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Frillback Pigeons – A Fancy Pigeon Breed With Naturally Curly Feathers

Frillback pigeons are one of the most coveted breeds among pigeon fanciers, prized both for its relatively calm temperament and for their unique frills or curls.

Believed to have originated somewhere in Asia Minor, the frillback pigeon is the result of many years of selective breeding. Its distinctive features are the frill or curls on the wing shield feathers, as well as at the end of the foot feathers or muffs. Slightly larger than other pigeon breeds, with long tail and wing feathers, are considered some of the most elegant of fancy pigeon breeds and are very popular at pigeon beauty contests.

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Pakistani Villager Demands Return of Pigeon Detained in India for Spying

Last week authorities in India announced the capture of a suspicious pigeon believed to be a spy from neighboring Pakistan. Now the bird’s owner is demanding that his bird be set free…

The alleged spy was captured on Sunday by villagers in the disputed region of Kashmir, between India and Pakistan. The pigeon caught the people’s attention right away, because of its unusual pink color and a ring with a strange code around one of its legs. They immediately called the regional police, who detained the bird on charges of spying while they tried to decipher the code on its ring. Now a Pakistani villager has come out to dispute the charges, saying that the pigeon was his and the ring around its leg isn’t an elaborate code, but his phone number, in case something happened to the bird.

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The Sad Truth Behind the “Funny Hairdo” of Crested Ducks

If, like me, you spent a fair bit of your childhood on a farm, or if you’re simply fascinated by domestic birds, you’ve probably seen a crested duck at least once in your life. Their fluffy headgear is a adorable to look at, but it comes with some severe side-effects.

First of all, the funny-looking plumage on the heads of crested ducks is just a genetic defect, and one that has some serious health implications. The fluffy hairdo actually grows out of a section of fatty tissue that covers a gap in the duck’s skull. Not only does this defect make it dangerous for a female crested duck to mate – especially with a particularly aggressive drake – but it has also been linked to seizures, neurological problems and early death. Unfortunately, the photos of cute crested ducks circulating on social media these days don’t come with information about these issues, which only makes the ducks sought after as pets. That leads to another serious problem, breading…

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Woman Hatches Duck Egg by Carrying It in Her Bra for 35 Days

A California woman is being praised for going above and beyond to ensure that a cracked duck egg she found in a park hatched, by incubating it in her bra for over a month.

Betsy Ross, an independent contractor from Visalia, California, was walking with her family in a public park when her kids noticed that someone had maliciously smashed up all the duck nests that were there. Miraculously, one of the duck eggs had survived the massacre with only a small crack. It wasn’t leaking, so the kids begged her to save it and try to help it hatch. She had never hatched and egg before, and she didn’t think she could save it, but the children were already upset because of the nests, so she said yes. That was the start of a remarkable journey that saw the young mother of three carrying a duck egg with her everywhere she went for 35 days.

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Born to Fly – The Bird That Spends Up to 10 Months Without Landing

Scientists have long suspected that some species of birds can eat drink, mate and even sleep while flying, but even they were stunned when data showed that one such species could go up to 10 months without landing.

As its name suggests, the commons swift (Apus apus) is a common bird that lives all across Europe and much of Asia, but their flight time is anything but common. This medium-sized bird currently holds the record for the most time spent in the air per year, with data showing that some specimens can spend up to 10 months out of 12 without landing even once. They drink and eat in the air, feasting on any insects that they can capture in flight, they can mate in the air as well, and, like the much larger frigate birds, they can also sleep in the air by gliding on warm air currents known as “thermals”.

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World’s Smallest Bird Lays Its Eggs in a Nest the Size of a Quarter

Only slightly larger that the insect it’s named after, the Bee Hummingbird weighs no more than two grams and lays eggs roughly the size of coffee beans. It is officially the world’s tiniest bird.

Found only in Cuba, the Bee Hummingbird is extremely small even for a hummingbird, so much so that people often mistake it for an actual bee when they see it hovering over flowers. But this tiny flier not only looks like an insect, it also competes against them for resources. It is the result of a phenomenon scientists call “island dwarfism”, where certain species have problems competing against larger species for resources, so they get smaller and smaller over evolutionary time to avoid running out of food and start competing against other categories of organisms.

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The Tailor Bird Uses Its Beak as a Needle to Literally Stitch Up Its Nest

As children, we learn that birds build their nests out of twigs and dry grass, but the truth is that bird nest architecture varies greatly, as demonstrated by the tiny Tailor Bird, which uses as its beak as a needle to stitch a protective nest out of leaves.

Orthotomus sutorius, or the Common Tailor Bird, is a small, warbler-like songbird that lives in tropical Asia, but it’s not its singing that’s intriguing, it’s the bird’s nest building skills. It stitches one or two solid tree leaves together to create a cup that provides both a comfortable shelter and camouflage from predators. And when I say stitches, that is exactly what I mean. The female tailor bird uses its sharp beak as a needle to first pierce the leaves, then takes cobwebs or plant fibers and guides it through the holes as thread, until the pouch is nice and secure. It’s unclear how the tailor birds picked up this talent for sewing but it’s clear that it is passed on genetically.

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The Amazingly Realistic Paper Bird Sculptures of Diana Beltran Herrera

Colombian artist Diana Beltran Herrera creates incredibly realistic bird sculptures by carefully attaching bits of colored paper.

To say Diana Beltran Herrera’s hands are super-precise instruments would be an understatement. The talented artist uses her innate dexterity and years of practice to create amazingly-detailed models of various birds, from the common sparrow to tropical parrots, out of bits of glued paper. To represent the birds as they are in nature, Herrera makes her sculptures life-size. Over the last decade, she has created paper sculptures of hundreds of bird species.

