News The steller sea eagle can be 8ft in wing-span

Sea eagle, which has an 8ft wingspan, disappeared on Saturday

Easter black badgers with green onions and wild garlic

Pigeon racing is hardly the same as cockfighting

PETA are campaigning to have pigeon racing outlawed, but I just can't get behind the idea that this is a barbaric sport

'Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop' won Oddest Title of the Year

Book on goblin-proofing chicken coops wins Oddest Title

Title won prize despite competition from a book on Adolf Hitler's health, and a book on how to sharpen pencils

Hedgehogs: Nocturnal ramblings hold few fears for this well-known forager. Terraced gardens have proved to be ideal feeding grounds, far from the peril of roads. They are especially attractive in the middle of the night when the threat of pet dogs is reduced and the hedgehog can concentrate on the important business of snaffling worms and beetles.

Why did the hedgehog NOT cross the road? Because it had adapted its behaviour in order to thrive in a threatening man-made environment

The animals that share our cities are finding ways to prosper from urban living that would leave their country cousins baffled

Oddest Book Title of the Year: What have pigeon lofts, goblinproofing, Hitler and penises got in common?

Forget the Oscars – the real contest this awards season is between pigeon lofts, tea cosies and pencil sharpeners.

A seagull attacks the dove released by Pope Benedict XVI during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square, at the Vatican

A Pope, a dove of peace and a seagull get together...

What could possibly go wrong? You've seen our story about the Pope's attempt to launch a dove of peace into the air from the Vatican yesterday, only for a seagull to vigorously intercept its flight.

Pope Benedict XVI holds a dove he is about to set free, at the end of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican

Pope's dove of peace has wings clipped

When he launched a white dove – a traditional symbol of peace – into the air in St Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI was probably not expecting that the effect would be immediate. And certainly he would not have expected the effect to be conflict.

Mass ‘twitcher’ survey to record rare breeds starving in big freeze

RSPB’s ‘Big Garden  Birdwatch’ this weekend is expected to be most exciting for years

Marco Pierre White: 'Every kitchen should have a big chopping board - I'm talking 3ft by 2ft'

My earliest food memory… Collecting cherries, grapes, peaches and figs and eating them while they were still warm from the sun. My mother was Italian and I grew up just outside of Genoa. I remember being tiny, only about three years old, and being fascinated that when you snap a fig off the tree it oozes masses of sticky milk.

Expert dismisses claims WWII pigeon code has been cracked

Historical advisor to Bletchley Park says Canadian historian's solution is 'just silly'

A dairy maid with her cow and a bucket during a Dairy Show in 1913

True loves may come up empty-handed in search of birds and milkmaids

Good luck trying to find a partridge in a pear tree in Britain this Christmas, or even less likely — the true love's token of two turtledoves.

Michael Morpurgo: 'There is a constant clamour for our attention now that is damaging us'

I feel like all the buses in my life came at once The War Horse show, the film, my new book [A Medal for Leroy]. The play has become a living thing. It goes on every night, five casts, all over the world. In fact, someone told me that, at any hour of the day or night, a War Horse production is going on somewhere. It's extraordinary what those puppeteers do [with the horse].

Sienna Miller endured 'horrible' two-hour bird attack while filming The Girl

Men off-camera threw boxes of seagulls and pigeons in her face

The Griffon vulture was fitted with a GPS transmitter

Meet operative PP0277: A secret agent – or just a vulture hungry for dead camel?

Sudan says he's an Israeli operative – but his handlers say he's too easily distracted for that. Matthew Kalman reports on a spy thriller

The News Matrix: Friday 7 December 2012

Rescue dogs learn how to drive cars

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food