Articles on Birds

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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?
Red-breasted Nuthatches are irrupting this winter across North America. Heather Elaine Ritchie/Flickr

When birds go roaming: The mystery of avian irruptions

During bird irruptions, hundreds or thousands of a single species show up outside their normal territory. Most of what we know about irruptions comes from data collected by citizen scientists.
Detail from Shenae & Jade, 2005, Petrina Hicks. Courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery, Melbourne and Michael Reid, Sydney

Wings of desire, demise and adaptation: birds in Australian art

A new exhibition exploring the relationship between birds and humans is variously gaudy, delightful and disturbing. We sent two ecologists along to review the show.
Trash or treasure? Some birds rely heavily on landfill to supplement their diet. AAP Image/Tony Phillips

Reducing food waste could put birds and animals at risk

Well-intended efforts to reduce food waste could threaten some birds and animal species, a new paper has warned.

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