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Hawks caught starting fires in Australia

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Very interesting. Maybe hawks in the US like in California are causing brushfires also.

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Why are they doing it? is it a deliberate act to flush prey that evolution has honed? or are they just picking up glittery bright objects like Magpies etc?

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Posted (edited)

Birds are incredibly intelligent animals. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a method of flushing out prey. Ive watched seagulls drop clams on rocks to break them open. Ive also watched crows observing this. Two will approach the gull eating its clam. As it is distracted by one crow the other grabs the clam!!   I have seen this happen a couple times!  There are many accounts of bird intelligence. What is instinctual or actual intelligence may be hard to decipher in some instances I suppose

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/australian-birds-of-prey-have-harnessed-the-use-of-fire-to-flush-out-their-prey/

https://www.thespruce.com/understanding-bird-intelligence-386440

Edited by khol
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Seems that Sparrows and Starlings (though a pest) are more intelligent then say Robins and Cardinals. They will nest in your garage or in crooks of a house to get out of the weather then some birds that build nest in trees.

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47 minutes ago, Hawkin said:

Seems that Sparrows and Starlings (though a pest) are more intelligent then say Robins and Cardinals. They will nest in your garage or in crooks of a house to get out of the weather then some birds that build nest in trees.

In the UK the Sparrow population plummeted, they aren't pests over here.

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47 minutes ago, seanjo said:

In the UK the Sparrow population plummeted, they aren't pests over here.

I have a feeling they will plummet here as well. The temps have been as low as -20F to 10F for a good while.

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11 hours ago, Hawkin said:

I have a feeling they will plummet here as well. The temps have been as low as -20F to 10F for a good while.

People have been blaming cell phone towers etc. I tend to think that the reintroduction of Sparrow Hawks into the UK may have more to do with it.

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I burn off my hayfield every few years to control the weeds. One time I counted six bald eagles sitting on fence posts and in trees, waiting for rodents to run out of the tall grass. It’s interesting that they’ve made the association between fire and easy prey.

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