Milk bottle-raiding birds pass on thieving ways to their flock

World of Birds

He’s gotta lotta bottle. Credit: David Darrell-Lambert He’s gotta lotta bottle. Credit: David Darrell-Lambert

Great tits are opportunistic copycats. Entire populations can be found performing the same arbitrary behaviour simply because birds copy one another, following a fashion. And it’s this behaviour, reported in a paper published in Nature, that explains the great milk bottle raids that baffled milk drinkers in Britain almost a century ago.

Back in 1921 residents of the small town of Swaythling in Hampshire found their milk bottles vandalised on their doorsteps, the foil caps pierced. The culprits turned out to be birds of the tit family, and this milk thievery spread quickly, with people all over Europe noticing tits pecking through the foil caps of the milk bottles on their doorsteps to reach the cream underneath.

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About narhvalur

Environmentalist, Animal Lover, Birder,Equastrian
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