This isn’t a pigeon story, but I’m including it here nonetheless. (And perhaps I’ll expand this project to include more bird news.)
The headline from The National Post: “Australian birds have weaponized fire because what we really need now is something else to make us afraid.”
The story is based on an article in the Journal of Ethnobiology which documents raptors intentionally spreading grass fires in order to flush out prey. Once again, stories about human exceptionalism – that humans are the only animals that use fire, that humans and apes are the only animals that have technology – prove to be false.
But there’s another angle to this story too: the ability of birds to spread fire has long been known by Aboriginal people. But scientists did not believe them, thinking the capability was simply “folklore.”
It’s not only birds that are grossly underestimated.