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England

Birdsong Therapy

Where some noises — like TV, traffic and random conversations — can make it hard to concentrate, birdsong may make it easier. In Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, the sweet sounds of birdsong carry along the hallways. In an Amsterdam airport, a lounge plays bird sounds to help... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

More Information than from 100 Years of Bird Banding

Geolocators are revolutionizing our ability to track migrating birds. When mounted on the backs of birds like this Common Swift, these tiny technological backpacks reveal fascinating information. For example, when researchers in Europe used geolocators to study Common Swifts, they discovered a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Evolution of European Blackcaps - Featuring Mike Webster

Nature is evolving constantly. Dr. Mike Webster of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes an example of rapid evolution and adaptation from the world of birds. He says the European Blackcap, a species of warbler, used to breed in Germany during the summer and migrate to Spain in the winter. But... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, human interaction, migration

Myth of the Wren

December 26th is known in the British Isles and elsewhere as Saint Stephen's Day, in honor of the first Christian martyr. Beginning in the 16th Century, local lads would go forth for a yearly wren hunt. The wren was protected the rest of the year, but the day after Christmas, the "Wren Boys"... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, myth

Wimbledon Peregrines

Wimbledon is legendary: the verdant green of the courts, the throngs of fans in sun hats, sightings of royalty ... and lots of pigeons. Since the tennis tournament began in 1877, pigeons nested in the stands and generally made a mess of things. Today, though, very few pigeons attend Wimbledon.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  sports

Urban Birds Change Their Tune

The soft whistles of this Great Tit, a common European bird, can be hard to hear over city noises. So these birds now sing at a higher pitch and faster than normal. This song carries better over the traffic noise of the city. A bird singing at a higher range is better able to declare its... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science, vocalization

Tale of a Rascal Crow

Crows and their cousins - ravens, magpies, jackdaws, rooks, jays, and others - are among the cleverest birds in the world. Some even use tools - including a lit cigarette! A Rook, like this one, allegedly set fire to the thatched roof of Anne Hathaway’s historic cottage in England. And all... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history
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