Other Animals

Add “birds” to your Google News alert topics–or simply search the word “bird” or “parrot” in Google to see what’s going on in the world of birds. Here are some recent “birds in the news” stories worth checking out.

parrotsFeather Color May Be Linked To Body Size & Climate

You’ll want to read this fascinating study that explores how parrots’ feather color is influenced by body size and  climate. For one, researchers found that smaller, shorter-lived parrot species are more likely to show visual differences (sexual dimorphism) between male and female plumage colors or patterns than larger parrot species. Study results also suggests that environment plays a role in parrots’ appearance, as sexual dimorphism was discovered to be more pronounced in parrots living in closed or forested habitats. Another reason  to read on? See why parrots native to warmer and wetter environments are darker, while parrots from hotter climates show more blue coloring.

Yes, You’re Hearing Four Times More Wild Birds Than Usual!

wild bird
Photo by Linh Pham on Unsplash

Have you noticed a pleasant chatter of wild birds since COVID-related shutdowns? You’re not alone. Many people have recently become more aware of the birds in their area. Researchers studying wild birds in San Francisco found that birds have responded to the diminished city noise by producing softer songs, with a wider range of notes. Apparently, not having to compete with urban noise pollution has given birds the ability to hone-in on their vocal skills.

You Can Help Keep Birds Safe During Fall Migration

Some birds migrate a mind-boggling distance—up to thousands of miles—to reach warner climates during winter months. And then they fly back again in spring. Sadly, millions of birds die annually after flying into windows during their migration. In this article, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick encourages people to make small changes at their home or office to prevent window strikes. Kendrick notes that when a bird strikes a window at a home or office, the window is reflecting either sky or vegetation and the bird believes is a pass-through. Breaking up that reflection can help the bird know that the window is an obstacle. Learn what steps you can take to help migrating birds safely navigate around your home.

“Unicorn” Bird Discovered

rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Image by Carnegie Museum of Natural History/Annie Lindsay

The recent discovery of a genetic anomaly in a rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) has scientists and bird enthusiasts in awe by its rarity. This two-sexed bird was discovered in a Pennsylvania reserve. What makes this bird so unique is that it displays an even split down the middle of its body of both male and female feather coloring. Its right side shows red plumage, which is a male trait, and its left shows golden yellow feathers, which is a female trait. Learn just how rare this is and if it affects the bird’s health.

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