The fire-starting birds have been causing a nuisance. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Thomas Schoch
Falcons and kites in Australia have been starting bush fires in an effort to smoke out small animals.
While nobody has yet been able to record footage of this behavior, the birds are believed to be picking up smoldering sticks and then dropping them over dry brush in an attempt to start fires.
Normally when there is a bush fire small animals are forced out of hiding and fall victim to birds of prey and other predators, but when a fire has been burning for a while, new arrivals to the scene miss out on the main course and end up having to fight with other birds for the leftovers.
To get around this problem, some of the birds have taken to starting fires themselves so that they can get a front row seat and eat whatever they want before any other birds arrive.
Several people, including the firemen who tackle these fires, have witnessed this remarkable behavior and it appears to be a problem that isn't going away anytime soon.
"Reptiles, frogs and insects rush out from the fire, and there are birds that wait in front, right at the foot of the fire, waiting to catch them," said lawyer Bob Gosford.
"Small fires often attract so many birds that there is insufficient fleeing prey for all, so a bird that was being beaten to its lunch might benefit from starting a new fire with less competition."
Source: BT.com | Comments (22)
Bird, Fire, Falcon, Kite