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Archaeological excavation unearths evidence of turkey domestication 1,500 years ago
Archaeologists have unearthed a clutch of domesticated turkey eggs used as a ritual offering 1,500 years ago in Oaxaca, Mexico -- some of the earliest evidence of turkey domestication. (2016-11-21)
A(H5N8) risk to humans is very low
Eight European countries have reported highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N8) viruses in birds and poultry. (2016-11-21)
Ducklings 'maintain two separate memory banks of visual information'
Scientists from the University of Oxford have shown that newly hatched ducklings that are shown a substitute mother object with only one eye do not recognize it when they have only the other eye available. (2016-11-17)
Study finds evidence of Deepwater Horizon oil in land-based birds
The ecological consequences of an environmental disaster can extend further than one may imagine as effects propagate through interconnected food webs. (2016-11-15)
Skillful cockatoos filmed making the same tool from different materials
Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna and the University of Oxford have shown that Goffin's cockatoos can make and use elongated tools of appropriate shape and length out of different materials, suggesting that the birds can anticipate how the tools will be used. (2016-11-15)
Deepwater Horizon oil shows up in sparrows
Scientists have identified the first evidence of Deepwater Horizon oil in a land animal -- the Seaside Sparrow. (2016-11-15)
Researchers uncover details behind dinosaur-era birds' feathers
Scientists have recently discovered a new bohaiornithid bird specimen from the Early Cretaceous Period of China with remarkably preserved feathers. (2016-11-14)
It's not a bird! It's not a plane! It's the fastest flying mammal, says UT study
When most people think of animals moving at high speed, they envision cheetahs or swiftly diving raptors. (2016-11-09)
Why do seabirds eat plastic? The answer stinks
We know plastic in the ocean is a problem. But why do seabirds eat marine plastic in the first place? A UC Davis study found that marine plastic debris emits the scent of a sulfurous compound that some seabirds have relied upon for thousands of years to tell them where to find food. This olfactory cue essentially tricks the birds into confusing marine plastic with food. (2016-11-09)
Brazilian free-tailed bat is the fastest flyer in the animal kingdom
Bats are not just skilful aviators, they can also reach record-breaking speeds. (2016-11-09)
Three new bird species discovered in Africa
Three never before documented bird species have been found in Africa, and researchers say there could well be more. (2016-11-09)
CT scans reveal birds' built-in air conditioners
Birds' beaks come in an incredible range of shapes and sizes, adapted for survival in environments around the world. (2016-11-09)
Original dinosaur claw sheath proteins preserved for 75 million years
New research from North Carolina State University shows that a 75-million-year-old Mongolian oviraptor, preserved while brooding its eggs, also preserved the original keratinous claw sheath that covered its digits. (2016-11-08)
Young birds less honest when competing against siblings
Chicks that are competing with siblings or whose parents are likely to die or switch partners tend to be less honest when begging for food, research into sibling rivalry in birds by Oxford University scientists has found. (2016-11-07)
The color of birds
New research provides insight into plumage evolution. (2016-11-03)
New research will create a 21st-century tally of biodiversity in Southwest Pacific
Rob Moyle is leading a major research effort in the region supported by $1.3 million from the National Science Foundation to conduct fieldwork, collect museum specimens, record bioacoustics and sequence DNA of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. (2016-11-02)
Chemical analysis demonstrates communal nesting in dinosaurs
The reproductive behaviors of birds are some of their most conspicuous and endearing qualities. (2016-10-28)
Ten months in the air without landing
The common swift flies 10 months on end without landing. (2016-10-27)
For 10 months out of the year, common swifts live in mid-air
Common swifts are known for their impressive aerial abilities, capturing food and nest material while in flight. (2016-10-27)
Tracking great reed-warblers' incredible African migration
Populations of many birds that migrate between Eurasia and Africa are in decline, and species that depend on wetlands are especially in trouble. (2016-10-26)
Experience with vehicles does not help birds avoid collisions
Researchers suspected that experience with passing vehicles may cause birds to adjust their avoidance responses -- specifically, to increase their flight initiation distances -- to keep from being hit. (2016-10-26)
A songbird's travelogue
