The latest news from the Handbook of the Birds of the World has been released, and it’s again a power-pack of ornithological information.
For just a taste . . .
A new study using electroencephalogram recordings of Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor) flying over the ocean demonstrated that these birds can sleep with either one hemisphere of the brain at a time or both hemispheres simultaneously. The birds in the study slept on the wing only 7.4% of the time spent sleeping on land, indicating that ecological demands for attention during flight usually exceed the attention afforded by sleeping with half of the brain at a time.
Several terns showing the characteristics of the Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) have been reported in Europe since 1974. Genetic analyses have now confirmed that three of four European birds examined were pure-bred Elegant Terns; the fourth was a Lesser Crested Tern (T. bengalensis).
The race terborghi of the Allied Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles affinis) has been known for 52 years just from the type specimen. In July 2016 a group led by Ashley Banwell succeeded in finding an individual of A. a. terborghi in the type locality, an old volcano at Karimui, and also to take some nice photographs and videos at close range!
Finally, yes you want to see that video, yes you want to listen to that recording, and yes you need that book!