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South Pacific


There are a dozen species of hanging-parrots — also known as bat parrots — in the tropical forests of southern Asia and Indonesia. Clad in bright greens, blues, and reds, they sleep —and sometimes bathe — upside down. No other birds sleep like this. This bizarre behavior probably protects hanging... read more »

Topics & Themes:  ornithology

Plan Your Next Birding Trip!

Planning a trip? We’ve pulled together some online resources that can help you find that special place for birdwatching—or special bird—on that family vacation across the state or that business trip to the other side of the world. read more »

Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

Alexa Freeman and the Birds of Papua New Guinea

Tropical biologists Alexandra and Ben Freeman are in Papua New Guinea, documenting the effects of a warming climate on birds that live on the slopes of a remote mountain. Birds like this King of Saxony Bird of Paradise. Often, their research puts them in touch with unexpected beauty, especially... read more »

Topics & Themes:  ecology, ornithology, science

Bird Dad Awards: The Innovative, the Endearing, and the Less-Than-Admirable

On Mother's Day, we gave avian moms their due. Now it’s time for the bird dads. Just like with females, these guys employ many different strategies for raising their young. Here we present the “Father Knows Best Awards” for distinctive parenting, in honor of Father’s Day. Most Innovative Dad:... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting

A Crow That Makes Tools

A crow named Betty learned how to take a straight piece of wire and bend one end into a hook. She then used the hooked end to haul a tiny bucket of meat from the bottom of a long tube. A postage stamp was issued in honor of this New Caledonian Crow. Watch a video of Betty - we've provided a link... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Bar-tailed Godwits - With David Melville

In our autumn, Bar-tailed Godwits fly non-stop for nine days across the Pacific, to reach New Zealand from Alaska. Each spring, the birds make the trip north to breed. But this time, they stop before they reach Alaska, to refuel on the shores of northeast China and the Korean peninsula.... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, migration

Gliding with Tropicbirds

With the strong, direct flight of a falcon, a tropicbird can catch a flying fish on the wing, or plunge like an arrow into the sea and — with its serrated bill — capture a squid. Three species of tropicbirds range through most of the tropical latitudes of the world's oceans, and have done so for... read more »

Topics & Themes:  myth

Birds of Paradise

It's morning on the island of New Guinea, and the lowland forests erupt with the crowing calls of Birds of Paradise. Male Raggiana Birds of Paradise perform elaborate displays to attract females, sometimes even hanging upside-down with their wings pointing upward. Forty-three species of Birds of... read more »


Brown Kiwi

Kiwis are so unlike other birds that they've been called "honorary mammals." Kiwis cannot fly, having evolved in New Zealand's island environment without mammalian predators. The only bird to have nostrils at the end of its beak, the kiwi snuffles and snorts as it probes the forest floor for... read more »


Myth of the Kiwi

"Why the Kiwi Lost Its Wings" is a myth from the Maori people of New Zealand. Kiwi loved the forest so much that he forsook his wings and beautiful feathers to dwell on the ground and devour the enemies of the forest.The Kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand, as depicted on a postage stamp.... read more »

Topics & Themes:  myth