FILE - This Thursday, June 21, 2018 file photo shows an adult whooping crane, a critically endangered species, in captivity at the Audubon Nature Institute's Species Survival Center in New Orleans. In a study released on Monday, April 15, 2019, whooping cranes, ravens and peregrine falcons are among the celebrities of the sky in the eyes of Americans, even those who’ve never laid eyes on one. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Celeb or stranger? Study weighs Americans' interest in birds

April 15, 2019 - 3:00 pm

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.

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