News from around the world

New Bird-of-paradise Has Killer Dance Moves

Ornithologists have classified the Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise as its own species after recognizing differences in two similar-looking kinds of the birds. For years, people mistook the Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise for the wider spread and closely related Superb Bird-of-Paradise.“After you see what the Vogelkop form looks like and acts like in the wild, there’s little room for doubt that it is a separate species,” says Ed Scholes, evolutionary biologist with the Corn...

These Birds Recognize Neighbours Of A Different Species

Birds of a different feather can flock together when members of one species come to recognize individuals from another, research shows. The study, which offers the first experimental evidence of recognition across non-primate species, took place in an arid region of southern Australia where both variegated and splendid fairy-wrens live.

Facial Recognition Software Could Help Endangered Primates, Slow Illegal Trafficking

New facial recognition software and app invented at Michigan State University can help protect endangered primates -- more than 60 percent of which face extinction.

These Birds Make Their Own Citrus-scented Cologne

The sexiest male crested auklets have large head feathers and a strong tangerine smell, a new study finds. BY BENJI JONES

Rare Birds Are At Risk Of Poisoning From Eating Lead Shot

Warning by expert panel says up to 400,000 wildfowl a year may suffer lead poisoning.

Dung Beetles And The Effect Of The Milky Way On Birds And Insects

For years scientists have marvelled at how dung beetles can use the moon, the sun and even the splash of the Milky Way to orientate themselves and roll their poo balls in a straight line. An experiment in Johannesburg revealed that dung beetles, when they can’t see the stars or the moon, simply adapt. 

Stick Insects Travel Long Distances - By Being Eaten By Birds

Stick insects can’t travel long distances by themselves, but they’ve somehow managed to spread far and wide, even dispersing across unconnected islands. Now, scientists have discovered one way they may have achieved this: being eaten by birds.

Why Do Birds Have No Teeth

Why did birds lose their teeth? Was it so they would be lighter in the air? Or are pointy beaks better for worm-eating than the jagged jaws of dinosaur ancestors? Actually, birds gave up teeth to speed up egg hatching, a research paper published Wednesday suggests, challenging long-held scientific views on the evolution of the toothless beak.

The Knysna Loerie

Tauraco corythaix

South African History In A Nutshell

Ancient history Modern humans have lived in what is today South Africa for over 100,000 years, and their ancestors for some 3,3 million years. Not surprisingly, palaeoanthropology thrives in this country. One site which is particularly rich in fossil remains, the area around the Sterkfontein Caves near Johannesburg and Pretoria, is justifiably called the Cradle of Humankind.

Watch Monkeys Swim

Watch monkeys swim for their supper in this rare video. Indonesia's proboscis monkeys are as at home in the water as they are in the trees - an unusual combination in non human primates. These web-footed monkeys are built for swimming.  Proboscis monkeys have an unusual trait not seen in many other species of monkey—they can swim. Using their partially webbed toes and fingers, they are able to escape predators and cross rivers to find food.

Birdwatching Is Great For Your Health

Researchers find bird watching is good for your mental health, reducing stress.

Finding Food

Birding: Even in winter, birds find a way to find food. Human alterations have helped make it easier for some species.

Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Count provides unusual experience of winter birdwatching.    Weather can be frightful, but the birding’s delightful.

Checklist By Country

Washington Birder website offers birding checklist by county. The Washington Ornithological Society doesn’t list where to find specific birds, so birders made one.

4 New Bird Species Found

Four new bird species found at 6th XTBG Birding Festival. 

Hilton Teenager Publishes His Own Novel

From suffering from depression to being suicidal and dropping out of school and now at thetender age of 15, he is a self-published author. Josh Crickmay (20), from Hilton, has published his first book telling about his experiences. His book, titled Josh’s Big Year, was launched in Durban last Tuesday and in Hilton last Thursday.

Monkey Floss

Watch a monkey floss its teeth with a bird feather.  Monkeys living on an island have learned to use a startling variety of tools and techniques to obtain the juicy innards of different foods – and to floss their teeth afterwards. The Nicobar long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosus) is only found on three islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. One of them is Great Nicobar Island. To find out about the macaques’ eating habits, Honnavalli Kumara at the S&aa...

The Congo Basin Demise

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Enviro Monday: The Congo Basin’s demise will affect the whole planet. The vast Congo Basin makes up one of the most important wilderness areas left on Earth, playing among others, a huge role in climate change.

Kindness Counts

"Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not." - Samuel Johnson