Species of birds living on islands have evolved to have larger brains than their continental relatives. Island conditions have prompted this post-colonization evolution, which enhances adaptability to environmental changes.
A large brain increases the capacity to adjust behavior to new circumstances through learning, improving resource-gathering in a changing environment. Greater understanding of this capacity can improve predictions of what species of birds and other animals will be most vulnerable to global change.
An international study with participation of CREAF has concluded that singing in higher pitches is no guarantee of success for city birds. This was after observing city-dwelling birds in around 20 cities worldwide, Barcelona being one of them. The researchers compared around 400 species and analyzed whether these were more abundant in their natural habitat or in urban areas. What is certain is that species which sing at higher pitches are heard better against the low tones of the city, but there are other abilities which are more important when adapting to urban life, such as finding food and avoiding urban dangers.