This bird mimicked some sounds people were making. It's both amazing and disturbing.

Ah, nature...

We've always known that some birds can do pretty spectacular things when it comes to mimicking what they hear. But this one is really telling.

On a spring morning, you might hear the melodies of songbirds looking for a mate. Most songbirds listen to their parents and mimic them — pretty much the same way humans do. However, some types of birds learn other noises and repeat them — even human noises.


That's exactly what the lyrebird does. It copies what it hears.

Not only was this male lyrebird born with a beautiful voice, but he uses those killer pipes (and funky feathers) to attract a mate by copying what he hears. He's so darn good at singing the songs of other birds that he tricks females from different species into coming to check him out. Rawr!

But the lyrebird is getting kicked out of its home.

Not to be Debbie Downer, but Australia has lost 40% of its forests since colonization, and that's where the lyrebird lives.

How do we know?

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the lyrebird probably had never seen a human. But now, humans are part of the bird's daily life. In fact, the lyrebird is learning to mimic us!

You see, when the bird wants to show off to a potential mate, he incorporates other sounds he hears in the forest. For example, at 1:52 in this video from BBC Worldwide, he mimics a camera shutter. (Cute, right?) At 2:12, he steps up his badass mating game and adds a camera with a motor drive. A car alarm comes in at 2:20.

But the biggest shocker of all comes at 2:30.

He mimics the sounds of chainsaws cutting down his home.

That shows just how real the deforestation is. And it's happening fast.

Forests make up 31% of our Earth, and up to 58,000 square miles are lost down every year. That's 36 football pitches (aka soccer fields) every minute! To put that into perspective, if it took you about four minutes to read this (and watch the video), we lost about 140 soccer fields of oxygen-producing forest in that time. Yikes.

Deforestation is about wonderful species like the lyrebird losing their homes. Finding a solution isn't easy, but we need to protect the future of our natural world. Share if you agree.

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Unilever and the United Nations
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

There's a difference between dieting and being healthy, and often times, overattention to what you consume can lead to disordered eating. Eating disorders are dangerous and can affect anyone, but they're especially concerning in adolescents. Which is why WW (formerly Weight Watchers) is facing intense criticism for its new app, Kurbo, targeted toward kids ages eight to 17.

The app uses a traffic light system to tell kids which foods are a "green light" and can be eaten as much as they want, which foods are a "yellow light" and should be consumed with caution, and which "red light" foods they should probably avoid.

It seems like a simple system to teach kids what's good for them and what's not, but it regulates kids' diets in an unhealthy way. Gaining weight is a normal, healthy part of child development. Putting on a few pounds means your body is doing what it's supposed to do. While the app classifies foods with too much fat or calories as "red," children need to consume some of these foods to develop their brain.

WW is calling the app "common sense." As Gary Foster, the chief science officer of WW, puts it, items in the red foods category "aren't foods that should be encouraged in kids' diets, but they also shouldn't be vilified or demonized, and there has to be a system that's simple and science-based that highlights that so everyone in the family can understand."

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Well Being
via Ostdrossel / Instagram

Lisa is a lifelong bird enthusiast who goes by the name Ostdrossel on social media. A few years ago, the Germany native moved to Michigan and was fascinated by the new birds she encountered.

Upon arriving in the winter, she fell in love with the goldfinches, cardinals, and Blue Jays. Then in the spring, she was taken by the hummingbirds.

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Nature
via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

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