Science


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The 20-Year Quest to Track Down Every Bird-of-Paradise Species Before They Vanish

Edwin Scholes has taken dozens of bush plane flights, helicopters and boat trips, and spent countless hours hauling gear up muddy mountains in New Guinea, for nothing more than a song and dance. Sometimes, he only manages to capture a few seconds of footage of the rainforest performances he seeks before his subjects…Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Conservation, Evolution, New Guinea, Bird Of Paradise, Edwin Scholes


The Worst Pain in the World, Bendable Phones, and Joshua Tree: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

Ten hut, Gizmodo readers! Do you have a New Year’s Resolution you should be working on? Do not answer that rhetorical question, because yours are the feeble dreams of weaklings and mine is to whip this sorry, good-for-nothing blog audience squad into shape!Read more...
Tags: Food, Gadgets, Comics, Astronomy, TV, Science, Technology, Privacy, Syfy, Ces, Glass, Surveillance, Physics, Birds, International Space Station, Ocean


Deadly Bird Battles May Be Another Weird Consequence of Climate Change

Climate change seems to be leading to more fatal conflict between a pair of bird species, according to a new study. The research demonstrates an important indirect consequence of a warming globe.Read more...
Tags: Science, Climate Change, Environment, Birds, Birdmodo, Great Tits, Pied Flycatchers


Scientists Have a Plan to Turn Seabirds Into Tiny Ocean Science Labs

In the future, cyborg birds may help monitor ocean currents and help ground-truth satellite data. It may sound like an odd prognostication, but a study released on Thursday in Scientific Reports lays the groundwork.Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Ocean, Weird Science, Do Androids Dream Of Cyborg Seabirds, Ocean Currents, Ocean Science Labs


Female penguins 'get stranded more because they travel further'

Longer journeys may exhaust females, say scientists tracking birds off South American coastEvery year, thousands of Magellanic penguins get stranded along the coast of South America – but puzzlingly, about 75% of those that get stuck are female. Now scientists say they have worked out what is behind the gender imbalance: the females migrate further north than males.Magellanic penguins finish breeding in Patagonia in February, and during the subsequent winter months head north, reaching as far as...
Tags: Science, Animals, Environment, Americas, World news, Birds, Wildlife, Conservation, Brazil, Argentina, Patagonia, South America


Some Hummingbird Beaks Are Better Suited for Combat Than Nectar Feeding

With their elongated bills and specially adapted tongues, hummingbirds are built to extract nectar from flowers. As new research shows, however, some hummingbirds from South America have evolved beaks designed to poke, prod, and pinch—at the expense of feeding proficiency.Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Evolution, South America, Animal Behavior, Hummingbirds, Better Suited for Combat Than Nectar Feeding


We Need a New Christmas Bird

Since taking up birding in earnest, I’ve started noticing the birds that appear on Christmas merchandise like stockings, cards, and ornaments. And I think we can do better. Read more...
Tags: Science, Christmas, Birds, Birding, Bad Takes, Birdmodo, Red Crossbill


Dinosaurs are alive! Here’s how we know, and why it matters

For most of the 20th century, figuring out the origin of birds was a great challenge of evolutionary biology — they didn't seem to fit anywhere. Then, in the late 20th century, a group of scientists discovered that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs, which were large, bipedal meat-eaters like the Velociraptor or the T-Rex. The bird-from-dinosaur theory was considered to be a crackpot idea but after three decades of research, the evidence became irrefutable. Finally, the discovery of feather...
Tags: Science, Biology, Animals, Nature, Birds, Innovation, Dinosaurs, Evolution, Darwin, Paleontology, Richard Prum


The Northern Cardinal Is Actually Multiple Species, Evidence Suggests

New scientific results have strengthened the case that the ubiquitous northern cardinal could be two species of bird or more.Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Evolution, Ecology, Birdmodo


World's Oldest Wild Bird Just Laid Another Dang Egg

The world’s oldest wild bird, Wisdom the Laysan albatross, has once again returned to her breeding grounds, and she has laid another egg. She is at least 68 years old, but doesn’t look a day over 6.Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, Wisdom, Birds, Conservation, Birding, USFWS, Laysan albatross


