Press Releases

Females remain unmated when competition for preferred mates is too big - but then often smuggle their eggs into other nests more

African grey parrots may have better self-control than macaws more

Pupil size changes in awake and sleeping birds in opposite ways to mammals more

Songbirds like it sweet

July 09, 2021

Songbird ancestors evolved a new way to taste sugar more

Zebra finches also suffer from a suppressed immune function due to the chronic stress more

Bavaria invests up to 500 million euros in the competitive development of the Martinsried Max Planck Campus into an outstanding international research hub more

However, their parental care depends on the survival prospects of the chicks more

Competition for mates leads to a deeper voice than expected based on size more

Childlessness by circumstance

September 30, 2020

Why zebra finches have problems with reproduction more

Max Planck researchers clarify relationships between bird families more

Waders display fascinating behaviour patterns, but are also exemplary for the loss of biodiversity more

Blue tits that are already associated in winter are more likely to have young together in spring more

Blowing in the wind

February 12, 2020

A polygynous shorebird decides where to breed based on the prevailing wind conditions more

First come, first bred

January 12, 2020

Arriving early in the breeding area is crucial for successful reproduction also in non-migratory birds more

Inhibitory neurons in the zebra finch brain control coordinated vocal interactions more

African grey parrots spontaneously help conspecifics without obvious benefits to themselves more

In zebra finches, noise pollution affects their health and the growth of their offspring. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen found that traffic noise suppresses normal glucocorticoid profiles in the blood, probably to prevent negative effects of chronically elevated levels on the organism. In addition, the young chicks of noise-exposed parents were smaller than chicks from quiet nests. more

Over the last 30 years, the region has lost 120,000 breeding pairs more

Icarus is switched on

July 08, 2019

After a test phase lasting several months, the animal observation system is to commence operation at the end of the year more

Species-specific escape strategies of moths make hunting difficult for bats more

A portrait of the first nine Lise Meitner Group Leaders more

Vocal control areas in the brain of weaver birds fire in time when they sing together more

Noctule bats follow individual routes to their nursery roosts more

Straw-coloured fruit bats provide valuable ecological services for humans more

Scientists will investigate collective behaviour and movement patterns of animals more

Hearing in 3D

April 23, 2019

In order to recognize spatial structures, bat echolocation uses similar cues as our sense of sight more

Interview with Martin Wikelski about how humans continue to restrict the range of motion of animals. more

Songbirds that cooperate to raise their young coordinate their attention and intentionally communicate with each other more

Although the raising of the young is a matter for men in these birds, parenthood is less expensive for the fathers than thought more

Researchers record the behaviour of these threatened hunters with underwater cameras and motion sensors more

800 hectares of new forest per year could grow from the seeds disseminated by the bats more

Precipitation and temperature can be used to predict the colouring of birds more

Similarities and differences between avian and mammalian sleep and possibly memory consolidation more

Are fish aware of themselves?

February 07, 2019

Cleaner wrasse seem to recognize themselves in the mirror more

The scientists believe that the relevant legislative amendments could halt the disappearance of insects and birds in Bavaria more

No egg is like another

January 04, 2019

Female age and laying order drive variation of egg quality in blue tits more

Males that neutralize free radicals with an enzyme are less likely to survive the next winter more

Appearance is deceiving

November 13, 2018

Bib of house sparrow does not signal its fighting ability more

The birds are able to combine individual parts to form a long-distance reaching aid more

Both sexes of a songbird called the blue-capped cordon-bleu intensify courtship performances in the presence of an audience more

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

Spacewalk for Icarus

August 15, 2018

Antenna for Russian–German experiment installed on International Space Station more

Brood failure in blue tits is almost always due to the loss of a parent more

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

A new joint research centre of the Max Planck Society and Yale University will promote the study and protection of biodiversity more

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

In populations with an unbalanced adult sex ratio, male plovers take care of the young more

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

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

Ears for Icarus

February 13, 2018

Russian rocket delivers antenna for animal tracking system to the International Space Station more

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