Volume 15: pp. 149-161

Avian Olfaction: A Review of the Recent Literature

Vincent Abankwah, D. Charles Deeming, and Thomas W. Pike

University of Lincoln

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All birds studied to date have a functioning sense of smell, which they use for a wide range of tasks, from foraging to mate choice. However, compared with other avian senses, olfaction has received comparatively little research attention and is often overlooked when designing experiments, or interpreting data, in which birds have been used as subjects. This brief review aims to provide an overview of our understanding of avian olfaction, focusing in particular on articles published over the past 10 years. We emphasize studies, species, and concepts that may be of particular interest to those working within animal behavior or cognition, and we conclude by highlighting some directions for future research.

Keywords: Birds, sense of smell, sensory ecology, semiochemical

Author Note: Thomas W. Pike, School of Life Sciences, College
of Science, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool Campus, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, United Kingdom.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Thomas W. Pike at tpike@lincoln.ac.uk.