8 bird species have disappeared this decade or are on the brink of extinction

This includes the Spix’s Macaw, the lovely birds which inspired the main characters in Rio.

Birds perceive colors and hues the same way we do

Does this mean we see everything through a bird’s eye view?

Australian wrens recognize friends from other species and work together with them

It’s the first time we’ve seen inter-species cooperation in birds.

How birds “see” magnetic fields

Seeing is believing.

Coffee farming “can be a win-win for birds and farmers”, paper finds

It will keep you civil on a Monday morning and keep some bird species happy — it’s coffee!

Bullfinches mate for life, researchers confirm

A new study confirms what was long-time assumed about bullfinches — they keep the same partner throughout their lives. 

Oil and gas noise pollution hinders bird reproduction

Oil machinery stresses birds, leading to fewer eggs and weaker hatchlings.

Scientists turn alligator scales into primitive ‘feathers’

The research suggests the same pathway may have been taken by dinosaurs as they transitioned to birds.

Urban birds use cigarette butts as chemical weapons against parasites

House finches use cigarette butts to ward off ticks. They do so on purpose.

Sleeping around makes it hard to speciate by mixing genes, paper shows

I don’t even want to speciate.

Guillemot chicks leap from their nest, risking life and limb, before they can even fly — and know we know why

The dads really pull through for these chicks.

Some birds play tunes not all that different from jazz musicians

Humans were by no means the first to evolve musicality.

The surprising reason why birds never crash mid-air: they always veer right

Seems to work wonderfully for them.

We’ve finally discovered how birds can sleep and fly at the same time without crashing

Frigatebirds spend weeks at a time flying over oceans in search for food — here’s how they sleep during this time.

Birds in suburbs defend their territory more aggressively than their rural counterparts

City birds aren’t very friendly to each other.

Dinosaurs probably cooed, not roared

Dinosaurs might not have been as terrifying as we thought.

Dino bird wings found in fossilized 100-million-year-old amber look simply stunning

The specimens discovered by the researchers are one of a kind and, unlike previous amber fossils, the feathers were attached to tissue, too.

Research team grows “dinosaur legs” on a chicken for the first time

Researchers have manipulated the genome of chicken embryos so that they develop dinosaur-like bones in their lower legs.

Dinosaur love dance impressed on sandstone offers first glimpse of dino courtship

Birds are literally dinosaurs, so many scientists suspect millions of years ago dinosaurs shared similar courtship tactics like fancy plumage or complex dances to impress potential mates. While fossils can teach us so much about how dinosaurs looked and, in some instances, behaved (herd behavior, diet, hunting patterns etc.), inferences on mating rituals have been speculations at best thus far. A paper published in Scientific Reports offers some of the first tantalizing evidence that supports the idea that dinosaurs indeed employed similar courtship displays to modern birds. The researchers at University of Colorado, Denver found tracks etched into sandstone surfaces to create nest displays, hoping to attract a female to mate with. These scrapes are one of a kind, found nowhere else in the world.

Male ruff birds cross-dress to steal females, and it’s all in their genes

Self-preservation and reproduction are the most powerful instincts, and life forms on Earth have devised all sorts of gimmicks and tactics to become successful (pass on those genes). Just look at the male ruff sneak tactics to grab girls. There are three distinct approaches: the cocky aggressive, the sneaky ‘satellite, and the cross-dresser. You might think this isn’t necessarily peculiar in itself. After all, human males employ similar approaches to seek women’s attention. The peacock, the friend-zone dude, the jock, the joker etc. What’s odd about ruff males is that this behavior is coded inside their genes – from the way they act, to how their plumage looks like. And they’re all, ultimately, males of the same species.