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Old 15th January 2018, 11:10 AM   #41
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
We know when the wind is blowing to look for embers to be flying and where they might end up. Knowing birds might be spreading the fire, one can plan where they might be likely to drop embers.
Wind is always blowing at a wildfire because it creates winds.
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:11 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
My favorite is watching the crows down here placing acorns and horse chestnuts in the tire grooves on roads, then waiting for cars to drive over them, and walking out to pick up the now-accessible nutmeats.

Or even better, was when squirrels had learned to do the same thing. The crows would lurk up in the trees above while the squirrels dropped the nuts in the road, then swoop down to get the cracked nuts before the squirrels could.
I saw a video of a Blue Jay watching a squirrel bury peanuts .. then going to retrieve them ... in effect stealing them from the squirrel
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:15 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
I saw a video of a Blue Jay watching a squirrel bury peanuts .. then going to retrieve them ... in effect stealing them from the squirrel
It gets more interesting. Research shows that when squirrels know that they are being observed they will pretend to bury their food in various places as a way of deceiving the observer.
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:21 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
......
Pick up shellfish > fly to hard ground > drop shellfish > shellfish breaks > fly down to get food
Pick up burning twig > fly to grassy area> drop stick > fire starts > fly down to get prey

Not seeing much of a stretch there..........
My daughter is the animal behaviouralist in the family, not me, but I'll take a quick stab at this.

Dropping a shellfish onto hard ground involves 1 prediction: "drop this here and it breaks".

Picking up a burning stick to start a fire elsewhere involves 2 predictions: "drop this here and it will start a fire" and
"if a fire starts, prey animals will be driven from cover".

This is the sort of thing animal behaviour specialists test for endlessly, and if this is confirmed as being witnessed in the wild then it will be tested in laboratories. Personally, I'd be stunned if raptors are found to produce this level of cognitive ability, because they really aren't in the top set of birdy brains.
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:24 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Science often does start as anecdotal observations but it has to proceed beyond that or else it remains something like folklore.

All that has happened here so far is that anecdotes have now been submitted to a scientific journal.
[sidetrack] I hear this from people who are more familiar with so-called hard sciences and less familiar with research we do when researching some kinds of medical problems. Subjective evidence may be all one will ever have in some cases.

What one does is use careful systematic observation and use controls to rule out other variables when using anecdotal data. [/sidetrack]
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:25 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Wind is always blowing at a wildfire because it creates winds.
So?
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:37 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So?
It matters a lot in relation to the OP, and it's based on alternative hypotheses.

Brush fires as cited in the OP create winds which will send burning embers and debris aloft and then distribute them. These start new fires (called spot fires or spotting) a distance from the main fire front. These spot fires will occur on the other side of natural and man-made fire breaks. This can happen even more than 10 miles from the original fire.

The researchers must determine and scientifically demonstrate that the birds are deliberately starting new fires rather than opportunistically flying to nearby spot fires.
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:51 AM   #48
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I have many pictures of birds waiting at the front edge of fires in Africa. Here is the first I've found:



Those are egrets on the Zambezi flood plain in western Zambia, feasting at the front edge of a grass fire (the locals burn off grass regularly).

And to support William Parcher's point about fires producing their own winds, here is a mini-tornado set off by a grassfire, on an otherwise still day. Liuwa, Zambia:

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Old 15th January 2018, 11:54 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
My daughter is the animal behaviouralist in the family, not me, but I'll take a quick stab at this.

Dropping a shellfish onto hard ground involves 1 prediction: "drop this here and it breaks".

Picking up a burning stick to start a fire elsewhere involves 2 predictions: "drop this here and it will start a fire" and
"if a fire starts, prey animals will be driven from cover".
I'm not seeing the difference you are. However, corvids (crows and the like) can solve 3 step problems to get food.

Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
... Personally, I'd be stunned if raptors are found to produce this level of cognitive ability, because they really aren't in the top set of birdy brains.
A bit of generalizing there.

Whistling Kites
Quote:
Whistling kites are truly catholic in their tastes, taking small mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, insects and carrion.[2][5] Those in Australia tend to take primarily live prey (except in the winter, when they subsist largely on carrion), while those in New Guinea are principally scavengers.[5] Most food items are taken either from the ground or from the water surface, though insects are sometimes hawked directly from the air.[3] Whistling kites are also known to pirate meals from ibises and herons[5] and from other raptors,[2] and to force large waterbirds to regurgitate their catches.[3] They regularly patrol roads in search of roadkill, and hover over the edges of grass fires in search of potential prey fleeing the flames. When food is scarce they will almost entirely rely on finding carrion.[3]
That suggests some intelligence.

