This Week in Bird News: Junk Food Junkies, Snacks on a String, and More
Look out below! This Bald Eagle, photographed by Corey, was after Blue-winged Teal in Florida, not Atlantic Puffins in Maine. But still.
Did you miss your chance to see Angry Birds in movie theaters? Fear not—the film has just been released on DVD. (In the U.S., at least—international markets, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.) Probably not a good sign that it showed up in my local supermarket’s discount rack. But there’s plenty of better—or at least more interesting—news for birders. (Those who prefer observing living avians, rather than hurling digital ones at marauding pigs.) To wit:
In an experiment informally called the “Cheetos Challenge,” a scientist investigated whether magpies or crows would be quicker to develop a taste for Cheetos—and which birds would ultimately steal them from the others. (Hmm, now I’ve got the munchies … and the dollar store is open for another 20 minutes!)
From the “careful what you wish for” files, in the face of climate change–related drops in fish populations, a resurgent Bald Eagle population appears to be developing a taste for Maine’s seabirds and shorebirds.
In what appears to be good news for the Gunnison Sage Grouse (depending on which environmentalists you ask), a federal proposal suggests new protections.
There may be strength in numbers, but for birds, there’s also increased speed, according to a recent study that suggests the larger the flock, the faster it goes.
And lastly, add Bullfinches and Grackles to the list of hungry birds smart enough to use a tool—in this case, a string—to reach their meal. (Which comes as no surprise to anyone who’s ever had the misfortune of hanging a bird feeder anywhere in the vicinity of a colony of Grackles.)