Ornithology in the news

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This page simply lists recent news articles relating to ornithology. It is not exhaustive - simply those articles that I come across during my reading of the media. The site mirrors one that I created for my conservation biology course, and which a lot of students seem to use (you can access that page here). If others in the EEBedia community want to add to the list, please feel free to do so. I only ask that you keep to the existing format, limit any commentary about articles to brief descriptive statements so as to not clog up space, that you focus on articles in the news media that relate to conservation science (broader environmental science issues should find their own home), and that you don't clog the page up with multiple articles on the same piece of news. If you have questions, please email me. Chris Elphick

For news recent ornithological research, check out the ScienceDaily Bird News.

Links to original journal articles may not work unless you're at a UConn computers or subscribe to the journal.

8 Mar. BBC News. World seabird numbers still falling, says a new review.

28 Feb. Washington Post. Obama administration plan would kill rival bird to save spotted owl.

15 Feb. BBC News. Tiny songbird northern wheatear traverses the world. Another use of geolocators songbirds.

3 Feb. New York Times. A Whooping Crane Migration Will Finish By Truck. We'll talk about crane reintroduction later in the semester.

2 Feb. Aukland Now. 'Extinct' bird shows signs of breeding. A real rediscovery.

31 Jan. New York Times. Black Feather May Have Helped Archaeopteryx Fly.

30 Jan. New York Times. Design and Illusion, to Impress the Ladies.

24 Jan. New York Times. Mercury’s Harmful Reach Has Grown, Study Suggests.

23 Jan. New York Times. Bird-Watchers Revel in Unusual Spike in Snowy Owl Sightings.

16 Jan. New York Times. Greater Wind Speed Helps Seabirds Bulk Up.


27 Apr. BBC News. In pictures: How egg spotting birds catch out cuckoos.

20 Apr. BBC News. Clever New Caledonian crows can use three tools. ... more than me.

15 Apr. Discovery News. Ivory-billed woodpecker search ends.

12 Apr. BBC News. In pictures: Night penguins.

12 Apr. BBC News. Geese tracked to estimate wind farms' impact.

6 Apr. BBC News. Mimic birds 'copy other species'.

21 Mar. BBC News. Rare Worthen's sparrow nest sites found in Mexico.

14 Mar. New York Times. The Skyline, Where Eagles Roam. Eagles return to Manhattan.

12 Mar. BBC News. Climate change 'makes birds shrink' in North America.

12 Mar. New York Times. Climate Change Threatens Migratory Birds, Report Says.

10 Mar. BBC News. DNA of extinct birds extracted from ancient eggshell.

6 Mar. New York Times. No Endangered Status for Plains Bird. Warranted, but precluded ...

4 Mar. BBC News. Supercharged swifts take flight speed record.

24 Feb. New York Times. Arizona: Condors Died of Lead Poisoning.

17 Feb. New York Times. Small Protection Zones Help Predators, Too. Helping fish, helps penguins.

16 Feb. BBC News. Why love birds 'dance' to the Sun.

9 Feb. ConservationMaven.com Birds changing wing shape as possible adaptation to environmental change.

7 Feb. BBC News. Dinosaur had flamboyant, multi-coloured plumage. Colouring dinosaurs. More at the NY Times here.

7 Feb. BBC News. Auklets and penguins: birds use feathers 'to touch'.

4 Feb. BBC News. Wild sloth killed by small spectacled owl in Panama.

1 Feb. New York Times. How Seabirds Follow Fishing Boats’ Routine.

1 Feb. BBC News. New dinosaur discovery solves evolutionary bird puzzle.

24 Jan. BBC News. Rare warbler found in Afghanistan.

22 Jan. BBC News. Sexy sparrow exposed as world's most promiscuous bird. I'll let you judge if they're really sexy.

21 Dec. BBC News. Bird-like dinosaur was 'venomous'.

16 Dec. BBC News. New warbler bird species discovered in Vietnam.

9 Dec. BBC News. New drug threat to Asian vultures.

7 Dec. New York Times. Clues to What Birds Do on a Trans-Sahara Trip.

4 Dec. BBC News. Iron Curtain kept out alien birds.

3 Dec. BBC News. Feeding birds 'changes evolution'. A neat new piece of the blackcap story.

1 Dec. BBC News. Clever ravens cooperatively hunt.

1 Dec. BBC News. Birdsong helps scientists to count bird populations.

12 Nov. BBC News. A marvellous hummingbird display.

30 Jul. BBC News. Bald songbird discovered in Laos.

30 Jul. CBC News. Ottawa boy's invisible invention warns birds about deadly windows.

23 Jul. BBC News. Hot secret behind toucan's bill. Toucans are cool.

18 Jun. New York Times. Birds of a Feather: How do birds know which species they are?

10 Jun. BBC News. Hummingbirds 'faster than jets'.

3 Jun. BBC News. Droppings put penguins on the map.

17 Apr. BBC News. African lark soon to be extinct. Extinction in progress.

15 Apr. BBC News. Big brood of rotund rare parrots. A small population success that combines in-situ and ex-situ activities.

