Covid fuels the current virus pandemic, but the world is full of flu viruses waiting in the wings. And they keep changing unpredictably.
The Italian police were called to investigate a luncheon for a potential violation of coronavirus rules. They found a feast of migrating finches.
This Earth Day, show kids they can find refuge in the outdoors.
For birders across the United States, it’s a rite of spring: heading out to woodlands and waterways to track down a favorite warbler, vireo, tanager or other bird, many of them migratory.
The long-term needs of ecosystems should come before our knee-jerk demands to get back to life.
Buildings, landmarks and monuments are turning off lights to prevent fatal impacts as birds set off on spring migration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 19 people had been sickened in eight states.
Terry Tempest Williams, an author and environmental activist, on bird song, Keith Jarrett and slowing down.
In “A World on the Wing,” Scott Weidensaul describes the splendor of birds that can span continents in their flight, and also all the ways they are threatened.
In the Indian state of Assam, a group of women known as the Hargila Army is spearheading a conservation effort to rescue the endangered greater adjutant stork.
New generations of a critically endangered species of songbird are failing to learn the tunes they need for courtship. It could lead to extinction.
Wildlife bridges, plastic-eating bacteria and drones that plant trees remind us that we are as good at repairing as we are at destroying.
An albatross named Wisdom has astounded researchers by hatching a chick at more than 70 years old, securing her title as the world’s oldest known breeding bird.
When pandemic New York seemed at its most surreal, the park, with its abundant wildlife and familiar progression of the seasons, offered a vision of normal life to a book critic who wandered it daily.
Federal wildlife authorities in California are working with a wind energy company to breed the endangered birds in captivity to replace any that may be killed by turbine blades. Conservationists are skeptical.
The black-browed babbler has long been one of Indonesia’s most enigmatic birds.
Letting nature take its course is getting harder to do.
As the Manhattan Bird Alert account on Twitter gained traction, so did opposition. Critics said the crowds it encouraged could be harmful.
A Twitter account helped spread the word about rare birds in the city, but publicizing their locations exposed a rift among birders.
This year isn’t living up to my hopes, so I am learning to hope in a new way.
To search for an owl is to dance with nature in real time.
Rare and striking birds — owls, a duck, a heron — that have turned up in Manhattan have become famous on social media.
An experiment by evolutionary biologists offers new insights into birds’ brains.
When travel restrictions stopped bird-watchers from visiting a Swedish island, hidden ecosystem dynamics were revealed.
One of the resident birds at the Tower of London is feared to have died. Legend says at least six must be kept there, or the nation will fall.
Bird song competitions — a pastime that is closer to meditation than to competitive sports — are big in Suriname. Success requires years of training and an appreciation for a slower pace of life.
A rule change means companies will not be held liable for killing migratory birds as long as their actions were not intentionally designed to do so.
In a little over a year, five birds have been treated by International Bird Rescue with severe slashes on their pouches that the organization believes were intentionally inflicted.
It took a customized headpiece to monitor when and how much a grackle blinked in flight.
Kiwis, ibises and sandpipers share this sensory power with birds that lived millions of years ago.
Given the unusual attention granted to turkeys this week, let’s talk dinosaurs. Today’s birds are, of course, descendants of the only branch of the dino tree that made it through the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. In the dinosaurs’ halcyon days, the early birds were a bit different, still retaining teeth and foreclaws among some subtler anatomical differences with their modern descendant. A new fossil find reveals an unexpected bird from that time—one with a whopping-great, toucan-like beak.
The fossil, named Falcatakely forsterae, comes from late Cretaceous rocks in Madagascar. Many of the early bird fossils we’ve discovered so far come from older, early-Cretaceous rocks in China, with the timeframe between then and the end-Cretaceous extinction more of a question mark. The new fossil is a nicely preserved head of a crow-sized bird with a strikingly long, tall, and narrow beak.
The early Chinese bird fossils don’t show much diversity in beak shape. That’s a big contrast with modern birds, which have a wild variety of beak shapes befitting their many different ecological niches. Pelicans, woodpeckers, and parrots have very different diets that require a beak adapted to the job. It had been thought that enlarged beaks may not have been possible until some anatomical shifting in the parts of the skull took place, meaning that the early birds were simply limited. But the new find shows that wasn’t entirely true. This species could have inhabited an ecological niche that was empty after the extinction—until a more modern bird drifted back into it much later.
After a chance encounter in Brazil, Johann Zillinger became one of the world’s most prolific wildlife smugglers. Three decades and two prison stints later, he says he has gone straight.
One bird feeder became two, then three. Months passed.
New Yorkers are so obsessed with Barry the barred owl that some are concerned he could be scared away. So far, he seems to like the attention.
More than 1,500 fake votes were slipped into New Zealand’s Bird of the Year 2020 contest in favor of the kiwi pukupuku.
To call it flying would be generous.
Our only planet cannot survive four more years of the Trump administration’s environmental policy.
Backyard birding has become the perfect pandemic pastime. Here’s how to draw more species to your yard, and maybe get a good photo, too.
Lakeland’s swan population has thrived since Queen Elizabeth II donated a pair in 1957. Now, however, the city has too many of the birds and is seeking to offload some by holding a lottery.
In the winter, feeding the birds enlivens a garden like nothing else. Here’s how to make the most of peak bird-feeding season.
Stationed off the coast of Britain, island wardens manage the preservation of their small speck of land — while coping with extreme weather and limited access to the mainland.
Five birds who moved to a park in Britain the same week had unprintable vocabularies, which they deployed on amused guests. Keepers said the parrots also learned to laugh at one another.
Scientists say that the wildfires in the West combined with drought and record heat waves could be triggering one of the Southwest’s largest migratory bird die-offs in recent decades.
Conservation efforts have saved up to 48 mammal and bird species since 1993, but scientists say much more is needed to stem biodiversity loss.
A huge flock of purple martins is using Nashville as a staging ground for the fall migration — and bringing music back to the city’s shuttered symphony center.
The country has suspended the use of glue traps, which conservationists say are cruel to animals and harm the environment.
Something as simple as black paint could be the key to reducing the number of birds that are killed each year by wind turbines. According to a study conducted at a wind farm on the Norwegian archipelago of Smøla, changing the color of a single blade on a turbine from white to black resulted in a 70-percent drop in the number of bird deaths.
Wind power is surging right now, with more than 60GW of new generating capacity added worldwide in 2019. As long as you put the turbines in the right spot, wind power is reliably cheaper than burning fossil fuels. And most people would prefer to live next to a wind farm than any other kind of power plant—even solar.
Not everyone is a fan of wind turbines, however, because of their impact on local populations of flying fauna like birds and bats. Politicians with axes to grind against renewable energy say that we should continue to mine coal and extract oil because of the avian death toll, and US President Donald Trump has called wind turbines “bird graveyard[s].” Estimates from the US Fish and Wildlife Service calculated that approximately 300,000 birds were killed by wind turbines in 2015 (which is probably two orders of magnitude fewer than die as a result of colliding with electrical power lines each year), and bird deaths from turbines are trending down as the industry moves to larger turbine blades that move more slowly.
“Vesper Flights” is a collection of essays exploring the connection between humans and the world at large.
By studying the numerous ways animals keep their eyes wet and healthy, scientists hope to help address human vision problems.
Ever wonder how underwater creatures make light? Or what a Carolina leaf-roller eats? Our list of apps, podcasts and websites will help you figure out what’s going on in the great outdoors.