It was the first time a bird has removed a tracking device, and the second time a bird species showed cooperative ‘rescue’ behaviour.
This, if you can believe it, is part of a magpie nest.
A world-first study inspected 900 bird nest specimens from 1823 to 2018. The types of debris the birds use reflect changes in Australian society over time.
For the past 50 years, international animal cognition research has focused on how tool use is related to animal intelligence. But new research casts doubt on long-held assumptions.
Some skinks have been known to kill their babies – but one remarkable species goes to any lengths to save them.
Magpies have a few clever tricks to help them find food.
Magpies have such good hearing, they can hear the very faint sound of grass roots being chewed.
Stylish? No. Effective? Probably not.
Tony Wills/Wikimedia Commons
Magpie attacks aren’t as common as you (and the media) might think. But here are a few tricks to get you through swooping season unscathed - and a few classic tactics that don’t work.
The composition of black and white in a magpie’s poo differs between species. Some splatter more of the uric acid (white), some have more black (indigestible solids). It depends on their diet.
Like reptiles, birds do not have two separate exits from the body. They have one, called the cloaca. It is quite similar to the human anus but the cloaca expels both indigestible bits and toxins.
Australian magpies are clever enough to tailor their risk-avoidance behaviours to different locations.
Gail Hampshire/Wikimedia Commons
Magpies living near airports are less likely to flee from the sound of passing planes, new research shows. But it’s unclear whether this makes them more or less likely to actually get hit.
Magpies playing together often link feet and lie on the ground.
Danielle, the Magpie Whisperer
Magpies have long memories, and human behaviour towards them largely determines how they respond
‘Theiving magpies’ obsessed with glitter but what’s the truth amid the folklore?
Anyone got any earplugs?
If you come across a young cuckoo this summer, you’ll be witness to one of the most bizarre sights in nature. Cuckoo chicks are interlopers in the nests of other species, and can be seen being frantically…
The flap of wings, the click of the beak … every cyclist knows the sounds of an impending aerial attack.
September is the peak of Australia’s own version of “home-grown terrorism” (as memorably described to me by a distraught and bleeding school principal, valiantly attempting to protect his pupils), when…