Do Birds Spread Wildfires?

Birds have been known for clever behaviors.

Recent articles mention fashioning tools and taking down law-breaking drones in France.

But, Australian scientists are now seeking proof that birds intentionally spread wildfires.

New York Times reports that locals have seen predatory birds bring burning sticks to fireless areas. Rangers also note that birds start fires in new areas that divert attention from where it is needed.

So, are Australian birds malicious pyromaniacs?

The short answer is no.

Research says the birds have a strict agenda.

A recent article in Journal of Ethnobiology says the purpose is for hunting. While this and several other studies are still seeking stronger evidence, the predatory birds in question, black kites and falcons, have been known for learning new tactics to obtain food.

As their food sources go scarce or competition intensifies, especially during the dry season, these birds have been seen stealing food from children’s hands in the schoolyard and baiting fish with bread scraps in picnic areas where bread feeding is common.

This topic has been debated for decades and this behavior is not a new discovery. Check out the full New York Times article for more information.

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