Glorious bird photos that won the 2016 Audubon Society Photography Awards

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Bonnie Block won the grand prize in the 2016 Audubon Society Photography Awards for her magnificent photo above of a Bald Eagle and a Great Blue Heron in Seabeck, Washington. The two predators are known to fight over prey, with the Eagles usually winning.

Below, an intense photo that the contest's "youth winner," Carolina Anne Fraser, snapped of Great Frigatebirds in the Galápagos.

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Sea gull picks a fight with itself

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See video of the bellicose bird bullying itself here. Read the rest

Feathers – A sublime meditation on the brilliance of the bird feather. Released today!

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

We live in a world of backgrounded miracles, entire worlds of wonder and beauty that we either can’t see or stopped noticing a long time ago. Look closely at the wings of a fly on your window sill, stare into a bisected piece of fruit, or look carefully at a growth of mold on a dish. Millions of such micro worlds surround us, breathtaking examples of design, engineering, and evolutionary artistry. When we bother to look.

Feathers is a photographic examination of one such overlooked natural wonder, the lowly bird feather. A single bird has thousands of feathers, of different types, and there are some ten-thousand species of birds. Feathers takes a broad view of the evolution of the bird and its feathers while focusing its lens on the plumage of 75 or so notable species. Each species gets a few pages, with one or two impressively photographed feather close-ups and a brief explanatory text.

This book reminded me a lot of Rose Lynn Fisher’s BEE (which I loved). Both books are minimal in content and feel, but that only helps to narrow and maintain your focus on the world under examination. The text in Feathers doesn’t try to tell you everything about the species of the bird and feather that you’re looking at, but the bits of fascinating science it does contain are probably far more memorable. Like BEE, I felt like I got to peer into a world I don’t normally see and came away greatly enriched by the experience. Read the rest

Watch these cute Barn Owls learn how to fly for the first time

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“Luna and Lily have grown from helpless little chicks to near adult barn owls and now they're beginning to learn how to fly.”

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Cockatoo has had enough of this crap

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That is one pottymouthed bird.

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Birds are jerks compilation

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Clip'wreck says: "Birds can be jerks, and the internet is full of proof. Be they duck, ostrich, swan, goose, crow, parrot, penguin, chicken or seagull, none can be trusted. Enjoy this compilation video of birds being rude, destructive, crazy, selfish, and mean."

[via] Read the rest

Police training eagles to take down drones

The Dutch National Police are attempting to train eagles to take down drones. (Here's an unintentional example of an eagle doing just that!) From IEEE Spectrum:

The Dutch police have partnered with Guard From Above, a raptor training company based in Denmark, to determine whether eagles could be used as intelligent, adaptive anti-drone weapon systems. The eagles are specially trained to identify and capture drones, although from the way most birds of prey react to drones, my guess is that not a lot of training was necessary. After snatching the drone out of the sky, the eagles instinctively find a safe area away from people to land and try take a couple confused bites out of their mechanical prey before their handlers can reward them with something a little less plastic-y. The advantage here is that with the eagles, you don’t have to worry about the drone taking off out of control or falling on people, since the birds are very good at mid-air intercepts as well as bringing the drone to the ground without endangering anyone.

Except maybe the eagles?

"Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones" (IEEE Spectrum)

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Divebomb your friends in this elegant bird-jousting game

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You're supposed to be a bird in Trills, a two-player jousting game by Crudepixel, but for some reason when you collide with another bird, it sounds like two swords clashing. Maybe birds can also be swords, in this beautiful, minimalist world of light gravity and elegant collisions? I'm not an expert in imaginary ornithology.

You and a friend take on the role of either a turquoise or black sword-bird, and have to soar and dive your way to victory, which can take a couple of forms: knocking each other out of the arena, gaining the most territory, or scoring goals with a ball. The controls are relatively simple; it's all about spinning around to angle your bird for the perfect, elegant divebomb when you close your wings like a fan.

It's a lovely little thing to play around with, especially for the afforable cost of pay-what-you-will. Download it now on Itch.io, for Windows only. Read the rest

Adorable baby owl dancing to “Monster Mash” is 2015's official Halloween video

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It's a few years old, actually, but this video of a cute baby owl "dancing" to a fuzzy owl-shaped comforting toy that sings “Monster Mash” is well deserving of a viral revival. Read the rest

Little budgie likes preening this cat, and the cat likes it

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This white budgie is grooming a cat friend, and the cat seems to like it. Read the rest

You are the seagull who will burn the world

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At first, it seems like just another day at the beach for just another seagull. Then you open your tiny yellow beak and sing the song of fire.

Eric the bird says he is a "fucking legend" and the dog is a "fucking cunt"

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Eric the Bird calls the dog he lives with a " fucking cunt." This Corella is indeed a "fucking legend," as he declares himself in the video below. Read the rest

Crow enjoys riding windshield wipers

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Hanging on to that wiper must be murder.

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Up to 90 percent of seabirds have plastic in their guts

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Researchers calculate that as many as 9 out of 10 seabirds have plastic garbage in their intestines. So sad. Read the rest

Traffic noise annoys songbirds to the point of harming them

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New research suggests that traffic noise (apart from pollution and general hectic motion) degrades the natural habitat of songbirds, and perhaps other animals. Boise State University biologists created a "phantom road" using speakers to create traffic noise in a natural, roadless songbird habitat. Read the rest

Watch this birdie do a pretty much perfect R2D2 impersonation

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“We taught Bluey the budgie how to do R2-D2 and now he drives us crazy! He has two other budgies in his cage, and I think he's driving them crazy too!”

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Poop on everyone as a beautiful seagull

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"You poop uncontrollably. Your purpose is to poop on things."

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