The Only Time Smoking Is Magnificent

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No offense but I abhor cigarettes. We all know the health hazards associated with smoking and I have never looked at the act with a positive view.

But the other day I read something super captivating. And that involves our feathery friends – birds – and a very intelligent cause. 

Bird nests are extremely interesting homes and the tact with which they are created is even more awe inspiring. Birds use building materials that make their nests strong, comfortable, artistic, and pretty. And clean. Yes, the fluff balls disinfect their homes with none other than cigarette butts.

Researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico showed that nests incorporating cigarette butts were less likely to contain blood-sucking ticks compared with nests that did not. And the absence of ticks in nests leads to higher survival rate of chicks.

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Image credit: trinilulz.com

The researchers conducted an experiment where they added live ticks to some nests, dead ticks to others and left some nests alone. They found that their birds added cigarette butts only to nests containing live ticks. And that nests with dead ticks or no ticks at all, had no butts in them. This shows that birds indeed fumigate their homes to provide a safer environment for their chicks to live in and grow.

What an interior design strategy!

 

Note: This post, in no way, encourages smoking. It is purely for increasing knowledge of the world around us to, yet again, shine light on the smart little avian brain.

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