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Claim: Birds of Prey Deliberately Setting Wildfires

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posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 03:43 PM
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So here's a new one.

In Australia, there are reports of a different kind of arsonist at work during wildfire season.

The firehawks do it. Apparently, there have been reports from the Aborigines for some time and there are currently studies that claim that at least three types of raptors may have picked up the trick of deliberately spreading wildfires by setting new ones with burning bits from existing fires.

Why?

They benefit from the fleeing prey or can scavenge off prey that didn't make it out.


So much for fire control – JoNova reports that raptors have been photographed congregating on the edge of large Australian bushfires, picking up burning sticks, and deliberately setting new spot fires in advance of the main blaze to flush out small mammals and other prey. This discovery potentially has profound implications for fire management in places like California.


Now I realize this is some people's least favorite source because the site tend to be climate skeptical, but this story has nothing to do with climate change. And it's backed with two different links -- Live Science and study abstract.

There are at the moment no credible reports of American birds of prey employing this tactic, only Australian ones, but how many people have thought to look for it?

They used to think only South African great whites employed breaching, but recent studies showed that given the right environment, whites in both Australia and off the West Coast will breach too. So it's not necessarily a stretch to think that US raptors could learn to pick up burning bits of brush to fly on to the next unburned patch and smoke out prey.

And while this essay's author has never personally witnessed this type of behavior, he does mention cane toads.


I’ve personally seen Aussie raptors do phenomenally clever things. Australia used to have a serious problem with introduced cane toads. The toads are toxic, so they spread like crazy, the predators which would normally keep such a pest under control all died when they tried to eat the toads.

Then somewhere, somewhen, an Australian bird figured out how to eat the toads without getting poisoned – they flip the toads over and eat out their stomachs, leaving the toxic parts of the flesh uneaten.

Nowadays cane toads are a lot rarer, and in toad season it is not unusual to find dried out toad corpses with no stomachs.


If birds can figure out how to turn the cane toad into a safe source of food and spread that behavior through their populations, then why not learn how to use fire to their advantage?

Scary to think the birds in your own backyard might be thinking about a BBQ, huh?




posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 04:03 PM
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hmmm seems like someone is trying to cover up how bad humans actually are
"scientific studies" my ass



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 04:05 PM
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seems like i hear more and more about animals using tools or abstract reasoning in ways we wouldn't have thought in the past... after all i've read about crows solving puzzles, at this point i wouldn't be a bit surprised if this was true.

creepy though :p



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 04:05 PM
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Dont believe it when I see a bird take a buring stick then I will .
sure learning how to eat a toed is one thing but NO animal other then man has every learned to harness fire .
Easy for people to say the birds are doing it now Prove it .

You do know witha wild fire the fire can jump miles with heavy fire produced wind



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 04:07 PM
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a reply to: midnightstar

Oh, yes. I live out on the great plains where wind is like the sun.

You get some guy chucking the lit end of his cigarette out his window on a dry day and the smoldering grass can cause all kinds of problems if it's windy.

Doesn't mean the birds can't learn though. Some of the smartest non-human critters on the planets are avian.



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 04:47 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: midnightstar



Doesn't mean the birds can't learn though. Some of the smartest non-human critters on the planets are avian.



Birds are absolutely capable of abstract thought and are highly intelligent and observant. Live with one for a few years and watch what they pick up.

True story- One night I was washing dishes with one of my parakeets on my shoulder. She realized that water comes out of the kitchen faucet, decided she wanted a bath, so she ran down my arm and tried to get into the dish water. Later on, the other parakeet watched her bathing in the kitchen sink, so be began bathing in the kitchen sink, too.

The scary part was when he made the connection that water came out of the faucet in the bathroom just like it does from the kitchen, so now he bathes and drinks from the bathroom sink.



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 04:53 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

huh, wow color me impressed! Thanks for that really interesting read Ketsuko. The Firehawk bit seems plausible



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 05:12 PM
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originally posted by: midnightstar
Dont believe it when I see a bird take a buring stick then I will .
sure learning how to eat a toed is one thing but NO animal other then man has every learned to harness fire .
Easy for people to say the birds are doing it now Prove it .

You do know witha wild fire the fire can jump miles with heavy fire produced wind

Typical arrogant human response.

Animals can't use tools......oh until they do!
Animals aren't self aware....oh until they are!
Animals don't mourn their dead....oh until they do!

Now here we are observing birds using fire to control their food source and the instant response from Mr Arrogant Ignorant human is Nah not until "I" see it. Hmmmm.

I'm utterly fed up with ignorance.



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: yorkshirelad

I suppose you could also point out the arrogant assumption that the Aborigines didn't know what they were talking about too.



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 05:17 PM
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IT HAS NOT been observed it has been a a myth made by people .
Until it is observed and Proven it is a myth .
Fire birds lord most country's have a myth with that type thing .
Now post a photo of wild brid caring a burning stick .
Untill then big foot was seen at Walmart as well just ask any one who goes there



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 05:27 PM
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originally posted by: Cheddarhead

originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: midnightstar



Doesn't mean the birds can't learn though. Some of the smartest non-human critters on the planets are avian.



