Drones that look like birds apparently are sufficiently bird-like to fool not only grounded humans but actual airborne birds, thanks to what the inventor, Edwin Van Ruymbeke, describes as biomimicry. His crowdfunding…

Disputing the notion that the deaths of animals are insignificant or interchangeable, Discovery News writes that birds gather in vigil by their dead and join together in song: Researchers have just observed…

WaterfowlVia CTV:

Thousands of dead birds will be collected from an Ontario shoreline on Monday as the province’s Ministry of Natural Resources tries to determine what killed the waterfowl. Officials estimate as many as 6,000 dead birds have washed up on the Georgian Bay’s shoreline.

The carcasses are scattered along a nearly three-kilometre stretch near Wasaga Beach. “You just want to cry,” resident Faye Ego told CTV Toronto on Saturday.

Authorities speculate that the birds may have been killed by a form of botulism after eating dead fish. Locals said they noticed some dead fish on the beach a few weeks ago and a few dead birds earlier in September. During Monday’s cleanup, crews will be trying to tally up the total number of dead birds on the shoreline …

VultureVia the Telegraph:

The large bird, which was carrying a GPS transmitter and a tag bearing the identification code R65 from Tel Aviv University, strayed into rural Saudi Arabian territory at some point last week, according to a report in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.

Residents and local reporters told Saudi Arabia’s Al-Weeam newspaper that the matter seemed to be linked to a “Zionist plot” and swiftly alerted security services.

The bird has since been placed under arrest. The accusations went viral, according to the Israeli Ha’aretz newspaper, with hundreds of posts on Arabic-language websites and forums claiming that the “Zionists” had trained the birds for espionage.

The incident comes amid growing paranoia among Israel’s neighbours over the nation’s growing military might.

Dead Birds CleanupIn addition to the thousands of blackbirds that fell from the sky on New Year’s Eve, it’s gets even weirder: 100,000 dead fish were found floating in the Arkansas River just days before. (UPDATE: Hundreds more birds were found dead in Louisiana today). Patrik Jonsson asks the question on many of our minds in the CS Monitor:

The deluge of dead red-winged blackbirds, grackles, and starlings that fell out of the skies over Beebe, Ark., on New Year’s Eve in all likelihood has a simple scientific explanation. Yet genuine concern spread quickly through the town of about 5,000 on New Year’s Eve, and understandably so, as environmental cleanup workers in white jumpsuits descended on Beebe on New Year’s Day to pick up thousands of dead birds from roads and walkways.

The main worry was that the birds, like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, were an indicator of a toxic threat – a possibility that has largely been ruled out. Yet the event spooked residents near and far as, in the absence of a final explanation, imaginations are running wild. People have tried to link the bird die-off — which is certainly unusual, though not unprecedented — to everything from a sign of biblical end times to chemical conspiracies, shifts in the Earth’s magnetic core, and even proof of UFOs.

Cyborg BirdsNo worries, it’s just an art project in the Dutch city of Utrecht reported on by Cyriaque Lamar on

Has Big Brother begun dabbling in fringe science? No, it’s just a mutant street art project by the artist duo Helden. Here’s how Helden (a.k.a. Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle) describe their camerabirds:

‘panoptICONS’ addresses the fact that you are constantly being watched by surveillance cameras in city centres. The surveillance camera seems to have become a real pest that feeds on our privacy. To represent this, camera birds — city birds with cameras instead of heads — were placed throughout the city centre of Utrecht where they feed on our presence. In addition, a camera bird in captivity was displayed to show the feeding process and to make the everyday breach of our privacy more personal and tangible.