Conservationists and marksmen of Malta battle over annual bird hunt

Conservationists and marksmen of Malta battle over annual bird hunt

As dawn breaks over the sea and ancient stone churches turn pink, the morning’s stillness is broken by volleys of gunfire. Tucked behind walls, sitting on armchairs in specially built turrets or else popping up from old stone sheds, Malta’s marksmen open fire as migrating birds flap desperately for cover.

Some Birds use “Mafia” Tactics to Get Hosts to Accept Their Parasite Eggs

Some Birds use “Mafia” Tactics to Get Hosts to Accept Their Parasite Eggs

New research from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology reveals that some species of parasitic bird – which lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species – will bring on a heavy retaliation if the host bird abandons the parasite eggs. The researchers propose that the relationship is akin to a mafia … Continue reading

Chickadees are harbingers of a changing climate

Chickadees are harbingers of a changing climate

Chickadees aren’t signs of spring, since these cheery little birds are year-round Jersey residents. But they could signal a warming climate. An interesting new study focuses on “hybrid” chickadees — the offspring of northern black-capped chickadees and their southern relatives, Carolina chickadees — in places where the two ranges overlap. Because the hybrid birds are … Continue reading

Scientists fear BP blowout killed far more birds than officially reported

Scientists fear BP blowout killed far more birds than officially reported

Almost from the start, wildlife advocates described the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a war on the Gulf ecosystem. Few quibbled with that analogy as a record 210 million gallons spewed into the Gulf just 50 miles from one of the world’s most productive coastal estuaries. Yet four years later, wildlife workers, especially those concerned … Continue reading

Iconic boreal bird species declining in the Adirondacks, study says

Iconic boreal bird species declining in the Adirondacks, study says

A new study from the Wildlife Conservation Society finds that several iconic Adirondack birds are in trouble, with declines driven by the size of their wetland habitats, how connected these wetlands are to one another, and how near they are to human infrastructure. The Adirondack Park represents the southern range extent for several species of … Continue reading

Birdlife Appeal to Make 2014 Last Year of Spring Hunting in Malta

Birdlife Appeal to Make 2014 Last Year of Spring Hunting in Malta

This evening, on the first day of the spring hunting season, BirdLife launched a new Stop Spring Hunting campaign appeal asking the Maltese people to help “make this the last spring hunting season in Malta”. Appearing on Animal Diaries this evening, BirdLife Malta’s Christian Debono and Nicholas Barbara talked to Moira Delia about the impact … Continue reading

New Computer Model Uses DNA to Identify Earth’s Most Distinctive Birds

New Computer Model Uses DNA to Identify Earth’s Most Distinctive Birds

Of all the birds on Earth, perhaps none is more unique than the South American oilbird, which 90 million years ago hopped onto its own branch of the evolutionary tree and has been on it ever since. The oilbird perches atop a new analysis of avian distinctiveness: how old each species is, and whether they … Continue reading

Scientists name world’s 100 most unique and endangered birds

Scientists name world’s 100 most unique and endangered birds

The “little dodo”, a flightless parrot and the world’s largest ibis are among the world’s 100 most unique and endangered birds, according to a new study. Scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Yale University assessed the world’s 9,993 bird species according to their evolutionary distinctiveness and global extinction risk to produce a … Continue reading