Urban Birds Have it All
A new study revealed that urban birds dwelling amongst people are smarter than birds living in rural environments.
In a breakthrough study conducted by a team of McGill University researchers, it was found that city birds are good in innovative problem solving tasks and bolder compared to rural birds.
In addition, city birds have an edge over the rural birds because they adapted favorably to urban environments by exploiting new resources.
The study showed cognitive differences in problem-solving abilities for city birds versus the country. The study concluded that city birds are indeed smarter than rural birds.
This was affirmed by Jean-Nicolas Audet, a Ph.D student in the Department of Biology and first author of the study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology.
According to Mr. Audet, the study showed birds from urbanized areas are better at innovative problem-solving tasks than country bullfinches and have better immunity than rural birds.
The team expected that urban birds may have lower immunity than the rural birds. But the results were surprising. [Newswise]
“It seems that in this case, the urban birds have it all.” – Ms. Audet
Background of the Study
The study was conducted with an objective to find clear cognitive differences in birds from urbanized compared to rural environments. The study included observation of problem-solving abilities for both kinds of birds, such as the ability to open drawers to access food, and temperament (bolder).
Aside from innovative problem-solving tasks, associative learning tasks were also part of the study.
The study was conducted at the McGill Bellairs facility in Barbados using bullfinches captured from various parts of the Caribbean island.
The researchers considered the island of Barbados suitable for the study because it shows a strong range of human settlement.
The researchers asserted that the island of Barbados consists of some very developed areas but also areas mostly left untouched. Thus, the Caribbean island provides an excellent environment to study the effects and trends of urbanization.
The authors of the study were Jean-Nicolas Audet, Simon Ducatez and Louis Lefebvre