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.
Image: Getty / Shutterstock