kevan + birds   56

Darwin comes to town: how cities are creating new species | Cities | The Guardian
"All this research seems to point in one direction: that the urban blackbird is evolving into a separate species, a case of true speciation."
birds  evolution  cities 
july 2018 by kevan
Some birds are so stressed by noise pollution it looks like they have PTSD - The Washington Post
"In previous studies, he has reported that noise can restructure entire communities — prompting birds to alter the pitch of their songs, shifting demographics toward more noise-tolerant species, even changing the distribution of plants based on what birds remain."
birds  sound  evolution  pollution 
january 2018 by kevan
US: Bird wearing tiny goggles safely flies through laser beam | Laser Pointer Safety - Statistics, laws, and general laser pointer news
"Unexpectedly, the wing tip vortices did not stay stable as happens with aircraft, but instead broke up quickly and violently."
birds  light  science 
march 2017 by kevan
About the Piip-Show - Piipshow
"The Piip-Show is a three months long live broadcast from the Norwegian broadcasting network, Here you have the chance to follow life inside a bird feeder decorated as a coffee bar – second by second."
birds  video  drinks 
march 2014 by kevan
Legal Affairs - An Odd Bird
"One [Brancusi] work in particular left them dumbfounded: a thin, 4 1/4-foot-tall piece of shiny yellow bronze with a gently tapering bulge called Bird in Space. It didn't look like a bird to the officials, so they refused to exempt it from customs duties as a work of art. They imposed the standard tariff for manufactured objects of metal: 40 percent of the sale price, or $240."
art  law  metal  birds 
july 2012 by kevan
YouTube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music
"All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition."
birds  sound  law  delusions 
february 2012 by kevan
Parahawking | Frequently Asked Questions
"Parahawking is a fusion between Falconry and Paragliding. [Our] birds of prey are trained to fly with Paragliders and to guide them to the thermals."
birds  sport  via:mugla 
january 2012 by kevan
BBC News - How can birds teach each other to talk?
"So the [escaped] pet bird begins to say things it's been taught by its owner and the rest of the flock learns and starts speaking too, to mimic the pet bird."
birds  language  australia 
september 2011 by kevan
Joshua Klein - A Vending Machine for Crows
"Once we've got system down for teaching coin collection we'll move to seeing how flexibly they can learn *other* tasks, like collecting garbage, sorting through discarded electronics, or maybe even search and rescue."
birds  litter  technology  education 
may 2011 by kevan
Technical Fowl | Futility Closet
"When ornithologist Norman Robinson studied the call, he discovered that the bird was singing two popular songs of the 1930s - 'The Keel Row' and 'Mosquito's Dance.' [...] A human tune is spreading through the lyrebird world, as they've decided through generations to prefer just two shards of our particular music."
birds  music  via:dunx 
may 2011 by kevan
BBC - Earth News - Adaptable urban birds have bigger brains
"[The] centre of a modern city is a novel and rather harsh environment for most species and the ability to sustain a varied diet or develop novel foraging techniques and perhaps utilise non-standard nesting places, can be beneficial."
cities  birds  brains  evolution 
april 2011 by kevan
Rubber Ducking
"Place a rubber duck on your monitor and describe your problems to it. [...] Once a problem is described in sufficient detail, its solution is obvious."
programming  psychology  plastic  birds 
march 2011 by kevan
Look-out drongos 'twank' to advertise presence (Wired UK)
"We think that drongos have evolved to alert babblers to their presence because helping the group forage more effectively leads to more frequent opportunities for theft."
birds  sound  evolution  lies 
november 2010 by kevan
Sputniko! | Crowbot Jenny
"The device has four buttons which can vocalize various crow calls – “I’m dying”, “I found food”, “Hello”, “I’m in a fight so please come help me”."
