Book review: The World's Rarest Birds, by Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash and Robert Still

Book review: The World's Rarest Birds, by Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash and Robert Still

According to the latest assessment by BirdLife International, 590 bird species are threatened with extinction.

Sunday, 26 May, 2013, 5:34pm

Primitive birds used four wings for flight

The fossil of a Sapeornis bird that was not believed to have hind feathers until now. Some primitive birds used four wings. Photo: AFP

Previous research had uncovered the existence of bird-like dinosaurs with hind limb feathers, but evidence has remained slim in birds, which are widely believed to have evolved from dinosaurs.

17 Mar 2013 - 7:29am

Cats in US kill billions of birds and mammals, study finds

Domestic cats in the United States kill up to 3.7 billion birds a year, scientists estimate. Photo: AP

Domestic cats in the United States kill up to 3.7 billion birds and as many as 20.7 billion mice, voles and other small mammals each year, biologists estimated on Tuesday.

30 Jan 2013 - 2:30pm

Toronto's skyscrapers 'death trap for birds'

A bird navigates between two high-rise buildings in the financial district of Toronto. Photo: The New York Times

In the shadow of the massive black towers of a bank's downtown headquarters was an almost indistinguishable puff of dark gray fluff on the sidewalk.

It was the body of a golden-crowned kinglet, an unlucky one, that had crashed into the iconic Toronto-Dominion Centre building somewhere above.

29 Oct 2012 - 3:55am

New Caledonian crow applies wide vision to tool-making

The New Caledonian crow is a clever tool-maker. Photo: SCMP

Biologists have figured out how the New Caledonian crow, a bird famed for using tools, does its party trick.

Corvus moneduloides, a native of France's South Pacific territory of New Caledonia, is one of the stars of the avian world.

14 Oct 2012 - 3:26am

HK's pellet woes

A ship's lost cargo has locals worried about the quality of the city's fish.

Several restaurant owners have decided to import fish from outside Hong Kong after local fish farmers reported that small amounts of plastic pellets were found in Ma Wan and Cheung Sha Wan fish culture zones. Local wet markets has also seen a drop in fish sales.

15 Aug 2012 - 11:15pm

Men of the Forest

Bornean orangutans, also known as Men of the Forest, are endangered, with a population in the wild of between 40,000 and 70,000. They are mostly found in Malaysia and Indonesia. In the wild, they live for up to 35 years, but they can live longer in captivity. Apart from brief periods of mating and raising infants by females, they are solitary animals.

8 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Caged performance artist looks down on society

Where did the idea for the survival challenge come from?

The designer of the performance piece is an arts critic. He built the steel 'bird's nest' and elevated it above a square in the CBD.

19 Jun 2005 - 12:00am

Birdwatchers get off to a flying start

They are not ordinary birdwatchers, and their enthusiasm has far exceeded the demands of mere professionalism.

A team of government conservation officers has been working - often day and night, enduring sea sickness and venturing into rural areas - to survey the wild birds inhabiting Hong Kong's forests and coasts.

14 Feb 2005 - 12:00am

Laziness works for some animals

Some animals are either unwilling to work or just very inactive. Surprisingly, they're just as successful as hard-working animals.

Cuckoos don't build a nest and don't raise their own young. Instead they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and leave the host bird to hatch the unwanted extra egg and feed the chicks.

4 Aug 1998 - 12:00am

Wildlife's egg-cellent design tricks

The natural world produces some masterpieces of design and one good example is a bird's egg.

The shell is protective but at the same time porous to gases so that the growing embryo can breathe.

Both the yolk and white - called the albumen - provide the embryo with water and nutrients, but the white also insulates and cushions against jarring.

29 Sep 1997 - 12:00am

Nests flown

BURGLARS who stole nearly $1 million worth of birds' nest and ginseng from a medicine shop in Causeway Bay on Tuesday might have struck again at its neighbour. A second medicine shop at Sugar Street has reported $150,000 worth of birds' nests stolen.

7 Sep 1995 - 12:00am

Shimmering looks of Common Kingfishers

SOME people like Common Kingfishers because of their colourful and lovely looks, especially when they perch on a tree branch or a post and when they hover above water.

Others like them because of their swift and highly-skilled fishing technique, or because of their shyness and their high-pitched voice.

29 Sep 1993 - 12:00am

Raiders risk their all for the secret harvest of sparrow island

THE birdmen of Koh Yai So brandish automatic weapons and bootleg whisky, guardians of an exotic treasure that has brought violent death to their lonely ocean atoll near Thailand.

24 Apr 1993 - 12:00am