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NYC Deploys Drones to Look for Sharks, but Birds Are Mad

Shorebirds are fighting drones, and wildlife experts fear the stress it is causing them

(Newser) - A fleet of drones patrolling New York City's beaches for signs of sharks and struggling swimmers is drawing backlash from an aggressive group of seaside residents: local shorebirds. Since the drones began flying in May, flocks of birds have repeatedly swarmed the devices, forcing the police department and other...

To Save One Kind of Owl, Death to 450K Others

FWS plans to cull 450K barred owls so that the spotted owl can compete for habitat

(Newser) - To save the imperiled spotted owl from potential extinction, US wildlife officials are embracing a contentious plan to deploy trained shooters into dense West Coast forests to kill almost a half-million barred owls that are crowding out their smaller cousins. The US Fish and Wildlife Service strategy released Wednesday is...

Millions of Altered Mosquitoes Could Save Hawaii's Birds

Incompatible insect technique aims to limit disease-carrying insects on Maui

(Newser) - Ten million mosquitoes have been released over the Hawaiian island of Maui at a rate of 250,000 per week. Believe it or not, this isn't an effort to deter tourists, but rather one to save endangered birds. Many Hawaiian honeycreepers are disappearing due to avian malaria, a disease...

Crows Appear to Be Able to Count Out Loud
Crows Appear to Be Able
to Count Out Loud
new study

Crows Appear to Be Able to Count Out Loud

New study observes what would be a first among animals, besides us humans

(Newser) - Scientists have long known that crows are smart. But a new study suggests they possess the ability to count out loud—a first for an animal species other than humans, reports Live Science . In fact, the crows appear to be pretty good at it, on par with human toddlers, per...

This Feather Is Worth 40 Times Its Weight in Gold

Feather from extinct huia sells for $28K, becoming most expensive feather ever sold

(Newser) - Someone just paid nearly $30,000 for ... a feather. Granted, it's a rare and pretty feather, but still one worth more than 40 times its weight in gold. The most expensive feather ever sold, it comes from the long-extinct huia, "the largest of New Zealand's wattlebird species,...

Vulnerable Eagles' Latest Hardship: Ukraine War
Migrating Eagles
Give Side-Eye to
War-Torn Ukraine

Migrating Eagles Give Side-Eye to War-Torn Ukraine

Study finds greater spotted eagles altered flight paths, curtailed rest stops in Ukraine in 2022

(Newser) - Russia's war in Ukraine has had a ripple effect across Europe, including for vulnerable migrating birds that are reportedly flying far out of their usual route to avoid areas of fighting. Researchers have found evidence of greater spotted eagles altering routes across Ukraine to avoid key areas of violence...

This Bird Takes Sibling Rivalry to Extremes

Nazca boobies literally kick smaller siblings out of the nest to die

(Newser) - Sibling rivalry can be pretty intense among humans but it rarely rises to the level seen in seabirds called Nazca boobies, NPR reports in a look at two extremes of avian sibling relationships.
  • Wake Forest University researcher David Anderson, who has studied Nazca boobies in the eastern Pacific for decades,

Tiny Bird Is First Non-Primate to Make Symbolic Gesture

Japanese tits seem to say 'after you' to partners

(Newser) - We humans think we know a lot. But when it comes to how animals communicate, we have a lot to learn, according to new research boasting the first known case of symbolic gesture in a non-primate. Many animals display body parts and some, including birds like magpies and ravens, make...

Magpie Who Bonded With Dog Is Seized
Magpie Who Bonded
With Dog Is Seized

Magpie Who Bonded With Dog Is Seized

Aussie caretakers fight to reunite social media stars Peggy and Molly

(Newser) - A magpie taken in as a chick stole the hearts of millions of people around the world who were warmed by the bird's unlikely friendship with its Aussie caretakers' bull terrier. But caretakers Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen say their hearts have been torn apart in having to surrender...

'Hundreds' of Dead Seals Block Antarctic Explorer's Grave

Virus has taken a heavy toll on South Georgia's wildlife

(Newser) - Passengers who'd hoped to walk with penguins on a cruise around the Antarctic Peninsula and the island of South Georgia weren't allowed to go ashore, but they witnessed distressing scenes of animals that had been killed by a bird flu outbreak in the region. Passenger Astrid Saunders tells...

