For seven years, a photographer based in Delhi has collected images of ornamental structures known as chabutras. Here are some of his favorites.
The most familiar of settings can feel newly unfamiliar through the senses of other creatures.
Depending on the arrival of migratory birds for spring to begin means accepting the changing world the birds fly through.
As a new version of bird flu spread through North America this spring, scientists began finding the virus in red foxes, bobcats and other mammals.
The proposal has pit animal rights activists against officials in Foster City, Calif., where Canada geese have been fouling up public spaces with their feces. “It’s everywhere,” the mayor said.
An extraordinarily well-preserved fossil owl was described in PNAS this past March. Owls are not new to the fossil record; evidence of their existence has been found in scattered limbs and fragments from the Pleistocene to the Paleocene (approximately 11,700 years to 65 million years ago). What makes this fossil unique is not only the rare preservation of its near-complete articulated skeleton but that it provides the first evidence of diurnal behavior millions of years earlier than previously thought.
In other words, this ancient owl didn’t stalk its prey under the cloak of darkness. Instead, the bird was active under the rays of the Miocene sun.
Seeing the light
Its eye socket was key to making this determination. Dr. Zhiheng Li is lead author on the paper and a vertebrate paleontologist who focuses on fossil birds at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in China. He explained in an email that the large bones around the eyes of birds (but not mammals) known as the scleral ossicles offer information about the size of the pupil they surround. In this case, the pupils of this fossil owl were small. And if the pupil is small, he wrote, it “means they can obtain good vision with a smaller eye opening.”
Lovebirds — and perhaps other species — seem to confound nature’s strong preference for bilateral bodies.
Christian Cooper’s encounter in Central Park with a white woman who called 911 to falsely accuse him of threatening her spurred a national outcry. Now he is hosting a birding series for National Geographic.
A star-studded, 242-track trove of songs and poems inspired by birdsong is the latest project in a series of releases raising awareness about its own threatened sources.
Researchers described Annakacygna, a family of flightless ancient swans that were filter-feeders.
The H5N1 strain of avian influenza is spreading among many raptors and wild birds, including the national bird.
A series of ecological initiatives, including the eradication of several invasive species, has dramatically revived the life and landscape of this remote sub-Antarctic island.
When a bird collides with an airplane, determining its species can help prevent future collisions. To do that, scientists need snarge.
A nest with a roof may provide some birds with more protection. But bird species that build simpler nests may be more adaptable to changing conditions.
Research on past conflicts suggests that the war in Ukraine could have a profound environmental impact.
A vast flock of purple martins has made Nashville’s symphony center its staging ground for the fall migration. It’s not just the city’s problem. It’s a human problem.
ESI Energy pleaded guilty based on the documented “blunt force trauma” deaths of golden eagles struck by fast-moving turbine blades, prosecutors said.
Some pairs of cranes in India, known for their monogamous devotion, seem to bring in a third bird to act like a kind of avian au pair.
Bird-watchers love to see vagrants, or birds that have traveled far outside their range. But scientists say they have a lot to teach us in a world facing ecological change.
Every 20 years, New York collects vital information about birds. And gardeners have an important role to play.
Each spring and autumn, the skies in southern Denmark come to life with the swirling displays of hundreds of thousands of starlings, an event known locally as “sort sol.”
More than 15 million chickens and turkeys from infected commercial and backyard flocks in 19 states have been killed, officials said.
A major restoration project aims to protect the Jamaica Bay area — and all of New York — by returning salt marshes and sand dunes to their natural states. But will it be too late for the people of Broad Channel?
A fisherman’s sighting in March confirmed that a flamingo that fled a Kansas zoo in 2005 has defied the odds to live a Pixar-worthy life in the wilds of Texas.
Conservators vastly increased the numbers of red-crowned cranes, a symbol of loyalty and longevity in Japanese culture. That’s just a start.
The magpies showed their smarts by helping one another remove tracking harnesses that scientists carefully placed on them.
Electricity was restored in the central business district after a three-hour interruption, Entergy New Orleans said.
In our quest to find what makes humans unique, we often compare ourselves with our closest relatives: the great apes. But when it comes to understanding the quintessential human capacity for language, scientists are finding that the most tantalizing clues lie farther afield.
