From The Auk
Smart female Wood Ducks live longer.  (our interpretation)
An 11-year study of almost 500 Wood Ducks found a positive correlation between annual survival rate and nesting success.  It seems female Wood Ducks that were better at raising their young were better at surviving from one year to the next.  Seems like a good indication of a variance in the intelligence of female Wood Ducks?

Female Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck © Alan Wilson

From The Condor
Breeding Bird Surveys and changing weather patterns.
Researchers using BBS data studied the populations of of several grassland birds.  They found that Grasshopper and Baird’s Sparrows were especially vulnerable to hot, dry conditions. perhaps indicating their populations could fall from further climate change.

Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow. © Greg Lavaty.

 

Baird's Sparrow

Baird’s Sparrow. © Greg Lavaty

Breeding Bird Surveys monitor the status and trends of North American bird populations. Following a rigorous protocol, BBS data are collected by thousands of dedicated participants along thousands of randomly established roadside routes throughout the continent. Professional BBS coordinators and data managers work closely with researchers and statisticians to compile and deliver these population data and population trend analyses on more than 400 bird species, for use by conservation managers, scientists, and the general public.

Participants in a BBS run specific routes from their vehicle.  They typically start early in the mourning during the nesting season.  The participant drives .5 mile, stops, looks and listens for 3 minutes, recording the birds seen and heard.  There are 50 stops in a route.

A vast amount of data has been acquired over the years and is available to researchers and the public.

Ground-Level Artificial Light Disrupts Bird Migration
Researchers studied the night flight calls of birds during fall migration.  They found that significantly more flight calls were recorded at lit sites than at dark sites.  It appears from the study that ground-level lights could be disorienting birds.  The lights could be causing the birds to fly lower (a danger) or they could actually be attracting the birds.

Tall, lighted buildings are well-known to attract migrating birds and are a major source of bird mortality.

While I have not seen any studies, while on a cruise ship south of Florida, during spring migration, I observed hundreds if not thousands of migrating birds flying around the ship, apparently attracted by the lights. I found Ovenbirds (2) and Common Yellowthroat on the ships’s deck.

FLAP Canada is one of the best resources to learn more about bird window collisions.

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