11 Apr. BBC News. Charles Darwin's egg rediscovered. Look after your specimens, Chuck ...

1 Apr. New York Times. Depending on Context, Bird Couples Sing in Harmony or Discord.

1 Apr. BBC News. Baby chicks do basic arithmetic.

23 Mar. The Economist. Our feathered friends. Are dinosaurs really birds?

23 Mar. The Economist. The song does not remain the same. Take care of yourself when you're young ...

22 Mar. New York Times. In This Springtime Battle, the Parakeets Appear to Be Winning. The challenges of invasive species in Connecticut.

20 Mar. New York Times. One Third of U.S. Bird Species Endangered, Survey Finds. Full report here.

17 Mar. BBC News. Hungry whales steal birds' dinner. Film of murres and gulls feeding on fish ... and humpback whales stealing the catch.

5 Mar. BBC News. Fish feast frenzy caught on film. Film of gannets feeding on fish underwater.

5 Mar. BBC News. Climate 'hitting Europe's birds'. New projections on expected population changes with climate change.

24 Feb. New York Times. For Gulls, Vigilance Is a Team Effort.

23 Feb. BBC News. Lifeline for endangered albatross. Initial results from an initiative to reduce albatross by-catch by the fishing industry.

22 Feb. New York Times. Rescue Flight. A long piece about whooping crane conservation.

20 Feb. National Geographic. "Extinct" Bird Seen, Eaten. Good, and bad, news for Worcester's buttonquail.

15 Feb. BBC News. Dance duet helps male birds mate. Long-tailed manakins in action.

15 Feb. New Scientist. Robotic birds help pick out most receptive lovers. An interesting article, though abysmally reported - they're bower, not dower, birds ... and the picture is of a robot sage grouse ....

13 Feb. New York Times. Bald Eagles Turn Heads at a Gathering of Fans. Lots of eagles in Connecticut as well.

13 Feb. New York Times. Record Number of Peregrine Falcons in New York State. Peregrines now breeding in several Connecticut cities too.

12 Feb. Washington Post. For First Time, Study Tracks Paths of Migratory Songbirds. New migration information on wood thrushes and purple martins.

26 Jan. BBC News. Slimming odds for emperor penguin.

26 Jan. New York Times. Identifying the Bird, When Not Much Bird Is Left. Forensic ornithology.

21 Jan. Hartford Courant. Tracking Gulls' Travels Far And Wide. Ring-billed gull movements closer to home.

16 Jan. BBC News. Tags reveal birds' ocean odyssey. What Manx shearwaters do on their winter holidays.

14 Jan. BBC News. Earliest bird 'heard like an emu'.

14 Jan. BBC News. Poo clue to ancient bird's diet. What did moas really eat?

14 Jan. BBC News. Dino feathers 'were for display'. More on early feathers and the transition from dinosaurs to birds.

9 Jan. Hartford Courant. Piping Plover Population Increases Along Connecticut Shore.

9 Jan. BBC News. Protecting Argentina's parrot colony.

23 Dec. The Economist. The loneliness of the Chinese birdwatcher. More on the development of birding in China.

23 Dec. Wildlife Extra. Snowy owl tracking discovers unsuspected behaviour – Winter on the icepack. Recent research on snowy owls, which have been less uncommon than usual in CT this winter.

19 Dec. The Economist. Twitching China. Birding advice for 2009.

12 Dec. Science Daily. Why Some Bird Species Lay Only One Egg.

12 Dec. Bird Guides. Killer mice bring albatross population closer to extinction. Another invasive predator threatens seabirds.

27 Nov. The Economist. Blowin' in the wind. Not birds exactly, but kinda cool.

24 Nov. New York Times. Bald Eagles in Catskills Show Increasing Mercury.

19 Nov. BBC News. Sparrow numbers 'plummet by 68%'. Bad news continues for "English" sparrows.

19 Nov. BBC News. Rare penguin took over from rival. Old penguins.

13 Nov. BBC News. Songbirds 'sing from hymn sheet'. Two new papers about the neurological basis for bird song.

13 Nov. New York Times. Hawaii: Birds Hasten Digital TV Switch. Protecting Hawaiian petrels.

6 Nov. BBC News. Climate pushing lemmings to cliff. Not directly about birds, but lemming abundance is known to affect populations of predators (such as owls) and other prey species (such as shorebirds).

