Pigeon in a cowboy hat, RIP

A bird rescue group in Las Vegas says one of three hat-wearing pigeons which gained popularity on social media has died.

Lofty Hopes pigeon rescue of Las Vegas tweeted the sad news this past Sunday. Read the rest

SO GOOD: Live cam pointed at bald eagles incubating their eggs in the wild

Watching the Big Bear Bald Eagle Cam is really quite a thrill!

It's pointed at a nest near Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest (Southern California) occupied by Jackie and Shadow, a bald eagle couple waiting for their two eaglets to arrive. One of their eggs was laid on January 8 and the other just on Saturday. Jackie sits on the eggs the most, typical for paired eagles because the females are bigger and heavier. They simply provide more warmth and protection. But Shadow is doing his share, feeding Jackie, fluffing the nest, and, as in the past years, sitting on the eggs for stints in the daytime hours when it's not as cold. The incubation period for eagle eggs is 35 days, so the first eaglet is expected to hatch around Valentine's Day. My friend Heather was the one who showed me the cam and told me to gird my loins because (spoiler alert!) for the last two years, "the second / smaller chick always dies." Arggggghhhhh!

The Friends of the Big Bear Valley are doing a bang-up job on Facebook of narrating the day-to-day activities of these majestic raptors.

screengrab via Big Bear Bald Eagle Cam Read the rest

One of the Las Vegas pigeons wearing a cowboy hat has been caught

Last week, we posted about pigeons wearing cowboy hats in the Las Vegas Valley. Pigeon rescue group Lofty Hopes reports that they've finally trapped one of the animals, named Cluck Norris. The hats appear to be glued on the pigeons' heads. Lofty Hopes are still seeking a pink-hatted bird they've nicknamed Coo-lamity Jane.

Nobody has yet identified the birdbrain who put the hats on the pigeons.

(8 News Now) Read the rest

Why are pigeons in Las Vegas wearing cowboy hats?

In the Las Vegas Valley, some pigeons are wearing cowboy hats. While the chapeaus may seem cute on first glance, and pigeons are annoying anyway, it's unlikely they are purposely making a fashion statement. A "pigeon positive" animal rescue group called Lofty Hopes is now trying to catch the pigeons and safely remove their hats.

"Did they glue them? And what does that mean for them?” (Lofty Hopes head Mariah) Hillman told KVVU-TV. "Is it something that's going to impede their flight or attract predators?"

“We drove up and down here yesterday for a good two hours just handing out business cards to any location where I saw pigeons and people," Hillman said. "If you see these birds, just feed them until I get here. I'm only 3 miles away and I'll come trap them." Read the rest

This is the world's loudest bird

Ornithologists have determined that white bellbirds of the northern Amazon have the loudest mating call of any bird. The male white bellbird sounds off to females as close as 13 feet away with a call that can reach 125 decibels at that range. That's louder than what you'd hear holding a chainsaw while not wearing earplugs. From Discover:

The mating call also comes with a strange performance. The males turn their back to the female, lower their tail and head, and puff up. “And then all of a sudden, boom,” Podos says — one note comes screeching out, and the bird flips around dramatically to sing the second tone directly into the female’s face. The researchers think this volume might damage the female’s hearing, but maybe it’s a sacrifice she is willing to make for the sake of a good mate...

Species from the Amazon are under intense sexual selection pressures, so it makes sense that two of the loudest birds on record are from the region. Also, the screaming piha (another very loud bird) and white bellbirds are fruit-eaters, and (study coauthor Jeff Podos of University of Massachusetts Amherst) thinks the wide beaks needed for choking down berries could also help project loud calls.

"Extremely loud mating songs at close range in white bellbirds" (Current Biology) Read the rest

Bird flight, bug gaits, and animal walks: fascinating videos for animators

Artist and animator Stephen Cunnane directed these wonderful videos to help artists animate bugs, birds, and other animals.

.embed-vimeo {text-align: center; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%;} .embed-vimeo iframe {position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;} Read the rest

Pigeon poops on state lawmaker as he gives TV interview about pigeon poop problem

Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago) was giving a TV interview about the pigeon poop problem at a train station when a pigeon promptly illustrate the lawmaker's point.