Biologists at the University of Utah recently used light-weight geolocation technology to follow a species of songbird on its 10,000-kilometer migration from the Middle East to sub-Saharan Africa. (2016-10-26)
A rare window on the lives of young albatrosses
Understanding population dynamics is crucial for the conservation of long-lived species like albatrosses, but collecting data on albatrosses before they reach adulthood and begin to breed is challenging. (2016-10-26)
Research provides new insights on the impact of wild birds' social networks
New research looks into how social networks among wild great tits, as they forage in flocks during the winter, carry over into shaping the set locations at which the birds breed and raise their young during the spring. (2016-10-25)
Ancient proteins shown to control plant growth
A UCLA-led international team of life scientists reports the discovery of new mechanisms regulating plant growth that quite possibly provide new insights into how the mammalian biological clock affects human health. (2016-10-20)
New evolutionary finding: Species take different genetic paths to reach same trait
By studying Andean bird species adapted to high altitudes, University of Nebraska-Lincoln biologist Jay Storz and colleagues found that even if natural selection produces similar beneficial traits in different species, evolutionary changes at the molecular level are idiosyncratic and less predictable. (2016-10-20)
Azure-winged magpies show human-like generosity
Azure-winged magpies take any opportunity to provide food to their group members, even without receiving any reward themselves. (2016-10-18)
Migration ranges of flying birds depend on body size and flight style
The decades-long tracking of flying birds reveals that body size and flight styles determine the scale of birds' migration, as predicted by the aerodynamic theory of bird flight. (2016-10-18)
Genetic diversity crucial to Florida scrub-jay's survival
Legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold once advised: 'To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.' For the endangered Florida scrub-jay, new research shows that saving every last grouping among its small and scattered remnant populations is vital to preserving genetic diversity -- and the long-term survival of the species. (2016-10-14)
Why some hummingbirds choose to balloon up before flying south
New study finds that some hummingbirds add as much as 40 percent to their body mass four days before migration. (2016-10-13)
Biologists use genomics to identify evolving new bird species in southern Idaho
The South Hills crossbill, potentially a newly discovered species of finch, has evolved over the past 6,000 years with a unique dependence on its food source, the Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine, in a coevolutionary arms race that also changed the tree, according to a genomic study led by Tom Parchman, a biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno. (2016-10-13)
Better insights into drivers of avian flu outbreak
The 2014-15 outbreak of avian flu was likely driven by long-distant migrant birds, a new study reveals. (2016-10-13)
Migration routes hold key to bird flu spread, global study finds
Monitoring the migration routes of wild birds could help to provide early warning of potential bird flu outbreaks, experts say. (2016-10-13)
Oldest known squawk box suggests dinosaurs likely did not sing
The oldest known vocal organ of a bird has been found in an Antarctic fossil of a relative of ducks and geese that lived more than 66 million years ago during the age of dinosaurs. (2016-10-12)
Blue tit migration decisions may be governed by energy needs and environment
Blue tit feeding and exploratory behavior during migration may be driven by their need for energy and environmental information, according to a study published Oct. (2016-10-12)
Wind turbines killing more than just local birds, study finds
Wind turbines are known to kill large birds, such as golden eagles, that live nearby. (2016-10-12)
Invasive plants dye woodpeckers red
An ornithological mystery has been solved! Puzzling red feathers have been popping up in eastern North America's 'yellow-shafted' population of Northern Flickers, but they aren't due to genes borrowed from their 'red-shafted' cousins to the west, according to a new study in The Auk: Ornithological Advances. (2016-10-12)
Eggs from small flocks just as likely to contain Salmonella enteritidis
Eggs from small flocks of chickens are just as likely to be contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis -- often referred to as SE -- as eggs sold in grocery stores, which typically come from larger flocks, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. (2016-10-11)
Research finds that birds behave like human musicians
The tuneful behavior of some songbirds parallels that of human musicians. (2016-10-06)
How do birds dive safely at high speeds? New research explains
Some species of seabirds plunge-dive at speeds greater than 50 miles per hour to surprise their prey. (2016-10-05)
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