Bird Using Fire?

To: "Carl Clifford" <>
Subject: Bird Using Fire?
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 15:12:05 +0800 (WST)
The bird in question is the Black Kite, which arrives in gangs
at a grass fire. I have read complaints by people fighting fires that the
Kites deliberately swooped down to snatch burning sticks to spread the
fire further, and when we visited Kakadu more than 10 years ago, we heard the
same story from a Ranger.
  Let's hope Denise sees this post. I am sure she will know.

Anthea Fleming

> Dear All,
> The following was posted on the WildbirdSingapore group and is said to
> be from an Etnoornithology forum.
> A Remarkable Case of Tool-Using in a Bird
> Author(s): Ashley Montagu
> Source: American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 72, No. 3 (Jun.,
> 1970), p. 610
> Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American
> Anthropological Association
> Stable URL: http://www.jstor. org/stable/ 673006
> Accessed: 11/05/2009 12:34
> Accepted for publication 18 February 1970.
> To the growing list of tool-users among animals other than man should
> be added the Northern Territory kitehawk or, as he is called among the
> aborigines of that part of Australia, the firehawk. In the fascinating
> book about his life, I, The Aboriginal (Ade- laide: Griffin, 1962),
> written down by Douglas Lockwood, Waipuldanya, an abori- ginal of the
> Alawa tribe at Roper River, says, "I have seen a hawk pick up a smoul-
> dering stick in its claws and drop it in a fresh patch of dry grass
> half a mile away, then wait with its mates for the mad exodus of
> scorched and frightened rodents and rep- tiles. When that area was
> burnt out the pro- cess was repeated elsewhere. We call these fires
> Jaluran" (p. 93). Is this, possibly, the first recorded case of the
> use of fire by a nonhuman animal?
> I presume the kitehawk is the Whistling Kite, as Kite Hawk appears to
> be one of its alternative common names.  Has anyone ever heard of this
> behaviour? Perhaps some-one with access to JSTOR could read the
> article and let me know what they think? Perhaps one of the loacls was
> pulling the leg of the Anthropologist.
> Cheers,
> Carl Clifford
> ===============================
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
> send the message:
> unsubscribe
> (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
> to: 
> ===============================


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU