Well this sounded interesting, although I am not sure which forum it belongs in. Effective pest control and new technique utilized by a species
sounds like ecology enough to warrant science/tech I suppose.
Birds are lining their nests with cigarette butts to repel pests and keep themselves warm, according to research
Makes sense, being that nicotine/tobacco has been a proven pest killer. There are plenty of butts around, so choosing to line a nest makes sense by
Wild birds have long protected their nests from mite invasion by importing chemical-emitting plants.
I did not know this, crafty indeed. So it leads me to wonder if the birds figured this out after
they chose the butts(because they make good,
insulating nest material,made from cellulose/paper), or because they realized the number of pests, mites particularly, diminished with the new butt
The scientists said it was possible the anti-mite nest protection was a happy coincidence. Birds might only be lining their nests with discarded
butts because they provide good insulation.
Further studies could reveal if this is the case by offering the birds a choice of smoked and non-smoked butts. Either would do for insulation, but
only filters from smoked cigarettes can effectively repel mites.
The team put traps in the nests of 27 house sparrows and 28 house finches on their university campus. The traps were outfitted with fibres and filters
from smoked or unsmoked cigarettes and emanated heat to attract parasites.
"Birds could distinguish smoked and non-smoked butts from their scent, just as some birds that use the chemical compounds of plants as defence against
parasites appear to rely on olfaction to collect those with effective chemicals," the scientists wrote.
Fascinating. It seems the birds chose the smoked butts over non-smoked, so maybe they do
realize smoked butts deter mites, and this is why
they use the butts for nesting. Nature never ease to amaze in it's practicality and effectiveness.
I wonder if one were to line their garden with smoked butts, would it have any effect? This would be a good recycling use for cigg butts, and
cheaper than pesticides eh?
I am curious if this is occurring in other places besides New Mexico. Perhaps a bird collective realization? It would be cool to know when and where
this has occurred.
"This novel behaviour observed in urban birds fulfils one of the three conditions necessary to be regarded as self-medication: it is detrimental
On a side note, do those that enjoy substances, in a self medicating sense, do so partially because they feel some people, entities or life itself are
parasitic? Kind of makes sense to me. I never thought of it like that, biology at work. Escapism may be warranted here, no? Who wants to feel
parasites eating them or their young alive?
Anyone know what the other 2 necessary conditions are to be "regarded as self medicating?" Feeling deceived? Over or under stimulated? Chinese
ETA: Source www.cbc.ca...
edit on 9-12-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no