Birds wear stress in their feathers

The feathers of wild birds can be analysed to determine the effect natural- and human-caused disasters have on wild populations.

When wild birds are faced with environmental threats they secrete a “stress” hormone called corticosterone. Traditionally, researchers have had to analyse blood samples in order to detect corticosterone levels and, therefore, the bird’s stress response.

The new discovery means researchers will no longer have to handle birds in order to detect avian stress responses.

Read more at Tufts University