Birds

  • 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
  • Songbirds show remarkable flexibility in learning tunes

    The findings could give new insights into human speech development. Natalie Parletta reports.

    Young songbirds can learn tunes from another species, according to new research, and the underlying neural processes ...

    Birds August 12, 2019
  • Can you stare down a seagull?

    Taking the initiative may save your lunch.

    Staring at seagulls makes them less likely to steal your food, a new study – and these videos – suggest. When resear...

    Birds August 7, 2019
  • 50 million years needed for NZ’s lost birds to recover

    When whole lineages go extinct, what are the long-term evolutionary impacts? Tanya Loos reports.

    The kakapo or owl parrot (Strigops habroptilus) is one of the bird species endemic to New Zealand.Andrew Digby / Curr...

    Birds August 5, 2019
  • Unhatched chicks warn each other of danger

    Inside their shells, they are picking up bad vibrations. Mark Bruer reports.

    Eggs of a yellow-legged gull, possibly swapping vibrations.Santiago Urquijo / Getty ImagesBaby birds still in their s...

    Birds July 22, 2019
  • Birds on Twitter

    Social media users track species movement linked to climate change.

    Social media has helped researchers discover 55 animal species they say have been forced to more to or around the UK ...

    Birds July 18, 2019
  • Best foot forward

    Ancient bird had a giant toe.

    If you think this ancient bird has odd looking feet, you’re right.Chinese researchers have discovered that Elektororn...

    Birds July 12, 2019
  • Hunting hawks hold clues to catching rogue drones

    Studying raptor attack modes has implications for mechanical aerial defence. Nick Carne reports.

    To help design good drones that can intercept bad drones, scientists have taken a close look at the way hawks attack ...

    Birds June 13, 2019
  • Egg temperatures govern the way chicks walk

    Incubation settings have surprisingly large effects on motor control, research reveals. Andrew Ma...

    Small and short variations in the temperature of incubating eggs can have significant developmental effects on the re...

    Birds June 11, 2019
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