animal, animals, author, badass, birds, clever, creepy, falcons, hawks, nature, scarier than you, Science, science news, smarter than you, Stephanie Beavers, wildlife, writer
Fiendish Falcons Keep Birds Prisoner Before Eating Them
Australian Raptors May Be Playing With Fire
So it turns out that birds are terrifying. Majestic, oh yeah, but beneath that majesty are some twisted little birdies.
There are some falcons in Morocco that, around egg-hatching season, take some pretty extreme measures to keep their food “fresh.” Why eat rotten bird when you can “[stuff] small birds into small crevices, ensuring they were tightly wedged in and unable to escape,” or dropping “small migratory birds [into] holes and fissures with their flight and tail feathers removed” so they couldn’t fly away. Now, I know nature can be cruel, and I don’t doubt that having fresh food for the hatchlings is an evolutionary advantage, but…yikes. This is downright creepy.
Haven’t had enough cruel animal brilliance? How about this one. There are many stories and evidence to suggest that birds of prey in Australia are starting fires to flush out prey. They’re not just taking advantage of existing wildfires that drive small creatures from their homes. Oh no, They are “picking up smoldering sticks and dropping them in unburnt territory.” It’s another creepy, evolutionarily advantageous behavior.
“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,” Gosford said. 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.
So yeah, you could say that these birds are scarier than you. When was the last time you started a fire to flush out lunch?