YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsBirds


October 28, 2013 | Julie Cart
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a proposal to list the bistate sage grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, affording special protections to about 5,000 birds along the California-Nevada border. The bird is a genetically distinct subpopulation of the Mono Basin sage grouse, and officials were petitioned to list it for protection in 2005. In California, the birds are found in Inyo, Alpine and Mono counties. Federal biologists estimate that about six groups of birds are occupying about half of their historical range.
April 27, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
An albino variety of California kingsnake popular in the pet trade has infested the Canary Islands, decimating native bird, mammal and lizard species that have had no time to evolve evasive patterns in what was once a stable ecology northwest of Africa. Unchecked by natural predators, the kingsnake population has exploded, say U.S. Geological Survey biologists helping the Spanish archipelago attempt to control the highly adaptive and secretive predators. "The kingsnakes in question are from a species found in San Diego and bred in captivity," said Robert Fisher, a research biologist with the USGS.
June 6, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Most birds lost their penises somewhere along the trail of evolution. Scientists want to know where they went. A biological program that triggers cell death is to blame, and it may offer clues about both evolution and the molecular biology behind birth defects, say researchers from the University of Florida, who published their work in Current Biology this week. “One of the most puzzling events in evolution is the reduction and loss of the phallus in birds,” said Martin Cohn, A University of Florida biologist who studies the evolution of appendages.
April 25, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Jennifer Lawrence and her beau Nicholas Hoult are out and about, capturing the attention of photographers in London with their cuteness.  Except the Oscar-winning actress doesn't think being hounded by shutterbugs is oh-so-adorable. The "X-Men: Days of Future Past" star gave the finger to a legion of paparazzi following her and her costar as they finished up a date in London. The usually goofy 23-year-old was photographed flipping the bird and wearing a supremely disgruntled expression while sitting in the back of a pink cab Thursday, E!
May 27, 2013 | By Fox 40 and Los Angeles Times Staff
Two people and numerous animals were killed in a house fire in Sacramento on Sunday. Firefighters found flames covering the front of the house when they arrived at the scene. Once they put out the fire, firefighters found an elderly couple inside. The man and woman died, as well as their dogs, cats and birds. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to Fox 40. The Sacramento Bee reported that one of the victims was a longtime member of a local bird society and that many her birds were killed in the blaze.
January 31, 2013 | By Carla Hall
Sometimes, an animal protection issue has a clear moral path to follow, notes Wayne Pacelle, the chief executive of the Humane Society of the U.S.  But other times, he writes on his blog, “the protection of one species appears to conflict with the protection of another.”  He was talking about birds and feral cats. And once again, the conflict between the two species is in the spotlight. A new report , published in the online journal Nature Communications and based on a systematic review of existing studies, estimates that “free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds” annually in the United States.
May 12, 2011 | By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times
Here's a breath of fresh air for people flying through Amsterdam : a new park-like space at the city's Schiphol Airport , where travelers waiting for takeoff can sit at picnic tables amid real and fake plants, listen to birds sing and grab organic snacks. The " Airport Park ," opened Wednesday, occupies more than 2,100 square feet in the middle of the airport. Part art installation and part airport lounge, it displays pictures of parks from around the world, projects images of butterflies onto walls and floors and pipes in recorded sounds of birds chirping and children playing.
November 3, 2009 | Louis Sahagun
On a recent weekday morning, Tom and Jo Heindel strode to the top of a hill at the edge of town and held hands, savoring the panoramic views below of elk grazing in alfalfa fields, strips of willows along streams and elm trees glistening with the remnants of rain. Then Tom, 73, and Jo, 71, got down to business. "A few dozen scaup, 10 eared grebes, 12 Clark's grebes, 20 canvasbacks and a Northern harrier gliding low and fast," Jo said, peering through a spotting scope. "Got it," said Tom, transcribing the information on a tally sheet spread across the hood of their aging white mini-pickup truck.
May 29, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Modern day birds may simply be dinosaurs that never grew up, researchers say. A comparison of fossilized skulls of juvenile dinosaurs with those of birds shows remarkable similarities, adding further evidence to the growing consensus that birds are evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs. A team from Harvard University reported online in the journal Nature that for some as-yet-unknown reason, some dinosaur infants began to mature much more rapidly than normal. That rapid maturation altered the expression of genes, changing the physical characteristics of the animals and keeping them much smaller in size.
July 10, 1988
Slower growth has to be for the birds--and against the red foxes at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge. Without the birds, and especially the endangered species, the refuges start to lose their reason for existing. Then you can be sure another breed of fox would convince the politicians to hand over these areas for more hotels, yacht harbors and malls. Let's hope we can continue to protect our endangered birds as well as our endangered open spaces.
