News & Events

Here you can find some recent news and events, as well as a selection of recent papers and any new members that have joined the EGI.

Recent Video

Bird Ringing Demonstration at Farmoor Res Oxon, 25th February 2012

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Most Recent Research Highlights

» Vocal information about food availability more prevalent in the morningsFebruary 28, 2019

blue tit on feeder_FHillemannWintering songbirds have to find food while avoiding predators. Previous research has demonstrated that birds benefit by forming groups: they use information from others to find food sources while per-capita predation risk decreases through dilution. However, much less is known about in what way birds produce information about food availability, e.g. calls which attract others. Attracting others to food decreases per-capita risk of predation, but increases competition. However, these costs and benefits do not covary linearly with group size, and the effect of recruiting an additional group member is not constant.

Friederike Hillemann, lead author on the paper, said: ‘Using a combined observational and experimental approach, we show that wintering songbirds make economic decisions about when to produce information about food availability: As the day progresses and foraging group sizes increase, the costs of producing calls that attract others outweigh the benefits, causing a decrease in vocal activity into the afternoon.’

Read the paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, here: ‘Diurnal variation in the production of vocal information about food supports a model of social adjustment in wild songbirds‘.

Most Recent News Story

» Congratulations to Professor Ben Sheldon – awarded The Linnean MedalMay 26, 2020

BCS 2014

Many congratulations to Professor Ben Sheldon who has been awarded The Linnean Medal in recognition of the Society’s appreciation towards his service to science in the field of Zoology.

Of his award, Professor Sheldon said: “I’m delighted to receive this award from the Linnean Society, which recognises and celebrates the central importance and ongoing relevance of Natural History as a field to make sense of Biology. Any success I’ve had is really due to the support I’ve had throughout my career from mentors, colleagues and students who have been such a rewarding community to work with.”