Birds

  • History

    Florence Merriam Bailey flips the bird

    She made it fashionable to watch not wear them.

    In the late 19th century one of the first environmental protection movements sprang up, triggered by public concerns ...

    Features July 3, 2020
  • Migrating birds adapt to changing seasons

    Population declines likely due to human land use.

    Birds that fly long distances across continents in spring are more flexible in adapting their migrations to a changin...

    Birds July 1, 2020
  • Birds change their tunes after wildfires

    Dialects reflect ecosystem processes, study shows.

    Wildfires can change the tunes of birds in nearby forests, according to a new study published in The Auk: Ornithologi...

    Birds June 16, 2020
  • For the evolution of smarts, parents matter

    Songbird research shows cognitive and survival benefits.

    Humans are not the only species that enjoy prolonged childhoods: elephants, whales, dolphins and some bats and birds ...

    Birds June 3, 2020
  • Cassowaries shine in an interesting way

    Study suggests its due to feather shape.

    The cassowary achieves its luxuriously glossy plumage through modifications to feather shape similar to the hair stru...

    Birds May 14, 2020
  • Feathers, digits and the Sonic hedgehog

    Biologists suggest they are all linked.

    Bird feathers and human digits share a remarkably similar developmental history, according to a new study. Grafts ...

    Birds May 7, 2020
  • How birds evolved big brains

    They once compared well with dinosaurs.

    Birds and non-avian dinosaurs had similar relative brain sizes prior to the mass extinction at the end of the Cretace...

    Birds April 24, 2020
  • The social lives of flamingos

    It’s a complex world of groups and besties.

    You could probably base a reality TV series on the lives of flamingos, such is the complexity of their social lives. ...

    Birds April 16, 2020
  • For birds, innovation is survival

    Study shows novel behaviours lower extinction risk.

    If you’ve ever ventured beyond admiring the assorted dazzling plumages of birds or simply enjoying their symphony of ...

    Birds April 7, 2020
  • Parrots do probability

    Study finds evidence of statistical inference beyond great apes.

    A New Zealand-based PhD student has teamed up with a parrot called Blofeld and, together, they have raised the “spect...

    Birds March 3, 2020
  • Birds migrated through the last ice age

    Surprise finding could help predict future adaptations.

    Birds have been migrating much longer than previously thought; in fact, research published in the journal Nature Comm...

    Birds February 18, 2020
  • Look up, albatross at work

    Giant birds recruited in fight against illegal fishing.

    One in three boats fishing in international waters is probably doing so illegally – and we know that thanks to a flee...

    Birds January 27, 2020
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