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Pigeons on the menu for some catfish

I came across this interesting video today from Animal Wire that shows a population of catfish caught hunting pigeons on land: Who knew that catfish had more in common with cats than just their whiskers.

New research provides more evidence of how birds conserve energy by flying in a “V” formation:

Just in time for Halloween: Besides being an excellent way to avoid predators, roosting or hanging upside down is optimal for taking off into flight. Bats are not able to launch into flight from an upright position because their wings do not generate sufficient lift while at a dead stop. Additionally, their hindlegs are rather…

An article came out today in Wunderground.com about an iconic bird (in both good and bad ways) in South Africa, the Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash). There are stores named after the birds, songs dedicated to them and even a documentary called “Hadeda Sunrise” that you can watch here:

Shy birds build “better” bonds

A new study published in Ecology Letters suggests that shy male great tits build stronger bonds with birds in their own flock.  This population of birds has been studied in Wytham Woods, near Oxford, UK since 1947. In case you are wondering, the team determined “shyness” and “boldness” by capturing birds and placing them in a…

A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology presents data suggesting that birds do not carry a specific anti-inflammatory protein critical for keeping inflammation under control in mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The specific protein is tristetraprolin (TTP). It functions mainly by inhibiting key mediators of inflammation in the body, such as tumor necrosis…

Birds follow speed limits

Dr. Pierre Legagneux (University of Quebec in Rimouski, Canada) and Dr. Simon Ducatez (McGill University, Canada) published a new study in Biology Letters suggesting that birds judge the speed limit of cars to determine when to take flight. In areas with higher speed limits, birds were observed to take off sooner than areas with lower…

Find out why most species of birds do not have a penis in this video abstract of new research published yesterday in Current Biology: Source Herrera AM, Shuster SG, Perriton CL, Cohn MJ. Developmental basis of phallus reduction during bird evolution. Current Biology Published online June 6, 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.062

City birds are early to rise

A recent study has provided some evidence supporting the hypothesis that light and noise pollution alters the biological clocks of birds living in cities (compared to birds living in rural areas).   Dr. Dominoni (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany) and colleagues used radio-pulse transmitters attached to European blackbirds (Turdus merula) living in Munich, Germany…

Ancient bird had specialized teeth!

Researchers have unearthed a fossil of a robin-sized bird (Sulcavis geeorum) from the Cretaceous Period in China that had teeth! This species belonged to a class of birds with teeth (Enantiornithines) that were plentiful in the age of the dinosaurs. However, the teeth of this well-preserved specimen were different. The teeth were sharp and had…