Birds

  • Darker eggs have their purpose

    Colour helps with survival in more ways than one.

    An egg’s ability to maintain temperature within strict limits is critical to the survival of a developing bird embryo...

    Birds October 28, 2019
  • Birds wing it in many ways

    Their movement, not shape, determines flight behaviour, study shows.

    Some of the wings from Vancouver’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum used in the study: (top to bottom) gyrfalcon (Falco rust...

    Birds October 24, 2019
  • Meet the loudest bird in the world

    In the Amazon, the amps are turned up to 11.

    The male white bellbird (Procnias albus), which lives atop mountains in the Amazon region of northern Brazil, is – fo...

    Birds October 21, 2019
  • Rare breeding behaviour in Californian bird

    The phainopepla migrates and breeds across vastly different habitats. Tanya Loos reports.

    GPS data suggests that Phainopeplas breed in two different locations each year. They would be only the third bird sp...

    Birds October 15, 2019
  • Bird mating habits challenge evolution

    Multi-year study finds nest parasites breed as a matter of principle. Barry Keily reports.

    A seven-year US study into the mating habits of a parasitic bird has confirmed one evolutionary theory and contradict...

    Birds September 30, 2019
  • The decline of nature’s song

    New study on US and Canadian bird populations signals ‘a widespread ecological crisis’. Ian Conne...

    North American bird populations have declined by 29% since 1970, according to a report published in Science.The loss ...

    Birds September 19, 2019
  • Girl songbirds like a guy who can really sing

    Research adds a new piece to the evolutionary puzzle. Tanya Loos reports.

    New research reveals that the evolution of song learning in male birds may be driven by female bird choice. By select...

    Birds September 16, 2019
  • Beware white owls when it’s a full moon

    Light-reflecting plumage tricks their prey.

    The plumage of white barn owls (Tyto alba) appears to be a unique evolutionary quirk that helps them catch common vol...

    Birds September 2, 2019
  • Darwin’s finches inform and confuse

    Extinct populations had higher genetic diversity than many survivors.

    Charles Darwin’s famous Galápagos finches are once again helping us to understand the natural world. New research on...

    Birds September 1, 2019
  • Crows shouldn’t have fries with that

    Human food boosts their cholesterol, research shows.

    Scavenging for scraps is a smart survival tactic for city birds, but there may be a downside. Though that’s not clear...

    Birds August 26, 2019
  • Birds dress to impress – and avoid

    For a select few, two feather changes a year is the norm. Nick Carne reports.

    Some birds moult twice a year, changing colours as well as actual feathers when they do – and now scientists think th...

    Birds August 25, 2019
  • When sleep is the imperative

    Study finds some migrating birds put it ahead of security.

    This garden warbler (Sylvia borin) looks sharp and well rested in this photo. The question is what risks it might hav...

    Birds August 19, 2019
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