Sparrows Cheat on Sleep: Migratory Birds Are Up at Night but Still Stay Sharp

By Milius, S. | Science News, July 17, 2004 | Go to article overview

Sparrows Cheat on Sleep: Migratory Birds Are Up at Night but Still Stay Sharp


Milius, S., Science News


During their fall migration season, certain sparrows sleep only about a third as much as they do at other times of year, but they manage to keep up their performance on tests of learning, a new lab study indicates. Outside the migration season, however, birds with disrupted sleep slump in learning tasks.

Niels C. Rattenborg of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues say in the July Public Library of Science Biology that this finding of no-cost sleep deprivation is "unprecedented"

"It might give us clues to the function of sleep itself," says coauthor Ruth Benca, also of the University of Wisconsin. She suggests that such research might someday lead to ways for people to cut back on sleep without getting slow-witted.

"It's a unique study," comments sleep researcher Irene Tobler of the University of Zurich. "We know relatively little about sleep in birds," she says, adding that sleep during migration has been especially puzzling.

Birds and mammals show similar sleep patterns: Both have rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. However, many songbirds journeying up and down the Americas fly mostly at night and forage during the day, so scientists have suspected that during migration, birds get by on little sleep.

In the fall, white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) fly some 4,300 kilometers from their breeding grounds in Alaska to their winter homes in southern California. Rattenborg and his colleagues moved wild birds into the lab and outfitted them with tiny sensors that detect brain waves. Researchers monitored eight birds for a year.

Even though the laboratory maintained a constant temperature and a 12-hour light-dark cycle, the birds showed classic migratory restlessness in spring and fall. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sparrows Cheat on Sleep: Migratory Birds Are Up at Night but Still Stay Sharp
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.