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Heart attacks from fireworks? Really?

First birds, then fish. between 4000-5000 blackbirds and an estimated 80-100,000 drum fish have turned up dead over the space of a few days around Beebe, Arkansas. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on Jan 3, 2011 - 67 comments

BIRD CALLS and SONGS

BIRD CALLS and SONGS: A blog about the bird sounds of eastern North America and beyond. Featuring Nightjars, the Blackbird and Tits. (~v~)
posted by puny human on Nov 22, 2010 - 5 comments

Birdmania

Birdmania - from Jacqueline Steck, the maker of Meowmania (previously)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 7, 2010 - 7 comments

What, if Anything, Is Big Bird?

Paedomorphic flightlessness and taxonomic affinities of an enormous Recent bird is a talk on the anatomy and evolutionary history of a certain flightless bird indigenous to New York City.
posted by CrunchyFrog on Jul 14, 2010 - 16 comments

Olivia raises 100,000 dollars for birds.

Olivia Bouler is making 500 original drawings of birds to send to donors who help save oil-soaked birds. AOL donated 25,000 and is hosting the 11 year-old's portfolio. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia on Jun 17, 2010 - 7 comments

Raptors, Owls, Bats Guard South African World Cup Stadium

Open air sports stadiums often have issues with birds, insects, and other wildlife. Common preventative measures include ultrasonic devices and bird netting. But Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - one of the venues for the 2010 World Cup - has taken an all-natural approach. It is working with the Urban Raptor Project to install raptors, bats, and owls to patrol the stadium for various pests, while a trained peregrine falcon chases away crows. This is not a new technique - Millennium Stadium in Wales has long used a Harris Hawk for bird control. But according to the NMB stadium manager, it "is the only stadium with a programme like this in place as a pest deterrent".
posted by gemmy on May 31, 2010 - 12 comments

Turkey buzzard mistakes helicopter pilot for Santa Claus.

Turkey buzzard mistakes helicopter pilot for Santa Claus. No birds or pilots were harmed in the filming of the incident. Too bad about the windshield. (via)
posted by maudlin on Feb 14, 2010 - 15 comments

Animal Grief

Grief among gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, and magpies.
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 30, 2009 - 65 comments

Sometimes you have to dig for inspiration

Apes do it. Birds do it. Even educated elephants do it. But can a dog do it? Can a dog make art? Meet Tillamook Cheddar, an adorable Jack Russell Terrier who, after 19 solo shows, has made more than $100,000 in sales of paintings like these. (I believe she did not choose the titles.) Opinions on her work vary. [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Jul 25, 2009 - 33 comments

chuck chuck chuck-it-too-ee zhew zhew!

So* you want to learn the Language of Birds? There's the mnemonic route and the youtube guide. You can listen to the birds in your local habitat or geographic area: New York State**, Florida, Southwestern US, Tropical America***, for example. Or, just find your favorite bird out of 104,517 audio and 33,693 video samples at Cornell's Macaulay Library, and listen. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Jun 16, 2009 - 19 comments

Everyone is fond of owls

A Malay Eagle owl acting kittenish for the camera (via Metchat via Notquitemaryann )
posted by The Whelk on May 28, 2009 - 47 comments

When Polly is in Charge

"The animals all think he's Margaret when he speaks. He loves ordering them around and commanding them – it's very surprising. He's not frightened or scared of them at all."
"Parrot mimics owner's voice to boss around her other pets "
posted by davidstandaford on Jan 17, 2009 - 43 comments

Birdstrike in the Hudson

US Airways Flight 1549 has crashed into the Hudson. Fortunately, it appears that everyone has survived. The culprit appears to be a bird strike from a flock of geese (as opposed to a single bird, which airplane engines are built to withstand). [more inside]
posted by kdar on Jan 15, 2009 - 169 comments

written on terrestrial things

Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky (re)posted Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush" to Slate. Discussion ensued, and became very lively when National Book Award winner Mark Doty observed that the poem contains an overt homage to an earlier poem by Keats. Guggenheim fellow Mark Halliday, MacArthur fellow Jim Powell and Annie Finch chime in. An opportunistic Billy Collins (also a former Poet Laureate & Guggenheim fellow) even showed up, attracted by the discussion of a "bird poem." A fascinating look at some of the finest American poets geeking out over poems that were hits before your mother was born.
posted by eustacescrubb on Jan 2, 2009 - 24 comments

