Birds using aerial bombing with firesticks to light fires and flush out prey

By Crikey! Birds are deliberately using fire as a tool. Humans are not the only animals on Earth lighting fires.

Aerial arsonists are on the loose. Sneaky Australian raptors have been spotted picking up burning sticks, or even stealing them from a campfire and then deliberately dropping them on grass so they can feast on rodents fleeing from the fire. Apparently they do this in hunting packs, and will drop the burning stick half a miles away on the far side of waterways or roads. Aboriginal people have been talking about this for years, but no one quite believed it.

This really puts a spanner in the works of the fire management plans. So much for firebreaks.

Someone is going to have to get these birds to apply for permits.

Australian Raptor spreading fire.   Credit: Bob Gosford

Australian Birds Steal Fire to Smoke Out Prey

Live Science, Mindy Weisberger

Three species of raptors — predatory birds with sharp beaks and talons, and keen eyesight — are widely known not only for lurking on the fringes of fires but also for snatching up smoldering grasses or branches and using them to kindle fresh flames, to smoke out mammal and […]

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January 13, 2018 at 11:54AM

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