Birds and other wildlife are amazing when it comes to adapting to new conditions, like human cities. Erect a building, and birds will nest on its roof and ledges like it was a tree. Humans fought back by placing anti-bird spike on ledges to deter birds from building nests. A new study out of the Netherlands shows that intelligent birds like crows and magpies responded by taking the anti-bird spikes and using them as building material for nests!
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In the nests studied, crows tend to rip up the spikes and use them as building materials. Magpies, on the other hand, tend to place the spiky strips on top of their dome-like nests, possibly as protection from predators. These goth nests are a fine example of “reuse and recycle,” although at the expense of the people who manufactured the anti-bird spikes. Kees Moeliker (previously at Neatorama) thought he’d seen it all when he collected a pigeon’s nest made from nothing but chicken wire, many years ago. He said,
“I didn’t expect this. These anti-bird spikes are meant to deter birds, they are supposed to scare them off, but on the contrary, the birds just utilise them.”
As they say, life finds a way. -via Metafilter
(Image credit: Auke-Florian Hiemstra/Naturalis Biodiversity Center)