Deaths attributed directly to climate change cast pall over penguins

Rain wets the down of a chick still too young to have the waterproofing its parent has. Credit: D Boersma/U of Washington

Rain wets the down of a chick still too young to have the waterproofing its parent has. Credit: D Boersma/U of Washington

Too big for parents to sit over protectively, but still too young to have grown waterproof feathers, downy penguin chicks exposed to drenching rain can struggle and die of hypothermia in spite of the best efforts of their concerned parents. And during extreme heat, chicks without waterproofing can’t take a dip in cooling waters as adults can. Continue reading

Birds Find An Unlikely Resting Place In Drought-Stricken California

Sandhill cranes are one of the most iconic migratory shorebirds that rest in the Central Valley. CREDIT: AP Images

Sandhill cranes are one of the most iconic migratory shorebirds that rest in the Central Valley. CREDIT: AP Images

As California braces for what is shaping up to be its driest year on record, millions of birds are winging their way down through the Golden State’s parched Central Valley along the migratory route known as the Pacific Flyway. But with just 5 percent of the historic wetlands of the region remaining, habitat for migratory shorebirds in need of a rest and a meal is in short supply. Continue reading

Birds Active Nightlife Driven By Desire To Reproduce

 Image Caption: This is a photo of a yellow-breasted chat. Credit: Ron Howard

Image Caption: This is a photo of a yellow-breasted chat. Credit: Ron Howard

For a non-nocturnal bird, the yellow-breasted chat spends a significant amount of time visiting other birds’ territories during the night. A University of Illinois researcher who was studying birds’ movement during the day noticed that males were active almost every night, while the females were active at night but particularly during the window of time when they were fertile. Continue reading