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When people are feeling playful, they giggle and laugh, making others around them want to laugh and play too. Now, researchers have found that the particularly playful kea parrot from New Zealand has a 'play call' with a similarly powerful influence. When other kea hear that call, it puts them into a playful mood.
Biologists suggest the number of songbirds breeding during spring and summer depends mostly on what happens at their wintering grounds. Wintering ground temperatures and population density at the breeding grounds are key factors affecting how many individuals return to breed on Kent Island each spring and summer.
Innovative research looking at the timing and sequence of bird calls could provide new insight into the social interaction that goes on between birds. It will also help teach machines to differentiate between human-made and natural sounds and to understand the world around them.