The Internet Bird Collection
has over 28000 videos of birds from all over the world. The brain-child of Josep del Hoyo
(who also started the Handbook of the Birds of the World
) it contains footage of more than half of all the bird species in the world, which number around 10000. Just browsing randomly I found such charming clips as a pair of gang gang cockatoos
, a pair of preening and feeding Siberian cranes
, a hoatzin displaying
, Temnick's tragopan displaying
, Kerguelen petrel swooping between waves
, green hermit feeding on heliconia flowers, in flight
, a pair of hamerkops mating display
and American avocets mating
. Or you can just go look up your favorite bird species and see if they have videos of it. Happily they had plenty of videos of my favorite bird, sterna paradisaea, the arctic tern, and I like this one best
. Each bird has taxonomic and distribution information.
First Birds with teeth in 70 million years
. Vicious toothed, flying microraptors once darkened the Jurassic skies. Now, scientists
have learned to activate the dormant, vestigal avian "tooth gene" and so coaxed chicken embryos into growing teeth. From the grave, Alfred Hitchcock enviously quips - "a messy thing indeed when toothed birds kill a man". Meanwhile the French are appalled: “quand les poules auront des dents”, which translates to “when hens have teeth”, is analogous to the English “pigs might fly”. Coming soon: flying pigs.
But there might be a baldness cure in this new research. I'll remember that as the flocks of mutant raptor-fowl move in for the kill.