Parents will do almost anything for their young. Bird parents are no exception, and many go to great lengths to build the perfect nest for their chicks. Many birds take this duty to a new level by plucking hair off of living animals in order to fill their nests, an analysis of YouTube videos shows. The inspiration for the new YouTube study came in 2020. Study co-author Henry Pollock, a postdoctoral researcher in ornithology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his colleagues were surveying birds in a public park when they noticed a tufted titmouse ( Baeolophus bicolor ), a small, gray-and-blue bird with a pointed black head crest. The bird was a common sight in the park, but the biologists were shocked by what it was doing: standing on a raccoon’s back, plucking hair from the animal. “At that moment, my curiosity was piqued,” Pollock told Live Science. Related: ‘Trash parrots’ in Australia have figured out how to open garbage cans (Video) Titmice are members of Parulidae, a bird family known for building nests that contain mammal fur. Ornithologists had assumed that the fur typically came from animal carcasses or shed hair, Pollock said. “There’s a lot… Read full this story
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