can wood ducks smell water....??

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by lcw1995, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. lcw1995

    lcw1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2010
    Marysville Ohio
    i let my two babies out with their momma bantie hen and they are slowly getting closer and closer to the creek....?? Can they smell it....?
    I know.. Weird question... Just wondering though...
    Thanks,
    Cole.
     
  2. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    can you smell it?
     
  3. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    Hahira, GA
    doubt it seriously, most all birds have very poor sence of smell, however they can sence it in other ways, even hear it if it's flowing.
    Just a little FYI
    You cant let wood ducks out of the pen once those pin feathers sprout out on their wings, that'll be the last time you'll ever see them. They are nothing like domestic fowl and will be gone the first chance they get. Would bet catching them alone at this point would be a miracle. Best heard them and their serogate mom back into the pen
     
  4. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Actually, that's not true. Birds use a differnt part of their brain for olfactory. Coimparing a turkey vulture brain with a green-wing teal brain shows that the olfactory part of the brains are similar, if not larger in the GWT. Still, I think you're correct that they are responding to other cues (they hear ultrasound- long wave sound we can't hear and all water tends to make long-wave sounds), maybe more insects, etc.

    Clint
     
  5. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    Hahira, GA
    that's odd, I have always read and observed in the field that birds in general have very very poor sense of smell, virtually non existent in most, especially vultures as they feed more on sight than smell. The exception to that is the turkey vulture, they actually have a very good sense of smell, yet their is still a lot od debate on just how well they can smell a carcass at 5000 feet, those odors just dont go that high, so they still are basically feeding off sight til they get lower.
    That and other than say vultures, their sense of smell has no real bearing on their day to day life, search for food, etc. Now their eye sight cant be beat and are pretty darn good at hearing as well, as you mentioned.

    I know my human odor has never been smelled by a bird in the woods. I am a hard core hunter, been busted by virtually every animal in the woods threw smell at one point in time or the other, but never a bird. They use a different part of the brain, true, but is it effective?

    I have had friends who are waterfowl and turkey hunters go with me and sit just a few feet from the birds smoking cigarettes and never be noticed.

    This is curious to me is all, because it goes against all I have read and witnessed first hand on them (birds in general that is)

    Now I know from species to species there will be variations in all this, and have seen recent studies based on prehistoric fossils and their olfactory section of the skull being much larger than say todays birds. Back then as they were developing, I thought eye sight and hearing developments kinda pushed back the need for excellent olfactory systems, thus over time, their eye sight got better, but smell weakened considerably, kind of like us when we loose our eye sight, or hearing gets better.

    There are a few species I have read up on that do sport a decent olfactory system, but most are pretty primative, and little more than just two holes in the beak.bill at this point.
    do they smell, yes, but barely ducks that is. Would like to see some studies showing otherwise. Currently, all I have found is yes, like all animals they can smell, but outside of just a few it is a very poor sensory development. Those with good systems, actually are only keyed in on things (food) that they need in their day to day life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  6. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aubrey,

    Haven't been in the office the last few days. I was taught that birds, with few exceptions (kiwi, turkey vulture, oil bird, etc) had no sense of smell. Several years ago, I was reading in the 6th volume of Current Ornithology which had a chapter by Waldvogel where he compares the measurements of brains and makes the suggestion that olfaction is more imporant that was previously thought. Now there is data that olfaction is important for starling in locating food and nest material, and for pigeons in homing. That paper, (Wiltschko, R., and W. Wiltschko. 1989. Pigeon homing: olfactory oreientation - a paradox. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 24:163-173) suggests that how a pigeon is raised affects it's reliance on olfaction (one more of the multiple redundancies in sensory abilities for homing).

    I agree that birds probably don't rely upon olfaction as much as vision, but that's a different question than can they do it.

    Clint
     

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