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  1. A cache of 118 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur and bird feathers has been recovered from an ancient lake deposit that once lay beyond the southern polar circle. View the full article
  2. New Zealand is a key area for understanding the diversity of the extinct penguins and has even revealed the existence of 'giant' penguin species (larger than living penguins). A new study describes a remarkably complete giant penguin skeleton from the Oligocene, Kawhia Harbour in the North Island of New Zealand. View the full article
  3. After pairing up and raising chicks, males and females of some bird species spend their winter break apart. At the end of their journey to Central or South America, you might find mostly males in one habitat, and females in another. Yet conservation strategies have typically overlooked the habitats needed by females, putting already-declining species in even more peril. View the full article
  4. The first existence of a multilevel society in a non-mammalian animal shows that large brains are not a requirement for complex societies. View the full article
  5. It can take years of birdwatching experience to tell one species from the next. But using an artificial intelligence technique called deep learning, researchers have trained a computer to identify up to 200 species of birds from just a photo. This tool goes beyond giving the right answer to explain its thinking, in a way that even someone who doesn't know a penguin from a puffin can understand. View the full article
  6. A new study suggests that for ground dwelling mammal and bird communities, illegal hunting using indiscriminate snares may be a more immediate threat than forest degradation through selective logging. View the full article
  7. The genetic history of a critically endangered songbird shows its best chance of survival is to protect its rapidly disappearing habitat. Researchers used DNA samples from museums around the world, dating back to the 1800s, to study the genetic impact of severe population decline on the regent honeyeater. View the full article
  8. Birds use odor to identify other birds, and researchers have shown that if the bacteria that produce the odor is altered, it could negatively impact a bird's ability to communicate with other birds or find a mate. View the full article
  9. Migratory sandpipers breeding in Greenland who choose to spend the winter in West Africa instead of elsewhere along the East Atlantic coast have a lower chance of survival, are more likely to skip their first breeding season and arrive later at their breeding grounds. The new research challenges the widely held idea that the costs of longer migratory flights are inevitably offset by benefits in the winter habitats. View the full article
  10. Noise pollution is one of the leading environmental health risks in humans. In zebra finches, noise affects their health and the growth of their offspring: Researchers found that traffic noise suppresses normal glucocorticoid profiles in the blood, probably to prevent negative effects of chronically elevated levels on the organism. In addition, the young chicks of noise-exposed parents were smaller than chicks from quiet nests. View the full article
  11. Researchers are working to identify less error-prone methods for performing wildlife surveys. View the full article
  12. There are many shortfalls in knowledge of the world's biodiversity, and one of the most basic is the lack of knowledge about where species occur geographically. This deficiency has broad ramifications for research and conservation. This study suggests the development of citizen science programs to collect data by volunteers has the potential to reduce this shortfall. View the full article
  13. Biologists report that they have recorded the loudest bird calls ever documented, made by dove-sized male white bellbirds as part of their mating rituals in the mountains of the northern Amazon. View the full article
  14. Researchers have discovered a previously unknown virus infecting nearly a third of America's bald eagle population. Scientists found the virus while searching for the cause of Wisconsin River Eagle Syndrome, an enigmatic disease endemic to bald eagles near the Lower Wisconsin River. The newly identified bald eagle hepacivirus, or BeHV, may contribute to the fatal disease, which causes eagles to stumble and have seizures. View the full article
  15. Scientists surveying the birdlife of Borneo have discovered a startling surprise: an undescribed species of bird, which has been named the spectacled flowerpecker. While scientists and birdwatchers have previously glimpsed the small, gray bird in lowland forests around the island, the Smithsonian team is the first to capture and study it, resulting in its formal scientific description as a new species. View the full article
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