These Birds of Prey Are Deliberately Setting Forests on Fire

Many birds, like crows, are smart. You've probably seen nature shows of birds feeding on small animals fleeing wildfire. In Australia, Black Kites, Whistling Kites, and Brown Falcons carry burning sticks far afield to spread wildfire to facilitate such feeding.

A new study incorporating traditional Indigenous Australian ecological knowledge describes the largely unknown behaviour of so-called 'firehawk raptors' – birds that intentionally spread fire by wielding burning sticks in their talons and beaks.
"Though Aboriginal rangers and others who deal with bushfires take into account the risks posed by raptors that cause controlled burns to jump across firebreaks, official skepticism about the reality of avian fire-spreading hampers effective planning for landscape management and restoration,"...

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