NZ Bird Recognise People, Show Different Personalities

A study has revealed that a native New Zealand bird is able to recognise different humans. Researchers at Victoria University found that the North Island Robin, or toutouwai, reacts differently to humans by timing how long the birds took to attack food near a specific person. In the experiment, led by Dr Craig Barnett, the same person in a white lab coat stood near a food source of mealworms for seven days, on the eighth day a different person in a blue lab coat stood near the source. “We split the birds into two groups: ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ attackers, depending on their average attack times,” explain Barnett. “Interestingly, the results showed that the attack times of the faster, bolder birds didn’t change much when the new human appeared. However, the slower birds, which were more cautious around humans, displayed even longer attack times when the new person arrived on the eighth day”. Dr Kevin Burns, a New Zealand natural history expert based in Victoria’s School of Biological Sciences, says the research sheds new light on the personality traits of birds. “While individuals in other bird and animal species have been shown to be able to recognise individual humans,” said Burns. “This is the first instance where it has been shown that different behavioural types within a species might perform a task differently. This new information could assist with conservation efforts in [New Zealand and] other island nations, for example Hawaii, which are also working towards protecting and preserving endemic wildlife.”


Tags: birds  Craig Barnett  native birds  North Island Robin  Victoreia University  Xinhua News  

Calcutta Celebrates Hillary@100: “Tales Of Man On Mission”

Calcutta Celebrates Hillary@100: “Tales Of Man On Mission”

A celebration of the life and work of Sir Edmund Hillary in Calcutta on Saturday “remembered him with stories and anecdotes of not only as the mountaineer who became the first…