Apparently, the bird has a good chance for the VP nom in '12

A short video of a starling saying something.
posted by 31d1 on Oct 31, 2008 - 32 comments

Coming soon to an episode of Primeval

According to new fossil evidence 50 million years ago the skies above London were ruled by a relative of the goose, the size of a light aircraft, with toothy crocodile-likejaws. Or as The Sun puts it... DON'T RUCK WITH THIS DUCK!
posted by Artw on Sep 26, 2008 - 37 comments

Bird Watching for Homebodies

Taking a look through this site, I can see why bird watching is such a popular hobby. From the common to the bizarre to the downright adorable. this site has a little... no, scratch that, a whole lot of everything. I suggest starting at the family list on the lower left hand column of the main page and trounsing about for a spell; it's good for the soul.
posted by ignorantguru on Jun 12, 2008 - 12 comments

Harvesting Guano

Long revered for its value as a fertilizer, and as a raw material for explosives, guano is the dried droppings of various birds and bats. The New York Times has published an excellent account of the Peruvian harvest of this valuable resource including a multimedia slideshow. Guano was superseded by synthetics in the early part of the 20th century, due to the development of the Haber Bosch process, which fixed atmospheric nitrogen. An attempt to harvest bat guano from a Grand Canyon cave in the late 1950’s was beset by technical problems and was ultimately unsuccessful. The remaining structures at the canyon rim are now a tourist attraction.
posted by Tube on Jun 7, 2008 - 13 comments

Tweet

Birds start singing in the spring because of a biological response to longer days.
posted by chuckdarwin on Mar 20, 2008 - 26 comments

Hacker, inventor, and former Microsoft Program Manager trains crows to do his bidding.

Josh Klein is a novelist, hacker, and inventor whose Crow Vending Machine trains crows to pick coins off the ground in exchange for peanuts using Skinnerian training principles. Previously. So far, he's only succeeded with trained crows and banded crows, but he hopes to teach wild crows to use the device and collect some of the $215,000,000 in change lost in the United States each year. [more inside]
posted by arnicae on Mar 5, 2008 - 48 comments

Fake Bird Poop is Pata-Fake

So you remember that 'dumb, totally fake' video of a bird pooping in a reporter's mouth that was posted and deleted a week ago? It's meta-fake. Maybe even pata-fake.
posted by blasdelf on Feb 1, 2008 - 40 comments

It was the birder, in the conservatory, with the gun.

Metafilter's many cat lovers know that many kitties like birds. But bird aficionados aren't so fond of the cats. James Stevenson, founder of the Galveston, TX ornithological society, is accused of using a .22-caliber rifle to kill cats that he claims were stalking endangered birds. He admits to shooting the cats. [more inside]
posted by bassjump on Nov 14, 2007 - 127 comments

The Lady Birds Can't Resist

The male Superb Bird of Paradise has an unusual courtship routine. First he sings. Then he hops. Finally, he busts out a spectacular finishing move, which the female finds attractive and/or totally scary. [more inside]
posted by brain_drain on Nov 8, 2007 - 29 comments

Bird Is The Word

"How does the wolf go?" Johnny Carson interviews Mary Storr's myna bird, Freud. ca. 1972.
posted by fandango_matt on Oct 28, 2007 - 6 comments

Chris Chester, B and The Providence of a Sparrow

'There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 't is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is 't to leave betimes?'
Chris Chester, author of Providence of a Sparrow: Lessons from a Life Gone to the Birds, a meditation on his life with B, an English Sparrow which he raised from a hatchling fallen from the nest, died suddenly early this past Spring. His nephew Marc Mowery has created Chris Chester - born May 14, 1952 died April 17, 2007 to his memory and has posted 6 of 8 short videos of Chris and Rebecca Chester and the sparrow named B on YouTube.
And here is The Sorrow and the Sparrow: The Life and Death of Chris Chester
Excerpt and video links within [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 25, 2007 - 9 comments

Boeing 757: 2, Birds: 0

On 29 April 2007 a Boeing 757 owned by the low-fare carrier Thomsonfly injested 2 large herons, causing a failure of the aircraft's #2 engine. A video camera was present and captured the entire event. The birds did not survive the incident, but the 200+ passengers did.
posted by drstein on May 13, 2007 - 83 comments

ETV music video

Fantastic dancing and singing.
posted by tellurian on Feb 14, 2007 - 37 comments

Bird Droppings

They shut down part of Austin last week, thousands did it in Esperance, Western Australia, record numbers in England and thousands more along I-84 in Idaho. Conspiracies abound; could it be poison, or testing EM weapons, "some kid with a BB gun" or drunk on hackberries or maybe it is global warming?

