HISTORY | BIRDS

Her body was preserved, and she was placed on display at the Smithsonian Museum, where she remains to this day.

Photo by Sneha Cecil on Unsplash

Before we had satellites and smart phones we had Pigeons. For hundreds of years our swiftest form of communication was tying a note to a Pigeon’s leg, throwing it into the sky and hoping to hell it didn’t fall foul of a falcon.


BIRDS | EDUCATION

I love these moments: this is a crack-my-fingers, open-google, and start-figuring-this-thing-out moment.

Photos by Zdeněk Macháček and Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

So there’s this adorable tradition, where all Hummingbirds get fantastical, whimsical names. I don’t know how or why everyone agreed to this, but I love it.


WILDLIFE | ANIMAL ADVOCACY

A natural phenomenon unlike any other

“cat-and-dog” by Katlene Niven

Everyone loves an unexpected friendship; Timon and Pumbaa, a cat and a dog, or Copper and Tod. But, what if told you there was a real life dynamic duo hanging out in South America? Allow me to introduce you to the Cattle Tyrant (Machetornis rixosa).


BIRDS | EDUCATION

Okay, folks, I get it — pigeons are kinda gross. They dig about in trash cans, hang out in gutters, poop all over everything, and if you’ve ever had one nest outside your window, you know what a bad time that is.

Photo by Zep Nurdiman on Unsplash

The poor, old Rock Dove has a bad reputation. Even so, I love them. Controversial opinion, I know. But they’re unique birds that have their own cool attributes. Did you know they’re one of the few birds that produce milk for their babies? Yep, pigeons lactate like mammals … except they excrete it from their crop and regurgitate it for their chicks. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best fact to lead with.


EDUCATION | BIRDS

In Australia, if you call someone a ‘drongo’ they’re being a bit of stupid fool. But let me tell you, the Fork-tailed Drongo(Dicrurus adsimilis) is anything but.

Unsplash

These are an African bird, and they hang out in the savannah where they hunt for food. But finding your own meal can be hard work. Wouldn’t be easier if some obliging Meerkat could serve you up a juicy grub instead? Well, say no more, because these birds have worked how to get Meerkats to do exactly that.


EDUCATION | BIRDS

Once they’ve latched onto a snail, the kites are equipped with unique tools to dispatch them.

Eagles are impressive creatures. They’re majestic, high soaring, cold-blooded killers that strike fear into the heart of any animal smaller than them, be they mammal, reptile or fish. But there is one eagle that has made the rather odd choice of having an all-escargot diet, and no, it isn’t even French.

“Female Snail Kite” by Andy Morffew

Just from looking at its lethal beak and long talons, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking they were a fearsome predator. But no, it doesn’t want a bar of chasing anything down that can move faster than a metre an hour. …


I’m sure back in school you learned about all the important conflicts of the 20th Century: World War I and II, Vietnam, Korea. But did you ever hear tell of the Great Emu War of 1932?

“File:Emu mob set free.jpg” by Chudditch, edit MPF

It was the one and only time a standing army declared war on a bird … and then lost. The Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is giant flightless bird from the ratite family; they’re the slightly smaller cousin of the Ostrich. They stand 1.5 metres tall, weigh 60Kg, and can run at a top speed of 50Km/h.


Education | Birds

This has been a wren rant for your reading pleasure…

Everybody loves a Wren, am I right? They’re adorable little things, and in Australia we got a whole swag of them. From the Superb and Splendid Fairywrens to the Emu-wren, each one packing a pocket full of brilliant plumes that just won’t quit.

“Superb Fairywren — Victoria — Australia_S4E5208” by fveronesi1

But hang on a tick. If we pop over the pond, we find another bird called the New Zealand Rock Wren, and if we head north we find another bird that is simply known as The Wren. So what’s going on here?


History | Animals

The pigeons lost their jobs to computers. Although, I think in this case, they weren’t complaining.

Pigeon_(project).jpg by Milos Stevanovic~srwiki

Today I would like to bring you the story of Project Pigeon. Picture this: it’s the 1940s and war is ranging across most of the world for the second time. Some historians have dubbed this period World War Two. As the United States Air Force started to get serious about dropping high explosives on people they didn’t like, they found they had a problem. You see, having something that blows up is a rather fine thing, but an even finer thing is having it blow up on the enemy. …


Birding | Education

A while back, I was perusing the internet, you know how one does, and I stumbled on a Twitter flame war centred on a bird. Oh yes, the birding community is nothing if not a passionate bunch. This particular stoush was focused on a little-known North American bird called McCown’s Longspur.

“McCown’s Longspur (male), Scott Somershoe”

As you can see, it is a rather unremarkable looking bird. If I didn’t know any better, I’d probably think it was a run-of-the-mill Sparrow. To the trained eye, though, you will see they are more of a slate grey with a black bib. …

Nathan Finger

Just birds, hey

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