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"Firehawk raptors" spread wildfires to drive out prey


Mr. Bill:
From the Department of Birds Are Smarter Than We Think:

Science Alert, 1/10/18: These Birds of Prey Are Deliberately Setting Forests on Fire

--- Quote ---...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.

These flying firestarters are spread across at least three known species – the Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), and Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) – but while their hell-raising may be observed in Indigenous knowledge, that's not so elsewhere.

"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," the international team explains in their paper. ...

According to the team, firehawk raptors congregate in hundreds along burning fire fronts, where they will fly into active fires to pick up smouldering sticks, transporting them up to a kilometre (0.6 miles) away to regions the flames have not yet scorched.

"The imputed intent of raptors is to spread fire to unburned locations – for example, the far side of a watercourse, road, or artificial break created by firefighters – to flush out prey via flames or smoke," the researchers write. ...
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wow..... now thats just crazy


So at one point in my education, I was taught that what makes a human a human was our use of tools.  Of course we've since found other creatures that use tools, like a chimp putting a stick in a termite mound.

I was taught that only humans are able to use fire.

I was taught that only humans destroy their environment for our own benefit.


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