Birds Repurposing 'Anti-Bird' Spikes to Build Nests, Researchers Say

Researchers have discovered that birds are using anti-bird devices created by humans to their advantage.

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Birds in Europe are ironically using anti-bird devices in their favor.

According to a recent study published in the journal Deinsea, researchers from the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden have discovered that birds, particularly magpies and crows in Scotland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, are building their nests by using the spikes placed on buildings to deter birds.

"I really thought I'd seen it all. These anti-bird spikes are meant to deter birds, they are supposed to scare them off, but on the contrary, the birds just utilize them," Kees Moeliker, director of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, told the Guardian.

Researchers say birds are using the aforementioned devices to keep predators from coming in contact with their nests. The spikes are often installed on buildings, as well as various areas such as car parks and railways, in an effort to prevent birds from nesting there.

Auke-Florian Hiemstra, who is a biologist and student at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands, told the New York Times that  "almost anything can become part of a bird nest" and added that he's seen nests made from condoms, sunglasses, windshield wipers, and more.

Some experts believe this phenomenon doubles as the birds' attempt at getting revenge on humans.

Jim Reynolds, an assistant professor in ornithology and animal Conservation at the University of Birmingham told the Washington Post: “It seems that birds might be taking revenge here somewhat on our anti-bird strategies."

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