Pied wagtail behaviour

To: "Birding-Aus (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Pied wagtail behaviour
From: Bill Stent <>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 14:22:57 +1000
I hope I'm not going to get into trouble for reposting copyright material,

This comes from the Feedback section of this week's New Scientist.  I have
heard of birds in Oz doing this as well...


ARE some British wagtails setting themselves up for a bit of niche
speciation? Reader David Hanlon reports pulling into a motorway service
station near Reading in Berkshire. He noticed there were a number of pied
wagtails waiting around the petrol station forecourt.

As soon as a car pulled up, the enterprising wagtails dashed up to the
bumpers and bonnet and quickly picked off any "road kill" insects from the
front of the cars. They would then go back to their stations to await the
next customer.

We wonder if other readers have noticed wagtails exploiting this niche? If
so, we could be witnessing wagtail evolution in the making.

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