Black Kite
Quote:
Black kites are most often seen gliding and soaring on thermals as they search for food. The flight is buoyant and the bird glides with ease, changing directions easily. They will swoop down with their legs lowered to snatch small live prey, fish, household refuse and carrion, for which behaviour they are known in British military slang as the *****-hawk. They are opportunist hunters and have been known to take birds, bats,[19] and rodents.[20] They are attracted to smoke and fires, where they seek escaping prey.[21] This behaviour has led to Australian native beliefs that kites spread fires by picking up burning twigs and dropping them on dry grass.[22][23] The Indian populations are well adapted to living in cities and are found in densely populated areas. Large numbers may be seen soaring in thermals over cities. In some places, they will readily swoop and snatch food held by humans.[14][24] Black kites in Spain prey on nestling waterfowl especially during summer to feed their young. Predation of nests of other pairs of black kites has also been noted.[25] Kites have also been seen to tear and carry away the nests of baya weavers in an attempt to obtain eggs or chicks.[26]
Obviously they have learned that fire means escaping prey. I don't think it's that much of a stretch that they might have also learned how to spread the fire into more grassland.
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:56 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It matters a lot in relation to the OP, and it's based on alternative hypotheses.

Brush fires as cited in the OP create winds which will send burning embers and debris aloft and then distribute them. These start new fires (called spot fires or spotting) a distance from the main fire front. These spot fires will occur on the other side of natural and man-made fire breaks. This can happen even more than 10 miles from the original fire.
So?

If fires spread in multiple ways, why only look at one way, wind?

Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The researchers must determine and scientifically demonstrate that the birds are deliberately starting new fires rather than opportunistically flying to nearby spot fires.
Yes, that's a given.
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Old 15th January 2018, 11:59 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So?
The researchers in the OP may be simply mistaken and/or engaging in confirmation bias.
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Old 15th January 2018, 12:03 PM   #52
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Here is my daughter's response to the paper:

Quote:
In places where wild fires are common place birds do hone in on fire as a source of food, catching insects or small vertebrates as they attempt to escape the flames. They are also present in areas where there has recently been a fire, as some species of insect like to nest/lay eggs in burnt wood, and some plants seeds spread after fire so the birds come to eat these. So I could definitely imagine the second prediction, a bird linking fire = food (providing the fire is not in a position to burn them), could work.

The first is more unbelievable as it involves the bird actually getting close enough to the fire to pick it up. Most animals, for good reason, are innately afraid of fire. I find it hard to believe that a bird would aproach a burning stick, let alone pick it up! I think you'd have major trouble trying to train any animal to pick up something that is on fire. No birds rely solely on forest fires for food (some just take advantage of them), and forest fires will occur without birds setting themselves. Therefore there doesn't seem to be to be any selection pressure for this behaviour (birds that don't set fires are still going to get enough food) to outweigh the potential risks of flying around with a burning branch in your beak. So in all I'm not convinced, needs video evidence.

The journal it is published in is focused more on the relationship between people and animals than the actual biology of the animals. In the case of these hawks they seem interested in aboriginal stories and how the story is represented in certain ceremonies. While this is interesting it doesn't necessarily make me think it is based on truth. If birds were deliberately setting fires and there was good evidence to prove this, this would be huge scientific news (as us humans are currently the only species that use fire as a tool) and would be published in one of the top journals (so Science or Nature).

So in conclusion I don't think this is a thing, but perhaps time will tell.
She is an animal behaviour scientist, currently studying bird behaviour in Sweden.
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Old 15th January 2018, 12:51 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The researchers in the OP may be simply mistaken and/or engaging in confirmation bias.
Sure, I said as much. So your point is the observers are misattributing their observations?

I was talking about the reason one might invest resources in studying this problem. The fact the wind blows is not relevant to investing the resources. It might be relevant to the assessing the anecdotal evidence. But so is corvid ability to solve 3 step problems even though these are kites and falcons.

The one thing that should not be done is dismissing these anecdotes. Neither should they be passed on as fact.
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Old 15th January 2018, 12:54 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
........ scientifically demonstrate that the birds are deliberately starting new fires rather than opportunistically flying to nearby spot fires.
I agree .. I'm on the side of this being for real ...but???

