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Big City Life Forces Birds to Adapt

Nov 13, 2012 12:55 AM EST
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It has been found that birds living in cities have different survival techniques than the same species of birds found in the country-side. City birds have adapted to the threat they face from new predators on streets.

According to a new study by Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo, researcher at the University of Granada and Anders Pape Møller from Paris-Sud University in France, birds adapt to their habitat and develop new survival instincts just like humans.

Ibáñez-Álamo and Møller experimented with a number of birds belonging to 15 different species from both rural and urban settings and recorded their varied reactions to dangers faced by predators. This report was published in the Animal Behavior journal.

Cats are the main predators of city birds, and these birds react differently to the attacks than country birds, which are mainly the prey of bigger birds such as sparrow hawks.

"When they are captured, city birds are less aggressive, they produce alarm calls more frequently, they remain more paralyzed when attacked by their predator and they lose more feathers than their countryside counterparts," Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo explained to SINC, a Spanish news agency.

Researchers say that these adaptations are necessary changes that the birds in an urban environment make and are essential in order to survive city life. Escaping strategies are evolved and are modified to an urban setting.

These birds will continue to evolve and adapt similar to humans in order to survive and not face extinction, summarize the researchers.

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