Sometimes the explanation is pretty simple but mostly, scientists are scratching their heads and wondering what is causing bird to drop dead out of the skies all over the globe at an alarming rate.
posted by DragonBoy on Jan 15, 2007 - 43 comments

The Feather Book

The Feather Book, digitized by and on display at McGill University: A seventeenth-century book containing illustrations of birds and men -- composed of real feathers, beaks, and claws. More information about the book and its contents and history can be read here.
posted by Gator on Jul 20, 2006 - 14 comments

Ba ba ba ba bird flu!

The "Bird flu dance" is "sweeping" Africa. Or at least the Ivory Coast. DJ Lewis created the dance (youtube warning) which was described in the BBC article as being "like a chicken with Parkinson's disease trying to dance to hip-hop". There are examples all over youtube (warning: here be lofi youtube videos).
posted by casconed on Jun 15, 2006 - 17 comments

or he doesnt fly away....

The Little Bird Flies Away animation short by Veronica Ibarra. also, the Cooking Set.
posted by trishthedish on May 10, 2006 - 10 comments

Bird brains?

Searchable Ornithological Research Archive a site containing back issues of avian journals dating back to 1884. Some highlights: The landing forces of domestic pigeons, [pdf] an 1889 comparison of bird brains [pdf]
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny on Apr 13, 2006 - 5 comments

Indonesia - new species discovered

"Lost World" found in Indonesian Papua (with audio)
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 7, 2006 - 21 comments

Feral monk parakeets attack New York!

The Wild Parrots of Brooklyn. "I'm amazed at how many people living on the island of Manhattan regard these birds as urban legends, just like the crocodiles once reputed to live in the sewers. But these birds are real, they're thriving and yet they're also endangered." Theories, studies, photos and an audio sample of these non-native birds, which are found elsewhere in the US, throughout the world and on film. [prior discussion, first link via memepool.]
posted by myopicman on Jul 15, 2005 - 42 comments

Fears growing that an H5 pandemic is likely

"Fears growing that an H5 pandemic is likely" A followup to 37271 (Dec. 2004) - “It appears this virus is progressively adapting to an increasing range of mammals in which it can cause infection, and the range of disease in human beings is wide and clearly includes encephalitis.” The New England Journal of Medicine says "These cases suggest that the spectrum of influenza H5N1 is wider than previously thought." The WHO is encouraging the stockpiling of bird flu vaccines now. There is concern in Britain that they are not moving fast enough.
posted by spock on Feb 16, 2005 - 59 comments

Talking Parrot

The Amazing Einstein This African Grey Parrot was a show stopper on animal Planet's Pet Stars. Lots of other great videos there too
posted by lobstah on Feb 6, 2005 - 15 comments

Turds Fail Me

Turd Birds - Art from Horse Turds
Nothing political about this post and it is SFW.

Someone actually thought that it would be a good idea to use horse poop as an art medium to make weird looking bird sculptures.
But at least there's the tale of the Turd Nazi to enjoy.
posted by fenriq on Oct 14, 2004 - 6 comments

Mourning Chickadee?

A picture's worth a thousand tweets, sure. But I still would like to know what happened here.
posted by Witty on Apr 26, 2004 - 39 comments

Why Birds Fly in a 'V'.

Why Birds Fly in a 'V'. And I thought it was because they liked the view.
posted by MeetMegan on Oct 23, 2001 - 29 comments

Redbird reefs of the coast of Delaware

Redbird reefs of the coast of Delaware (NYTimes). When I came back from vacation, I was surprised to find that using old NYC subway cars as artificial reefs was being put into action (with a great pic of the cars being pushed off barges). NYC gets creative in getting rid of its trash, but this is the most creative way I've heard of yet.
posted by meep on Aug 30, 2001 - 3 comments

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