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Celeb or stranger? Study weighs Americans’ interest in birds

NEW YORK (AP) — How interested are Americans in different kinds of birds? A new study used Google searches to find out.

Whooping cranes, common ravens and peregrine falcons were deemed celebrities, because people searched for them a lot on the internet, even in places where the birds don’t live.

Other species were classified as being more like friends or largely ignored neighbors. And still other species didn’t get much interest at all.

The study appeared Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research also turned up other insights into what makes a species popular. Bigger bodies, colorful plumage and regular visits to birdfeeders helped. And species that served as mascots for professional sports teams reached celebrity status.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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