Male zebra finch building its nest
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Birds 'choose best building materials'

Birds can learn to choose the best building materials for their nests, according to scientists.

It was previously thought that birds' choice of nest material was predetermined by their genes - with each type of bird having an "innate nest template".

But an experiment, involving giving finches a choice of floppy and stiff string to build their nests, has shown this to be a more cognitively complex activity.

Here, lead researcher Dr Ida Bailey from the University of St Andrews, describes this nest-building study.

Footage courtesy of Ida Bailey, University of St Andrews

  • 16 Apr 2014