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Birds use cigs to kill bugs - Crow week! Answered

ODDBALL birds are surprising British experts by using smouldering cigarette to kill parasites on their wings.

The rooks are swooping on to the tracks at a Devon railway station and placing their wings over the smoke to fumigate them.

Commuter Jeff Jones said told Britain's The Telegraph: "I noticed the rooks because they are not usually found in towns. They were generally flapping about when a chap flicked a cigarette butt on to the track.

"It was still all right and one of the rooks swooped down and picked up the butt with its beak. It then flew around and landed on the platform, dancing around with this smoking cigarette in its beak.

"It looked quite comical. But then it dropped the butt on the platform and pulled its wings over it, collecting the smoke. It seemed as if it were using the smoke to rid itself of perhaps ants or something similar.

"Five minutes later another rook, or perhaps the same one, swooped in when another cigarette was flicked away and repeated the whole thing."

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spokesman Richard Archer said the birds must have learned cigarettes can be used to kill parasites.

"You have to be careful attributing behaviour but it would seem fumigation is the most likely conclusion. Rooks are very intelligent," he said.

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Main image from [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rook_(bird) Wikipedia].



11 years ago

wow, cool!


11 years ago

Maybe warmth? I wonder how they usually rid parasites? pecking em off themselves? birdbaths?


Reply 11 years ago

Dustbaths are common, and some birds ant themselves - flapping in ant nests to make the ants crawl on them and squirt acid, killing parasites in the feathers.


11 years ago

to suffocate the parasites thats really cool, i imagine it would look hilarious to see a Rook doing that lol