DNA Testing Reveals Baffling Bird Is Three Species in One

A Pennsylvania birder spotted the bird of a lifetime in his backyard this past spring—it was a hybrid of three species across two genera in a single bird. He’d found a three-in-one warbler.Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, Birds, Pennsylvania, Hybrids, Ornithology, Evolutionary Biology, Birdmodo


Stop Feeding the Hot Duck

Hot Duck mania has gripped the internet. It’s sent birding twitter atwittering, and the New York City news media seems to hang on the duck’s every move. At this point, the duck may be a semi-permanent fixture of the park, and it’s good that so many people love it.Read more...
Tags: Science, New York City, Birds, Hot Duck


The Central Park Mandarin Duck Went Missing. I Tried To Find It.

NEW YORK — I can’t even get the binoculars to work.
Tags: New York, Science, Animals, Birds, Ducks, Central Park, Birding, Mandarin duck, Hot Duck, Sexy Duck, Cool Duck


How a Tiny Flightless Bird Ended Up on an Island in the Middle of the Ocean

An island half the size of Manhattan in the south Atlantic Ocean is so isolated, it’s called Inaccessible Island. On that island, and only on that island, live nearly 6,000 puny featherballs called Inaccessible Island rails. But they can’t fly, and the island is only a few million years old. How did the birds get…Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Manhattan, Atlantic Ocean, Birdmodo, Inaccessible Island, Inaccessible Island Rail, Flightless Birds, Goofballs, Doofuses, Middle of the Ocean


How extreme beauty might defy survival of the fittest

The Great Argus Pheasant is a six-foot-long bird with elaborate ornamentation on its wings, including golden orbs that create a 3D optical illusion. It fans its feathers in a full hemisphere above the female hen as part of its mating display. Is all that beauty just a signal of fit and healthy genes?Perhaps not, says Yale ornithologist Richard Prum. The 'beauty happens' hypothesis, or aesthetic evolution by mate choice, was an idea first proposed by Charles Darwin—but it is still not accepted as...
Tags: Science, Biology, Animals, Nature, Birds, Yale, Innovation, Evolution, Charles Darwin, Darwin, Prum, Richard Prum


Why Do Birds Have Colorful Eggs? Because They're Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs laid colorful eggs. Birds lay colorful eggs. You do the math.Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, Birds, Dinosaurs, Paleontology, Birds Are Dinosaurs, Modern Day Dinosaurs


Spooky Shrieking Bird Looks and Sounds Like Something Out of a Horror Movie

You walk alone through a foggy forest with nothing but your day bag and binoculars. Birds and insects call quietly as they fly above and creep below. Suddenly, you hear a piercing, metallic alarm like nothing else in nature, followed by an even higher squeal—it sounds like microphone feedback, and it only grows louder…Read more...
Tags: Halloween, Science, Birds, Three Wattled Bellbird


Drunk Pigeon Is All of Us, as Well as New Zealand's Bird of the Year

New Zealand has some weird birds, and they know it. Sure, you’ve probably seen the Seussian kiwi, but what about the kākāpo, a flightless parrot that looks like a particularly friendly owl? Have you heard of the morepork, an owl so named because it sounds like it shouts “MORE PORK,” or the wrybill, the only bird with…Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, New Zealand, Stephen Fry, Endangered Species, Invasive Species, Kakapo, Birbs, Forest Bird, Kererū, Endemism


This Hilarious Optical Illusion for Birds Could Save Your Life

Birds and planes are a bad combination, but it’s not so easy to shoo our avian friends away from airport runways. Thankfully, scientists from France have stumbled upon an ingenious solution to the problem—an optical illusion that appears to scare the crap out of large predatory birds.Read more...
Tags: Eyes, Science, Airports, Biology, France, Birds, Birds Of Prey, Animal Behavior, Optical Illusions, Vision, Raptors, Animal Vision, Look Into My Eyes


Barn Owl pellet

Barn Owl (Tyto alba) hunting over Rampton, VC29 If you have ever stopped to think about the gustatory habits of owls, then you have perhaps wondered what happens to all the bones and fur from the little creatures on which they predate after they eat them. Dry Barn Owl pellet, obtained from WWT Welney Well, avian digestive enzymes do not have the capacity to break down bones and fur and as the flesh and organs are digested those materials accumulate in the upper gastrointestinal tract form...
Tags: Science, Biology, Birds, Sciencebase, Rampton, Boney, Mrs Sciencebase, WWT Welney


