Where Do Birds Flock Together? Australians Are Mailing In Feathers to Help Find Out

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Kate Brandis, an Australian researcher, has enlisted the public to help her track elusive waterfowl as the country’s wetlands disappear.

SYDNEY, Australia — One day in April 2016, Kate Brandis opened a weathered envelope, mailed to her from suburban Sydney. Instead of a letter inside, she found the feathers of an Australian white ibis. A day or so later, another envelope arrived, stuffed with more feathers. In the days following, more began to come.