From EurekAlert: Migrating songbirds learn survival tips on the fly.
Migrating songbirds take their survival cues from local winged residents when flying through unfamiliar territory, a new Queen’s University-led study shows.
It’s a case of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," says biologist Joseph Nocera, who conducted the research while working as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen’s under the supervision of Biology professor Laurene Ratcliffe.
Avoiding predators can substantially increase a bird’s chances of survival during migration, notes Dr. Nocera. But to do that, it first has to recognize who its predators are. "We believe some prey use social cues from other animals to gain information about potential predators," he says. [continue]