SCIENCE

City Birds Smarter And Healthier Than Their Rural Counterparts - Study

  • Mary Nichols , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Mar, 31, 2016, 06:42 AM
Tags : science
(Photo : Getty Images/Omar Torres) Birds living in big cities have developed street smarts, according to a new study.

Birds living in big cities have developed street smarts, according to a new study.

The study, by researchers at McGill University in Quebec, Canada found that in comparison to birds living in the country - city based birds demonstrated better problem-solving capabilities and were bolder, writes Nature World News.

The first ever study of its kind found that urban birds have adapted to survive in a city environment, forcing them to develop new skills and behaviors.

A team of researchers led by Jean-Nicholas Audet, Simon Ducatez and Louis Lefebvre undertook the study - observing and analyzing the behaviors of more than 50 Barbados bullfinches that inhabited different territories of the Caribbean Island.

The researchers tested the two groups of birds using not only associative learning tasks, but innovative problem-solving tasks such as having to open up a series of drawers to access food.

Besides being more daring and skillful when compared to their rural counterparts - birds living in an urban setting also had better immune system responses.

"Since urban birds were better at problem-solving, we expected there would be a trade-off and that the immunity would be lower, just because we assumed that you can't be good at everything," said Audet in a statement.

"It seems that in this case, the urban birds have it all," he added.

The researchers picked the Caribbean site for the study as humans populate some areas, while other parts of the area remain completely untouched.

Audet, a doctoral candidate in Biology told CBC News that he got the idea to do the study after being "hounded by birds at a restaurant terrace in Barbados."

The seed-eating Barbados bullfinches are the island-nation's only common bird species and have adapted well to the presence of humans on the island.

The new study was published in the journal Behavioral Ecology.

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