robots  birds  sound  via:nikki 
november 2010 by kevan
British birdfeeders split blackcaps into two genetically distinct groups : Not Exactly Rocket Science
"Rolshausen thinks that the crucial factor was human altruism - by giving food to wintering birds, we also gave an advantage to any individuals with mutations that sent them in an unorthodox direction."
birds  food  genetics  mutation  travel 
december 2009 by kevan
Type Nesting
Nesting in the large plastic letters of shop signs. "So far I can tell that birds clearly prefer to build their nests inside capital R’s and capital A’s."
birds  fonts  signs 
april 2009 by kevan
CR Blog » Blog Archive » Meet Mr Chicken
"We design a hell of a lot of logos for chicken shops of which we’ve never registered any of them, and if these names are not registered people just use them, right?"
food  birds  advertising  design  memetics  via:amuchmoreexotic 
march 2009 by kevan
Urban life is stressing out our songbirds | Environment | The Observer
"Songbirds in cities are damaging their health, exposing themselves to predators and weakening their gene pool by trying to be heard above the din of urban life. [...] Some birds, including robins, are choosing to sing at night instead of during the day." I always assumed that was purely a light pollution thing. Sad.
cities  birds  evolution  sound  pollution 
march 2009 by kevan
Michael Coveney meets comedian Ken Campbell | Stage | The Guardian
An old interview with Ken Campbell, who died at the weekend. "Parrots live for ever and she's nowhere near 10 yet, so she'll live way after me. At least I know my voice will carry on for a bit after I'm gone: 'I'm up 'ere, you're down there!'"
death  interviews  birds 
september 2008 by kevan
Living Dolls - Gaby Wood
Vaucanson's Duck through to the Mechanical Turk, and beyond. Good background reading, but it tries a bit too hard to be philosophical about any glimmer of possible metaphor.
booklog  technology  robots  chess  birds  illusions  hoaxes  via:holly 
march 2008 by kevan
BBC NEWS | UK | Wood pigeons 'flocking to towns'
"A survey by 16,500 householders found wood pigeons in 46% of London gardens, compared to just 27% for the more familiar feral pigeon. [A] decade ago the wood pigeon did not appear in the list, but now it is the fourth most common species identified."
birds  pigeons 
january 2008 by kevan
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Great, no-nonsense Bogart, cutting short any deception subplots by tersely admitting things and walking out of the room to do something else.
filmlog  3stars  mysteries  crime  secrets  birds  death 
september 2007 by kevan
Seven Deadly Colours: The Genius of Nature's Palette and How It Eluded Darwin - Andrew Parker
Seven different colours in nature, seven different mechanisms of colour generation, and seven predator-fooling examples of why eyes aren't so perfectly evolved after all. Good worldview-changing science, with some nice flourishes.
booklog  evolution  light  paint  illusions  birds  frogs  fish  insects 
june 2007 by kevan
Biodiversity: Wild Parrots Tame the Concrete Jungle
"At dawn, they take off from large roosting trees to forage for non-native figs, dates and avocados. [...] Residents of Ocean Beach believe the parrots arrived 25 years ago after a pet store burned down, and they never left."
birds  cities 
may 2007 by kevan
Wild Minds - Marc Hauser
A good strong look at the internal experiences of animals, with comparisons to early human development, and a lot of polite, precise demolition of other writers' flabby anthropomorphism and insufficiently rigorous science.
booklog  science  brains  mammals  bees  apes  monkeys  birds 
december 2006 by kevan
Times Online - Crows hack into internest
"Hundreds of homes and offices have reportedly been left without high-speed internet service after the crows discovered that broadband cable can be pecked into usable strips more easily than power cables or telephone copper wire ever could."
birds  technology  japan 
june 2006 by kevan
New Scientist - Evolution gets busy in the urban lab
"Evolution is operating with a vengeance in the urban environment as animals struggle to adapt to novel conditions and cope with 'evolutionary illusions'."
