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 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 70 years young and STILL birthing babies. What is the secret of her fertility?

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

Only birds have a special voice box — the syrinx — and it's what they use to sing. But what's so unique about the syrinx is that it's actually an evolutionary anomaly.

By Jesslyn Shields

With the fall migration season for birds just around the corner, we took another look at how to prevent birds from colliding with windows.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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A French theme park has trained a crew of six rooks to pick up after its messy guests.

By Jesslyn Shields

Partial migration — where some animals or birds in the same species migrate regularly and others don't — is more common than you'd think. But what explains that behavior?

By Mark Mancini

The American swamp sparrow has created an oral tradition that's lasted more than a millennium.

By Laurie L. Dove

What benefit does one bird get from copying another bird's calls?

By Mark Mancini

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It's easy to mistake a crow for a raven or vice versa. But the two birds are actually pretty different.

By Mark Mancini

Spontaneous sex reversal in chickens is pretty rare, but it does happen. Find out how Miss Lucille became Mr. Lucille.

By Alia Hoyt

Most of the scientific attention to birdsong has been paid to the male of the species. But many female birds sing too — and scientists are starting to understand how important it is to study them as well.

By Alia Hoyt

Does your parakeet understand the cardinal chirping outside its window? Can a pigeon's noises mean anything to a crow? Yes, it can.

By Mark Mancini

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Certain urban-dwelling bird species use cigarette butts in building their nests.

By Carrie Tatro

Aside from humans, these birds are the only ones who make drumsticks for musical purposes.

By Alia Hoyt

Sure, your voice is great. But can you move? That's what female Java sparrows want to know before they get busy, a new study finds.

By Chris Opfer

Cockatoos aren't just excellent dancers — they're also excellent toolmakers.

By Alia Hoyt

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A recent study has identified why some seabirds mistake the plastic dumped in the ocean for food. The nose knows why.

By Karen Kirkpatrick

Thanks to new technology, researchers have discovered that the common swift flies 10 months a year without landing, setting a world record for uninterrupted time aloft.

By Jesslyn Shields