Birds

Though the fossil shared a resemblance to others found in the region, it had much longer legs. The team decided to name the new species Kairuku waewaeroa, which means “long-legged” in the Maori language.

New Zealand Kids Discovered This Fossil of New Giant Penguin Species on a Field Trip

Paleontologists say the bird would have been roughly the size of a ten-year-old child

After his recovery, researchers noticed Bruce was using small pebbles to rid his plumage of mites and dirt—a practice that has never been observed before.

Bruce the Parrot Uses Tools to Survive Despite a Broken Beak

Missing his upper beak, an alpine parrot in New Zealand uses small pebbles for preening

When comparing the genomes, the team found that the birds of Stewart Island had less genetic diversity than the mainland birds and had half as many mutations as the birds that dwelled on the mainland.

Thousands of Years of Inbreeding May Have Saved This Flightless Parrot From Extinction

The Kākāpō had fewer mutations in its genome despite a small genetic pool and long history of isolation due to a previous near-extinction event

Musk ducks join an elite group of non-human animals that can mimic speech.

Listen to Ripper the Duck Say 'You Bloody Fool!'

New research highlights the rare trait of vocal learning among animals with examples of musk ducks imitating human speech and other noises

Researchers with the Kivi Kuaka project are tagging a variety of Pacific birds, hoping they will reveal differences in their capacity to detect and respond to dangerous storms and tsunamis.

Can Birds Tip Us Off to Natural Disasters?

Researchers think birds can hear hurricanes and tsunamis—a sense they’re hoping to tap into to develop a bird-based early warning system

Scientists suspect that the vultures have expanded into Indiana in the past few decades because of climate change and changes in land use.

Federally Protected Black Vultures May Be 'Eating Cows Alive' in the Midwest

Farmers are seeking permits to cull any raptors harming their livestock, but experts say reports of vicious attacks are exaggerated

A thermal image shows a parrot releasing heat through its beak and talons. Researchers have found that since 1871 some parrots have increased their beak area up to 10 percent.

Animals Are Changing Shape to Cope With Rising Temperatures

Birds, bats, rabbits, mice and other creatures are growing bigger body parts to cool themselves off

Around 20 percent of female white-necked jacobins have evolved to share the vibrant plumage characteristic of males.

Female Hummingbirds Masquerade as Males to Avoid Harassment

One-fifth of female white-necked jacobins sport flashy male-like plumage, which may help them access more food

T. navigans was first described by researchers in 2003. However, until now, everything known about the species was based on two skulls.

Near-Complete Pterosaur Skeleton Obtained in Police Raid Reveals Stunning Details About the Species

The winged reptile's anatomical features hint that it may have foraged around like a chicken and flown short distances to escape predators

Wildlife officials in some states are saying it is okay to feed songbirds again now that the mysterious illness is abating.

As Mysterious Avian Illness Fades, Some States Give All-Clear to Feed Birds Again

It's okay to feed songbirds again in many states, though scientists still don't know what caused this mysterious illness

The giant tortoise clumsily stalked and ate a lesser noddy tern chick, raising questions about their herbivorous diet.

Giant Tortoise Stuns Scientists by Eating a Baby Bird

In a first, researchers in the Seychelles document the large reptile stalking and devouring a chick

Many terrestrial birds disappeared in Barro Colorado Island, in the Panama Canal, despite their abundance in adjacent mainland forests, because they could not cross Gatun Lake to maintain populations on the island.

Smithsonian Voices

Despite a Century of Protection, This Island Suffers Critical Loss in Biodiversity

The Barro Colorado bird community has lost about a quarter of its species over time

American Black Duck by Peter Daverington at Halletts Point, Queens, is one of nearly 100 murals that make up the Audubon Mural Project.

The Audubon Mural Project Brings Threatened Birds Back to New York City

From purple finches to whiskered screech owls, artists are expanding a colorful flock of public artworks in Upper Manhattan

Male acorn woodpeckers, like the one on the left, have more offspring over their lives when they’re polygamous, according to new research.

Smithsonian Voices

Polygamy Helps Male Acorn Woodpeckers Thrive

The findings of a new study could help scientists learn more about how social behaviors evolved in other animals

In addition to its school-bus-length wingspan, the creature had a three-foot-long skull with a pointed snout and around 40 sharp teeth.

Giant, Dragon-Like, Flying Reptile Fossil Discovered in Australia

A rare specimen reveals a new species of pterosaur with a staggering 23-foot wingspan

Bald eagles are native to the United States, but caring for them is a unique and rare opportunity. Every bald eagle in human care, including Annie pictured here, is a rescue.

Smithsonian Voices

Meet Rescued Bald Eagles Tioga and Annie

Every one of these birds under human care is a rescue; it is illegal to breed and keep these birds otherwise

A sulfur-crested cockatoo flips open the lid of a bin.

Why Australia's Trash Bin–Raiding Cockatoos Are the 'Punks of the Bird World'

The birds can bust open garbage lids—and the behavior is catching on fast, which could be a sign of social learning

Cher Ami, April 1918–June 1919

Smithsonian Voices

Solving a 100-Year-Old Mystery About the Brave Pigeon Cher Ami

Science determines the most famous pigeon in World War I history was not a female, but a cock bird

Via Getty: "A state wildlife veterinarian inspects a European starling carcass before shipping it to the University of Georgias Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources headquarters on July 2, 2021."

Mysterious Bird-Killing Illness Spreads to More Mid-Atlantic States

Researchers rule out several pathogens but still don’t know what is causing the deaths

Maui's Haleakala is the world's largest dormant volcano, and its summit is considered the quietest place on Earth.

Ridiculous Reviews of Some of the Best National Parks

A new book combines illustrations of the parks with laughably bad critiques from disgruntled tourists