I would REALLY like to see HD video of the phenomenon .. everyone has a video camera in their pocket now.
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Old 15th January 2018, 02:41 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Sure, I said as much. So your point is the observers are misattributing their observations?
I said they may be and I said that for a reason. It is premature and I am not capable of saying that they are wrong from my armchair. I am highly skeptical that their claim is true.

Quote:
I was talking about the reason one might invest resources in studying this problem. The fact the wind blows is not relevant to investing the resources. It might be relevant to the assessing the anecdotal evidence. But so is corvid ability to solve 3 step problems even though these are kites and falcons.

The one thing that should not be done is dismissing these anecdotes. Neither should they be passed on as fact.
The researchers need to video and photograph this behavior in action. They also need to show that these birds are actually starting new fires with the burning debris that they carry. There may also be other things that they need to demonstrate.
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Old 15th January 2018, 02:42 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
Australian birds weaponize fire.

Some experts now agree, with old tales aboriginal people have told for centuries, ... that certain birds of prey actually USE fire as a weapon, to frighten up food to prey upon.

Raptors, including the whistling kite, are said to have been seen ... intentionally spreading grass fires in northern Australia, by caring burning sticks to new areas of dry grass and dropping them.

The reason: To flush out prey and feast!

http://nationalpost.com/news/world/a...eaponized-fire
Please name one expert who agrees with this claim.
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Old 15th January 2018, 02:49 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
I agree .. I'm on the side of this being for real ...but???

I would REALLY like to see HD video of the phenomenon .. everyone has a video camera in their pocket now.
These researchers probably already had pocket cameras when they say that it was observed happening. These same guys wrote about this behavior several years ago in popular magazines. It's just now that they submitted a paper on it. I tried to access their new paper but it's behind a paywall.

They say that the Aborigines have known about this for at least 40,000 years and that it's regularly observed now. Yet there are no photos or videos from anyone.
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:09 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
...... They also need to show that these birds are actually starting new fires with the burning debris that they are said to carry.......
I've added the highlighted.
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:10 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
.....They say that the Aborigines have known about this for at least 40,000 years......
How can they know this? Aboriginals didn't write anything down, nor date their oral histories.
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:20 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
How can they know this? Aboriginals didn't write anything down, nor date their oral histories.
I don't know how they claim to know this - the paper is behind a firewall. There are at least some art depictions of raptors carrying flaming sticks drawn by Aborigines but I don't know about their age.
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:25 PM   #61
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Here is the quote...

Originally Posted by Science Alert
While news of aerial arsonists fire-bombing the landscape may seem surprising or even shocking, the researchers are eager to emphasise that this destructive phenomenon has actually been witnessed for untold millennia.

"We're not discovering anything," one of the team, geographer Mark Bonta from Penn State Altoona, told National Geographic.

"Most of the data that we've worked with is collaborative with Aboriginal peoples… They've known this for probably 40,000 years or more."

https://www.sciencealert.com/birds-i...rehawk-raptors

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...mals-australia
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:36 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by The Nature Conservancy
The association between birds and fire is common in many Aboriginal mythologies, some of which tell of “firehawk” birds stealing branches from cooking fires or wildfires and spreading the flames to new areas to flush out prey.
This is a red flag which I mentioned earlier. Aborigines are saying that the birds start brush fires when there aren't any happening and they do it by taking burning wood from your cooking fire. Oh really?


Quote:
Their interviews make it clear that while the behavior does happen, it’s not common. Most of the people interviewed have only seen the behavior once — or at most a handful of times — despite spending decades working in the bush and around fires.
Oh no, we aren't going to be seeing any videos or photos.

https://blog.nature.org/science/2018...read-wildfires
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:38 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
No photos or videos taken by the researchers in spite of repeated observations. There's no reason to write it off as anything at all when there is not yet any evidence other than anecdote.

I'm not sure that photos or videos would help much. What would you see? A bird dropping something burning, thus starting a fire.
It doesn't prove intentionality.

Quote:
Science needs to be science.

I agree. And the point here would not simply be to prove that birds cause fires, but that they do so deliberately.

Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Or we can just kill off all the birds and see if the wildfires stop.

Same problem: If birds spread fires by dropping burning twigs or embers onto areas of dry grass, killing the birds will prevent (this particular way of) spreading wildfires, but it won't prove that the birds deliberately started fires.

