Latest News

Autumnwatch: 29th Oct - 1st Nov, BBC2

On the evenings of 29th Oct - 1st Nov, BBC2 will be hosting a new series of Autumnwatch with a focus on migration. The programme will feature the work of Tim Guilford and others are doing on Skomer with Manx Shearwaters, and in particular a film of the mass fledging event that takes place in September (with Tim Guilford and presenter Iolo Williams talking about the behaviour and generally being used as launch pads). The film is shot using extraordinary thermal cameras.

'Early birds' find worms for dinner

A study by Damien Farine and Stephen Lang published in Biology Letters presents a new hypothesis for foraging in small birds under pressure to avoid opposing pressures from predators and starvation. Using automated monitoring of feeding decisions by thousands of wild birds, the study found that birds were much more likely to discovery food sources in the morning but to feed on these late in the day, supporting this exploration-exploitation hypothesis.

The 'in law' effect in fruitflies

A study by Cedric Tan, Tom Pizzari, Stu Wigby, and collaborators published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B reveals that while male fruitflies prefer to mate with new females and females genetically unrelated to their previous partners, female flies prefer to remate with their previous partners and their parners' brothers.

'Shy' male birds flock together – and have fewer friends

Male birds that exhibit 'shy' social behaviour are much more likely to join flocks of birds with a similar personality than their 'bold' male counterparts, a new study has found. But shy birds also have fewer social partners than bold birds.

Hens may select sperm for healthier offspring

Tom Pizzari collaborated with an international team in a study to be published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, which shows that hens may select sperm after mating in order to maximise the genetic ability of their offspring to recognise and combat pathogens.