Extraordinary Birds

Extraordinary Birds

The gift of flight would seem reason enough for humanity’s fascination with birds. But there’s even more to it than that. Birds are remarkable for a wide range of exceptional physical abilities, for their indications of intelligence, and — for some species — their surprising level of rapport with humans. In the small Indian village of Kundha Kulam, for example, birds’ arrival are a sign to the townspeople that rain will follow and that their crops would soon thrive. While falconry — the art of training hawks, falcons and other birds of prey to hunt — exemplifies the partnership men and birds can develop. Humans have also relied on the more prosaic pigeon. Although city dwellers may dismiss them as flying rats, no bird can top the pigeon for courage and service to humankind. Since pigeons have the ability to find their way “home,” many were used in dangerous, top-secret missions in World War I and II, delivering important messages to Allied troops behind enemy lines.

Birds-of-Paradise Project Trailer

Birds-of-Paradise Project Trailer

This fall, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Geographic are bringing the Birds-of-Paradise Project to the public with a gorgeous coffee-table book (published October 23, 2012), a major exhibit at the National Geographic Museum (opening November 1), a documentary on the National Geographic Channel (airing at 10:00 pm ET/PT November 22), articles in the Cornell Lab’s Living Bird magazine and National Geographic magazine, and National Geographic Live lectures across the country. Get an advance look now…and witness diverse strategies of evolution at work and experience one of nature’s extraordinary wonders – up close.

Amazing! Bird sounds from the lyre bird – David Attenborough – BBC wildlife

Amazing! Bird sounds from the lyre bird – David Attenborough – BBC wildlife

Click here to watch in high quality!: www.youtube.com David Attenborough presents the amazing lyre bird, which mimics the calls of other birds – and chainsaws and camera shutters – in this video clip from The Life of Birds. This clever creature is one of the most impressive and funny in nature, with unbelievable sounds to match the beautiful pictures. BBC Worldwide Channel: www.youtube.com BBC Earth Channel: www.youtube.com For more Natural History: www.bbcearth.com

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