Land Birds

Sandhill cranes fly over Nebraska's Platte River, where they gather each year during their spring migration, in 2009.

38,000 Sandhill Cranes Flock to Nebraska in a Record-Breaking Start to Spring Migration

Wildlife biologists counted the birds—likely lured by the region’s mild winter temperatures—during their first aerial survey of the season

A mother humpback whale and calf are seen off the coast of Brazil.

Earth’s Migratory Animals Are in Peril, According to U.N. Report

The Convention on Migratory Species warns that many birds, mammals and fish face numerous threats, but they can be saved

Farmers have shown a renewed interest in planting coffee in the shade of other plants. The resulting farms are visited by a multitude of creatures from ants to birds to bats.

How Shade Coffee Aids Conservation

When managed in the right way, the farms that provide our morning brew can be a refuge for plant and animal biodiversity

A rosy-faced lovebird

These Parrots Use Their Beaks to Swing Across Branches Like Monkeys

Scientists have documented the unusual movement, dubbed "beakiation," for the first time

African gray parrots are highly intelligent birds that can learn to closely mimic human voices.

These Parrots Won't Stop Swearing. Will They Learn to Behave—or Corrupt the Entire Flock?

A British zoo hopes the good manners of a larger group will rub off on the eight misbehaving birds

Barred owls are bigger, faster to reproduce and less picky about food and habitat.

Can Killing One Species of Owl Help Save Another?

Biologists and conservationists are grappling with a controversial plan to kill 470,000 barred owls in the Pacific Northwest over the next 30 years

A critically endangered kākāpō rests in a tree.

Inside New Zealand’s Quest to Save Its Rotund, Flightless Parrots

Researchers are slowly restoring the endangered kākāpō using DNA sequencing, GPS tracking and tailored diets

This A.I.-generated illustration shows what some of the undiscovered extinct birds might have looked like.

Humans May Have Driven Twice as Many Bird Species to Extinction as Previously Thought

Statistical modeling of undiscovered extinctions suggests 1,430 bird species have disappeared during modern human history

Cattle tyrants usually follow behind grazing animals to snap up insects for food.

South American Bird Makes Rare Appearance in Texas, Thousands of Miles From Home

Birders are driving hours to Corpus Christi for a chance to spot the cattle tyrant, which has never been observed in the United States before

Striated caracaras are falcons, but they don't act much like other birds of prey.

These Brainy Falcons Are Smarter Than You Might Think

Striated caracaras solved up to eight puzzle box problems in a new study, suggesting they are cognitively complex, like crows and parrots

In 1958, dozens of red-breasted flycatchers, like the one pictured here, flew off course and visited the United Kingdom.

One Reason Migrating Birds Get Lost Is Out of This World

Solar energy can alter the Earth’s magnetic field and likely lead the animals astray

This well-preserved track from Australia clearly shows the four toes of an ancient bird.

Australia's Oldest Known Bird Tracks Are 120 Million Years Old

In that age, the continent was attached to Antarctica, but migrating animals still traveled to the polar region for sustenance

Hummingbirds' unusual flying abilities have long fascinated scientists.

Watch How Hummingbirds Fly Through Narrow Spaces

Slow-motion video revealed the birds take two different approaches: flying sideways or pinning their wings back and darting like a bullet

Some species of kingfisher hunt for fish by diving head-first into the water as quickly as 25 miles per hour.

How Kingfishers Dive Head-First Into Water Without Getting Concussions

Thanks to a new genetic analysis of 30 kingfisher species, researchers are one step closer to understanding the birds' dramatic hunting style

In 2020, the American Ornithological Society dubbed this bird, formerly named for a Confederate general, the “thick-billed longspur."

Why Dozens of North American Birds Will Soon Get New Names

In a bid to make birding more inclusive, the American Ornithological Society will give new monikers to several species named after people

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

After Getting Stuck in a Sculpture at the National Gallery of Art, This Barred Owl Is Now Flying Free

The bird spent some time recuperating at two rehabilitation facilities and is now back in the wild

Billions of periodical cicadas emerge every 13 or 17 years in the eastern United States, creating an all-you-can-eat buffet for birds.

Huge Cicada Broods Have Ripple Effects on Birds, Caterpillars and Trees

When Brood X emerged in 2021, scientists measured how the influx of billions of insects affected the ecosystem near Washington, D.C.

California condors are attracted to shiny things and sometimes ingest wrappers, coins and padlock keys.

'Love Locks' at the Grand Canyon Could Be Harming Endangered California Condors

Park service officials urged visitors to stop attaching padlocks to fences and throwing keys into the canyon below, where the birds could eat them

One of the first toothed birds ever discovered, Hesperornis paddled with its hind feet to hunt fish and evade marine reptiles in warm, Cretaceous seas.

During the Age of Dinosaurs, Some Birds Sported Toothy Grins

The often overlooked animals thrived for millions of years

Five flamingos—three adults and two juveniles—hung out for a few hours along the shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. One is not pictured here.

Flamingos Spotted in Wisconsin for First Time on Record Amid String of Rare Appearances

Following Hurricane Idalia, the conspicuous pink birds have been sighted in at least 11 states where they don’t typically live

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