Human language is made possible by an impressive aptitude for vocal learning. Infants hear sounds and words, form memories of them, and later try to produce those sounds, improving as they grow up. Most animals cannot learn to imitate sounds at all. Though nonhuman primates can learn how to use innate vocalizations in new ways, they don’t show a similar ability to learn new calls. Interestingly, a small number of more distant mammal species, including dolphins and bats, do have this capacity. But among the scattering of nonhuman vocal learners across the branches of the bush of life, the most impressive are birds—hands (wings?) down.
Parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds all learn new vocalizations. The calls and songs of some species in these groups appear to have even more in common with human language, such as conveying information intentionally and using simple forms of some of the elements of human language such as phonology, semantics, and syntax. And the similarities run deeper, including analogous brain structures that are not shared by species without vocal learning.
Though the risk to humans is low, scientists warn that outbreaks among farmed birds increase the potential for the virus to mutate and pose a threat to humans.
After a storm disrupted plans for a 99-mile paddling trek, a Times journalist’s time on the water took a more reflective turn. Come look and listen alongside him.
Many bird species are slowly but surely getting smaller. One study from 2019 looked at more than 70,000 North American migratory birds across 52 species that met untimely ends by flying into Chicago buildings from 1978 to 2016. It suggests that birds in this diverse set had consistently grown smaller as the summers had grown hotter through climate change over the past 40 years.
While this shrinking was observed across these migratory species, new research suggests that birds with bigger brains—relative to their body size—aren’t shrinking like their smaller-brained kin. The research posits that birds like corvids may be better able to survive climate change simply because they are “smarter” in some sense.
Justin Baldwin, a PhD candidate at Washington University and one of the authors of the paper, said that brain size isn’t always a useful proxy for intelligence. But—and we’re not sure why—it does appear to hold true for many birds. “The birds with big brains are basically the ones that build tools, live in complex social groups, live and remain in harsh environments, live longer, [put] more time and energy into raising babies, and [survive] better in the wild,” he told Ars.
From great gray owls in Minnesota to bison in Central Florida (yes, Florida), there are innumerable opportunities this winter to view animals — in the wild and even on city streets.
For the teenage sons of an obsessed birder, a father’s bird-watching habit had become nerdy — until some bold jays in an Ontario park turned dubious adolescents into giggly boys.
A white-headed raptor has been preying on smaller birds in Central Park. It’s come a long way since conservationists affixed aluminum bands to its legs four years ago.
In a move befitting its Silicon Valley setting, the city of Sunnyvale, Calif., will aim a laser at 1,000 birds that have overwhelmed the downtown area during the pandemic.
An elusive, nocturnal parrot disappeared for more than a century. An unlikely rediscovery led to ornithological scandal — and then hope.
Critics are concerned the ferry service would release toxic pollution and disrupt the habitat of horseshoe crabs, toppling an entire food chain.
Shot by an American ornithologist in the early years of Irish independence, the footage turned up in the archives of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and is being restored.
Ideally, Daisy and I would live in a sprawling home with outdoor space. Instead, she is content to chirp at two-dimensional birds on YouTube.
Warming oceans are sending the monogamous sea birds farther afield to find food, putting stress on their breeding and prompting some to ditch their partners.
Bird-watchers have been tracking a Steller’s sea eagle. They’re usually found in Asia, but this one turned up in Eastern Canada and may have flown as far as South Texas.
The long-tailed bat, one of the country’s only two native land mammals, flew away with the top prize.
New York is now ‘the greenest big city on earth,’ one naturalist said. Some creatures have noticed, and are staying for a while.
When she’s not onstage, she’s often at her bedroom window, taking in Brooklyn’s wildlife.
Immerse yourself in the visual splendor of a tiny volcanic island in the northern Andaman Sea, the only home of the little-known Narcondam hornbill.
There’s more in that cloud of bugs than meets the eye.
The growing damage to the world’s biodiversity presents dire risks to human societies.
The Trump-era rule protected oil, construction and other industries from liability if they killed or injured birds while doing business.
The animals and one plant had been listed as endangered species. Their stories hold lessons about a growing global biodiversity crisis.
Researchers studying ancient cassowary egg shells in New Guinea found signs that the sharp-taloned bird was being domesticated.