Vocal learning in birds is a lot like how people learn language.
Could mating preferences, like females preferring males who sing complex songs, affect the evolution of learning? Insights from birds could have clues for how people learn throughout their lives.
Scientists have discovered how the wise old barn owl is so good at catching rodents.
Hummingbirds flap their wings 800 times per minute.
Dino Hans Farnese/Shutterstock.com
How do hummingbirds drink sugary nectar and not get sick? Don't they need a balanced diet to stay healthy? Do they eat anything else?
A Eurasian stone-curlew stands amid short grass.
Conservationists have found a shortcut in the race to save Earth's threatened species.
scullydion / shutterstock
Scientists looked at thousands of studies to see how animals were adapting to higher temperatures.
A male Olive-backed Euphonia (
Euphonia gouldi), photographed in Costa Rica.
Birds spend a lot of time and energy singing, but they don't do it the same way in every season of the year. And some can't sing at all. What's the purpose of birdsong?
Nests are not for sleep. They are for babies.
We need to understand what a swallow's nest is really for – and it is not mainly for sleeping.
Parakeets from South Asia have established themselves in London.
Guy RD / shutterstock
Alien species are more likely to survive in a new habitat when environmental conditions are similar to their native home.
A Small Tree Finch from the Galápagos Islands with an enlarged nostril caused by a parasite.
Katharina J Peters
An infestation as a chick leads to enlarged nostrils in the beak of Darwin finches, and that affects their mating call.
European bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
Even in the breeding grounds, we found that European bee-eaters preferred the company of some birds over others. These tended to be the individuals they migrated with.
Models suggest that the effects of climate change will devastate the already threatened Timneh Parrot.
A bat in a cave among the poo.
Ancient poo from bats and birds can tell you what type of vegetation they were feeding on at that time.
A pair of Seychelles Warblers tend to their chick.
Janske Van De Crommenacker
Why some individuals age faster than others is a mystery, but new research suggests help with childcare is significant.
Yolks are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins packaged up by the female animal for an embryo.
Emily Nunell/The Conversation CC-NY-BD
A yolk allows a developing animal to stay in an egg longer, boosting its chance of survival. The downside is the mother has to work hard finding extra food so her body can create a nutritious yolk.
The SeaGen tidal generator in Northern Ireland leaves turbulent water – and lots of fish – in its wake.
Alex Nimmo Smith
New research finds birds like to forage for fish in the wake of a tidal power plant.
Chicken or rooster? This bird is both – female on the left (dark feathers), and male on the right (white feathers, with larger comb and physique).
Mike Clinton (Roslin Institute)
Birds have some of the most amazing sex differences of any animal. They can control the sex of offspring, and even produce rare half-male, half-females. And their sex genes and chromosomes are quite different from ours.
Osprey on a nesting platform in Massachusetts.
Chemical pollution and hunting pushed Ospreys to the edge of extinction in the mid-20th century. Today, they have rebounded and can be spotted worldwide, often nesting on manmade structures.
Male collared flycatcher, singing for multiple females.
Biologists investigated whether birds that search for multiple mates would evolve ever more elaborate songs to attract them. What they found might have surprised Darwin.
Menno Schaefer / shutterstock
The birds follow a few simple rules to create complex patterns.
A red-listed skylark.
One gram of songbird meat is estimated to sell for the equivalent of one gram of marijuana.