Articles on Birds

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Bird flu transmission to humans is rare and hasn’t occurred with this new strain. AAP

Explainer: should we be worried about the new strain of bird flu?

The circulation of a new strain of the H5N1 avian flu virus from China and Vietnam has prompted calls from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN for health authorities to be ready for a possible…

The speedy bird catches the girl

While the early bird might catch the worm, it’s the quick bird that gets the ladies. That’s the case for rock ptarmigans…

Birds wear stress in their feathers

The feathers of wild birds can be analysed to determine the effect natural- and human-caused disasters have on wild populations…

Sparrows spar by sharing songs

Far from being a harmonious sing-a-long, song-sharing among sparrow populations is actually an aggressive behaviour, akin…
Our “first” feathered friend no longer has the wind beneath its wings. Xing Lida and Liu Yi

Move over Archaeopteryx – an earlier bird caught the worm

As little as 15 years ago, the boundary between birds and dinosaurs was a fairly sharp one. On one side was Archaeopteryx, a 150 million-year-old magpie-sized creature from Bavaria, southern Germany, long…
Could the zebra finch’s growing popularity ruffle The Body’s feathers? Tracey Nearmy/AAPIMAGE

Australia’s first supermodel … no, not that one

Long before Elle Macpherson staked her claim to the title, indeed by the end of the 1890s, Australia had inadvertently exported a model to the northern hemisphere that has become internationally famous…
A study of green-rumped parrotlets found that adopted chicks use the names given to them by their foster parents, suggested naming is learned rather than hard-wired. Flickr/barloventomagico

What’s my name? How wild parrots identify their young

Wild parrots name their chicks by teaching them an individual sound to identify them, researchers have found. Humans and…
Crows remember faces they associate with stressful situations for up to five years. And they tell their friends. Flickr/monkeyc.net

Never cross a crow - it will remember your face

Crows can remember human faces associated with stressful situations for up to five years and they’ll also warn their friends…
A study of blue-footed boobies found that while siblings bully each other badly in the nest, the youngsters grow into adults with normal levels of aggression. Flickr

Sibling bullying doesn’t cause lasting wimpiness

Harsh sibling bullying maybe tough to endure as a youngster but victims won’t necessarily grow into cowed and meek adults…
Would you like to take “ownership” of a black swan? Catherine Payne

Citizen scientists, the black swan needs you

You may have heard that a male black swan was widowed by rock-throwing children in Melbourne recently. The event caused ripples of public concern, but also revealed how little we know about these iconic…

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