Birds

Birds are often envied for their ability to fly, but not all of them can. Learn how birds can manipulate feathers, bone and wing structure to soar through the air and even dive-bomb into the water for food.

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The cartoon Roadrunner beep-beeped his way through the desert, outfoxing Wile E. Coyote every time, but the real bird can run up to 27 mph and, in some Native American traditions, offers protection from evil spirits.

By Jesslyn Shields

Suet is a fat long used in British cooking. But in the U.S., this high-calorie, nutritious item is favored as bird food. Here's why.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The blue-footed booby is known as much for its comical mating dance as for its intensely colored blue feet.

By Laurie L. Dove

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From the fictional Hedwig in the Harry Potter series, to those that live wild and free, the snowy owl is one of the most captivating species of owl in the world.

By Wendy Bowman

There's more to Australia's kookaburra than the cheery song you learned as a kid, but what is it that makes the kookaburra laugh?

By Patty Rasmussen

Macaws mate for life, can speak human words and have even been known to blush when delighted.

By Laurie L. Dove

While the cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, the peregrine falcon, a large predatory raptor, is by far the fastest bird on planet Earth.

By Wendy Bowman

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Biochemically like a heron and anatomically similar to a pelican, the shoebill stork has been called "Monsterface" and even "Death Pelican." But wait until you hear the staccato rat-a-tat-tat of its booming machine-gun call.

By Carrie Tatro

Generations of cereal eaters grew up sharing the breakfast table with Toucan Sam, famous for following his long, colorful nose — but what's that bill for besides hawking cereal?

By Jesslyn Shields

The energy efficiency of the Andean condor is the avian embodiment of the phrase "work smarter, not harder."

By Jesslyn Shields

A remarkable partnership has formed over centuries between honeyguide birds and humans — and both species benefit when the honey is found and the comb is cracked.

By Jesslyn Shields

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This exotic bird could seriously injure or kill a person or a dog in an instant with its deadly claws.

By Wendy Bowman

Bird mobs are not roving gangs of thug birds. But they are bands of birds coming together to harass bigger predators. And the behavior is loud and raucous.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

When a half-full plate of dinner sits before you and your overstuffed tummy, have you ever been told your eyes are too big for your stomach? The pelican's got a similar problem.

By Shanna Freeman

There are up to 26 species of penguins in the world, most of whom mate for life, and while none of them can fly, they swim like Olympic champs.

By Patty Rasmussen

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The national bird of the United States has taken on iconic status as the avian avatar of freedom, but its wingspan and steely gaze guarantee its status in the pecking order of prey birds as a symbol of strength.

By Patty Rasmussen

The largest eagle in the world has a claw the size of a grizzly bear's, a leg the size of a human's and a very disapproving gaze.

By Jesslyn Shields

Whether used in fashion or complicated mating rituals, peacock feathers drive the ladies crazy. But, what happens when a peacock loses his last feather? Will he become a fashion-don't?

By Cristen Conger

From ancient times until today, people have been captivated by these iconic, mysterious birds. What is it about owls that makes them the enduring subject of myth and superstition?

By Jesslyn Shields

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Starlings are short and thick, with dark feathers and long, pointy bills. Collectively, however, they transform into something else entirely.

By John Donovan

The parrots of the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San Francisco are legendary, but how did they get there?

By Jesslyn Shields

There's a lot of conversation around what we should be feeding our backyard hummingbird visitors, so we threw the question, along with others, to an expert.

By Jamie Allen

The smallest owls in the world have mad survival skills, like killing poisonous scorpions and playing dead.

By Loraine Fick

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Wisdom the Laysan albatross is pushing 70, but laid another egg this year.

By Jesslyn Shields

Berries are a great food source for birds, but this diet can backfire when the fruit starts to ferment.

By Jesslyn Shields