Articles on Birds

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A new study, recently published in the journal Bird Conservation International, will help inform the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Rob Davis

The good news and bad news about the rare birds of Papua New Guinea

A team of researchers led by Edith Cowan University have surveyed the PNG island of New Britain to see how the bird population is faring. There's good news and bad news.
Pied butcherbirds, such as this one, sing solos, duos and trios. © Duade Paton

Birdsong has inspired humans for centuries: is it music?

Is birdsong simply a hard-wired, functional, primitive sound – or could we call it 'music'? Australia's pied butcherbirds show there are surprising overlaps between birds' and humans' musical abilities.
These migratory pied imperial-pigeons in Far North Queensland, like many of Australia’s 22 species of native pigeons and doves, play an important role in our ecosystems but may be at risk from emerging viruses in domestic pigeons. Dejan Stojanovic

Are Australia’s native pigeons sitting ducks?

Two recently emerging viruses in domestic pigeons in Australia may pose a significant threat to Australia's 22 species of native pigeons and doves, many of which have crucial ecosystem roles.
The birds commonly seen in urban backyards of Australia are increasingly introduced species like this house sparrow, sharing a birdbath with a native red-browed finch. Wanda Optland

Is it really so wrong to care for an introduced bird species?

We all know how vital it is for our native bird species to thrive. But what if the only birds that visit your garden are introduced "pest" species? Many people feel these birds deserve some love too.
Shown as bright orange and pink highlights under X-ray fluorescent light, birds incorporate metals like zinc and bromine into feathers as they grow. Nature Scientific Reports

Hidden feather patterns tell the story of birds

Ordinary grey bird feathers placed under X-ray fluorescence reveal beautiful patterns of elements like zinc, telling a story of feather growth and the environments the birds have experienced.
Hundreds of large old trees were removed when the Hume Highway was widened. Brian Yap/Flickr

The plan to protect wildlife displaced by the Hume Highway has failed

When the Hume Highway was widened, hundreds of nest boxes were installed to replace habitat for three threatened species. Four years of monitoring has concluded the program is entirely unsuccessful.
How do they do while sleeping what we can barely do at all? Carlos Bustamante Restrepo

Neuromechanics of flamingos’ amazing feats of balance

These birds spend long periods, often asleep, standing on one leg. Is it passive biomechanics or active nervous system control of their muscles that allows them to do easily what's impossible for us?

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