He Hit a Bird-Watching Mark Once Thought Unreachable

American Peter Kaestner is the first to document 10K different species

(Newser) - Peter Kaestner has seen 10,000 different bird species, which, if you're not familiar with birding, sounds pretty impressive. If, however, you are familiar with birding, it's far more than that. As in, it's unprecedented. Last month, the 70-year-old retired American diplomat became the first person to...

The Bellagio Turns Off Its Fountains for 'Exclusive Guest'

A rare yellow-billed loon has shown up on its lake

(Newser) - A visit from a rare, fine-feathered tourist has interrupted one of Las Vegas' prominent shows. The Bellagio said in a social media post Tuesday that it paused its fountains as it worked with state wildlife officials to rescue a yellow-billed loon that "found comfort on Las Vegas' own Lake...

After 8 Months, Cops Release This Suspicious Bird

Pigeon caught in May near port in Mumbai, India, had been suspected of spying for China

(Newser) - Indian police cleared a suspected Chinese spy pigeon after eight months' detention and released it into the wild Tuesday, reports the news agency Press Trust of India. The pigeon's ordeal began in May when it was captured near a port in Mumbai with two rings tied to its legs,...

Prosecutors: Men Shot Eagles for Black Market
Man Accused
in Bird Killing
Spree Skips

Man Accused in Bird Killing Spree Skips Court

Arrest warrant issued by federal judge after he doesn't show up for Montana hearing

(Newser) - One of two men in Montana accused of illegally killing thousands of birds is now a fugitive. Simon Paul, 42, failed to show up for a court appearance on Monday, prompting the federal judge in the case to issue an arrest warrant for him, reports USA Today . Alleged accomplice Travis...

African Honey Foragers Have a Unique Guide
This Bird
Likes to Share
Nature's Secrets
new study

This Bird Really Likes to Share Nature's Secrets

The Greater Honeyguide leads foragers to beehives, learns to recognize their human calls

(Newser) - Honeyguide birds in Africa know all the best places to score the sweet stuff from hives hidden in trees—and luckily for human foragers, they are apparently eager to share this info. NPR takes a look at new research in the journal Science that demonstrates the birds have learned to...

Honk for These New Prison Guards in Brazil

Vigilant geese replace dogs at the Penitentiary Complex near Florianopolis

(Newser) - Who needs guard dogs when you have guard geese? Perhaps not as intimidating as a dog with bared teeth, a gaggle of the vigilant, honking birds have replaced canines as guards at a prison in Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina, Reuters reports. "We have electronic surveillance, in-person...

Bird Crashed Through Chopper Windshield, Right Into Pilot

Helicopter pilot 'covered in blood and feathers' after accident with waterfowl that struck him in head

(Newser) - While Americans carved their turkeys during Thanksgiving dinner this year, Iowa's Troy McCormick spent the holiday dealing with an entirely different kind of bird. The pilot with the Wings Air Rescue critical-care helicopter service out of Sioux City tells KCAU that he was flying his chopper toward a Storm...

In Birdlike Tracks, an Evolution Mystery
'We're Pretty Sure
It's Not a Bird'

'We're Pretty Sure It's Not a Bird'

But what made bird-like tracks before birds existed isn't clear

(Newser) - The earliest known fossils attributed to ancestors of modern birds date to around 160 million years ago, which is why birdlike tracks discovered in southern Africa and dated to tens of millions of years earlier have become a fascinating topic of discussion for paleontologists. In reviewing 163 tracks found across...

John Oliver Wrecked New Zealand's Bird of the Century Competition
New Zealand Was
Having a Nice Bird
Contest. Then
Came John Oliver

New Zealand Was Having a Nice Bird Contest. Then Came John Oliver

'Last Week Tonight' host wins with his viral campaign to get puking bird voted 'Bird of the Century'

(Newser) - Comedian John Oliver has succeeded in his campaign to have what he describes as a weird, puking bird with a colorful mullet win New Zealand's Bird of the Century contest. As the AP reports, he even managed to elbow out the iconic national bird, the kiwi. Conservation group Forest...

All American Birds That Honor People to Be Renamed

American Ornithological Society announced the decision Wednesday

(Newser) - It's being framed as a "fairly radical" decision in a fairly traditional domain. The American Ornithological Society on Wednesday said it will rename all US and Canadian bird species that honor people in order to remove painful associations that can come with the eponymous practice. NPR places the...

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