evolution  mammals  birds  cities  illusions  via:collision 
may 2006 by kevan
State Wildlife Bounty Laws by State
"...and present an affidavit to such officer stating that said ears or head are of the animal the person killed, and that the person has not spared the life of any such animal within the person's power to kill."
mammals  birds  death  law  money 
may 2006 by kevan
Times Online - Budgie tops the bill as mimicry is put on CD
"The sound of a budgerigar singing in a Geordie accent and a blackbird imitating a computer modem have been released on a CD compiled by the British Library." Links to a couple of sound clips.
birds  sound  illusions  via:mcios 
march 2006 by kevan
Gode Cookery: The History of the Cockentrice
"Take a capon, scald it, drain it clean, then cut it in half at the waist; take a pig, scald it, drain it as the capon, and also cut it in half at the at the waist; take needle and thread and sew the front part of the capon to the back part of the pig."
food  mutation  history  pigs  birds 
february 2006 by kevan
Independent - Scientists hail discovery of hundreds of new species in remote New Guinea
"An astonishing mist-shrouded 'lost world' of previously unknown and rare animals and plants high in the mountain rainforests of New Guinea has been uncovered by an international team of scientists."
birds  mammals  plants  secrets  science  via:holly 
february 2006 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | The elf of Epping Forest
Ken Campbell. "Parrots live for ever and she's nowhere near 10 yet, so she'll live way after me. At least I know my voice will carry on for a bit after I'm gone: 'I'm up 'ere, you're down there!'"
interviews  comedy  birds  theatre 
november 2005 by kevan - Sparrow knocks over 23,000 dominoes before being shot
"The unfortunate bird flew through an open window at an exposition center in the northern city of Leeuwarden where employees of television company Endemol NV have worked for weeks setting up more than 4 million dominoes."
birds  death  television  via:arbroath 
november 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited Film | My life as a penguin
"They don't seem like birds to me, which is good because, as a rule, I don't enjoy being proximate to birds. I don't think I'd be very happy sitting on the ground surrounded by 84 large crows."
november 2005 by kevan
Sounds of the World's Animals
"Animals make much the same sounds around the world, but each language expresses them differently. English and French cows sound the same, but not in English and French!" And Japanese bees go "bunbun".
language  sound  world  bees  cows  pigeons  pigs  monkeys  mammals  cats  birds 
october 2005 by kevan
Animal Flight Dynamics - One rule fits all, U=3fA, from Bumblebee to Blue Whale
"Because flapping frequency varies so little, peak aerodynamic efficiency is only achieved over a narrow range of speeds, so animals sensibly tune their wingbeat frequency for peak efficiency when cruising."
air  bees  birds 
october 2005 by kevan
Flaubert's Parrot - Julian Barnes
The mysteries and vagaries and pit-traps of literary biography - slightly too random musings on Flaubert, stitched together with not quite as much narrative as it looked like it was going to have.
booklog  books  france  birds  history  secrets  lies  mysteries 
september 2005 by kevan
The Observer | How the penguin's life story inspired the US religious right
"[The penguins outside a group] are struggling to get in and those on the inside are trying to stand their ground: it's a classic Darwinian struggle. The idea that the life of a penguin is any more beautiful than that of a malaria virus is absurd."
birds  evolution  religion  films 
september 2005 by kevan
Dispatch Online - Birds mimic cellphone ring
Here we go, from June 2001: "With one of the highest rates of mobile phones per head of population in the world, common Australian mimic birds such as the bower and lyre are increasingly hearing the ringing of mobile phones in rural areas."
birds  phones  music  memetics  australia 
july 2005 by kevan
Indo-Asian News Service -> Birds imitate mobile phone ring tones
"Many of the more common ring tones are themselves imitations of bird calls, so the birds are in some instances mimicking another species." Lyre birds were doing this years ago, I thought. Fun that they're now into a genetic arms-race with polyphonics.
