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Birds in a Treeless City
April 11, 2012 2:58 PM   Subscribe

Looking for information about birds in Asia that were discovered making nests out of pieces of hardare, because there were no trees left.

About a year ago a read an article (I think online, but possibly in print) about some birds in a really polluted, treeless Asian city (I think in China's Shaanxi provence) who had been discovered creating nests out of bits of hardware, like nails and pieces of metal. It really stuck with me and haunted me. Now I'd like to learn more about it and revisit the article, but I can't find it online anywhere. Does anyone remember this event, or have any information? (Google searches yield little, due to the Bird's Nest olympic stadium gumming up the search terms).
posted by space cat to Science & Nature (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you monitor this exchange (scroll down to discussion area) you might find out. The shrine inspired by the birds is located here (ctl-f nest and it will be the fourth one).
posted by carmicha at 7:33 PM on April 11, 2012


I'm sorry that I don't have anything other than anecdotal evidence, but maybe something I say will lead you to a citable source. I just got back from Tokyo, and a raven there was building a nest out of coat hangers on a telephone pole.
posted by malaprohibita at 4:00 PM on April 12, 2012


More anecdata: Even in remote areas of (outer) Mongolia where there are plenty of natural materials available, I've seen eagle nests incorporating pieces of metal wire or hardware.

California condors bring "microtrash" including bits of hardware back to their nests, and often feed it to their chicks, with often fatal results. Again, this is generally in remote areas where natural materials are not lacking - the birds just aren't discriminating.
posted by scrambles at 7:22 AM on April 16, 2012


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