A reminder – “The first Saturday in September each year is International Vulture Awareness Day.” Details of IVAD 2015 can be found here.
A new variant of the famous ‘Drinking Bird’ has been developed at Kent State University, Ohio, US. But first, some background on the the ‘Drinking Bird’ a.k.a. the ‘Insatiable Birdie’ … A version [* see note below] of the ‘novelty device’ first received a US patent in 1946, inspiring many to endeavour to explain how […]
Wall was a master an analyzing British bird droppings, as is evident in this study: “Coots and other birds eating goose- and gull-droppings,” T. Wall, British Birds. Vol. 76, no. 9, 1983, pp. 410-411.
A single question can arise in different contexts, and have different answers. Here’s an example — a study and a book both written in the late 1960’s: “The influence of vocal behavior on the performer’s testicular activity in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus),” Barbara F. Brockway, The Wilson Bulletin (1967): 328-334. and I Know Why the Caged […]
The title of this study says “grebes” [plural], but the story involves a single grebe [singular]. That single grebe does, as the title implies, have a single [one] leg: “Ecological Constraints and Phenotypic Accommodation in One-legged Eared Grebes,” Joseph R. Jehl Jr., The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 125(4), 2013, pp. 829-832. (Thanks to investigator Adrian […]
Question: Which of the three individuals in this photo is officially listed as an author of the study “Crane Dances as Play Behavior,” [Ibis, vol. 155, 2013, pp. 424-425]? ANSWER: Vladimir Dinets, the one in the middle. BONUS: His new understanding of crocodiles and alligators.
Preamble: Improbable has attempted to make contact with the Ukrainian Podgorny Institute in order to obtain a photo of their rubbery ‘Bird Imitator’, but, sadly, our efforts failed – so in lieu we have used a relatively non-representative picture of a latex chicken. Bird Strikes are a considerable hazard for aircraft – see, for example, […]
Osbaldiston was a master at analyzing British bird droppings, as is evident in this study: “Water and electrolyte balance studies of birds showing ‘wet droppings’“, G.W. Osbaldiston, British Veterinary Journal, vol. 125, no. 12, December 1969, pp. 653-63.
Fighting words about the Internet’s favorite subject, cats: 1. The project to eliminate cats from New Zealand (described in Slate) 2. The 16th-century German cat bomb (described in The Atlantic), and which is shown in this painting along with a bird bomb:
As the heavens inevitably cover every mountain peak with snow, so do pigeons unstoppably deposit a protective white layer atop every outdoor statue – or so people believed. Yukio Hirose shocked and delighted the world by disproving one of these two supposedly eternal truths. He used arsenic to do it. Chemistry provides a way to communicate […]