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Birds make cigarette butt nests

cigarette butts natural pesticide nicotine birds nests parasitic mites

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

Birds are keeping their nests warm and pest-free by lining them with cigarette butts, research at St Andrews University has suggested.

The nicotine and other chemicals in discarded filters act as a natural pesticide that repels parasitic mites.

At the same time, the cellulose butts provide useful nest insulation.
Wild birds are also known to protect their nests from mite invasion by importing certain chemical-emitting plants.

The new evidence suggests some bird species in the cities have adapted the same behaviour to harness the repellent properties of tobacco.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...t-fife-20607413

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#2    GreenmansGod

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:06 PM

I have used tobacco to make homemade bug spray for my flowers. Works really well, too. Think about it when you're smoking one. I don't use it on my food plants, though.

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#3    OverSword

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:07 PM

Although the nicoteen residue in the filters may act as an pesticide, I hate to think what exposure to the nicoteen may have on eggs and chicks long term.

Smoking is gross.  (can't believe I did it for so many years)


#4    BiffSplitkins

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

View PostOverSword, on 05 December 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

Although the nicoteen residue in the filters may act as an pesticide, I hate to think what exposure to the nicoteen may have on eggs and chicks long term.

I wouldn't worry about it until you start seeing this.

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#5    Mnemonix

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

They certainly are resourceful creatures.


#6    LiveForTomorrow

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:25 PM

Ah, that pretty cool.  Glad they can make use of some of the excess garbage we have on our streets.  Just hope they don't get addicted to the nicotine haha.


#7    pallidin

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:35 PM

Well, at least they didn't go after my weed. :w00t:


#8    Emin

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:51 AM

old world sparrows trying to adapt and go modern :rolleyes:

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#9    Bonecrusher

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:39 AM

Whoever penned the term " birdbrain" clearly has a IQ in single digits.
I feel like committing the perfect crime to mess with the Litterati's heads.
Say I'm in the town centre and I'm smoking a cigarette.
Well I'm going to have one of these dog-end hoarders accompany me.
And when I've done I'll pass the cigarette to the bird and let nature take it's course.
If there's any Liitterati snoops they just won't believe their eyes.
Of course I'm going to have an eagle on lookout duty.
Hilarity aside, Bowerbirds are actually past masters of building their nests with household items,

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#10    Jinxdom

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:01 AM

View Postpallidin, on 05 December 2012 - 11:35 PM, said:

Well, at least they didn't go after my weed. :w00t:

I personally had a cat and a crow sneak in to eat my crop on the daily. Some animals just like getting smashed and sometimes it is hilarious. Another reason why I find animals to be mostly human without thumbs yet oh so delicious when I'm hungry. (not saying that I eat cats, crows, or eluding to cannibalism).


#11    Bonecrusher

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:53 PM

Here's a terrifying thought...
What about all those snidy black market cigarettes  they smuggle in from Eastern Europe.
They are inundated with all types of insidious stuff.Most of it illegal here.
Some of these contraband cigarettes could be lurking in your off-license.
Chances are you'll probably breathe in all these chemicals before you get to the filter.
However I don't and some traces might remain.
Regardless of what I've said I won't be offering a bird my ashtray any time soon.

Edited by Walnut Whip, 06 December 2012 - 03:55 PM.

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#12    Bonecrusher

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

Has anybody seen an ashtray saturated with water?
All this horrid tar floats to the top and forms this black gloop.
The kind of stuff that's detrimental to a birds welfare.
But there's nothing to stop them decorating their nests though.
Let's hope that's all they do.


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#13    WolvenHeart7

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:45 PM

Very crafty of them.. I could imagine how comfy the filters might be. :whistle:

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