Video_1_Wind Increases Blinking Behavior in Great-Tailed Grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus).MP4

2019-09-03T04:19:26Z (GMT) by Jessica L. Yorzinski Samantha Argubright

Animals often adjust their behavior and physiology in response to extreme weather. One reason they do so is because weather can cause sensory impairments but our understanding of this topic is limited. We therefore tested whether wind, a common component of extreme weather, impacts sensory systems in captive great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus). In particular, we examined whether wind influences their blinking behavior, a fundamental aspect of visual processing that potentially limits information intake. We exposed the grackles to simulated wind while recording their blinking behavior. We found that the grackles exhibited increased blinking behavior when experiencing windy vs. calm conditions. These results suggest that wind may influence visual processing in birds and potentially impair information gathering.