Traditionally, April Fools' Day is a time to play pranks, share hoaxes, and tell jokes. April Fool stories published by newspapers and other media outlets may trick readers into believing tall tales -- until they realize the date. Here are some bird-themed funnies that have come out on April Fools' Days in the past.
A lot of April Fool jokes involving crazy bird stories originated from photo manipulation -- an old-fahsioned version of "photoshopping". Examples of this include a German paper exposing a penguin as tall as a man in 1931; that time in 1941 when a newspaper revealed a military plan to plant bombs on crows; and the strange and silly rare human-legged ostrich that reportedly puzzled scientists in 1953 Australia.
Google is known to reveal a prank each April Fools' Day, often involving a new product or service in their technology offering. In 2002 they introduced PigeonRank to the world, exposing the truth behind their search technology. Pigeon Clusters (PCs) were the true power Google used to rank and sort web pages. The somewhat elaborate story behind PigeonRank was shared in detail, including graphs and diagrams and a FAQ.
A popular video was released by the BBC in April Fools' Day 2008 which showed Adelie Penguins taking flight. At the time it was one of the most viewed internet videos.
A mysterious physical April Fools' Day prank was played on the town of Portage, Wisconsin in 2012. Plastic lawn geese dressed in different outfits were placed around businesses, homes, and services in the city. In all, 132 geese were found. Although the perpetrators were not made known, no one who received a goose seemed to mind. Read this extremely wholesome newspaper report on the incident.
Then there was that time when we revealed a new species of crane that was discovered in South America. We even shared a colorful Birdorable image of the new species, which we dubbed the Painted Crane (Grus pictus). This April Fool prank came out just as we were celebrating Crane Week -- it was an incredible coincidence!
Watch out for more pranks and hoaxes as you go about your day and keep in mind the date! Happy April Fools' Day!