Science

Climate Change or Habitat Loss? New Study Weighs Which Influences Birds More

— Ninety years of Christmas Bird Count data tease apart the effects of habitat loss and warming temperatures on winter bird distributions.

The ‘Big Boom Theory’ That Could Help Conserve Common Nighthawks

— New research confirms that males’ wing-boom sound marks hard-to-find nesting sites—a boon for efforts to save these mysterious, declining birds.

The ‘Kill Bill Tanager,’ a Species New to Science, Finally Has a Real Name

— A bird sighting on Kosñipata road in southeastern Peru led to a 20-year quest to confirm the new species: the gloriously yellow Inti Tanager.

Newly Recorded Condor ‘Virgin Birth’ Is Another Way Birds Are Like Reptiles

— Zoo researchers discovered that two female California Condors had reproduced without males, a phenomenon known as parthenogenesis.

Another Reason to Stop Global Warming: Save Millions from Air Pollution

— A new study underscores the scale of disease and death industrialized societies have accepted in exchange for fossil fuel energy.

Mosquitoes to the Rescue! The Last-Ditch Effort to Save Kaua‘i’s Endangered Birds

— A modern twist on controversial biocontrol methods aims to make disease-carrying mosquitoes in Hawaii turn on themselves.

Water Shortages Are Shrinking Great Salt Lake and Killing Off Its ‘Corals’

— Reef-like structures called microbialites, exposed by receding waters, are dying en masse, raising concern for millions of birds that rely on them.

Great-Tailed Grackles’ Googly Eyes Offer a New Glimpse Into Bird Vision

— They're the first bird species known to look at two objects simultaneously.
Five Tule Geese, which are mostly brown with white bellies and wing edges and orange feet, fly in to land on a pond amid tall marsh grasses. The birds appear blurry in the image because they are in motion.

New Study Is First to Explore How Wildfire Smoke Derails Bird Migration

— Last September, migrating geese wearing GPS tags encountered one of the worst wildfire seasons in U.S. history. Their movements give scientists their first clues about how growing wildfires alter bird behavior.

These Mighty Shorebirds Keep Breaking Flight Records—And You Can Follow Along

— Bar-tailed Godwits regularly travel more than 7,000 miles non-stop. One enthusiast is spreading the word of their amazing migrations, with the help of a research project tracking 20 tagged birds in real-time.