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  1. Millions of mummified ibis and birds of prey, sacrificed to the Egyptian gods Horus, Ra or Thoth, have been discovered in the necropolises of the Nile Valley. Such a quantity of mummified birds raises the question of their origin: were they bred, like cats, or were they hunted? According to a team of scientists that carried out extensive geochemical analyses on mummies, they were wild birds. View the full article
  2. Cat owners fall into five categories in terms of their attitudes to their pets' roaming and hunting, according to a new study. View the full article
  3. Using the Wood Stork, researchers compared city storks with natural wetland storks to gauge their success in urban environments based on their diet and food opportunities. Results provide evidence of how a wetland species persists and even thrives in an urban environment by switching to human foods like chicken wings and hots dogs when natural marshes are in bad shape. These findings indicate that urban areas can buffer a species from the unpredictability of natural food sources. View the full article
  4. How do different bird species respond to extreme weather events that occur for different amounts of time, ranging from weekly events like heat waves to seasonal events like drought? And how do traits unique to different species -- for example, how far they migrate or how commonly they occur -- predict their vulnerability to extreme weather? View the full article
  5. New research finds that brood parasites living in more variable and unpredictable habitats tend to parasitize -- or squat and drop their eggs in -- the nests of a greater variety and number of hosts. View the full article
  6. Swans display more aggression to fellow swans than other birds, new research shows. View the full article
  7. Researchers sequenced the genomes of all 18 recognized species of penguin to assemble a family tree, showing that the largest of the penguins - king and emperor - split off from all other penguins not long after penguins arose 22 million years ago in Australia and New Zealand. Other penguins diversified after Drake's Passage opened, revving up the circumpolar current and allowing penguins to spread throughout the southern hemisphere. View the full article
  8. Bird biodiversity is rapidly declining in the US. The overall bird population decreased by 29% since 1970, while grassland birds declined by an alarming 53%. A new study points to increased use of neonicotinoid insecticides as a major factor in the decline. View the full article
  9. New research has resulted in an updated evolutionary tree of early birds and their closest relatives to reconstruct powered flight potential, showing it evolved at least three times. Many ancestors of the closest bird relatives neared the thresholds of powered flight potential, suggesting broad experimentation with wing-assisted locomotion before flight evolved. View the full article
  10. Scientists have used mathematical modelling to understand why flocks of long-tailed tits segregate themselves into different parts of the landscape. View the full article
  11. A new study of captured mosquitoes in Los Angeles finds that West Nile infection is strongly associated with average temperature, and that temperatures above 73 degrees Fahrenheit are highly favorable for West Nile transmission. As climate change brings hotter weather to the region, it is likely that cooler, coastal neighborhoods will be pushed into the 'favorable' zone, accelerating transmission of the virus. View the full article
  12. A new analysis examines whether bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that are present in wild vultures cause disease in the birds, and whether vultures play a role in spreading or preventing infectious diseases to humans and other animal species. View the full article
  13. Plucky, beautiful and declining in numbers at about a 2% annual rate, the rufous hummingbird makes its long annual migration in different timing and route patterns based the birds' age and sex, new research shows. View the full article
  14. Humans have a hard time identifying individual birds just by looking at the patterns on their plumage. An international study has now shown how computers can learn to differentiate individual birds of a same species. View the full article
  15. Forest ecologist report finding ''clear evidence of a contraction of the breeding period'' among boreal birds in Finland over a 43-year span for which good quality data were available. View the full article
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