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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...

Researchers See Bad News for Birds on Farms
See Bad News
for Birds on Farms
new study

Researchers See Bad News for Birds on Farms

They're more vulnerable to extreme heat than their cousins in the forest

(Newser) - As climate change intensifies extreme heat, farms are becoming less hospitable to nesting birds, a new study found. Researchers who examined data on over 150,000 nesting attempts found that birds in agricultural lands were 46% less likely to successfully raise at least one chick when it got really hot...

21 Species Off Endangered List—Because They're Extinct

US Fish and Wildlife Service pulls 10 bird species, 8 types of mussels, 2 fish, 1 fruit bat

(Newser) - Twenty-one animals have been removed from the Endangered Species Act because, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, they're not endangered—they're extinct. The majority of the species—10 types of birds, eight types of mussels, two species of fish, and one type of bat—were listed...

964 Birds Fatally Strike Chicago Building in One Night

The sheer amount of migrating birds to die in a single night is called an 'outlier'

(Newser) - On a typical morning, as many as 15 birds might be found dead outside Chicago's McCormick Place Lakeside Center, having fatally struck the building the night prior. On Thursday morning, a nearly unimaginable 964 of them were found dead, and another 80 were found stunned but still alive, according...

Birders in Awe as Storm Delivers 'Uber-Rare' Species

16 North American species spotted in UK and Ireland, some for the first time

(Newser) - The height of excitment in England is having your soccer team win the Premier League. Bird-watchers say the feeling is akin to what they experienced over the weekend as 16 North American bird species, blown across the Atlantic with the remnants of Hurricane Lee, arrived on British and Irish shores....

Flamingos Show Up Way North for First Time Ever

Five of them appear in Wisconsin, along a Lake Michigan beach

(Newser) - Five flamingos that showed up in Wisconsin to wade along a Lake Michigan beach attracted a big crowd of onlookers eager to see the unusual visitors venturing far from their usual tropical setting. The American flamingos spotted Friday in Port Washington, about 25 miles north of Milwaukee, marked the first...

Birds Found Under Power Lines Didn't Die the Way You'd Expect

A surprising number of them had been shot, study finds

(Newser) - You might understandably think that most of the birds found dead under power lines had been electrocuted. But you'd be wrong, at least according to a recent study flagged by the New York Times . Wildlife biologist Eve Thomason of Boise State University and her colleagues repeatedly walked or drove...

Crabs Face Double Whammy: From Scientists and Birds

The AP looks at the plight of horseshoe crabs, whose blood is sought for medicine

(Newser) - A primordial sea animal that lives on the tidal mudflats of the East Coast and serves as a linchpin for the production of vital medicines stands to benefit from new protective standards. But conservationists who have been trying for years to save a declining bird species that depends on horseshoe...

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