It’s no secret that we at JSTOR Daily are fascinated by birds: their behaviors, their resilience, and—we admit it—their beauty. This collection contains some of our favorite bird stories from the past six years, covering topics as wide ranging as the success of citizen science, the mysteries of urban birdsong, the surprise of tool-wielding puffins, and the devastating effects of climate change on birds and their ecosystems.
April 27, 2020
Finding a hobby that doesn't undermine your 19th-century masculinity can be tough.
August 28, 2021
A very nineteenth-century-science problem: lots of decaying avian specimens.
November 4, 2021
Herbert Keightley Job's work represents a major turn in the study of birds. Instead of shooting them, he photographed them, at least some of the time...
October 5, 2018
Though he was once dismissed as a dilettante, naturalist Francis Willughby was in fact part of the vanguard of observation-based modern science.
April 26, 2017
The man who formed the first Audubon Society was educated by Audubon's widow and found a way to unite men and women in the conservation movement.
April 20, 2015
Before Audubon (1785-1851), there was Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) the "father of American ornithology"
December 24, 2014
The Christmas Bird Count is upon us! From Dec. 14 until Jan. 5, birders of all stripes will be participating in a long-running "citizen science" project.
December 18, 2014
Charles R. Brown and Mary Bomberger Brown have been studying cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) in southwestern Nebraska since the early 1980s.
February 26, 2019
Once seasonal migrants, the iconic birds of prey are settling in the state.
July 26, 2021
At ten weeks old, many of the birds headed to the trenches, carrying back messages over distances of about ten miles.
November 19, 2020
Through crazes of pigeon-fancying, these birds have been reshaped into a dizzying variety of forms.
March 24, 2018
Composition with pigeons. One flock's dynamic movement created a spatial music that was constantly crescendoing and dissipating in a long haunting chord.
October 13, 2014
Martha, last of the passenger pigeons.
July 20, 2022
Is birdsong music, speech, or something else altogether? The question has raged for millennia, drawing in everyone from St. Augustine to Virginia Woolf.
June 27, 2022
As anthropogenic ambient noise increases in urban areas, birds adapt their songs to make themselves heard.
August 14, 2017
If crows like the New Caledonian Crow can plan out and create a specialized tool, then they seem to have smarts that rival those of early humans.
September 29, 2015
Fakelore: the deliberate fabrication of a folklore. A term that perfectly describes the legend of the Tower Ravens, the birds of the Tower of London.
March 1, 2016
Raptors are proving to be great problem-solvers. Falcons, for instance, start their own fires to flush out prey.
April 2, 2015
Since so few do falconry in the U.S. today, and hawking hasn't made it to the wide world of TV sports, some background is probably in order here.
April 3, 2022
Temperature fluctuations throughout the years are affecting bird migration and mating, with sometimes violent results.
July 15, 2021
Grassland birds, such as the prairie chicken, plover, and bobolink, need a complex environment of varying structure, area, and grass types.
May 5, 2020
Recent changes to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 leave birds vulnerable to industry, experts say.
January 14, 2020
But one hasn't been seen in the U.S. since 1995, not long after the end of the last reintroduction program.
October 24, 2019
How the proliferation of pesticides like DDT almost undid the Peregrine falcon.
August 31, 2017
To better understand how the warming climate affects wildfires, Scientists are turning to Spotted Owls that evolved to deal with such disasters.
December 16, 2014
The populations of the nine species of Indian vultures began to plummet in the 1990s
February 23, 2015
Bald eagles are back from the brink of extinction.
March 2, 2016
Grassland-dwelling heath hen and prairie chicken populations across the country are in trouble. Loss of habitat continues to threaten their numbers.
November 9, 2015
The answer may surprise you.
July 29, 2016
Frigate birds are truly champion fliers. The birds can fly for weeks without stopping. How do they do it?
November 13, 2017
Cities can host surprisingly diverse bird species, apart from the ubiquitous pigeons and sparrows. Where do they go in the winter?
October 19, 2020
Research shows that building collisions take a staggering annual toll on North America's bird population.
April 28, 2015
Blackpoll warblers make a 1,500 mile, non-stop flight over the Atlantic
December 26, 2020
The tiny winter songbirds are clever kings to the Irish. They're also fodder (literally) for post-Christmas ritual.
June 9, 2016
According to birding lore, two of America's most invasive bird species were introduced by a misguided Shakespeare fan named Eugene Schieffelin.
June 23, 2016
The "sparrow war" in the United States in the 1870s ended with a resounding victory… for the sparrows.
May 4, 2017
The Mediterranean island nation of Malta is the scene of migratory bird massacres twice a year. Why do they continue to do it?
January 21, 2021
“You have to have almost a cruel streak in you to be a successful Martin landlord."
December 24, 2015
Mute swans are the poster child for a harmful species protected by strong public goodwill.
June 20, 2019
Are you a bird? Is your chick acting weird? You might be victim of a brood parasite.
May 23, 2018
Songbirds may loose their entire broods to cuckoos’ parasitic tricks.
September 29, 2019
Pet birds were considered ideal role models for middle-class life.
May 9, 2022
With the US government poised to declare the Ivory-billed Woodpecker extinct, scientists work to determine what counts as evidence of existence.
February 2, 2020
Reputed to be a less intelligent bird species, puffins have been observed scratching themselves with sticks.
June 3, 2019
Some of the most dazzling coloration you see in birds doesn’t actually exist.
March 18, 2019
Gynandromorphy is an extremely rare condition in which an animal is half male and half female. It's most visible in birds and butterflies.
May 19, 2016
Deep in a Central American rainforest, ornithologists have discovered that a rare bird has an unusual lifestyle.
April 11, 2016
If snakes have nightmares, they most likely include secretary birds (or secretarybirds)—so-called because the birds’ crests, when flattened against the head, ...
January 14, 2015
In case you think a few drinks makes your singing better, it doesn’t—and the same goes for drunk birds.
November 26, 2014
First of all, why the name "turkey?"
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