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)

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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)
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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

Rare giant bird kills Florida man

Marvin Hajos, 75, of Gainesville, Florida, fell in his backyard and was then attacked by his pet cassowary, a giant bird from ratite group that also includes emus and ostriches. Native to northeastern Australia and tropical forests of New Guinea, cassowaries have three-toed feet with long, sharp claws. From CNN:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission considers cassowaries Class II wildlife, meaning they pose a danger to humans and are subject to specific cage requirements. Owners must also have "substantial experience" with the animals, the commission says...

They can grow more than 5 feet tall and the heaviest females can weigh more than 160 pounds, the (San Diego Zoo) says. Males weigh up to 120 pounds.

"The cassowary is rightfully considered the most dangerous bird in the world!" the zoo says. "Each 3-toed foot has a dagger-like claw on the inner toe that is up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) long! The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick."

image: "Southern cassowary" by Scott Hamlin/CC BY-SA 2.0

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Clever bird adapts to pecking order

Sometimes life comes at you fast, and you just have to make the best of a challenging situation. Read the rest

Crocheted budgies, for a friend who loves birds but can't have one

“They are the pets of a friend of mine and he wanted to give them as a gift to someone who loved them but could not have their own budgies.” Read the rest

Do you know this pigeon who wears a glitzy rhinestone flight suit?

This fancy pigeon showed up on a Glendale, Arizona woman's back patio. She called in rescue organization Fallen Feathers who are now seeking the bird's owner. From AZFamily:

"He was in her back patio and he kept coming up to the sliding back door and looking like he wanted to come in," said Kieran.

She's convinced the pigeon is someone's pet and not wild.

Read the rest

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