Entries in birds (13)

Wednesday
Aug092017

QUIZ: Which Bird Of Prey Are  You?

Known for their speed, strength and smarts, birds of prey have a a pretty cool reputation in the animal kingdom. Find out which bird of prey you are!

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Monday
Jan182016

Why Do Birds Sing?

It is getting less, but soon, as soon as spring comes around, we will wake up to birds singing again at dawn. It is not just cliché, birds really do sing mostly – and most prominently – in the morning. But why do they sing at all?

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Tuesday
Jan052016

Endangered Birds of the United Kingdom

When we think of species extinction and animal conservation, we often think of poaching in Africa, exotic animals in the tropics or tigers. Truth is, there are animals much closer to home needing our attention as well.

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Wednesday
Dec022015

QUIZ: What Is Your Spirit Animal? 

Everything is connected. We are linked to one another, to nature, to the animals. What are you? Is your inner animal a fierce lion? Or are you maybe a chilled out sloth?

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Friday
Nov202015

The UK’s Urban Wildlife

Wildlife isn’t just the brown bear in the forests of North America or Eastern Europe, wildlife is right here in front of you; all you need to do is look a little closer, maybe look up or down, and most importantly, know where to look. Even in the cities, you will find a range of animals.

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Monday
Dec292014

Parakeet Invasion; no longer representatives of British wildlife.

The Ring-necked Parakeet is a bright green bird with a distinctive pink coloured beak. Despite being native to the foothills of the Himalayas, they were unthoughtfully released into the wild from captivity in the 1990s. They have been successfully breeding and have now expanded across most parts of the South East, Surrey and Kent. Some have also been spotted in Manchester, Birmingham and even Edinburgh. They are said to be the largest invasive species to colonise the country.

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Wednesday
Sep032014

The 5 brainiest birds on earth

In the old days birds were used as messengers, trusted with responsibility and valued for their skills. Throughout history they have also been portrayed as something dark and scary and mysterious creatures carrying dark secrets, whether it was as a witch’s helper in a fairy tale or flying Hitchcock killers seeking to destroy us.

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Monday
Oct142013

Volunteer photo of the week: Astrid Vinall

We loved this beautiful shot from Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation volunteer Astrid Vinall.

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Friday
Sep072012

Science Club: Your Weekly Dose

This is your chance to catch up with this week's Science Club, lovingly maintained by our fantastic team of in-house scientists and journalists to deliver the most interesting and important science news from around the world to you, our lovely readers. So what's been going on...

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Monday
Jun252012

Photo of the Week

Check out this week's amazing Photo of the Week. This lovely capture, titled Attack of the Grackle Cloud was taken by AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker. Don't forget to check out the amazing archive with all photos ever chosen for this feature.

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Wednesday
Jun062012

Photo of the Week

This stunning photo of the week, entitled ‘black skimmers are back’ comes courtesy of bmse. The amazing image was captured at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, California – check out the flickr page to see some more amazing wildlife action shots.

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Tuesday
Oct042011

Job Jealousy: Mauricio Ugarte-Lewis - Field Biologist in Peru

As a new feature on the Frontier blog, we will be speaking to people around the world working in areas that might induce a little employment envy. So if you’re stuck in an office, or ready for a change, these profiles could be just the inspiration you need to pursue that perfect job you’ve always dreamt of. Today we speak to Mauricio Ugarte-Lewis, a field biologist specializing in ornithology in Peru.

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Wednesday
Aug242011

Great migrations of the animal kingdom: part two

Continuing this week’s theme of amazing animal migrations, today it is the turn of those winged wonders that cover some incredible distances year in, year out. Migration is often associated with flight, and it is no surprise when you consider that birds hold some of the most incredible records when it comes to annual voyages around the world.

Arctic Tern Between Greenland and Antarctica

Currently the record holder of the longest migration of any creature on the planet, this tiny bird has been found to travel distances up to 44,000 miles ever year in its journey between Greenland and Antarctica. Previously too small to be recorded accurately, this illustrious title was thought to belong to the Sooty Shearwater, which is not far behind with a recorded migration of about 40,000 miles. The Arctic Tern can live for up to 30 years, meaning that over its lifetime an individual probably travels a total of about 1.5 million miles, equivalent to three trips to the moon and back. A truly out of this world, head-terning traveller.

Monarch ButterflyBetween Canada/USA to Central Mexico

Not all migrations by air are those of birds: the journey of the Monarch butterfly is one of the most amazing and interesting occurrences in the natural world. A normal Monarch butterfly only lives for between 4-5 weeks. However, once a year, a special Methuselah generation of individuals is born. This individual is remarkably able to live for up to eight months, the equivalent of a human living to the age of 525. The reason for this unbelievable phenomenon is the need to migrate. This special generation must fly between 1,200-2,800 miles south from their breeding grounds in Canada and the USA, to Central Mexico, to avoid the harsh winter. Guided by the sun’s orbit, the butterflies have been known to cover distances of up to 80 miles per day, an amazing feat for such a small creature.

The arrival of the butterflies in the forests between the states of Mexico and Michoacan is a true natural wonder. Here they hibernate from mid-November to mid-February, when they begin the journey back. However, the Methuselah generation cannot make the return journey on its own, eventually dying on the way. In another incredible twist to the journey, a succession of normal generations take over the flight, gradually making their way north. The individuals that return to the original breeding grounds have never been there themselves, with a sense of orientation thought to be passed on genetically from the great, great grandparents that first set out on the migratory trip. Wow. 

By Alex Prior