Tag: fire

For Australia’s fire-starting falcons, pyromania serves up the prey

Some birds in Australia use smoldering sticks to spread wildfires and flush out smaller birds, insects, frogs and other prey, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Ethnobiology. This fire-spreading behavior isn’t a new discovery, the authors of the study say. Australia’s indigenous peoples have long spoken of “firehawks” — a generic term for the black kite (Milvus migrans), whistling kite (Haliastur sphenurus) and brown falcon (Falco berigora) — intentionally spreading fires in the country’s tropical savannas. But much of the examples remain fragmented.

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