April 23, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
A game developer has combined two of 2014's most addictive games - "Flappy Bird" and "2048" - into one addictive mashup called "Flappy48. " The free game challenges users to combine tiles into larger numbers, an element of "2048," while making sure they don't crash into columns that appear as the numbers fly through the screen, an element of "Flappy Bird. " "Flappy48" can be played on the Web on desktops and laptops. It requires the installation of the Unity Web Player. VIDEO: Unboxing the Tonino Lamborghini Antares smartphone Dan Moran, a game developer, created the game and released it earlier this week, according to his website and Twitter feed . Moran made the game in less than a day and said it was a tribute to both "Flappy Bird" and "2048.
April 22, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Humans and other primates aren't the only members of the animal kingdom who can watch total strangers interact and figure out who's in charge. Ravens can do it too, according to a new study in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers at the University of Vienna said they had several reasons to suspect that ravens had the chops to understand the social hierarchy of unknown birds just by looking at them. For starters, ravens “are renowned for their relatively big brains,” they wrote.
April 19, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
Steelhead trout once packed the natural pools of Southern California's spawning rivers - that is, until the waterways were transformed into concrete drainage canals in the 1930s to protect the burgeoning flatlands from flooding. The last steelhead in the Los Angeles River was a 25-incher caught off a bridge in Glendale in 1940, two years after that stretch was paved. Today, the region's steelhead population hovers around 500 - 10% of what it was seven decades ago. "The good news is that steelhead are remarkably resilient if given half a chance," Jerry Schubel, president and chief executive of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, said last week as crews were installing plumbing and temperature controls in an exhibit he said was designed to "reveal some of the secrets of this fish and inspire conservation.
April 13, 2014 | By Hannah Kuchler
Biz Stone is the other Twitter founder. Not the one who first came up with the idea, not the one with the original investment, but the founder famous for donning a nutty professor costume to introduce the messaging platform to the world in a comic video. In the torrid tale of Twitter's foundation - complete with betrayals and counter-betrayals - he was neither a back-stabber nor the back-stabbed. His new book from Grand Central Publishing, "Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind," offers a clue about why: He seems to be quite a nice guy. Management books written by nice guys do not abound.
April 11, 2014 | By Chuck Graham
You don't have to travel all the way to East Africa to go on safari. Grab your binoculars and camera and scan the 50-mile-long Carrizo Plain National Monument for its array of wildlife. Carrizo Plain, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles and known as California's Serengeti, is the largest single native grassland remaining in the Golden State. It's home to the highest concentration of endangered species in California. Drive slowly on Soda Lake Road and search for herds of pronghorn antelope and Tule elk. The real challenge will be spotting rarer critters such as the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, San Joaquin kit fox, San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel and giant kangaroo rat. Don't ignore old fence posts either, favorite perches for raptors such as ferruginous and red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons and American kestrels.
April 10, 2014 | By Monte Morin, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
It's a flu virus so deadly that scientists once halted research on the disease because governments feared it might be used by terrorists to stage a biological attack. Yet despite the fact that the H5N1 avian influenza has killed 60% of the 650 humans known to be infected since it was identified in Hong Kong 17 years ago, the “bird flu” virus has yet to evolve a means of spreading easily among people. Now Dutch researchers have found that the virus needs only five favorable gene mutations to become transmissible through coughing or sneezing, like regular flu viruses.
August 26, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies Monday seized almost 300 birds, a 20-gauge shotgun and other items related to an alleged cockfighting ring in the Antelope Valley, authorities said. Deputies from the department's Community Oriented Services Bureau found the birds after carrying out a search warrant in the 34200 block of 90th Street East in Juniper Hills. A suspect has been identified, according to a Sheriff's Department news release, and the case will be sent to the district attorney's office for consideration.
June 21, 2007
Regarding the decline of bird populations in California by 75% to 96% (June 15): Is this the proverbial canary in the coal mine? LLOYD CARTER Clovis, Calif.
April 1, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A Littlerock man was charged Tuesday with owning more than two dozen game birds altered for cockfighting after a property search was conducted last month by L.A. County sheriff's deputies. Inocencio Rodríguez Aguirre, 46, faces 28 misdemeanor counts of possession of a bird for fighting, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Daniel Rochmes. Deputies carrying a search warrant raided the property at East R4 on Feb. 27 based on a tip of possible cockfighting. They found about 150 game birds on the property, 28 of them in fighting trim.
March 27, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Less than a week after an oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel, environmentalists say there has been limited damage to nearby bird sanctuaries, but it is to soon to know whether there will be long-term problems to wildlife.  More than 200 birds have been fouled by oil from the spill, caused by a collision involving a fuel barge and a ship on Saturday, according to Richard Gibbons, conservation director of Houston Audubon. The birds are of a variety of species. “It's a terrible event,” Gibbons told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.
Los Angeles Times Articles