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 >>

science
Poo Stains Seen From Space Lead to Discovery of Massive Penguin ‘Supercolony’

After noticing the telltale signs of guano streaks on satellite imagery, an international team of researchers set out to count the number of penguins on Antarctica’s aptly named Danger Islands. They found a previously undetected supercolony of over 1.5 million Adélie penguins—a surprising result, given how poorly these aquatic birds are doing just 100 miles away. Read More >>

animals
Nigel the Bird Found Dead Next to The Concrete Partner He Tried to Woo For Years

Twenty years ago, conservationists in New Zealand placed 80 fake gannet birds on Mana Island in an attempt to attract some real-life gannets. But only one bird finally showed up in 2015. That bird, which locals named Nigel, spent years in a futile effort to woo a mate who was made of concrete. But sadly, Nigel has been found dead next to his stone cold partner. Read More >>

animals
Thousands of Starlings Evade a Pesky Falcon in This Stunning Visual Display

From the ground, a flock of “murmurating” starlings looks absolutely hypnotic. Now imagine how this falcon must feel as it tries to snatch a quick meal from the dazzling throng. Read More >>

birds
These Birds Evolved Feathers So Dark, They’re Like A ‘Black Hole’

If you’ve seen BBC’s Planet Earth, you may recall of one of its sillier scenes: the bird-of-paradise mating dance. A female hops up to a male, who unveils a mane of feathers and puts on a performance like a drunk rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” at a karaoke bar. But when the male bird faces the camera, things go black—way black. Skip to 2:34 in the video below. This bird’s feathers are so black that you can’t see any of its facial features, just radiant blues on a sea of natural Vantablack. Read More >>

birds
Scotland Tests Laser Eagle Scarer

Some parts of rural Scotland are lucky enough to have white tailed sea eagles flying about above them, which is lovely for wildlife enthusiasts and tourists. Problem is, crofters who rear sheep in the area are just about fed up with the threat some of these birds pose to their lambs each spring. Hence ultimate tech cureall LASERS to the rescue. Read More >>

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A Kookaburra Bird Laughing in Slow Motion Is Your New Nightmare Fuel

All it takes is a few minutes of scrolling through Twitter to make it nearly impossible to fall asleep at night. But if it’s a genuine, horror-inspired nightmare you’re seeking to end your chances of restful slumber, just watch this video of a kookaburra laughing in extreme slow motion. Read More >>

science
A Single Bird Caused a £165,000 Boost to the US Economy

Birding is the best. It’s Pokémon Go but more unpredictable and real. There are few educational thrills quite like waking up early in the morning and grabbing your binoculars to travel far away, chasing rumours that a rare bird might be pecking at a tree in a graveyard. Read More >>

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This Cockatiel Can Sing an Apple Ringtone Perfectly and It’s Freaking Us Out

A video of a cockatiel singing a famous ringtone melody has us wondering why these birds are so good at mimicking sounds they wouldn’t normally hear in their natural environment. Come to think of it, why are these feathered impersonators such copycats in the first place? Read More >>

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I Can’t Believe There Isn’t a Single Collision in This Massive Swarm of Birds

Filmmaker Jan van Ijken’s documentary, The Art of Flying, captures the hypnotic movements of hundreds of thousands of starlings flying in massive flocks that appear to be completely random and chaotic, but miraculously, not a single mid-air collision ever occurs. Read More >>

porn
Facebook Algorithms Find Christmas Card Offensive

This painted image of a robin has been deemed too rude for Facebook, with the site's autonomous scanning and filtering systems rejecting it from inclusion in sales listings for being an adult item or some sort of advert for sex. Read More >>

science
Backyard Bird Feeders May Be Altering the Course of Evolution

Evolution works very slowly—except when it doesn’t. New research shows that certain British birds appear to be changing quickly as result of bird feeders, evolving longer beaks to help them access the food inside. Read More >>

science
DNA Evidence Reveals True Identity of Elusive Bird Species 

Ornithologist Wulf Gatter spent six days a week observing birds in the forest of Liberia, the West African country. He spotted one seen nowhere else, a medium-sized yellow songbird, on nine occasions during the county’s annual dry season lasting from November to February. It looked quite similar to another species, but had never-before-seen white markings on its wings. He finally captured a specimen towards the end of his visit in 1984—it seemed like he’d found a whole new species, which he named Phyllastrephus leucolepis, the Liberian Greenbul. Read More >>