Archives for category: Birds

Once extinct in the UK, bitterns are at their highest numbers. BBC Earth

Migrating golden-winged warblers fled one day ahead of the US 2014 tornado – BBC News

Flying in a V formation is more efficient, and birds are able to match their wingbeats with the bird in front to make it even more efficient.

The smaller the animal, the slower it seems to see time pass – this could be why flies find it so easy to avoid our rolled up newspapers.

See the original research in Animal Behaviour.

Penguins can’t fly because their wings have become adapted for swimming. The guillemot, which is very closely related, can only just fly, but like the penguin is excellent at diving.

Domestic cats in the US kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds a year, and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion mammals a year, though most of these are feral cats.

Read the original paper in Nature Communications.

City birds have been spotted using cigarette butts to make their nests. Birds have long used plants that keep away parasites as anti-pest warfare in their nests, and this may be a modern variation, as nicotine is an effective pesticide.

Read the original paper in Biology Letters.

Researchers have watched hummingbirds flying backwards and have found that it uses no more energy than flying forwards.

Because of fossils and anatomy studies it looked like turtles evolved from lizards and snakes, but new genetic research shows that they have evolved from the same ancestor as birds and crocodiles.

Read the abstract in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Crows can recognise familiar human (and bird) voices, which could explain how they are so successful – they can learn which people and birds to avoid, and which are safe.

Read the abstract in Animal Cognition.

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