SNAPSHOT: The Dangerous Dance of the Jackdaw

By Lacy Schley | August 7, 2019 10:23 am
Image by Alex Thornton

Despite a spirograph-like appearance, these loops and twists actually represent the flight paths and wingbeats of a flock of jackdaws, members of the wily crow family that mate for life. Researchers had thought that each member of a flock flew independently of their mates, allowing them to pay close attention to others and rapidly communicate to evade predators.

But new research in Cornwall, England, found that jackdaws stick with their mates as they fly, a sweet but ultimately dangerous act since it distracts the pair from the rest of the flock’s actions and slows the overall flow of information. This newly discovered behavior could change our understanding of how avian flight patterns evolved.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World
MORE ABOUT: animals, birds
ADVERTISEMENT

Comments are closed.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+