Birds are absolutely capable of abstract thought and are highly intelligent and observant. Live with one for a few years and watch what they pick up.

True story- One night I was washing dishes with one of my parakeets on my shoulder. She realized that water comes out of the kitchen faucet, decided she wanted a bath, so she ran down my arm and tried to get into the dish water. Later on, the other parakeet watched her bathing in the kitchen sink, so be began bathing in the kitchen sink, too.

The scary part was when he made the connection that water came out of the faucet in the bathroom just like it does from the kitchen, so now he bathes and drinks from the bathroom sink.


Certain types of small birds in the UK learned that milk bottles delivered on the doorstep provided a delicious treat. They would actually peck off the aluminium bottle cap indicating the type of milk (regular, skimmed, semi-skimmed) and drink the milk. This spread throughout the bird population in general.



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: stormcell

At some point, the finches in the Galapagos learned that blood would keep them alive.



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 05:47 PM
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umm what ??
just how did finches learn ?
they donate plasma maybe ?
Thye get cut and are like o crap darling im bleeding ?
Bandage wrap found on the islands ?

A monkey was seen using a smart phone to text his buddies in teh wild informing them that banana's were on sale .



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: midnightstar

Being someone who lives in Australia, on a sizable property of arid bushland.. i can attest that the eagles around here do indeed use fire as a tool to flush out prey.
I have witnessed first hand a wedge tail eagle flying off wih a smoldering stick.. for what other reason? Than to light fires...
The rural fire brigades will tell you the same thing.... birds do infact spread fire.

When doing a controlled burn on the property you will often get flocks of birds of prey arrive, to them fire is something to be taken advantage of.

edit on 16-1-2018 by jommison because: Additional info



posted on Jan, 16 2018 @ 10:42 PM
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Birds are now being recognized as being extremely smart and able to use "tools", so this is not surprising at all. Although it is a little scary..



posted on Jan, 17 2018 @ 02:10 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
So here's a new one.

In Australia, there are reports of a different kind of arsonist at work during wildfire season.

The firehawks do it. Apparently, there have been reports from the Aborigines for some time and there are currently studies that claim that at least three types of raptors may have picked up the trick of deliberately spreading wildfires by setting new ones with burning bits from existing fires.

Why?

I read this recently but I've never heard of this before but its unlikely the aborigininal would invent something like this.

They benefit from the fleeing prey or can scavenge off prey that didn't make it out.


So much for fire control – JoNova reports that raptors have been photographed congregating on the edge of large Australian bushfires, picking up burning sticks, and deliberately setting new spot fires in advance of the main blaze to flush out small mammals and other prey. This discovery potentially has profound implications for fire management in places like California.


Now I realize this is some people's least favorite source because the site tend to be climate skeptical, but this story has nothing to do with climate change. And it's backed with two different links -- Live Science and study abstract.

There are at the moment no credible reports of American birds of prey employing this tactic, only Australian ones, but how many people have thought to look for it?

They used to think only South African great whites employed breaching, but recent studies showed that given the right environment, whites in both Australia and off the West Coast will breach too. So it's not necessarily a stretch to think that US raptors could learn to pick up burning bits of brush to fly on to the next unburned patch and smoke out prey.

And while this essay's author has never personally witnessed this type of behavior, he does mention cane toads.


I’ve personally seen Aussie raptors do phenomenally clever things. Australia used to have a serious problem with introduced cane toads. The toads are toxic, so they spread like crazy, the predators which would normally keep such a pest under control all died when they tried to eat the toads.

Then somewhere, somewhen, an Australian bird figured out how to eat the toads without getting poisoned – they flip the toads over and eat out their stomachs, leaving the toxic parts of the flesh uneaten.

Nowadays cane toads are a lot rarer, and in toad season it is not unusual to find dried out toad corpses with no stomachs.


If birds can figure out how to turn the cane toad into a safe source of food and spread that behavior through their populations, then why not learn how to use fire to their advantage?

Scary to think the birds in your own backyard might be thinking about a BBQ, huh?



posted on Jan, 17 2018 @ 09:18 AM
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I hope you are not going to tell us that they captured a raptor and he was hiding a piece of flint under his wing.
a reply to: ketsuko



posted on Jan, 17 2018 @ 09:23 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

They like their rabbit well done please.



posted on Jan, 17 2018 @ 09:24 AM
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How do they not get burned. Little birdie oven mits?
edit on 1172018 by Sillyolme because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2018 @ 09:33 AM
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the oves would ruin a dumb thread .
top reasons this is bull hooky .
one burning stick ? even if a bird did pick one up a small stick will etehr burn out in seconds (buring the bird in the prosses or just go out befor the bird could get anyware .

we are talking about birds so they would not be lifting logs
But the whole thing is silly as smoke and heat would make the bird drop anything burning
edit on 17-1-2018 by midnightstar because: (no reason given)




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