Australian Birds Deliberately Spread Wildfires Because Birds Are Dicks

Birds Deliberately Spread Wildfires Because Birds Are Dicks

Crazy news from the outback, folks. Certain birds of prey are picking up burning sticks from brush fires and dropping them in dry grass. Why? Because then all the little critters will run away from the fire and out into the open, where the birds can snatch them up. Birds are dicks! But even dicks have to eat. The birds of prey in question here — black kites and brown falcons — have apparently been doing this for ages. Both Aboriginal populations in northern Australia and local firefighters say they have seen them do it. Aboriginal advocate Bob Gosford, who's interviewed over a dozen firefighters about the trend, described the behaviour, "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." (The above image is a reenactment of this grisly scene that I made in Photoshop.)

The phenomenon has never been caught on photo or video; however, it's a relatively accepted belief that this happens. As of right now, Gosford's research basically amounts to self study based on accumulated observations. According to IFL Science, he's presented the research at boththe Raptor Research Foundation and the Association for Fire Ecology's annual conferences.

What a bunch of jerks. This, after a blaze in London was started by a pigeon dropping a lit cigarette onto the roof of a house back in 2014. This, after realising that diabolical falcons trap their prey in stone prisons so they can eat them later while they're still alive. This, as crows are getting so smart they can solves complex puzzles with a basic understanding of the size, weight and density of stones.

It's not so much that birds are dicks. Birds are dicks, and they're super smart. Hitchcock warned us. We have been warned.

[IFL Science]

Image: Getty / Shutterstock


Comments

    I've read a bit in the past about birds bringing embers back to thatched roofs and setting them alight. Here's an article from an old book https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wilson/v072n04/p0400-p0401.pdf

      Presumably so they could swoop down and carry off frightened home owners when they flee outside.
      Those were very hungry birds.

        I think the roof spaces often housed insects and rats/mice.

    I'm for killing all birds that fly. Never mind them starting fires, I'm concerned about the buggers shitting all over my car.

    Birds are dicks!
    That must make Big Bird popular with the ladies!

    But even dicks have to eat.
    You've got that sentence the wrong way around.

    When I was holidaying in the Northern Territory two years ago we saw birds (Kites) doing this. I might even have a video of it. I can't believe that no has captured this event before.

      You might have an important piece of video evidence there. Suggest you contact the researchers in the links above.

        Joe - or anyone else with video footage - please contact me at [email protected] - I'd love to talk and see your footage. Cheers and congratulations, Bob

      Joe - I meant to send this reply here but ... or anyone else with video footage - please contact me at [email protected] - I'd love to talk and see your footage. Cheers and congratulations, Bob

    its official, birds are the next evolutionary stage of life. they've harnessed fire, its only a matter of time before we are all wiped out by fire wielding birds!

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