As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The tweet smell of birds nests: Scientists find birds feather their homes with the butts of cigarettes

· Street-wise city birds are keeping their nests warm and pest-free by lining them with cigarette butts

· Nicotine and other chemicals in discarded filters act as a natural pesticide that repels parasitic mites

· The butts also provide useful nest insulation

· Study in Mexico City found average nest contained 10 butts

They may have been proven to cause cancer and smell out a home, yet for our feathered friends, the cigarette butts are a luxury item.

A team of ecologists have found birds are stuffing the ends of cigs into the lining of their nests - and it's not because they fancy a quick puff.

In fact, far from being unnatural, the scientists believe the smokes are simply the latest way in which birds drive away parasites.

Birds have long been known to line their nests with vegetation rich in compounds that keep parasites at bay. 

Birds species in the urban jungle have adapted the same behaviour to harness the repellent properties of tobacco.

The chemicals in tobacco leaves are known to repel arthropods such as parasitic mites.

No comments:

Post a Comment