Study: birds can sense earth's magnetic fields thanks to a fancy eye protein

It's long been known that birds possess magnetoreception, or ability to sense earth's magnetic fields. Now researchers are narrowing down a specific eye protein called Cry4 that appears to allow birds to sense magnetic waves in the presence of blue light. Read the rest

Charming birdhouses that look like retro camping trailers

Nashville maker One Man One Garage created these fun flat-pack birdhouse kits that assemble into vintage campers. Read the rest

When birds sound like heavy metal and hardcore vocalists

TIL two things:

1. YouTube is home to the world's only heavy metal-themed talk show. It's called Two Minutes to Late Night.

2. Vocalists of all metal subgenres often shriek and squawk like birds. Read the rest

Up to 90 percent of seabirds have plastic in their guts

Researchers calculate that as many as 9 out of 10 seabirds have plastic garbage in their intestines. So sad. Read the rest

Traffic noise annoys songbirds to the point of harming them

New research suggests that traffic noise (apart from pollution and general hectic motion) degrades the natural habitat of songbirds, and perhaps other animals. Boise State University biologists created a "phantom road" using speakers to create traffic noise in a natural, roadless songbird habitat. Read the rest

Parrot says 'WTF' (video)

[Video Link, thanks Dean Putney ] Read the rest

Video: Beak-cam of rescued pelican relearning to fly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMsICA_l_ZY

A pelican knocked around by a storm near Tanzinia's Mahale Mountains was rescued and taught to fly again. Here's beautiful "beak-cam" footage of the soaring bird. Read the rest

Video: visualizing the paths of congregating birds

Dennis Hlynsky captured video of starlings congregating at Massachusetts' Seekonk Speedway and then digtally drew in their flight paths. (via The Kid Should See This) Read the rest

Why birds fly in a V formation

Why do birds fly in a "V" formation? Scientists at the UK's Royal Veterinary College attached sensors to endangered ibises migrating from Austria to Tuscany. What they confirmed is that the aerodynamics of V flocking helps the birds conserve energy and that they optimize this by careful positioning and timing their wing flaps. Read the rest

Video: true bird's eye view

Back in May, aboriginal rangers placed a motion-sensing camera near Western Australia's Margaret River to collect images of crocodiles. The camera disappeared. Recently though, another ranger found the camera about 110 kilometers away. Read the rest

Man throws parrot at police

Waterbury, Connecticut police were responding to a call about a fight when they encountered this gentleman, Luis Santana, 32, running from the scene. Police ordered Santana to stop and he responded by throwing a parrot at the officers. Read the rest

Gorgeous and realistic paper birds

Colombian artist Diana Beltran Herrera creates exquisite bird sculptures from paper. She's constructed more than 100 species, all life-size. Her papercraft aviary is currently on display at the Rollins College's Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, Florida. Read the rest

Cockatoos can pick locks

A new study published at Plos One reveals that cockatoos can pick complicated locks, with one bird unraveling the five interlocking components without being given a demonstration beforehand. Read the rest

Dinobird plumage revealed

Chemical analysis of Archaeopteryx remains show that the creature was patterned "light in colour, with a dark edge and tip to the feather", say researchers from the University of Manchester. Read the rest

Robot birds of the past

At Smithsonian, Jimmy Stamp posted a brief history of bird automata. And yes, I know that Bubo from Clash of the Titans, above, isn't real. But... Read the rest

Gull eats starfish, auditions for role as LOL animal

Writer Darren Naish, who blogs at Tretrapod Zoology, took this photo of a Larus gull attempting to chow down on an awkwardly shaped starfish. (And, really, are there any other kind of starfish? Read the rest

Evolution happens. Even in Oklahoma.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, over the last 30 years, the number of cliff swallows killed by moving vehicles has drastically decreased. That change can't be accounted for by alterations in traffic patterns or swallow populations, say scientists. Read the rest

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