Water bathing alters the speed-accuracy trade-off of escape flights in European starlings

Birds of most species regularly bathe in water, but the function of this behaviour is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that water bathing is important in feather maintenance, and hence should enhance flight performance. We manipulated European starlings’, Sturnus vulgaris, access to bathing water in a 2 × 2 design: birds were housed in aviaries either with […]

Differential assessment of environmental information in a migratory and a nonmigratory passerine

Migratory birds stay in a particular area for only short periods and must rapidly acquire appropriate information about stopover sites. In contrast, resident birds can update their knowledge whenever necessary. In a novel environment migrants are thus predicted to assess relevant information faster than nonmigrants. We tested this prediction with two closely related species, the […]