Moths Caught Drinking Tears From the Eyes of Sleeping Birds

In an oddly poetic act, moths will on occasion drink the tears from the eyes of a sleeping bird. Sounds harmless, but this rare interaction is an unmistakably one-sided affair. Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, Birds, Animal Behavior, Parasites, Moths, Parasitism, Antbirds


New Story, Same Big Old Bird

Madagascar’s history contains some truly enormous animals, from giant lemurs to giant tortoises. The island was also home to 10-foot-tall flightless birds, which sadly disappeared hundreds of years ago. But how we humans classified those birds was, well, a mess.Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, Oops, Birds, Modeling, Ecology, Madagascar, Extinction, Elephant Birds


Beautiful New Andean Hummingbird Is Already Critically Endangered

High in the Ecuadorian Andes, a stunningly beautiful species of hummingbird—decorated with a flashy, sapphire throat—has revealed itself to science for the first time. But scientists fear it’s already perilously close to extinction.Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Endangered Species, Hummingbird


Check Out This Incredible Extinct Bird From the Cretaceous Period

The discovery of a 127-million-year-old fossil in northeastern China is filling an important evolutionary gap between modern birds and the winged, dinosaur-like creatures that came before them.Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, China, Flight, Birds, Evolution, Paleontology, Evolution Of Flight, Ancient Birds, Birds Are Dinosaurs


Cute Blue Bird From Rio Now Believed to Be Extinct in the Wild

Anyone who’s seen the funky Pixar movie Rio knows of the Spix’s macaw, the beautiful and goofy blue bird thought to be among the last of his kind in the film. While the character Blu succeeds in saving his species by falling in love and ultimately becoming a father, the reality isn’t nearly as sweet. Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Conservation, Rip, Pixar, Blu, Spixs Macaw


New Zealand Penguins Travel 1,500 Miles for Food in Marathon Migration

New research into the migration habits of Tawaki penguins has revealed an absolutely marathon trek in which these aquatic birds travel upwards of 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) from home, sometimes swimming as much as 50 miles (80 kilometers) per day to reach their feeding sites.Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, Birds, Penguins, Animal Migrations, Penguin Migrations, Aquatic Birds, New Zealand Penguins, Tawaki Penguins, New Zealand Penguins Travel, Miles for Food in Marathon Migration


Link About It: This Week’s Picks

An electric E-Type, budget art investing, early species interbreeding and more in our look around the internet Buy Shares in Masterpieces For $20 For those of us who could never afford a Warhol or Monet for ourselves, there is another option: purchasing a stake in newly acquired, soon-to-be-resold art. On Masterworks, a new platform aimed at opening art up to a broader investing audience, shares …
Tags: Art, Photography, Science, Design, Animals, Planes, Cars, Tech, History, Cameras, Birds, Airplanes, Robots, Jaguar, Nikon, Robotics


1,000-Year-Old Macaw Breeding Community in the American Southwest

Piles of macaw bones found in Arizona and New Mexico—well outside the bird’s native range in South and Central America—have been dated to between 900 and 1200 CE. New findings—based on an analysis of mitochondrial genomes—have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest that this is the result of breeders inside an an undiscovered pre-hispanic settlement from this time. It is likely that …
Tags: Science, Design, Animals, History, Birds, Culture, Arizona, New Mexico, Central America, Linkaboutit, National Academy of Sciences, American Southwest


Blue-and-Yellow Macaws Turn Pink to Communicate, but What Are They Saying?

Do you ever get so excited about something that your whole face starts to turn red? Well, it seems that blue-and-yellow macaws do the same thing, according to new research—though the exact reason they go red in the face is still unknown. Read more...
Tags: Science, Birds, Emotion, Animal Intelligence, Birdmodo, Macaws


Scientists Find Evidence of 1,000-Year-Old Parrot-Breeding Operation in the American Southwest

DNA evidence appears to have revealed an ancient parrot-breeding operation in the southwestern United States, a new study reports.Read more...
Tags: Science, Biology, Mexico, Genetics, Birds, United States, Archaeology, Southwest, Birdmodo, Scarlet Macaws



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