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

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week