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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Darwin's Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists, By Rebecca Stott

On the origin of Darwin's famous idea

Planning system 'failing' wildlife

The planning system is failing to protect England's wildlife and natural areas, many of which are facing major declines, a report has warned.

Bird deaths trigger health alert in Peru

The Peruvian government has declared a health alert along the country's northern coast and urged people to avoid long stretches of beach, as it investigates the mysterious deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans.

Flooding hits nesting wading birds

The recent flooding has hit hundreds of nesting wading birds at nature reserves, the RSPB has said.

Symphonies of natural sounds: A Macaw juvenile in flight

The Great Animal Orchestra, By Bernie Krause

This musician-turned-naturalist finds via his fieldwork that calls and cries can be matter of wild life and death.

Two Britons fined over Australia penguin theft

Two British tourists who broke into an Australian theme park and stole a penguin following a drunken night out have each been fined A$1,000 (£637).

You can stuff your ban: US chefs fight to keep foie gras on the menu

Some of California's top chefs are attempting to overturn a ban on the production and sale of foie gras, two months before it is due to come into effect.

Peru to investigate mass pelican die-off in dolphin death area

Peru's oceanographic agency says it will investigate the deaths of hundreds of pelicans on northern beaches where nearly 900 dolphins were recently found dead.

About 37,500 runners took part in the London Marathon, which finished in front of Buckingham Palace

Marathon marred by runner's death

Tragedy struck the London Marathon yesterday when a 30-year-old woman collapsed and died with only a mile of the race to go.

Dinosaurs' eggs linked to their downfall

Laying eggs led to the dinosaurs' downfall after ruling the Earth for 150 million years, a study suggests.

Rentokil chilli gel wards off problem birds

A new red-hot weapon has been unveiled in the fight against problem birds.

1. Decorative bird cage, Very.co.uk, £32
Newborn ducklings from the world's most endangered duck species – the Madagascar pochard

World’s rarest ducks make Easter debut

Six years ago their kind was feared extinct, but 18 newborn ducklings from the world's most endangered duck species – the Madagascar pochard – met the public for the first time yesterday.

Controversial bird flu research set for publication‎

The full details of controversial research that led to the creation of a highly infectious form of birdflu virus – including the precise DNA sequence of the five mutations that transformed the virus – will be published despite fears that the work could be misused by bioterrorists, scientists said today.

Festival Guide 2012: A spotter's guide to festival excess

Smug Tweeters. Gurning Techno stilt loons. Naked am-dram mums. Bewildered teens. Key parts of any festival, says Nick Moore

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003