Source: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Richard Prum: How Does Beauty Evolve?

Prum speaks on Darwin’s idea of sexual selection, the importance of arbitrary traits, and why he could never choose a favorite species of bird.
Eastern phoebe nest with one brown-headed cowbird egg

The Sky’s Creepiest Parasites

Are you a bird? Is your chick acting weird? You might be victim of a brood parasite.
A peacock

Green Birds Aren’t Really Green

Some of the most dazzling coloration you see in birds doesn’t actually exist.
A flamingo feeding its young

How Non-Mammals “Nurse” Their Young

Some birds feed their young with "crop milk," while discus fish feed their fry with a special mucus. It may not seem as cute as nursing, but it works.

This Island Is Closed for Maintenance

The Faroe Islands owe their untouched nature to their remote location and stormy climate. And to a weekend closure.

Is Illinois the Next Bald Eagle Watching Spot?

 Once seasonal migrants, the iconic birds of prey are settling in the state.
francis willughby crows

The First True Ornithologist

Though he was once dismissed as a dilettante, naturalist Francis Willughby was in fact part of the vanguard of observation-based modern science.
A phasmid stick insect with egg

The Incredible Phasmid Egg

Stick insects have eggs that look exactly like seeds. Scientists can't figure out why these masters of camouflage would lay eggs that resemble bird snacks.
Cuckoo chick

Russian Cuckoos are Invading Alaska. Songbirds, Beware!

Songbirds may loose their entire broods to cuckoos’ parasitic tricks.
Pigeon Pete

Pigeon Whistles: From Utilitarian to Orchestral

Composition with pigeons. One flock's dynamic movement created a spatial music that was constantly crescendoing and dissipating in a long haunting chord.