Birds smell danger

1 July 2008 - An experiment with blue tits conducted by Luisa Amo de Paz and biologists from the Natural History Museum in Madrid revealed that birds are not only capable of detecting predators and other dangers by using their sense of smell, but that they also adapt their behavior to the level of risk perceived. To monitor the effect of smells on the birds, the scientists applied the scent of ferrets to some bird nests and the scent of quails to other nests. In the first case, the blue tits took longer to enter their nests and were more cautious when approaching them. The researchers concluded that the birds thereby reduced the potential risk of being attacked by predators, without neglecting to feed their offspring.

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Getting started

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