Birds in the News

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]We may not notice but birds are everywhere in the news almost everyday. On the radio, television, magazines, internet, and social media we find references to birds.newspaper-152320_960_720

Read this story from Science Daily: New research suggests that the dodo, an extinct bird whose name has entered popular culture as a symbol of stupidity, was actually fairly smart. The work, published today in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, finds that the overall size of the dodo’s brain in relation to its body size was on par with its closest living relatives: pigeons–birds whose ability to be trained implies a moderate level of intelligence. The researchers also discovered that the dodo had an enlarged olfactory bulb — the part of the brain responsible for smelling — an uncharacteristic trait for birds, which usually concentrate their brainpower into eyesight.

Dodo from The Ivory Bill
Dodo from The Ivory Bill

The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a large, flightless bird that lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. They were last seen in 1662.

“When the island was discovered in the late 1500s, the dodos living there had no fear of humans and they were herded onto boats and used as fresh meat for sailors,” said Eugenia Gold, the lead author of the paper, a research associate and recent graduate of the American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Graduate School, and an instructor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. “Because of that behavior and invasive species that were introduced to the island, they disappeared in less than 100 years after humans arrived. Today, they are almost exclusively known for becoming extinct, and I think that’s why we’ve given them this reputation of being dumb.”

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Sites Carrying News About Birds

Birding News
Bird News
Birds NewsBirdlife International
Brome Bird News
Huffington Post
ICUNLive Science
Natural News
New York Times Bird Stories Archive
Neuroscience News
Science Daily

From the N.Y. Times: A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that airport officials had the authority to kill migratory birds that posed a threat to planes at Kennedy International Airport.

Snowy_Owl_Barrow_Alaska birdsIn 2013, reports that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey authorized the extermination of Snowy Owls, resulting in three of them being killed with a shotgun, led to a public outcry and a petition with thousands of signatures. It also prompted a lawsuit brought by an animal advocacy organization, Friends of Animals, that sought to alter the policies of the federal agencies that oversee bird removal.

The group said in that lawsuit that some bird killings were necessary to protect public safety, but they asserted that shooting snowy owls — large white birds from the Arctic tundra — was “wholly unnecessary.”

“Migratory birds that congregate near airports pose a well-known threat to human safety,” Judge José A. Cabranes wrote in the ruling.