News Stories

Cigarette Butts Make a Cozy Nest

At last: Something GOOD about smoking! Birds in Mexico City are lining their nests with cigarette butts they pick up off the street, and scientists have discovered that they repel pests and keep the baby birds warm.

They're filling their nests with up to 48 cigarette butts in order to make use of the repellent properties of tobacco. The nicotine and other chemicals in the cigarettes as a natural pesticide that repels parasitic mites (but what do they do to smokers?)

Mexican scientists looked at nests of house sparrows and house finches and found that each one contained about 10 cigarette butts. Birds who used larger numbers of butts had significantly fewer mites. Nicotine is a natural defense chemical used by the tobacco plant to ward off plant-eating insects.

The Telegraph reports that when researchers offered the birds a choice of smoked and non-smoked butts, they chose the smoked one, since they are the only ones that can effectively repel mites. Birds can tell smoked and non-smoked butts apart by the way they smell.

Something else is smelly too--something you probably wouldn't know if you didn't read this website regularly. Whitley knows that they're here and he has since the beginning. He came up with a solution to who and what they are.



Subscribe to Unknowncountry sign up now