All about birds: News, Stories, Facts & Science

Eagles Vs. Drones? Dutch Police Devise Deadly Drone Defense System

(EAGLES/MILITARY WORKING ANIMALS) Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's actually a police-trained eagle taking down an unmanned aerial vehicle. In an attempt to simplify anti-drone defenses, the Dutch National Police Force is currently in the middle of a trial period where eagles are trained to identify, capture, and transport illegally operated drones during emergencies. Although the police force is reportedly testing other electronic and physical solutions, trained eagles are said to offer more control over where captured drones are taken, and are able to hunt down drones in situations where it could be too dangerous to use more common strategies. However, many are saying this is an unfair fight--"pitting flesh and blood against machine"--that puts birds at serious risk of injury, and even death. A statement from PETA reads, "A bird belongs in nature and should never be forced to put his or her life and safety at risk." Wouldn't you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. While it's not confirmed whether the technique will actually be used, authorities will decide upon adopting the program within the next few months. Read on for more on this unusual approach, and view the video below demonstrating the eagle's work. -- Global Animal

10 Tips To Attract Birds To Your Backyard

(BIRDS) If you can fly, you have many options. So, in order to get birds to call your place home rather than your neighbor's, you'll need to roll out the welcome mat. Here are 10 tips to attract hummingbirds and other flying friends to your yard. — Global Animal
Judith Wakelam holding one of the birds that she rehabilitates. Photo credit: Anna Huix for the NY Times

As Free As A Bird: Rescue Birds Swiftly Return To The Wild

(WILDLIFE/BIRDS) Common swifts, a bird known for their long wings and speed, spend most of their lives in flight. This fragile yet agile creature can live for up to 20 years; however, if a baby swift lands on the ground after leaving the nest, the bird will most likely face death. Judith Wakelam, who has committed her life to the bird species, defies acts of nature by rehabilitating hurt baby swifts and releasing them back into the wild. Well-known for her abilities to rehabilitate this gentle bird, Wakelam rescues common swifts from vets, as well as the general public, from all over eastern England. Her talent and dedication prove crucial during the rehabilitation process, and Wakelam accounts how simply nursing a single swift to health can forever change one's outlook on wildlife conservation. Read the beautifully written essay below to enter the minds of animal rehabbers, and discover the wonder behind releasing a captive animal back into its natural home. —Global Animal

Colors Only Nature Could Create (GALLERY)

(BIRDS/ANIMAL PICTURES) Looking to brighten up your day? From dazzling ducks to flashy flamingos—check out these beautiful birds as they boast every color of the rainbow. — Global Animal

Springtime Means Amazing Butterflies! (GALLERY)

(ANIMAL PICTURES/BUTTERFLIES) Springtime is here, and along with the beautiful weather it brings...butterflies! Feast your eyes on this photo gallery of amazing winged beauties--from the most common to the rarest of butterfly species. These wonderful photos are sure to make you float like a butterfly, or at least stop and smell the roses! — Global Animal

How To Make Your Windows Bird-Proof

(BIRDS/CONSERVATION) Millions of birds die every year because of accidental collisions with glass doors and windows. Thankfully there are many ways of safeguarding birds from such tragedy, i.e. window alerts. Many have also found interest in a new product called the My Spy Birdhouse. Continue reading for more on this innovative birdhouse and other tips on how to make your windows bird proof.  — Global Animal
birds, endangered species, endangered animals, blue footed booby, galapagos islands, livescience

Is The Blue Footed Booby A Gone Goose?

(BIRDS/ENDANGERED SPECIES) ECUADOR — Blue-footed boobies are a type of seabird native to the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Their distinctive bright blue feet make them hard to miss among the rocky terrain. However, their population is slowly declining. Scientists speculate this may be due to the decrease in availability of sardines, which are the birds' primary food source. Read the full article below for more details on the news. — Global Animal

Waterfowl, avian birds, grebe, hydrotherapy, rehabilitation efforts, animal welfare

The Sky’s The Limit: Center Channels Creativity To Save Wildlife

New rehabilitation efforts are being made for animals at an animal care facility in Massachusetts.  Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Mass. has begun using what they are referring to as a hydrotherapy pool, which was built by its' staff and volunteers. The pool is currently being used for seabirds and waterfowl; the pool was created to help remove contaminate, speed-up water proofing, and release stress by using a constant stream of cleansed water.

