The owls can be either gray or rufus, and Dr. Fred Gehlbach, research professor of biology at Baylor, says he has observed the rufus phase of the species increasing over the years.
In central Texas, where Gehlbach conducts much of his research, he noticed a dramatic increase in rufus owls after the 1984 record cold winter. He believes as global warming continues, rufus birds will only become more prevalent.
He estimates 20 years ago, rufus owls made up about seven percent of the total population. Now it is closer to 15 percent.
“While gray is still the predominate color of the Eastern Screech Owl, I am seeing more and more rufus owls in places where they are common,” Gehlbach said. “I’m not surprised by it. In fact, it makes sense. They do not have high survival rates where it is cold. As temperatures rise, so does the survival rate.”
The color of the birds is genetically determined. The rufus-phase Eastern Screech Owl is mainly found in hot and humid places in the southern U.S. Gehlbach said its feathers are more porous and adequately dissipate body heat. The feathers of the gray owls are stouter and can protect against colder weather. In low light areas, rufus also is harder to see, decreasing chances a predator will find them. Rufus owls are predominately found in rainy cloudy places.
Gehlbach also said he has observed the owls nesting, or breeding, earlier than before. In central Texas, he has observed them nesting about a day earlier every three years.
Gehlbach has more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, faunal monographs and book chapters. He has written three books on the natural history of the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands, the lifestyles of suburban and rural Eastern Screech Owls, and the natural and unnatural history of suburban central Texas.
Matt Pene | Newswise Science News
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology