News Round-Up

Desert teamwork explains global pattern of co-operation in birds


A new study from the Kalahari Desert finds that teamwork allows birds to cope with brutally unpredictable environments.

This landmark finding explains the long-standing mystery of why co-operation among birds is associated with unpredictable environments worldwide.

White-browed sparrow weavers live in the Kalahari Desert, where rainfall varies dramatically and food is scarce during dry spells.

The birds live in family groups, with a single breeding pair and up to ten non-breeding “helpers” that assist with chick feeding. MORE

Header image: White-browed sparrow weavers. Credit: Andrew Young.