Cams Give Eagle Eye View Of Live Nesting

(BIRDS/ANIMAL SCIENCE) Five bald eagle cameras have been set up across the country to live-stream the peak of their nesting season. Viewers can watch as eaglets hatch, feed, and develop over time. If you're lucky, you might even see them take off for their first flight! Eagle cams have been in use for several years, but recently exploded in popularity. Highly valued in the scientific community, the cams spread awareness about conservation to the general public and help with biological and behavioral research. Read the full article below for more on eagle cams, the history of the bald eagle's plight, and to view the five live-stream feeds for yourself. — Global Animal

Vultures: Nature’s Garbage Men

(BIRDS/VULTURES) Often ridiculed for being ugly and smelly, vultures undoubtedly get a bad rap. Eagles get the glory of being national emblems and symbols of war, and doves are admired for their beauty and symbolize peace. Meanwhile, vultures—like garbage men—play a very important role in nature and human society. — Global Animal
snowy owl, white owl, owls, birds, animals, rare animals, harry potter

Snowy Owls Make Southern Debut

(OWLS/BIRDS) Snowy owls are native to Arctic regions, and thus are never really spotted past the southern border of Canada. This year, however, the white owls have been spotted much farther south. Residents in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Kansas have already reported sightings. The snowy creatures' migration rarely includes the United States, so seeing an owl this season truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To discover why the white owls are flying so far out of their usual path, and for tips about where to find them, read the full article below. — Global Animal
Alaskan North American Endangered Bird Bald Eagle

See A Bird’s Eye View Of Flying Like An Eagle

(BIRDS/SKIES) GoPro has quickly become the world's most versatile camera, allowing for an infinite amount of creativity in the photography and video production worlds. In terms of the animal kingdom, GoPro has enabled personal encounters with creatures through video capability. These unique and captivating videos allow us to see things we could previously only dream of experiencing. A few months ago, a trainer in the French Alps decided to strap his own GoPro to the back of a bald eagle. His video has become immensely popular because of what it depicts—a literal bird's eye view as we follow the bird's flight through the skies. Read on for some fun facts about the North American bald eagle and see the GoPro video for yourself! — Global Animal

Condors Rejoice! California Bans Lead Ammunition

(WILDLIFE/ENDANGERED SPECIES) California is leading the way for wildlife recovery by becoming the first state to require that all hunting ammunition be lead-free. On October 11th, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the ban in response to documented studies and repeated requests by environmental groups to protect the highly endangered California condors, as well as other birds and wildlife, who are killed every year from direct and secondary lead poisoning. Lead ammunition is devastating to animal life, especially for scavengers like the condor, who are at huge risk by consuming hunted carcasses. Environmentalists are hoping that the ban in California could encourage other states to pass similar laws. In a 2012 study conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, researchers found that almost 70 percent of condor deaths were the result of lead poisoning. With only 400 birds left in existence, eliminating lead-based ammunition is a huge step in the right direction for potentially stabilizing, or even dramatically increasing California condor populations. Read on for more information on the bill, lead poisoning, as well as arguments brought forth by hunters and other opponents. — Global Animal

Migrating Monarchs Mourn Loss Of Habitat

(SKIES/WILDLIFE) A recent study on the Monarch butterflies' winter habitat in central Mexico claims logging may be seriously threatening the winged creatures' migration pattern. At its peak in 2005, logging destroyed as many as 1,140 acres per year throughout the region. A report in March said the number of butterflies arriving to Mexico this past year dropped 59 percent—the third straight year of declines for the butterflies and the lowest their populations has dropped in two decades. Read on to learn more about what can be done to prevent more of the butterflies' habitat loss. — Global Animal