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Thousands of Birds Found Dead Near Indian Lake And No One Knows What Killed Them

Wildlife experts in India are trying to make sens of the mysterious deaths of thousands of birds near the country’s largest inland lake. While the reported death toll is currently around 2,000, locals claimed that it could reach 5,000, as carcasses allegedly cover an area stretching from 12 to 15 km around the lake.

Sambhar Lake, 80km south-west of the city of Jaipur, is India’s largest inland lake and a popular gathering place for migratory birds like flamingos, storks, sandpipers, redshanks, black-winged stilts, among dozens of species. Last Sunday, however, locals alerted authorities that the lake shoreline had become an eerie graveyard for thousands of birds, with only a few dozen still left alive as far as the eye could see. There were reportedly so many bodies that when people first saw them, they mistook them for piles of cow dung, but it didn’t take them long to realize that they were really bird carcasses from more than 10 species.

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Indian Man Claims He Has Been Harassed by Crows for Almost Two Years

They say crows have great memory and never forget those who have wronged them, and the story of an Indian tractor driver who claims to have been constantly attacked by crows ever since they saw him pick up some of their hatchlings, a year and a half ago.

Mohanan, a tractor driver from Ambalavayal, a town in India’s Kerala state, has been carrying a stick and an umbrella to work every day, for over a year. It’s not that he fears getting attacked by dogs or that he hates rain, but that he needs to defend himself against the crows that always attack him whenever he approaches a bus station where he once picked up two crow hatchlings from under his tractor and placed them on the side of the road. As Mohan recalls, the following day, he and his colleagues found a small puppy covered in tar and washed it clean with kerosene, and he assumes the crow must have seen him and confused the puppy for the hatchlings that he had handled the previous day. The crows have been on his case ever since, harassing and attacking him whenever they see him.

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World’s Loudest Bird Produces a Mating Call as Loud as a Pile Driver

The male white bellbird, a 250-gram-heavy bird native to South America, produces the world’s loudest bird sound, according to a new scientific study.

Biologist Jeff Podos at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mario Cohn-Haft of Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia recorded the mating call of the male white bellbird, aka Procnias albus, and concluded that it was a good nine decibels louder than the sound of the previous holder of the title “world’s loudest bird”, the screaming piha, also a species native to the Amazon rain forest. Peak sound levels recorded during the bird’s mating call reached a whopping 125.4 decibels, way above the human pain threshold and equivalent to the sound made by a pile driver.

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Murder of Crows Has Attacked Man for Three Years After One of Their Young Died in His Hands

For the last three years, a man in India’s Madhya Pradesh state has been living a real-life daily nightmare inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Birds’. Every time he walks out of his house, he gets attacked by a murder of crows. The strange thing is the birds only target him.

Shiva Kewat, a daily wage labourer from Sumela village, says his troubles with crows began three years ago, due to a misunderstanding. One day, as he was walking on the street he noticed a crow chick stuck in iron netting, but despite his efforts to help the small bird escape, it died in his hands. Some of the rows must have seen the scene and assumed that he killed their young, because they’ve been attacking him ever since. Sometimes they come for him in groups, otherwise it’s just a single bird, but Kewat always carries a stick with him to fend off their sharp beaks and talons.

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Florida Vacationers Terrorized by Flock of Foul-Smelling Vultures

Owning a vacation home in West Palm Beach’s Ibis Golf and Country Club is a dream come true for most people, but for a couple of residents that dream quickly turned into a nightmare after their properties were taken over by dozens of black vultures.

Earlier this year, New Yorkers Anthony and Siobhan Casimano bought a vacation home in the Ibis Golf and Country Club for 702,000 dollar, but when they decided to vacation there, they were shocked to find it had actually been taken over by dozens, if not hundreds of black vultures. They were practically living in the pool area, had destroyed the property’s screened enclosures and did not appear too happy to share the place with its human owners. They pecked at their car, and vomited when they got too close, as a means of self defense. Despite their best efforts to have the issue resolved, the Casimanos remain unable to drive the vultures away and reclaim their expensive property.

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Aggressive Seagulls Keep Couple Hostage in Their Own Home for Six Days

An elderly couple in the UK claimed that they were held hostage by a pair of seagulls nesting on the roof of their Lancashire home. Every time they tried to leave the birds would become aggressive and attack them.

Roy and Brenda Pickard’s story sounds like a real life version of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Birds”. The elderly couple were held hostage in their own home by a pair of adult Herring Gulls after the birds’  chicks slipped on the roof of the house and landed onto the canopy directly above the front door. Every time Roy tried opening the front door, he was confronted by two angry squawking adult seagulls. One time, when he decided to take his chances and go outside, the 71-year-old was hit so hard on the back of the head that he had to be taken to the hospital for help. Local authorities have installed a gazebo outside the couple’s home, which should offer some protection, but that’s the best they can do for now.

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Rooster’s Loud Crowing Triggers Legal Battle Between Neighbors

Maurice, a proud rooster from the French commune of Saint-Pierre d’Oléron, has become an overnight celebrity after triggering a controversial legal battle with his loud morning crowing.

The story of the rooster who sang to loudly has become the topic of a fired-up debate in France. A local family has been sued because Maurice, one of their roosters, crows too loudly in the morning and disturbs some of the neighbors. The bird’s owners claim that they live in a rural environment, where crowing is a part of daily life, but because of an influx of tourists and seasonal residents looking for peace and quiet, the animal’s natural instincts have become a nuisance. They’ve tried keeping Maurice in the chicken coop until 8:30 in the morning, but that’s the best they can do, they said, because Maurice is a rooster, he has to crow. Still, their neighbors didn’t find that solution satisfactory so they filed a complaint at a regional court.

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