-bleu intensify courtship performances in the presence of an audience [more]
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Parrots think in economic terms

September 01, 2018
These birds can forgo an immediate reward in favour of a greater reward in the future. [more]
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Spacewalk for Icarus

August 15, 2018
Antenna for Russian–German experiment installed on International Space Station [more]
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Brood failure in blue tits

June 12, 2018
Brood failure in blue tits is almost always due to the loss of a parent [more]
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Storks on the wing

May 24, 2018
Scientists can predict which storks will migrate to Africa in autumn and which will remain in Europe [more]
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Inauguration of centre for research into animal migrations

May 07, 2018
A new joint research centre of the Max Planck Society and Yale University will promote the study and protection of biodiversity [more]
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Being all ear: Greater Horseshoe bats use multiple streams of acoustic information simultaneously

April 27, 2018
Bats do not only use the information of their echolocation calls for foraging but may also simultaneously analyse acoustic signals from their potential prey. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen found that Greater Horseshoe bats use such combined acoustic stimuli to considerably extend the limited reach of their echolocation calls. [more]
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Demography influences parental care in plovers

April 25, 2018
In populations with an unbalanced adult sex ratio, male plovers take care of the young [more]
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In monogamous species, a compatible partner is more important than an ornamented one

March 19, 2018
The colour of bands attached to the legs of birds for individual identification does not have an effect on the birds’ behaviour, physiology, life-history or fitness. This result of a study from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen contradicts long established text-book “knowledge” and questions whether ornaments play a major role in mate choice of monogamous species. [more]
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How barbastelle bats trick moths that are able to hear their echolocation calls

March 14, 2018
In the evolutionary arms race between bats and their insect prey, some moths have developed ears to detect echolocating bats and avoid being caught. Conversely, barbastelle bats are known to counter moth hearing by using quiet, 'stealthy' calls to search for prey in the dark. Recording the hunting behaviour of this intriguing species, researchers have now found that barbastelle bats sneak up on unsuspecting moths by gradually emitting even fainter calls as they come closer. [more]
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“In ten years we’ll know which animals are able to predict natural disasters”

February 13, 2018
Interview with Martin Wikelski on the successful mission to transport the Icarus antennas to the International Space Station [more]
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Ears for Icarus

February 13, 2018
Russian rocket delivers antenna for animal tracking system to the International Space Station [more]
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Humans limit animal movements

January 25, 2018
Biologists detect reduction in animal movements in areas with a high human footprint [more]
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Migration pays off for songbirds

November 21, 2017
Blackbirds that spend the winter in the south are more likely to survive the cold season than their conspecifics in central Europe [more]
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Shrews shrink in winter and regrow in spring

October 23, 2017
The tiny mammals reduce the size of their organs in the winter and can even decrease and rebuild bones [more]
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Icarus lifts off

October 17, 2017
The Icarus on-board computer, the first component of the global animal observatory system, has gone into space [more]
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Bats anticipate optimal weather conditions

September 20, 2017
For the common noctule, wind speed, wind direction and air pressure trigger its set off for its summer territories [more]
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Individuality drives collective behaviour of schooling fish

September 07, 2017
Researchers unravel the role of individual characteristics in the collective behaviour of animal groups [more]
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Glass fronts can be acoustic illusions for bats

September 07, 2017
Bats fail to detect smooth, vertical surfaces when they are in a rush [more]
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On the hunt: describing group predation across the animal kingdom

August 22, 2017
Researchers outline a new way to define and classify how groups of animals hunt together [more]
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Mutation speeds up sperm of zebra finches

July 17, 2017
Gene inversion gives reproductive advantage to zebra finches [more]
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Reptile vocalization is surprisingly flexible

May 30, 2017
Phenotypic plasticity of gecko calls reveals the complex communication of lizards [more]
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Speed Dating: Promiscuous pectoral sandpipers sample breeding sites along thousands of kilometres

