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 >>

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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 >>

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 >>

animals
Pigeons Are Misunderstood Mermaids

Most city dwellers would agree that pigeons are sentient rubbish. They eat pizza off the ground and defecate with abandon, sometimes on pedestrians’ heads. Worst of all, they don’t seem terribly bothered by humans—they’ll flap their filthy wings in our faces and move on as if nothing happened. But yesterday just so happened to be Pigeon Appreciation Day (yes, really) so we’re giving them a little extra love. Like a diamond in the rough—or the chip at the bottom of the bin—it’s entirely possible these creatures have some kind of hidden goodness. Maybe. Read More >>

animals
Watch a Mesmerising Map of 118 Bird Species Migrating Throughout the Western Hemisphere

Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology has brewed up a hypnotising representation of birds flocking up and down the length of two continents over the course of a year. No more complaining about your commute. Read More >>