23 Oct. BBC News. New feathered dinosaur discovered. More cool stuff from China.

22 Oct. Washington Post. Birds Fly More Than 7,000 Miles Nonstop, Study Shows. Yet more evidence that godwits have one of the most amazing migrations in the bird world.

8 Oct. CNN. Flight of the penguins: Rescuers return wayward birds home.

7 Oct. New York Times. Audubon’s Species: Bird Art, in All Its Glory.

1 Oct. BBC News. Malta 'bird slaughter' condemned. An old story, sadly.

29 Sept. American Bird Conservancy press release. President Bush Asks Congress to Ratify Key International Conservation Treaty. Proposed protection for albatrosses moves to the U.S. Senate.

22 Sept. BBC News. World's common birds 'declining'. ("Keeping common bird common" isn't working. See related press release from BirdLife, here.)

25 Aug. New York Times. Friend or Foe? Crows Never Forget a Face, It Seems. (Never study an animal that is clever than you are ...)

20 Aug. New York Times. Infected Galápagos Penguins Could Get Avian Malaria. (Not such good news about penguins.)

20 Aug. Der Spiegel. Penguin Granted Norwegian Knighthood. (Better news about penguins.)

20 Aug. BBC News. Birds 'off the pace' with warming. (More on avian responses to climate change.)

20 Aug. BBC News. Magpie 'can recognise reflection'. (Birds brains .... yeah, right.)

20 Aug. The Economist. Meet the new neighbours. (An unexpected link between the declining housing market and bird populations.)

20 Aug (published Apr 21). The New Yorker. The way of the puffin. (Sadly, this entire article on the not-so-obvious links between golf, birding and China is not on-line - but it is brilliant so track it down.)

9 July. BBC News. Fossil feathers reveal their hues. (Neat new results from Yale.)

1 July. New York Times. A New Twist in Penguins’ Already Uncertain Future. (Effects of climate on penguins.)

1 July. New York Times. In Sleep, We Are Birds of a Feather. (New research on how birds sleep.)

27 June. BBC News. Biometrics picks up the penguins. (A new twist to bird ID.)

27 June. New Scientist. Bird evolutionary tree given a shake by DNA study. (This new study includes quite a few taxonomic surprises.)

27 June. New Scientist. Secret sleep of birds revealed in brain scans.

26 June. Bird Guides. Taken from the nest! (Bad news from where I grew up - and where nesting peregrines were unknown when I lived there.)

25 June. Science News. Migrating Songbirds Learn Survival Tips On The Fly.

25 June. Science News. Diversity Among Bird Populations Found To Reduce Threat Of West Nile Virus.

25 June. Science News. Birds Communicate Reproductive Success In Song.

24 June. The New Yorker. Bird Brain. (From a few weeks ago, a long article on Irene Pepperberg's research on parrot intelligence.)

24 June. WFCR Field Notes. Click on titles for direct links: Why Birds Sing & The Complexity of Bird Song. (Also from a couple of weeks ago, two audio pieces on bird song.)

16 June. New Scientist. Wiggling bird genitals give the ladies good vibrations. (A rather salacious contribution, but ...) Original research article is here.

11 June. BBC News. Bird family trees predict decline. (A phylogeny for British Birds used to predict at-risk species.)

10 June. The Economist. Storking the ancient skies. (Not a bird, but cool nonetheless.)

10 June. Science News. New Zealand Bird Outwits Alien Predators. (Nesting behaviour changes in response to predators - birds are smarter than you might think!)

10 June. Science News. The Cormorant: 'Black Plague' Or An Example Of Successful Species Conservation? (Not just an issue in North America.)

5 June. New York Times. 7 Condors Poisoned by Lead; One Dies. (The latest on condor recovery efforts.)

4 June. Science News. Feather Colors Affect Bird Physiology, Barn Swallows Show. (New work on the interaction between plumage color and body chemistry.)

3 June. New York Times. Same-Sex Parents in Albatross Colony. (New evidence for a phenomenon that was first found in gulls and terns.)

15 May. National Geographic News. Shorebirds "Defy Gravity" to Eat, Study Says. (Why phalaropes are even cooler than you thought.) More here (with a movie!).

10 May. The Economist. Naughty nesters. (Cuckoos doing what cuckoos do best.)

8 May. BBC News. Great tits cope well with warming. (Bird responses to climate change.)