January 09, 2017
The shorebirds have a huge breeding range across the Arctic [more]
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“We still know far too little about bird flu”

December 31, 2016
Wolfgang Fiedler, an ornithologist at the Radolfzell Ornithological Station, pleads for more research leading to a better understanding of transmission paths [more]

How parents divide their duties

November 23, 2016
Parents need to synchronize the care for their offspring. This leads to extreme and unexpected diversity in how parents attend their nest in shorebirds, finds an international team led by Max Planck researchers. Some pairs switched duties 20 times a day, while in others one parent sat on the nest for up to 50 hours. The key factor underlying this variation is risk of predation, not risk of starvation. Surprisingly, the rhythm of nest attendance often did not follow the 24-h day.    [more]
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Brazilian free-tailed bat is the fastest flyer in the animal kingdom

November 09, 2016
Bats are not just skilful aviators, they can also reach record-breaking speeds [more]
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Blackbirds switch abruptly to fly-by-night behaviour at migration time

October 17, 2016
The normally diurnal birds don't need time to adjust their circadian clocks before departing for their winter habitats [more]
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Snoozing between the skies and Earth

October 14, 2016
A team of scientists headed by Niels Rattenborg from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen has demonstrated, for the first time that birds can fly in sleep mode [more]
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Lack of opportunities promotes brood care

October 11, 2016
Female white-browed coucals have to suffice with a single mate [more]
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Singing in the flight lane

September 08, 2016
Birds adjust their singing activity around airport noise [more]
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The great tit, Parus major, does better in the countryside

August 31, 2016
In cities birds have fewer and smaller offspring than in rural areas [more]
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First evidence of sleep in flight

August 03, 2016
Birds engage in all types of sleep in flight, but in remarkably small amounts [more]
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The Max Planck Society met in Saarbrücken

June 16, 2016
The Max Planck Society's 67th Annual Meeting wrapped up with a panel discussion the "Internet of Things" [more]
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Great apes communicate cooperatively

May 23, 2016
Gestural communication in bonobos and chimpanzees shows turn-taking and clearly distinguishable communication styles [more]
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Competition favours shy tits

March 10, 2016
Explorative great tits have fewer chances to survive in high population densities [more]
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No silent night

January 04, 2016
Bats adapt their echolocation calls to noise [more]
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Following their noses to Lake Victoria – seagulls use smells to navigate

November 24, 2015
Without their sense of smell, lesser black-backed gulls are unable to compensate for deviations from their natural migratory corridor [more]
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Are females glamorous because males are?

November 04, 2015
Explaining variation in plumage colour of male and female birds [more]
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In cordon bleus, song develops independently of sex differences in the brain

November 03, 2015
Singing developes independent from gender differences in the brain [more]
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Gone with the wind

October 20, 2015
Migratory birds need less time to travel longer routes when they optimize for wind support. [more]
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Straw-coloured fruit bats: Ecosystem service providers and record-breaking flyers

October 14, 2015
When searching for food, African straw-coloured fruit bats cover greater distances than any other bat species studied to date [more]
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Harmonic pillow talk

October 06, 2015
Zebra finches change their call communication pattern in groups according to their reproductive status [more]
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Could a special immune system help protect bats from Ebola?

September 15, 2015
Bats frequently come into contact with infectious diseases, but surprisingly rarely suffer from them [more]
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Free mate choice enhances fitness: Zebra finch offspring benefit from love marriages

September 15, 2015
Zebra finches allowed to breed with their preferred partner achieved a 37 percent higher reproductive success compared to pairs that were forced to mate [more]
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Song learning in a time lapse

August 26, 2015
Late-hatched canaries learn their songs as well as early-hatched birds [more]
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GPS transmitters can protect animals from poaching

August 07, 2015
The case of Cecil shows: with the help of satellite transmitter systems, researchers can determine the cause of death of animals almost in real time [more]
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Baboons follow the majority

July 17, 2015
In a baboon group, any member can set the direction - not just the highest-ranking animal [more]
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