Birds

  • 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 entire 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
  • City blackbirds are sicker, but longer lived

    Study finds biomarkers for city birds sound warnings.

    Blackbirds in urban areas are in poorer health than their country cousins but, paradoxically, are living longer. Com...

    Birds March 21, 2018
  • Female birdsong ignored, researchers say

    Dismissing female song as irrelevant is a serious error.

    In one of the stranger expressions of gender inequality, female birdsong has been largely ignored by ornithologists, ...

    Birds March 15, 2018
  • Australian raptors start fires to flush out prey

    The first recorded instance of fire being used by animals.

    Australian Aboriginal lore is replete with references to birds carrying fire, and some traditional ceremonies even de...

    Birds January 12, 2018
  • The beauty of ecology

    Stunning images celebrating both scientific and photographic skills.

    At first glance this photograph of Heron Reef, in the southernmost section of the Great Barrier Reef, looks somewhat ...

    Biology August 18, 2017
  • Why are crows so smart?

    In fact as smart as a seven-year-old human.

    They can recognise faces, use tools – even drop nuts on a road for cars to crack (then pick them up with the safety o...

    Birds March 9, 2016
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