Birdstor Daily

Dear Reader, we’ve got some exciting news. JSTOR Daily will be changing its name to BIRDstor Daily as of today. Given the frequency with which we post about birds, this will probably not come as a huge surprise. We start with this collection of bird stories from our first year of publication. Here’s to our avian overlords!

Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata)

Blackpoll Warblers: Tiny Bird, Huge Journey

As spring migration kicks off, new research shows that tiny blackpoll warblers have the capacity to make a 1,500 mile, non-stop flight over the Atlantic.




Sapayoa aenigma, Nusagandi, Panama

The Sex Lives of Birds

Deep in a Central American rainforest, ornithologists have discovered that a rare bird has an unusual lifestyle.





Bohemian Waxwing (Hilversum, The Netherlands)

When Birds Drink Too Much

In case you think a few drinks makes your singing better, it doesn’t—and the same goes for birds.




heath hen

The Sad Story of Booming Ben, Last of the Heath Hens

Grassland-dwelling grouse and prairie chicken populations across the country are in trouble.





Bald Eagles are Back from the Brink

You stand a far better chance today of seeing one of these majestic creatures than people did 40 years ago. 





Turns Out, Raptors are Avian Arsonists

Australian Brown Falcons have been observed picking up smoldering sticks and dropping them on dry, undamaged areas to start new fires.




SecretarybirdMeet the Secretary Bird, Snake Nemesis

If snakes have nightmares, they most likely include secretary birds.






Why Do Geese Fly in Formation

John Badgerow suggested that the primary purpose was a form of visual communication.




CamouflageTeddy Roosevelt Weighs in on Bird Camouflage

In 1911, two years after his presidency had ended, Theodore Roosevelt used his newfound leisure time to get up to date on the latest advances in ornithology.





Driving the Evolution of Cliff Swallows

The population of these birds expanded with the highways.






Let’s Talk Turkey

The story behind “turkey” isn’t exactly clear, but probably has to do with a mistaken belief that the birds came from the exotic East, as represented by Ottoman Turkey.




By Martinvl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Truth Behind the Tower of London Ravens

The birds were part of a distinctly Victorian fantasy, made up of Gothic and Celtic elements, largely in response to tremendous industrial and imperial change.





Alexander Wilson’s Birds

Step aside John James Audubon, Alexander Wilson was the “father of American ornithology.”




Vultures on tree

How the Near Extinction of Indian Vultures Led to Disaster

Vultures have an incredible tolerance for botulism: they can eat it like candy.





frigate bird

The Astounding Adaptations of Long-Distance Flyers

These large, ocean-going birds can fly for weeks without stopping, at altitudes up to 13,000 feet.



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