conservation
Cute Blue Bird From Rio Now Believed to Be Extinct in the Wild

Anyone who’s seen the funky animated movie Rio knows of the Spix’s macaw, the beautiful and goofy blue bird thought to be among the last of his kind in the film. While the character Blu succeeds in saving his species by falling in love and ultimately becoming a father, the reality isn’t nearly as sweet. Read More >>

animals
New Zealand Penguins Travel 1,500 Miles for Food in Marathon Migration

New research into the migration habits of Tawaki penguins has revealed an absolutely marathon trek in which these aquatic birds travel upwards of 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometres) from home, sometimes swimming as much as 50 miles (80 kilometres) per day to reach their feeding sites. Read More >>

archaeology
Scientists Find Evidence of 1,000-Year-Old Parrot-Breeding Operation in the American Southwest

DNA evidence appears to have revealed an ancient parrot-breeding operation in the southwestern United States, a new study reports. Read More >>

animals
French Theme Park Employs Trained Birds to Pick Up Cigarette Butts

A French theme park has begun using six trained birds belonging to the crow family to pick up litter and cigarette butts, the BBC reports. Read More >>

science
These Australian Birds Learn About Danger by Listening to Their Friends

If you heard a bear roar for the first time but didn’t see the snarling beast, what would you think? Would you be scared? Maybe, but maybe not—the forest is full of strange noises. But what if, at the same time, one of your friends said, “Holy shit, I know all about that clawed monster and we need to get in the car”? Read More >>

science
How Does Your Self-Control Fare Against Great Tits’?

Great tits appear to have nearly as much self-control as chimpanzees, if a new experiment’s results are accurate. They might even have more self-control than the humans who still make jokes about the name “great tit.” Read More >>

science
Crows Are Officially More Badass Than Ravens, Citizen Scientists Report

Crows and ravens are hard to tell apart, but basically, the common raven is bigger than the American and Northwestern crow. So, you might think that ravens would win in a fight. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Read More >>

photography
A Tit, an Owl, and Some Parakeets: Winning Pics From the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards

Photographing wildlife takes a special combination of patience and talent. Birds make the task even more difficult, since they are experts at flying away and disappearing into tall trees. Read More >>

science
Neat Experiment Suggests Crows Are Even Better Tool-Makers Than We Thought

New research shows that crows can recreate tools from memory, a capacity previously thought impossible for birds. Read More >>

animals
Canadian Music Festival Nearly Placed on Hold Due to a Single Nesting Bird

Birds couldn’t care less about your human entertainment, and a killdeer certainly isn’t going to change its breeding plans to accommodate Ottawa’s annual Bluesfest music festival. Read More >>

dinosaurs
T-Rex’s Tongue Was Firmly Stuck in Its Mouth, Study Finds

With yet another Jurassic Park film out in cinemas, it’s the perfect time for busybody scientists to shatter our conceptions of how dinosaurs looked and acted. The latest dino truth bomb comes courtesy of a new study published Wednesday in PLOS One. It suggests that most dinosaurs, including the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex, couldn’t stick out their tongues the way many modern reptiles and birds do. Read More >>

science
Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Rewrote the History of Birds

The asteroid that hit Earth 65 million years ago didn’t just suck for the big lizards. Shockwaves likely knocked down the trees, fires would have burned up entire forests, and less light would have meant fewer plants. What if you were a bird who lived in those trees! That was your home! Read More >>

biology
These Male Hummingbirds Manipulate the Sound of Their Flying to Attract Mates

Birds have evolved some very strange features and behaviours in order to woo mates. Birds-of-paradise feathers are a natural vantablack. Bowerbirds build elaborate and colourful nests. And it seems that Costa’s hummingbirds control how females hear the sound of their dives. Read More >>

biology
Scientists Identify Protein That Could Let Birds See Magnetic Fields

To help them navigate long distances across the globe, birds are thought to have proteins in their eyes that could perhaps let them literally see the Earth’s magnetic field, a bit like a natural heads-up display. Two teams of scientists now think they’ve identified the light-sensitive protein key to this process, which relies on an innate attribute of electrons called “spin,” one of the most quantum mechanical properties there is. Read More >>

science
Ancient Baby Bird Was Only the Size of a Cockroach

Scientists have discovered a nearly complete skeleton of a baby bird only about the size of a cockroach—perhaps the smallest baby bird fossil ever found from the dinosaur era, according to a new paper. Read More >>