Birds Adapt to Posted Speed Limits

Birds are doing something most humans find difficult: obeying speed limits. Canadian researcher Pierre Legagneux from Laval University in Quebec noticed that birds were keeping up with traffic as he drove to his lab. Legagneux and a colleague began charting birds commute times with a stopwatch to see how their travel times changed in different speed zones.

After several weeks of observing birds' travel speeds, the researchers found that birds on roads with higher speed limits take off much faster than birds on low-speed-limit streets. This isn't a result of birds reacting to oncoming cars. Rather, birds are actually changing their behavior based on average speed on a road. Researchers say the behavior developed as a way for birds to avoid colliding with cars.

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