If you start listening to birds, you’ll realize that they have a species-specific sets of calls. Would you consider these songs a form of culture? Maybe, maybe not—but bird calls are passed down through generations, much as human traditions are. And it appears that some birds may have song traditions that persist over…
Bird parents, like many human mothers and fathers, often struggle to become empty nesters. But as new research suggests, the tension that arises between baby birds who don’t want to leave the nest and parents who would very much like them out ultimately results in an ideal departure time that boosts survival rates.
With yet another Jurassic Park movie headed to theaters, 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…
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!
Birds have evolved some very strange features and behaviors in order to woo mates. Birds-of-paradise feathers are a natural vantablack. Bowerbirds build elaborate and colorful nests. And it seems that Costa’s hummingbirds control how females hear the sound of their dives.
Birds probably know quantum physics better than many humans—it just comes to them innately.
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.
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…
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a rare bird. But not all birds are rare because of their species. Some are common birds that are just... really weird looking.
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…
You may have learned in school that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes: 22 “autosomes” and their partners, which contain pretty much the same genes and in the same order, plus one pair of sex chromosomes that lead to the differentiation in sexual traits. But enough about us. The Amazonian Leptodactylus pentadactylus…
From the ground, a flock of “murmurating” starlings look absolutely hypnotic. Now imagine how this falcon must feel as it tries to snatch a quick meal from the dazzling throng.
If you’ve seen BBC’s Planet Earth, you may recall of one of its sillier scenes: the superb 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…
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.
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?
Nobody likes it when a bird poops on their car. But the residents of a wealthy neighborhood in Bristol, England seem to have taken this dislike to another level. They’ve installed anti-bird spikes on local trees. Humans really are the worst.
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 rumors that a rare bird might be pecking at a tree in a graveyard.
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.
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.