Stalking ‘Ninja’ Duck

The stalking ninja cat is an Internet classic of a cat who sneaks up on its human friend, but only when they aren’t looking. This ninja duck does same thing. In the park, the duck follows some guy around, but whenever he turns around, the duck freezes, like in a game of Red Light Green Light. The video from June just went viral now, and is shared by TastefullyOffensive


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Parrot Whistling to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Video)

Ollie the African Grey parrot whistles along to Monty Python’s ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ on the piano.

Original video found via Youtube search. Spotted here.

Smart Crow Asks People For Water

Smart Crow Asks People For Water

The crow is well known for being one of the smartest birds, perhaps one of the smartest animals in the kingdom. The Web has seen many videos demonstrating the intelligence of the crow, but here is even more proof the bird is no bird brain. A thirsty crow landed by a group of people who had a bottle of water out. The thirsty bird communicated the best he could that he needed a drink, and after a while, the people picked up on his sign language. 

This video from 2010 has only gone viral now. 


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Farm Of Turkeys Respond To Man In Unison

ThePoultron posted this video over two years ago, but it has only gone viral now. A Middle Eastern turkey farmer stands in a packed barn full of turkeys. Whenever he calls out, the birds all gobble in unison as some form of response. This is how dictators are created. 


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Cockatoo Barks Like a Dog (Video)

Cockatoo Barks Like a DogCockatoo Barks Like a Dog

An umbrella cockatoo is barking like a dog – your argument is invalid.

via Arbroath

Geese Walk In Marching Band Line

For reasons only God knows, here are a row of geese in marching band line in Amsterdam. They are led by their leader and followed by the drummer. ‘Left! left! left, right, left!’ Or is it, ‘Quack! Quack! Quack, quack, quack!’?


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New Genomic Analysis Shakes Up Bird Family Tree

Ornithologists and researchers studying dinosaur diversification have long puzzled over the evolutionary history of a group called the Neoaves, which encompasses nearly all the birds we have today except chickens, ducks, and ostrich-types. Now, after analyzing genome sequences from nearly 200 living bird species, researchers have a comprehensive view of the relationships between our modern birds.

The findings, published in Nature last week, fit with whats known from the fossil record: A huge increase in bird diversity took place in the wake of the dino-dooming CretaceousPaleogene (or KPg, previously known as KT) mass extinction 65 million years ago. And it happened fast too. More than 10,000 bird species evolved suddenly in just a few million years.

Their family tree, called a phylogeny, distills Neoaves down to five major groups, uniting birds that we probably wouldnt have grouped together: hummingbirds and swifts with nocturnal nightjars; pigeons, sandgrouse, cuckoos, and bustards; cranes; waterbirds and shorebirds; and landbirds. You can see how theyre all nestled together here and here.

All birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs that included T. rex and Velociraptor. All land birds from backyard sparrows and woodpeckers to parrots and falcons diverged early on from an ancestral, raptorial group that includes vultures and eagles. And since it was very rare for early birds to shift between terrestrial and aquatic lifestyles, the team thinks that nearly all water-based birds such as penguins, flamingos, and seagulls (but not cranes) shared a close, common ancestor. Additionally, todays highly visual, diurnal hummingbirds, with their acute near-ultraviolet vision, evolved from species that had been nocturnal for 10 million years.

This represents the beginning of the end of avian phylogeny, Prum says in a statement. In the next five or 10 years, we will have finished the tree of life for birds.

Image in the text: The green wood hoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus) is a large, up to 44 cm (17 in) long, tropical bird native to Africa. This new study places this species in a group called the Coraciimorphae. Jacob Berv, Cornell University

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Male Sparrows With Unfaithful Partners Feed Their Young Less Food

In most species, even those thatare traditionally seen as being faithful to each other, there is often a bit of competition between the two sexes around whether or not one can sneak off and have a cheeky bit on the side. Well, it seems that male sparrows have an unusually brutal way of dealing with an unfaithful mate, simply by providing less food for their brood.

Researchers had previously noticed that lazy males tended to partner with unfaithful females, but were unable to ascertain whether or not they did this naturally, or whether the males somehow knew that their partners had had an affair. New research, however, has found that the males will alter their brood feeding behavior depending on how promiscuous his mate is, suggesting that he follows some sort of cue to figure out whether or not his partner has been cheating.

Why each sex ultimately wants to be unfaithful and mate with other individuals boils down to separate evolutionary strategies. For the male birds, which produce lots of sperm and thus lots of potential offspring, it is as simple as the more females he mates with, the more chances that theyll have his chicks and continue his line. For the females, however, it is slightly different. Comparatively she produces way fewer eggs, and so needs to be more selective about who she lets father them, therefore she may seek out another male who she deems as being fitter than her current mate.

But this then raises the odds that some male birds will therefore be raising chicks thatare not theirown, wasting precious resources and energy in doing so. And so it seems that if a male suspects his mate has been doing the dirty on him, hell come down pretty harshly on them, and feed the resulting chicks less food. Yet how does he know when the female has been having an occasional dalliance with a more attractive male? Well, it seems that he may be keeping track of her whereabouts.

If chicks were switched into a nest where the female was faithful, then the father at that nest kept up his hard work providing for the chicks, suggesting they have no mechanism, such as smell, to determine which chicks are theirs, explains Dr. Julia Schroeder, lead author of the paper published in The American Naturalist. Instead, the males may use cues from the females behavior during her fertile period for example how long she spends away from the nest.

The paper has come out of an impressive 12-year study of every single sparrow that lives on the isolated Lundy Island, in the Bristol Channel. The researchers have been following 200 males and 194 females, as they formed 313 pairs and hatched 863 broods. The island is in effect a natural laboratory, as over that period of 12 years, only fourexternal sparrows are known to have made it from the mainland, allowing the scientists to DNA genotype every single bird and therefore build a detailed family tree of all the sparrows so they can then figure out exactly which females were the most unfaithful and which were the most loyal.

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Bird Lands On Cameraman’s Head

Dhalsim1 posted this short video yesterday, and already it has amassed over 1.4 million views. While the cameraman was recording a juvenile kestrel in his backyard, the majestic bird leaped from the fence onto his head, giving him the shot of a lifetime.


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