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Tag: bird

Bird extinctions 'driven' by global food trade

Bird extinctions 'driven' by global food trade

Science
About 100 bird species are predicted to go extinct based on current farming and forestry practices, according to a new global analysis. This number has increased by 7% over the first ten years of this century alone, say scientists.They say the biggest factor is cattle farming, but the impact of oil seed crops like palm and soy is growing fast. By comparison, an estimated 140 birds have been lost over the past 400 years.International researchers used bird extinction as a measure of the loss of biodiversity - the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat - linked with international trade in food and timber.Five key things about the extinction crisisWhy we may soon have no bananas (again)Mass extinctio...
Start-up Bird backs down in electric scooter legal row

Start-up Bird backs down in electric scooter legal row

Technology
A scooter firm has apologised after issuing a journalist with legal threats over a blogpost about its scooters.Start-up Bird offers electric scooters in around 40 US cities, which are hired via an app.Bird accused Cory Doctorow of copyright infringement for linking to a forum about a device which enables abandoned scooters, bought at auction, to be fitted with a new motherboard.This means they can then be used without the Bird app.Mr Doctorow's blogpost, published on the website Boing Boing, was about the number of Bird scooters that are being abandoned or badly parked, then removed by local authorities and legitimately sold.It described a $ 30 (£23) motherboard which replaces the scooters' existing hardware but does not alter either the hardware or...
Climate change intensifies deadly bird rivalry

Climate change intensifies deadly bird rivalry

Science
Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Pied flycatchers are turning up dead in the nests of great tits, and new research suggests global warming is to blame for the interspecies violence. Pied flycatchers and great tits are natural rivals. The two bird species compete for similar nesting sites, and both rely on caterpillars, an abundant but short-lived food source, to feed their young. Having spent years studying the two species, researcher Jelmer Samplonius began to notice some years hosted dozens of flycatcher deaths, while other years were nearly free of fatalities. In an attempt to better understand the fluctuating violence, researchers surveyed the number of pied flycatcher fatalities observed in great tit nest boxes in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2016. The data showed that during the deadliest years...
Madagascar pochard: World's rarest bird gets new home

Madagascar pochard: World's rarest bird gets new home

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device The rarest bird in the world - a species of duck called the Madagascar pochard - has been given a new home in time for the new year. An international team of researchers released 21 of the birds at a lake in the north of Madagascar. It is a step towards the recovery of a species that just over a decade ago was thought to be extinct.Rescuing the species could also be a first step in protecting Madagascar's threatened wetlands. Why is this species under such threat? When it wasn't seen for 15 years, the Madagascar pochard was believed to have been wiped out completely. Then a tiny group of the birds was rediscovered in 2006 at one remote lake.These were the last 25 Madagascar pochards on the planet. ...
Sesame Street's Big Bird puppeteer retires

Sesame Street's Big Bird puppeteer retires

Entertainment
Puppeteer Caroll Spinney, famous for playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, is retiring at the age of 84.Spinney has portrayed the characters - including providing their voices - since the show's start in 1969.A statement from the puppeteer was tweeted on Sesame Street's official Twitter account."Before I came to Sesame Street, I didn't feel like what I was doing was important," he said."Big Bird helped me find my purpose,""Even as I step down from my roles, I feel I will always be Big Bird. And even Oscar, once in a while!," he added.Spinney developed a love for puppetry at the age of five after watching a performance of Three Little Kittens. He explored puppeteering throughout his childhood and teenage years and used his performances to...