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  1. A study published today in the journal Science reveals that since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling a widespread ecological crisis. The results show tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats—from iconic songsters such as meadowlarks to long-distance migrants such as swallows and backyard birds including sparrows. View the full article
  2. Every spring in Australia is heralded by reports of magpies swooping at people. While it is of little comfort to those at the receiving end of a surprise attack, such events are actually quite rare when one considers the number of magpies across Australia, and the fact that they love to share our urban habitat with us. View the full article
  3. Some recent research suggests that educational achievement can be predicted based on differences in our genes. But does this really mean that genes set limits on an individual's academic potential? Or do these findings just reflect how standardized educational systems reward certain inborn learning styles and aptitudes at the expense of others? View the full article
  4. Hurricane Dorian was the second most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record and the fifth to reach the highest hurricane category (five) in the past four years. After it first made landfall, it hovered over the northern Bahamas for more than 50 hours. View the full article
  5. A tiny penguin that made the mammoth journey from New Zealand to Australia has been nursed back to health and released into the wild—in the hope it will find its own way home. View the full article
  6. The Penguin Genome Consortium sequences all living penguin species genomes to understand the evolution of life on the ice View the full article
  7. New research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Porto (CIBIO-InBIO) shows how global warming could reduce the mating activity and success of grassland birds. View the full article
  8. Queen's University researcher Vicki Friesen (Biology) and former postdoctoral fellow Debbie Leigh are sounding the alarm over the increasing loss of the genetic variation that allows species to adapt to the rapid and drastic environmental changes being generated by human activity. View the full article
  9. We usually think of a species as being reproductively isolated—that is, not mating with other species in the wild. Occasionally, however, closely related species do interbreed. New research just published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances documents the existence of a previously undiscovered hybrid zone along the coast of northern California and southern Oregon, where two closely related bird hummingbirds, Allen's Hummingbird and Rufous Hummingbird, are blurring species boundaries. Researchers hope that studying cases such as this one could improve their understanding of how biodiversity is created and maintained. View the full article
  10. DNA tests have proven an extinct bird species unique to the Canary Islands—whose loss was considered a sizeable blow for genetic diversity—is actually almost identical to types commonly found in the UK and throughout Europe. View the full article
  11. In the past half-billion years, Earth has been hit again and again by mass extinctions, wiping out most species on the planet. And every time, life recovered and ultimately went on to increase in diversity. View the full article
  12. The Trump administration announced Thursday its final plan to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, giving the petroleum industry access to the pristine wildland for the first time. View the full article
  13. New research at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows how the world's most widely used insecticides could be partly responsible for a dramatic decline in songbird populations. View the full article
  14. It was a puzzle about birds. View the full article
  15. An 1832 description of a swamp said that that it was so full of extinct animal bones that you only had to stick your hand in the water to retrieve them. Inspired by this a group of international researchers, including the Natural History Museum's Dr. Julian Hume, went in search of it. View the full article
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