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Parrot with no feathers due to self-mutilation.

She embodied all the magic and the misery of modern parrots. Sofia popped off her perch, climbed up my arm, and leaned into my face. A Moluccan cockatoo, among the world’s most stunning birds, Sofia’s most distinctive feature is her huge round head—big, white, and inviting as a fluffy pillow. She...

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Charles Bergman
A soft landing below the trees

The woodland phloxes bring the heavenly scents of spring, and the fireflies bring the sparkling lights of summer. Even in the depths of winter, cardinals, white-throated sparrows, northern flickers, mourning doves and squirrels bring all the music and entertainment we could ever need—right in front...

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Illustration of a dog and cat looking out a window at backyard wildlife.

Somewhere toward the end of the last ice age, we formed an alliance with wolves: Maybe the ancestors of dogs got food scraps while our own ancestors gained protection from predators and other humans. These social species eventually collaborated on a vast scale, possibly even hunting woolly mammoths...

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White tiger in a cage at a traveling circus

The white Bengal tiger paces back and forth, back and forth in a squat cage on the edge of the show ring. The cage is little longer than the tiger's body. The clock ticks down to the start of three scheduled performances at this fair in Pennsylvania. Potted palms and wooden masks decorate the ring...

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