wtf
Park Attacker "Startled" by Brave Attack Parrot

A woman who was attacked in a London park was apparently saved by her pet parrot, with the selfless bird "squawking" and "flapping" at the attacker until he quite rightly got a bit confused about what reality he was in and ran away. Read More >>

wtfriday
Cigarette-Smoking Bird Starts London House Fire

A mysterious house fire was eventually pinned on a bird by investigators, who decided that the only possible explanation for a roof fire was a bird carrying a partially lit cigarette home for a few relaxing puffs in its nest. The fire brigade believes the bird fell asleep and the cigarette set its sofa and nest alight, taking out the roof of several flats in the process. [LFB via BBC] Read More >>

watch this
A Hawk Attacking a Balloon in Slow Motion is a Graceful Murderous Ballet

There's no denying that everything looks cooler in slow motion, but birds of prey on the hunt are particularly mesmerising through the lens of a high-speed camera. This Goshawk is being lured into attacking a water balloon baited with a piece of meat, and its mid-air manoeuvres make our most advanced fighter planes look primitive. Read More >>

environment
Gull-Proof Sacks Saving Carlisle Residents From Streets of Shame

Households in parts of Cumbria have been issued with retro hessian sacks by their local council, in an attempt to stop seagulls from rummaging through bin liners, eating waste and letting the wind blow their embarrassing credit card statements into nextdoor's garden. Read More >>

wtf
Thousands of Birds Flock Together to Create a Giant Penis in the Sky

What you're looking at are the beautifully flowing murmurations of starlings. Hundreds, often thousands, sometimes millions of birds fly together as a flock to create these fluid formations in the sky. They twist, they turn, they curve, they stiffen straight—they're awesome. And sometimes they make shapes that are amusing to the immature mind. Like the photo above, where thousands of starlings formed to create a penis. Clever birds. Read More >>

drones
These Autonomous Drones That Flock Like Birds Sound Horrifying

The thing about mad scientists is that they're both mad and good at science. It seems obvious, but the outcomes are always unexpected. Case and point: this team of Hungarian physicists who created a bunch of autonomous drones that flock like birds. The invasion begins now. Read More >>

power
The World's Largest Solar Plant is Killing Birds With Concentrated Heat

The world's largest solar plant is awesome—unless you're a bird like the one in this image published by the corporation BrightSource Energy. This bird flew over the plant and was killed by its deadly heat levels, which can reach 573 degrees Celcius. Apparently, this was expected. Read More >>

environment
New York Wants to Kill Invasive Swans

The non-native mute swan has been wrecking enough havoc in NYC that the state's Department of Environmental Conservation wants to declare it a "prohibited invasive species." By 2025, under the proposed plan, there will be virtually no more wild mute swans in all of New York. Read More >>

science
Robins Can See Magnetic Fields (But Only in One Eye)

Despite its unassuming looks and gentle temperament, the humble red breasted robin (Erithacus rubecula) boasts a superhero-like ability. They can see magnetic fields, giving them an almost perfect sense of direction. Read More >>

design
An Ultra-Modern Feeder For Birds With Discerning Tastes

If you've found that the local bird population has been completely ignoring the feeder you hung for them to feast on, maybe the problem doesn't lie with the nuts and seeds you're offering. Maybe it's the feeder itself. After all if you were a bird, would you rather eat from a hollowed out tree, or this gorgeous ultra-modern crystal clear feeder? Read More >>

wtf
I'm a Bird! This Pigeon Simulator Lets You Soar Over London

Who hasn't dreamed of soaring over a city, dipping between the rooftops, peering into people's windows? A new simulator allows anyone to have a real-life birds-eye view of London as a pigeon, without the disease or wire-trap limb amputations. Read More >>

science
Neon Bird Feathers Hold the Key to Colours That Never Fade

Have you ever wondered how a fossil hailing from 40 million years ago still maintains its original colour, while dyed garments fade in years? The answer lies in the molecular structure of these natural colours and new research is showing how they could breed a new generation of artificial ones.
The concept is called structural colour, and it’s being studied by a coalition of Yale ornithologists, mechanical engineers, and physicists led by Guggenheim Fellow and scientist Hui Cao. Cao is interested in figuring out how the brilliant colours found in nature can be applied to artificial hues, by studying the structural composition of 40 million year old beetle shells and feathers. Read More >>

science
This Amazing Parrot Can Actually Pick a Lock

Pirates usually come to mind rather than master thieves when we're talking parrots, but this clever bird could break into your house. It's capable of figuring out how a lock works to then pick it -- no human intervention needed. Read More >>

image cache
A Slo-Mo Mouse Eye View of a Barn Owl Swooping In For the Kill Is Terrifying

Given you rarely see owls in the day outside of a zoo or museum setting, you've probably never thought of them as stone cold killers. But when hunting at night they can be as terrifying as a hawk, particularly if you happen to see them swooping in from a mouse's point of view. Read More >>

networks
Vodafone Southampton Bombed Out by Happy Falcons

Mother Nature has impacted upon the quality of life of Vodafone customers in Southampton, thanks to a pair of local peregrine falcons choosing one of the network's mobile masts as their 2013 nesting spot. Read More >>

watch this
A Hawk Hunting in Super Slow Motion Will Make You Glad You're Not Its Prey

BBC Earth Productions is back with another mesmerising bit of high-speed footage that captures hawks as they're swooping in to attack their prey. Seeing all of the bird's complex feather mechanics in action as it slows mid-air to snatch its target is utterly fascinating, and seeing it extend those terrifying claws will make you happy you're not a tiny rodent caught in its crosshairs. [YouTube via Laughing Squid] Read More >>

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