Birds

  • Bird flu switches from chickens to ducks

    Unexpected mutations enable pathogen to adopt a new host.

    The H7N9 pathogen that triggered the 2013 global bird flu pandemic has pivoted away from chickens and has now colonis...

    Birds September 27, 2018
  • Aussies urged to backyard birdwatch

    Survey aims to chart wildlife in urban areas.

    With spring around the corner in the Southern Hemisphere, Australian researchers are urging you to venture outside an...

    Birds September 11, 2018
  • Spying on pretty flamingos

    What do captive birds do when the zoo is closed?

    What do zoo animals get up to when the gates are closed and the visitors and staff gone home?It’s an entrancing que...

    Birds September 11, 2018
  • 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
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