Science

American Black Duck. Fyn Kynd/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Ducks in the Southern U.S. Have Shifted Northward Due to Temperature Changes Attributed to Climate Change

— A new study shows patterns uncovered by community scientists over 50 years have repercussions for both wildlife and people
Homeslice feeds on fruit atop of the R/V Atlantis's life jackets. Shana Goffredi

What a Songbird Lost at Sea Taught Me About Survival

— Aboard a mission to explore the alien life of the deep ocean, a chance encounter with a migratory bird offered a point of connection—one that has felt poignant this past year.  

False Scents Can Trick Predators Into Ignoring Nesting Shorebirds

— A new study finds that habituating hungry mammals to certain appetizing smells makes them far less likely to invade nests.
Lesser Flamingos fly through Mumbai in April, 2020. Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

A Year of the Pandemic: How Have Birds and Other Wildlife Responded?

— The slowdown in human activity—a period scientists are calling the “anthropause”—was a mixed bag for animals.
Eurasian Reed Warbler used in the study. Florian Packmor

Lost Birds Rely on Earth's Magnetic Field to Get Back on Track

— A new study suggests that migratory birds have a kind of built-in GPS that helps them navigate the world, even when they’re far from home.

Rare Yellow Penguin Bewilders Scientists

— After photos of the striking King Penguin went viral in recent weeks, experts have been searching for answers.
Northern Mockingbirds are disappearing from the Mojave Desert as it gets hotter and drier. Natural History Archive/Alamy

How Climate Change Pushes Even the Hardiest Desert Birds Past Their Limit

— The Mojave Desert is heating up and drying out so rapidly that birds can't drink enough water to stay cool. The result is population "collapse."

Artificial Lighting May Shift Bird Migration by More Than a Week, New Research Says

— Purple Martins exposed to bright nighttime light migrated eight days early—which could lead to starvation at their breeding grounds.
Canada Geese fly past a coal power plant in Kansas. Charlie Riedel/AP

How a Landmark Environmental Law May Have Quietly Saved a Billion Birds

— New research reveals a previously uncounted benefit of the Clean Air Act—at a time when the Trump administration is weakening its protections.
This pair of Florida Scrub-Jays could help boost the genetic diversity of a struggling population in the Sunshine State. Carlton Ward

How Researchers Hope to Save the Florida Scrub-Jay From an Inbreeding Crisis

— Human development has caused the bird's gene pool to shrink. An ambitious experiment to relocate scrub-jay families could bring reprieve, while also pointing the way to preserving other threatened species.