Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scottish Birds Continue Stealing Large Amounts of Underwear

An adult red kite, possibly on the lookout for unattended underwear, in Wales. (Photo: Tim Felce/CC BY-SA-2.0)

   The swimming enthusiasts of Angus have been quietly coping with missing underwear and socks after taking a dip in a pond near the Gannochy Estate, but gamekeeper Dave Clement has solved the slightly embarrassing mystery—pinning the thefts on a pair of red kites.
   The birds’ thievery isn’t motivated by concerns over modesty or a love of pranks; red kites decorate their nesting sites with found objects, frequently re-using and expanding the same nest if it has been used successfully in prior breeding seasons. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds notes that, “Paper, rags, crisp packets, carrier bags, even underwear and toys have been recorded” in kite nests. Yorkshire’s Ilkley Gazette noted red kites in the area using a stuffed rabbit, England flag, and even a program from an area funeral...

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