Feisty hummingbirds prioritize fencing over feeding

Hummingbirds are fierce fighters, but also efficient feeders with tongues and bills well adapted to extracting every bit of nectar from a flower. Why, then, do the males of some tropical species have bizarre...

Engineers, zoologists reveal how gulls ‘wing morph’ for stable soaring

Aviation experts and zoologists have provided new insights into how gulls configure their wing shape -- known as wing morphing -- to stabilize their flight. The findings could be used to design more efficient...

Climate change affects breeding birds

The breeding seasons of wild house finches are shifting due to climate change, a Washington State University researcher has found. The effect of climate change on the breeding season of birds has been documented before,...

Dive-bombing for love: Male hummingbirds dazzle females with a highly synchronized display

When it comes to flirting, animals know how to put on a show. In the bird world, males often go to great lengths to attract female attention, like peacocks shaking their tail feathers and...

New discovery pushes origin of feathers back by 70 million years

An international team of palaeontologists, which includes the University of Bristol, has discovered that the flying reptiles, pterosaurs, actually had four kinds of feathers, and these are shared with dinosaurs -- pushing back the...

Birds can mistake some caterpillars for snakes; can robots help?

When a caterpillar disguises itself as a snake to ward off potential predators, it should probably expect to be treated like one. This is exactly what happened in Costa Rica earlier this year, when researchers...

Moun­tain birds de­clin­ing in Europe

Population data for European mountain birds have been for the first time combined in a recent study, with worrying results: the abundances of mountain-specialist birds has declined by as much as 10% in the...

Tiny tech tracks hummingbirds at urban feeders

Beep" is not a sound you expect to hear coming from a hummingbird feeder. Yet "beeps" abounded during a study led by the University of California, Davis to monitor hummingbirds around urban feeders and...

More ‘heatwave’ summers will affect animals

Heatwaves similar to those experienced in Europe in 2018 can have a very negative impact on animals. A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that overheated birds have smaller offspring, and that...

Scientists discover how birds and dinosaurs evolved to dazzle with colourful displays

Iridescence is responsible for some of the most striking visual displays in the animal kingdom. Now, thanks to a new study of feathers from almost 100 modern bird species, scientists have gained new insights...

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