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Idaho Killing Birds to Save Other Birds

4K raven will die to save sage-grouse

(Newser) - Ravens are getting the short end of the stick in Idaho, where officials have decided to kill thousands of the birds to protect the at-risk sage-grouse. The state plans on killing 4,000 ravens—which feed on sage-grouse eggs and chicks—over two years by destroying their nests, shooting them,... More »

World's Oldest Bird a New Mom

Wisdom, at least 63, has had 7 chicks in 7 years

(Newser) - Wisdom the Laysan albatross is "at least" 63 years old, experts say, making her the oldest known wild bird on the planet. And, amazingly, she's still hatching chicks. Last week, a worker at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge—Wisdom's home in the north Pacific—saw the... More »

Only 600 Whooping Cranes Left, and 3 Were Just Shot

A 4th male may never fly again

(Newser) - The endangered whooping crane population currently stands at only about 600 in all of North America—and shootings are cutting into that number. In the past few months, three of the continent's tallest birds, at some five feet, have been killed: Two were apparently killed in November in Kentucky,... More »

Windows Kill Up to 10% of America's Birds Each Year

Study: That's as many as 988M birds

(Newser) - After cats, what's the second biggest killer of birds? Windows. A new report finds that between 365 million and 988 million US birds, or as much as 10% of the country's bird population, die each year after flying into windows. And interestingly, skyscrapers account for less than 1%... More »

Birds' V-Formation Explained

It's even more impressive than you probably imagined

(Newser) - OK, this is just cool: We all know birds fly in V-formations, but an in-depth study into the pattern using high-tech GPS sensors has found just how precise a science the flight model is. After tracking and monitoring a flock of northern bald ibises—rare birds raised in captivity that... More »

Gifts Also Rule Animal Kingdom

They offer piggyback rides, share food

(Newser) - Many species of animals are just as into gift-giving as we are, though they may be better at avoiding that last-minute shopping rush. Often, the New York Times explains, the presents are tied to mating. "This is an incredibly cool and important topic in sexual selection that we’re... More »

This Migrating Bird Flies 6 Months' Straight

Scientists get a surprise when collecting data from Alpine swifts

(Newser) - When Alpine swifts head south for the winter, they don't mess around: Researchers have discovered that the small birds fly nonstop for six months, reports the Los Angeles Times . The Swiss scientists attached ultra-light sensors to the birds before they took off from Switzerland to Africa, then did a... More »

Birds Observe Speed Limits on Roads, Too

They adapt to car speeds for their own safety, study says

(Newser) - No, birds can't decipher the numbers on speed-limit signs. But researchers suggest that they've learned to observe our posted limits in their own way, reports the Canadian Press . Essentially, the higher the speed limit is on a road, the faster the birds take off to avoid oncoming traffic.... More »

T-Rex's Brain Was Ready to Fly

CT scans reveal that non-avian dinosaurs had what look like 'bird brains'

(Newser) - Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's … T-Rex? Not actually, but you'll be forgiven if that's the image left by a new study that found some nonavian dinosaurs—including the lizard king himself—may have had "bird brains"... More »

Senior Citizens Going to Court Over ... Bird Feeder

Feeder provides solace to homebound senior, but NJ neighbors complain

(Newser) - Two New Jersey seniors may soon find themselves in court over ... unauthorized bird-feeding. Alfred and Annette Rockefeller, 77 and 66, have received a summons to appear in court tomorrow over a feeder in their garden that has prompted complaints from neighbors; officials say it violates local rules. Feeding wildlife is... More »

Here's the Oldest Bird Ever Found —Maybe

Aurornis xui predates Archaeopteryx, but some think China 'enhanced' fossil

(Newser) - The feathered Archaeopteryx long ago laid claim to the title of oldest known bird—but it appears there's a new oldest winged critter in town. Scientists have found a fossil of a feathered dinosaur that predates Archaeopteryx by some 10 million years: Aurornis xui, discovered in northeastern China. The... More »

Oil-Soaked Birds Turn Up in Arkansas Spill

Smell permeates town as Keystone debate rages

(Newser) - Ten surviving "oiled ducks" and two dead ones have turned up following a pipeline leak in Arkansas , Exxon Mobil says. "I'm an animal lover, a wildlife lover, as probably most of the people here are," says a local judge. "We don't like to see... More »

Cats Kill Billions of Birds a Year

And even more mammals: study

(Newser) - Forget the adorable YouTube videos—cats are cold-blooded killers, or so says a new study that attempted to quantify the toll felines take on birds and other wildlife. NPR has the numbers: Of the estimated 84 million pet cats owned by Americans, researchers determined as many as 47 million are... More »

Fairy Wrens' Key to Survival: Musical 'Password'

It helps them weed out cuckoo imposters

(Newser) - A contender for favorite new bird: the fairy wren. It has developed an ingenious trick for weeding out imposters from the nest, reports Discover (via ). After laying her eggs, mom sings them a special song over and over with a note "that acts like a familial... More »

Cops: Students Killed Rare Bird at Vegas Casino

Pair allegedly laughed about beheading bird

(Newser) - What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas if you do something as stupid as decapitating an exotic bird—inside a casino. Two University of California, Berkeley, law students have been arrested for allegedly killing the helmeted guinea fowl inside the Flamingo Hotel and Casino’s wildlife habitat, which... More »

It's a Bird! No, It's Putin's Latest Crazy Gambit

Pooty-poot escorts endangered cranes ... dressed like a bird

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin hasn't proven to be the biggest hit with Russians of late, so what's a hockey star / fake archaeologist / shirtless horseman / whale hunter / virgin lover to do? Most politicians might kiss a baby, but Putin opted for the logical alternative: The Russian president... More »

Isaac Brings Old Oil to La. Beaches

Tar could be leftover from BP oil spill

(Newser) - The latest fallout from Hurricane Isaac: The storm caused old oil to wash up on beaches in Louisiana, and it may be from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Officials restricted fishing and are testing the tar to determine if it's from the 2010 BP spill, the AP reports. Wildlife management... More »

Bird 'Bermuda Triangle' Claims Hundreds of Pigeons

British pigeon racers distraught

(Newser) - There's a new Bermuda Triangle—but this one's for the birds. Racing pigeons, who are supposed to rush home when released far away, are disappearing in northern England, the Telegraph reports. Just 13 of 232 birds released in North Yorkshire last weekend made it to their destinations, and... More »

Man Auctions 'Michael Jackson' Bird Poop

Brandon Tudor gets no bids for poop art on eBay

(Newser) - The value of bird poop that resembles Michael Jackson is ... nothing, it turns out, but a Chicago man posted it on eBay with an asking price of $500, UPI reports. "One of two things will happen," said Brandon Tudor, 29, before the auction closed with no bids today.... More »

Birds Basically Baby Dinosaurs

Research cements link between creatures

(Newser) - Don't look now, but there may be dinosaurs on your front lawn. Research into early bird and dinosaur tissue has shown that birds are more closely related to dinosaurs than we had thought, Discovery reports. "By analyzing fossil evidence from skeletons, eggs, and soft tissue of bird-like dinosaurs... More »

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