birds  phones  music  memetics  via:jones 
july 2005 by kevan
icWales - Rise of super-pigeons due to food litter
"Fast food leftovers on Welsh streets is creating overweight 'super-pigeons', that rely on waste to survive." [...] "Pigeons become dependent on you for their diet and when flocks gather this spreads disease and drives smaller birds away."
pigeons  litter  food  pestilence  birds 
july 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | High summer
"They sailed for days on end, looking for the great sculpted icebergs Salgado had heard about. When he found one that looked like a turreted medieval castle, he realised his visit had been worthwhile." Astonishing photos of icebergs and penguins.
photos  ice  birds 
july 2005 by kevan
EDP24 - Gulls more likely to target white cars
"We know that birds can decide when to defecate and also that birds are reactive to things the same colour as themselves."
transport  birds  via:mcios 
june 2005 by kevan
Guggenheim Collection - Cornell - Fortune Telling Parrot
Saw this in Venice and wasn't allowed to touch it. "The crank on the right exterior of the construction turns a broken music box, hidden in the lower-right corner of the sculpture."
art  birds  music  future  cards 
may 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Jon Ronson: Spot the bird
"The pigeons (formally rock doves) were escapees from medieval dovecotes, [...] bred for their meat and their droppings, which was used to make gunpowder. On their escape they took to the ledges and rooftops, like their clifftop-dwelling ancestors."
london  birds  pigeons  ronson 
may 2005 by kevan
Flashlights on Nature - Grant Allen
Wonderful random-interesting-aspects-of-nature book from 1899; spider-webs and butcher birds, all written in a breezily enthusiastic and anthropomorphic tone, if inevitably dated: "The morals of spiders are scarcely better than those of Chinamen."
booklog  plants  spiders  birds  insects 
may 2005 by kevan
Telegraph | First it was magpies, now shooters are offered £500 to wipe out grey squirrels
"A campaign to wipe out two and a half million grey squirrels has pledged a £500 reward to the person who kills the most."
mammals  death  war  birds  money 
april 2005 by kevan
Bright Coop, Inc.
Conveyor-belt chicken-catcher. "Extendible conveyor enables rotating fingers to harvest chickens against the house walls and in corners." Dystopian foreshadowing.
technology  food  birds  prison 
march 2005 by kevan
Wikipedia: Road Runner cartoon
Includes the cartoon's ten commandments. "There may be no dialogue ever, except "beep-beep!" The coyote may, however, speak to the audience through wooden signs that he holds up." "The coyote can stop any time - if he were not a fanatic."
television  war  birds  signs 
february 2005 by kevan
AlterNet: The Food Detective
Michael Pollan interview; the tentacles of GM corn in America. "If you look at a fast-food meal, a McDonald's meal, virtually all the carbon in it - and what we eat is mostly carbon - comes from corn."
food  genetics  birds  politics  interviews  plants 
february 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Ninja turtles bring terror to a pond
Discarded pet terrapins slaughter indigenous pond wildlife. "According to Barnet council, the terrapins [...] are best controlled by licensed shooting with a high powered air rifle."
birds  chelonians  ninja  war  water 
august 2004 by kevan
Reuters | Australian Town Joins Global War on Plastic Bags
"Thousands of turtles, birds and other marine animals are killed each year after mistaking the millions of bags in the world's oceans for squid and jellyfish."
birds  chelonians  illusions  litter  plastic  pollution  squid 
august 2004 by kevan : Airborne attackers spark an inquiry
"[Seagulls] are becoming very, very aggressive and we need a strategy to deal with this menace in inner cities." ... "They do not show any fear of humans."
birds  cities  war 
june 2004 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Cor love a duck
Ducks develop regional "accents" in response to their environment.
birds  language 
june 2004 by kevan
SongWand - The Ultimate Interactive System for Learning Bird Song
A reader that lifts (MIDI-style?) birdsong from barcode labels that you can stick into any bird book.
barcodes  birds  music 
may 2004 by kevan

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