"I'll just have to go clean up," Andrade said. "That's what happens to my constituents. They get [expletive] on all time."

(UPI)

Read the rest

Bird love: Hyacinth macaws are being so affectionate with this girl

Here, you need some sweetness. Read the rest

Seagull helps man avoid weed bust

When two plain-clothes police officers approached a woman smoking a joint at the Gothenburg Cultural Festival in Sweden, they noticed a fellow sitting nearby toss what they say was a bag of weed. As they were moving in for the bust, a seagull snatched the bag and flew away. While the police were distracted by the bird, the man reportedly took off.

“What the policemen did not expect was that a third party would interfere,” explained police spokesperson Stefan Gustafsson.

My hope is that the man and the seagull were in cahoots.

(The Leaf Desk)

image: Ring-billed Gull photographed by Jiyang Chen (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read the rest

Is this a bird or a bunny?

His name is Mischief.

(CNN) Read the rest

Video: Peregrine falcons can fly at more than 200 miles per hour

Peregrine falcons are the dive bombers of the natural world, flying at speeds over 200 mph to snag their prey. Read the rest

Parrot enjoys dancing to Super Mario theme song

Jacob the parrot enjoys dancing to the theme music for the video game Super Mario Bros. Hope you enjoy the video as much as he clearly enjoys performing for it. Read the rest

Staring at seagulls may deter them from stealing your food, research says

Researchers at the University of Exeter say pesky seagulls at holiday vacation spots tend to be deterred somewhat from stealing your food when you just stare at them. Yep, maintaining hostile eye contact with a gull may deter them from snarfing your french fries. Read the rest

Why this mysterious, bizarre bird is bright orange

Drivers on a highway in Buckinghamshire, UK spotted this very strange orange bird on the side of the road and called the nearby Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital. Further investigation by veterinarians revealed that the bird's feathers were not naturally orange but rather stained with curry. From CNN:

Vinny, named by veterinary workers in honor of the Vindaloo curry he was covered in, had a "pungent smell" but was otherwise healthy, the hospital said.

All he needed was a bath. Rescuers were finally able to clean the curry off of the herring gull after he put up a bit of a fight and covered the veterinary team in curry water.

Now that he's been thoroughly scrubbed and returned to his natural white coloring, Vinny will soon be ready to fly free...

Read the rest

Watch this owl's incredibly precise flying

Not only are owls incredibly agile flyers, they're also silently stealthy.

(r/NatureIsFuckingLit)

Owl through legs (full speed)
Read the rest

Notorious Vancouver crow steals knife from crime scene

**This story is from 2016. I mistakenly thought it was current, however it is still wonderful.**

Canuck probably hangs with a pretty tough murder.

CBC:

Canuck the crow, Vancouver's most notorious bird, is being accused of flying away with a knife from a crime scene.

The crow has quite a reputation in Vancouver and its antics are regularly chronicled on social media, including a dedicated Facebook page that has a profile photo of the bird holding a knife in its beak.

Earlier on Tuesday, police had shot a man near Hastings and Cassiar streets. They were called to the scene of a car engulfed in flames. When they arrived, police said, they were confronted by a man with a knife.

Shots were fired and the man was arrested.

Vancouver Courier reporter Mike Howell said he saw the bird — which had a red tag on its leg as does Canuck — swoop in and pick up an object from inside an area cordoned off by police tape.

"A cop chased it for about 15 to 20 feet, and then the crow dropped it and took off," Howell told CBC.

"It was really strange. In my 20-plus years reporting from crime scenes, I've never seen anything like that crow trying to take a knife."

Read the rest

Why birds fly in a V formation

Why do many birds fly in a V formation? The wonderful video curators at The Kid Should See This came across this excellent 2014 clip above from the science journal Nature explaining research into the aerodynamic advantages of the formation. From Nature:

...UK's Royal Veterinary College put data loggers on ibises to record their position, speed and wing flaps when they migrated. The ibises position themselves within the V so that they benefit from the flow of air created by the bird in front. They carefully time their wing flaps with their flock mates', to get an extra lift when flying high.

More at Nature: "Precision formation flight astounds scientists" Read the rest

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