News Round-Up

New study shows birds can learn from others to be more daring


House sparrows can be found on nearly every continent including North America, South America, Africa and Australia, where they are not native but an invasive species. New research into these highly social songbirds reveals that they can learn from each other and adapt their behaviour.

“Our study demonstrates that house sparrows can extrapolate information gleaned from the social environment and apply it to new experiences,” said Tosha Kelly, LSU Department of Biological Sciences post-doctoral researcher and lead author in this study published in Biology Letters.

House sparrows can often be observed in large flocks and this research suggests they may watch and learn from each other. The ability of house sparrows to adjust their behaviour after a social experience provides evidence of social learning. MORE