City birds angrier than rural ones, Virginia Tech researchers say

Published: Jul. 18, 2016 at 4:59 PM EDT
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It turns out birds of a feather don't always flock together. Some are angry.

It didn't take Virginia Tech researchers long to figure out city birds are more aggressive than their rural counterparts.

The theory is urban birds are angry because they have less space but more resources like food and shelter, while rural birds have more space but have to hunt for their food.

"Maybe there aren't as many habitats on campus and so it's more prime real estate than out in the rural areas where there is much more space," said Scott Davies, a Virginia Tech postdoctoral researcher.

The team studied 35 urban and 38 rural male song sparrows twice on campus, at Radford University, and in rural areas in the New River Valley.

They're continuing to research other reasons why city birds are more aggressive.