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Top Dog!

A miniature poodle named Sage won top prize at the Westminster Dog Show.
A man in an arena kneels behind a groomed black poodle and next to a trophy and ribbons.
© Lucas Boland-USA TODAY Sports

A miniature poodle named Sage, seen here with her handler, Kaz Hosaka, won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show.

The results are in! A miniature poodle named Sage has won the top prize at the 2024 Westminster Dog Show.

The fluffy 3-year-old outshined more than 2,500 other dogs to win the Best in Show title. She’s the fourth miniature poodle to win the top prize in the dog show’s 148-year history. Five standard (larger size) poodles have won.

“No words. I’m so happy,” Kaz Hosaka, Sage’s breeder and handler, told CNN after Sage won. “[When] we walked in this ring tonight, she’s kind of not sure, but then she got used to it and then she gave a great performance for me. I’m proud of this dog.”

A groomed black poodle runs next to a man in a suit.
© Lucas Boland-USA TODAY Sports
Before she won Best in Show, Sage was the winner in the non-sporting group.

The road to victory was long. Sage first had to win Best in Breed, by being judged as the best from a group of other miniature poodles. Then she had to win in her category, the non-sporting group. (Each dog breed is in one of seven groups, including non-sporting, sporting, herding, hound, terrier, toy, and working.) Finally, Sage advanced to the Best in Show competition, along with all the other group winners.

What does it take to win? Each dog is judged on whether it meets the standards for its breed. Basically, the judges checked whether Sage looked like a miniature poodle should look, moved like a miniature poodle should move, and behaved like a miniature poodle should behave.

A groomed black poodle runs on a green carpet.
© Lucas Boland-USA TODAY Sports
Sage was ready for her closeup!
In addition to Sage’s prize, the judges announced the second-place winner. That prize, known as Reserve Best in Show, went to a 4-year-old German shepherd named Mercedes. Check out the slideshow to see the rest of the group winners!
© Lucas Boland-USA TODAY Sports
Fun Fact Icon

Fun Fact

Part of the Crufts Dog Show in the United Kingdom, the Scruffts Dog Show is just for mixed-breed dogs. In 2024, the top prize went to Diesel, an adorable 13-year-old Labrador-terrier mix.
Five people pose behind a black and tan dog that stands on a table with ribbons and trophies.
BeatMedia/The Kennel Club

Far From Home

A blue and brown bird stands on a beach.
Michael Sanchez
This blue rock-thrush somehow made it from Asia to North America!

How did this bird end up thousands of miles from home? It’s a mystery that even bird experts can’t solve.

The bird, which is called a blue rock-thrush, is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but this one was spotted in North America! The proof was provided by Michael Sanchez, a middle school band director from Vancouver, Washington. Sanchez, whose hobby is photography, was at a state park in Oregon taking some photos when he saw a bird he’d never seen before.

“I said, ‘Oh, well, what a cute little bird,’” Sanchez told National Public Radio (NPR). He took photos of the bird and posted them to Facebook, noting the bird’s beautiful blue and brown feathers. When bird experts saw the bird, they realized how far from home it was. No one had seen a blue rock-thrush in North America since 1997!

Experts say the bird is most likely from near Japan, but they aren’t sure how it got across the Pacific Ocean to the United States. They think it might have gotten blown off course or hopped a ride on a ship. Sanchez says the experience has given him a new hobby.

“I have more of an interest in photographing birds now,” he told NPR. “I don’t imagine I’ll ever get something like that again. But, you know, it does help me to notice birds a little bit more.”

Two of a Kind?

A page titled Our Family features pasted in photos of a T rex and a chicken in similar poses.
© Orlando Florin Rosu, Andreas Karelias, Olga Kurbatova/Dreamstime.com; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

It’s hard to believe that birds are related to dinosaurs…or is it? Check out the family resemblance in the photos above.

Then read more about dinosaurs at Britannica!

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Word of the Day

sighting

Part of speech:

noun

Definition:

: an act of seeing something or someone that is rarely seen or difficult to see

Definitions provided by
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