Natures wonders: Falcons imprison their next meals (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 09, 2016, 05:33 (1726 days ago) @ dhw

They keep live birds trapped for the next meal:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28745-falcons-imprison-live-birds-to-keep-them-f...

"In a census of the island's falcons in 2014, Abdeljebbar Qninba of Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, and his colleagues came across small birds trapped in deep cavities, their flight and tail feathers removed. The birds were unable to move their wings or use their dangling legs, the team reported.

"Crippling and imprisoning prey might be a means of keeping fresh food nearby, so parents can stay on the nest and still have snacks nearby to feed hungry offspring.

***

"However, both caution that the few observations made of these trapped birds so far isn't enough to confirm that they are being held prisoner by the falcons.

"Rob Simmons of the University of Cape Town in South Africa is sceptical. “I don't believe a falcon has the cognitive ability to ‘store' prey like this,” he says. “I think the birds' prey may simply be escaping and finding refuge.” Raptors often start plucking their prey before they kill them, so the injured birds may simply be escapees."

Comment: Not clear if it is true.


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