Birds

  • Starlings go tweet

    Twitter could be useful in monitoring animal behaviour.

    Forget Big Brother – it turns out Big Scientist is watching you, but it’s all in the name of ecological research. In...

    Birds September 9, 2018
  • Parrots play the odds when making decisions

    Macaws can delay gratification to maximise reward.

    When it comes to delaying gratification for greater reward, parrots compare well with chimpanzees and out-perform cap...

    Birds August 27, 2018
  • Macaws blush to communicate

    Parrot language is more complicated than thought.

    The large New World parrots known as macaws are known to be incredibly talkative, but it turns out they also communic...

    Birds August 26, 2018
  • Dodo relative lived in New Zealand

    A fossil dove was a close relative of the iconic pigeon.

    The dodo’s family tree has gained another member:  the Zealandian dove. Researchers have described a new species of ...

    Birds August 23, 2018
  • For cliff-dwelling birds, pointy eggs are best

    Egg shape and physics are critical for survival of species.

    A study confirms that for cliff-nesting birds, pointy eggs are best. Common murres or guillemots (Uria aalge) are sm...

    Birds August 22, 2018
  • Some chickens really are peculiar

    Poultry shows more skull size variation than ancestors.

    It’s official. Crested chickens – those breeds which sport mop-tops and always look like they’ve been to a hairdresse...

    Birds August 12, 2018
  • Island life gives birds bigger brains

    Clever individuals do best in restricted environments.

    Birds that live on oceanic islands have larger brains than their relatives on the mainland, new research shows. And t...

    Birds August 1, 2018
  • Crows make tools by design, not by rote

    Experiment finds clear indications of culture.

    The crows of New Caledonia have a reputation for being clever, but new research indicates they may be able to pass on...

    Birds July 4, 2018
  • Parent birds don’t like the kids hanging around

    Nestlings that overstay their welcome endanger the brood.

    When is the best time to leave the nest? That’s the dilemma encountered by birds the world over. Staying home longer...

    Birds June 20, 2018
  • Sons and plovers: young birds are mummy’s boys

    Male red plovers raise daughters, and females look after sons.

    Australia’s smallest shorebird, the red-capped plover, is a sexually dimorphic species, with a brightly coloured male...

    Birds April 30, 2018
  • Birds may see magnetic field with help of protein

    Evidence of a special molecule to use magnetism for navigation.

    New research has taken a step further towards understanding how birds detect the magnetic field of the Earth and use ...

    Birds April 10, 2018
  • How to build the perfect egg

    Nanostructures make eggshells strong and weak.

    The changing nanostructure of bird eggs enables them to be sturdy enough to provide protection, yet fragile enough to...

    Birds April 3, 2018
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