Birds in Australia Are Starting Fires to Catch Their Prey

Birds in Australia Are Starting Fires to Catch Their Prey

We are all aware that humans are supposedly the only creature that can utilize fire. Surprisingly, that’s not true anymore. There’s a kind of birds in Australia that are starting fires just to drive out their prey.

black kite

Local rangers who are experiencing bush fires are always telling stories about Australian birds that are purposely spreading wildfires.

This is an extraordinary behavior that was also observed by ornithologist Bob Gosford back in 2016.

wildfire caused by birds in Australia

Determined to figure out their drive for doing so, Gosford is collecting and documenting eyewitness accounts of the fire-starting behavior. He published all his findings in the Journal of Ethnobiology.

In the diversity of reports, these birds in Australia such as brown falcons, black kites, and whistling kites were observed picking up burning sticks from natural wildfires.

birds in Australia

Then they fly up to 165 feet away and intentionally drop the sticks in unaffected areas to start new fires.

The birds are subsequently waiting at the edge of the fires then grabbing up small animals and insects as they flee from the flames.

flying kite

This process of driving out prey could draw significant implications about the use of fire as a tool. We can also assume that humans may not be the first to learn how to control it.

We are just wondering whether this avian fire-spreading is also happening in other parts of the world.


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