Like most North American birds, the Gunnison sage-grouse is gearing up for breeding and nesting season. These birds, though, kick things off with a bit more zest than many other species, with a courtship display that is elaborate, unique, and extravagant. The males attract females by calling and strutting around while flapping their wings. But what they’re best known for is inflating two yellow air sacs on their white breasts and making a popping sound. It is one of the bird world’s great spectacles a true sight to be seen but it may not exist for long.!--/end tags-->
The Bay of Panama—made up of a rich patchwork of wetlands, mud flats, and mangrove forests—is vital habitat not only for two million migrating birds like western sandpipers and whimbrels, but for turtles, monkeys, and jaguars. On top of that it is a key source of the nation’s seafood industry.
UPDATE 4/8/2013: Thanks for all of the fantastic entries! Our three finalists are below. Cast your vote for the winner.
Every week we post a funny animal photo that’s begging for a caption, like this shot of a southern ground-hornbill. Join in the fun! You’ve got til 11:59 pm (Eastern time) on Sunday to enter your suggestion (click “Read more” below). On Monday we’ll choose our three favorite captions and list them under the image.!--/end tags-->
Cliff swallows could be the Evel Knievels of the bird world. They have an affinity for living in extreme places—cliffs, buildings, under bridges, in the crevasses of railroad tracks—and they appear to be getting better at cheating death.!--/end tags-->
An endangered Swift Parrot (Photo copyright David Stowe)
Ever wondered what a white-bellied cinclodes looked like in full display? Or just how silvery the silvery woodpigeon is? Now, a series of bold images will tell you, as Princeton University Press announces the winners of a photography competition designed to highlight the plight of endangered—and often unknown—birds.!--/end tags-->
In southwest Florida, more than 200 manatees have died—up more than 30 percent from the highest ever yearly count of 151. The cause? Devastating algal bloom. Although the bloom’s seasonal, some say it’s not all par for the course. Manatees—endearing, lumpy elephants of the sea—may in fact be the meter showing that harmful algal blooms are on the rise.!--/end tags-->
Photo: Courtesy of Will Ryman and the Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Seeing birds around New York’s City Madison Square Park isn’t a rare occurrence. What is strange is to spot a five-ton raven. Walk by the park between now and April 21st, however, and that’s precisely what you’ll see.!--/end tags-->
A pipeline rupture in Mayflower, Arkansas Friday has given anti-oil advocates new fodder for the fight against Keystone XL. Thousands of gallons of Canadian Wabasca heavy crude oil en route from Illinois to the Gulf Coast burst from an Exxon Mobil pipeline, leaving slick roads, oil-logged lawns, and evacuated homes in its wake.!--/end tags-->
This is, hands down, the best version of the Harlem Shake we’ve seen. Shout out to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for pulling it together. “This is why we think wildlife is amazing,” USFWS writes with the video. “They know how to get down!” We couldn’t agree more.!--/end tags-->
UPDATE: Dear readers, we were tickled by your submissions for last week's caption contest. Hence the five, rather than three, finalists. Vote away!
Every week we post a funny animal photo that’s begging for a caption. Join in the fun! You’ve got til 11:59 pm (Eastern time) on Sunday to enter your suggestion (click “Read more” below). On Monday we’ll choose our three favorite captions and list them under the image.!--/end tags-->