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Birds - Descendants of Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs were successful on Earth eons before mammals, and birds - their modern descendants continue to outshine mammals in many ways.

Among BIRDS there are:
aerial acrobats, marathon athletes; songsters, weavers and builders, fishers and deep sea divers, hunters, navigators and even tool makers.
.... all which makes the derogatory expression ‘bird brain’ a puzzle.

As with many other species, humans have underestimated birds’ abilities and failed to observe or understand purposeful behaviours.
In spite of our great intelligence we continue to define the worlds of other species within the narrow framework of our own perceptual and physical capabilities and experience.

And then, there is that vexed question of intelligence....

  Australia's Mound Building Megapodes (series)
A series presented by researchers Ann Goeth and Darryl Jones that draws on their work with birds whose sole contribution to raising their young is building highly efficient incubators where the eggs develop and chicks hatch without any parental contact.

  More on Brush Turkeys
  The thriving Australian White Ibis (series across several categories)
An unusual and often misrepresented native Australian species that like our equally eyecatching Brush Turkey, have adapted very successfully with urban developments.

  Introducing the Emu - the Great Australian Bush Chook
So big, so tall, so speedy and yet they retain their chick-like feathers and tiny wings and never attain true adult appearance.

  Migratory shorebirds and tidal flats (series)
Australia - a continent erndowed with a vast array of suitable coastal habitats, plays host to countless thousands of migratory shorebirds each year. Some are local travellers while others travel from virtually one end of the globe to the other to enjoy an endless summer.

  Uncooped: deconstructing the domesticated chicken
Abbie Rogers, Collection Manager for the National Museum of Animals in Society, talks about the museum’s latest exhibition 'Uncooped: deconstructing the domesticated chicken' which explores human attitudes and interaction with chickens, one of the most common domesticated animals around the world. To this end, the exhibition not only looks at the poultry and egg industries but also at such cultural activities as diverse as cock fighting and Easter.

  Getting their message across (series)
Research shows that chickens' complex communication systems requires sophisticated use of memory, learning and problem solving.

  Thoughtful birds in action
Documentary of the actual ingenious studies by leading researchers from Italy, New Zealand and Australia that demonstrate the complex higher cognitive abilities of birds.

  Birds who make tools
New Caledonian crows not only fashion delicate hooked tools but they value them enough to carry them around for reuse.

  Right and left footed parrots
Why are some species of parrots clearly left or right footed while others are - well ambidextrous?

  Avian adaptations
Descendants from an era of very different atmospheric and climatic conditions, birds possess some remarkably efficient and effective physiological adaptations.

  The Tawny Frogmouth
Gisela Kaplan, Professor of Animal Behaviour at the University of New England outlines her work from one of her very popular books - Tawny Frogmouth.

  Global positioning - the avian way (series)

  The Cuckoo Wars Arms Race
Ricki Coughlan looks at a particular type of bird – the cuckoo – and how its parasitic behaviour forces an egg race with other species.     

  Why do birds have such wonderful colours?
Dr Sarah Pryke explains why are birds so colourful and why they have such different colours.

  Gouldian Finches
Dr Sarah Pryke delves into the fascinating world of the endangered Gouldian Finches.

  Brolgas - something to dance about
Mitch Reardon, author of Brolga Country – Travels in Wild Australia, looks at what makes these birds unique.

  Surveying waterbirds in rivers and wetlands
Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre at the University of New South Wales, reports on the latest of his research group's annual surveys of our waterbirds, conducted over one third of Australia’s landmass.

  The sad history of seabirds
Nicholas Carlile reports on a range of human interventions that have impacted adversely on seabird populations.

  Plastics - the scourge of the sea
Plastics are a part of our everyday lives but what is little known, is that most of the plastics we use end up in our oceans, where they become a deadly menace to sea birds.

  See also...

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