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Pyro Birds January 15, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.

Alfred Hitchcock blew the whistle on those beady-eyed b*st*rds, but we all thought it was just a movie. Not so:

A new study incorporating traditional Indigenous Australian ecological knowledge describes the largely unknown behaviour of so-called ‘firehawk raptors’ – birds that intentionally spread fire by wielding burning sticks in their talons and beaks.

According to the team, firehawk raptors congregate in hundreds along burning fire fronts, where they will fly into active fires to pick up smouldering sticks, transporting them up to a kilometre (0.6 miles) away to regions the flames have not yet scorched.

“The imputed intent of raptors is to spread fire to unburned locations – for example, the far side of a watercourse, road, or artificial break created by firefighters – to flush out prey via flames or smoke,”


1. lauraw - January 16, 2018

Even the animals in Australia are criminals.

2. Mrs. Peel - January 16, 2018

Interesting. Two different orders within Aves. I’d expect this kind of thing from corvids, but these are something else.

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