Part of the Bay Area News Group


By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 at 7:50 am in Birds.

My friend Pat Keeble of Martinez sent me this fascinating little story from the Times of London:

“Birds are picking up discarded cigarette butts at a railway station and using the smoke to fumigate their wings of parasites.

“The rooks (members of the crow family; they look like crows) have been seen swooping on to the platform and tracks at Exeter St. Davids in Devon to collect fag ends. Commuters have watched as the birds place their (open) wings over the smoke collecting the fumes underneath.

“The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said that the animals are using the smoke to fumigate themselves and clear their wings of insects (parasites).”

Like members of the crow family everywhere … those rooks are definitely adapting to urban and suburban life.

Knowing the cigarette companies, they will soon be out with a new brand of cigarettes:

“FUMIGATORS,” preferred by parasite-ridden rooks everywhere.

Meanwhile, yet another reason to smoke — to fumigate your lungs.

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