And I still don't think that my love birds were trying to burn the house down!
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:48 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I'm not sure that photos or videos would help much. What would you see? A bird dropping something burning, thus starting a fire.
It doesn't prove intentionality.
Not much help? A photo of a "fire bird" carrying a burning stick would help a lot! We don't even have that yet and maybe we will never get it. That's Step 1 which we don't have before moving on to Step 2 which is scientifically demonstrating that it really is being used as a tool.
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Old 15th January 2018, 04:33 PM   #65
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No, you're right about that. There are several Youtube videos with the claim, but the best of them seem to show only birds waiting for prey.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


But even if: I have actually seen birds playing around with drinking straws and accidentally (well, actually I can't prove that it wasn't deliberately) setting them on fire and taking off with them, so a bird flying with a twig burning or just smoldering at one end and then dropping it wouldn't convince me that it was trying to start a fire. There's an awful long way from Step One to Step Two.

And we know for a fact that squirrels actually do plant trees, but so far nobody has accused them of inventing horticulture ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
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Old 15th January 2018, 04:38 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
OMG that is so fascinating. It totally tops the crows around here that would take filbert nuts high in the air and drop then on the parking lot blacktop where the nuts would break open.
Going one step further, some crows use the cars as nutcracker. Courtesy of Sir David:
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I AGREE


ETA: ninja'ed.
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Old 15th January 2018, 04:46 PM   #67
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"... wait for the lights to stop the traffic ..."

Yeah, right, that's what it's waiting for!

The only surprise is that he doesn't mention that it's figured out how to use the pedestrian crossing!
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Old 15th January 2018, 05:27 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Science Trends
It is evident that Aboriginal peoples from the Northern Territory of Australia have known about this avian behavior for many thousands of years because the behavior has been represented often in some of their sacred ceremonies that go back at least 40,000 years. Why the rest of the world is only hearing about this now is because these ceremonies only began to be documented in 2011, when the research that is compiled in the study started.
Modern Aboriginal ceremonies depicting the firebirds carrying fire. Not sure how they know it was the same ceremony 40,000 years ago.

https://sciencetrends.com/firehawks-...g-forests-fire
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Old 15th January 2018, 05:35 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And I still don't think that my love birds were trying to burn the house down!
Having also shared a home with free-range love-birds, I'm not so sure.

Mine also had the endearing habit of trimming off long strips of paper, which they then stuck into their tails, and once having a full load would fly off with them.

This meant that small strips of paper were being dropped all the time, and I could see no reason why they were flying over ignition sources during this.

Unless they were just showing off?
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Old 15th January 2018, 05:43 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
...so a bird flying with a twig burning or just smoldering at one end and then dropping it wouldn't convince me that it was trying to start a fire. There's an awful long way from Step One to Step Two.
Step One and Two could be observed together at once and documented.

A firebird picks up a burning stick and carries it to a nearby unburned area with dry grass and drops it. Then the bird perches nearby and watches and waits for the new fire to start (it won't take long). Then it begins to feed on animals fleeing from the fire it just started.

I believe that this is the claim in the OP as being observed by Aborigines and other people including the researchers. I don't see why that whole thing couldn't be captured on video in one complete and unedited take. Repeated occurrences should help to solidify Steps one and two. The bird uses the fire tool and knows what the outcome will be and waits for it to happen.
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Old 15th January 2018, 06:20 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Please name one expert who agrees with this claim.
It's in the article.
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Old 15th January 2018, 06:57 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
It's in the article.
I don't know what you mean by experts agreeing with the claim. Expert on what? The researchers who wrote the paper certainly agree with their own claim. At least one of them is a Geographer. So that guy might be an expert on places.

There aren't any ornithologists mentioned as agreeing with the claim in your OP article. Those are the bird scientists. I don't know what they would agree with anyway. It's a story about anecdotes.
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Old 15th January 2018, 06:59 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
..mean by experts ..
I can only say .. you need to explain YOUR definition of expert.
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Old 15th January 2018, 07:06 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
I can only say .. you need to explain YOUR definition of expert.
Most specifically it would be a scientist who specializes in Australian raptors.
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Old 15th January 2018, 07:14 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Most specifically it would be a scientist who specializes in Australian raptors.
That's fine if that's what you like to believe ... but experts in many fields do not go to "school" to become so ... I'll leave it at that.
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Old 16th January 2018, 12:25 AM   #76
dann
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Step One and Two could be observed together at once and documented.

I still don't see intention documented in your scenario:

Quote:
A firebird picks up a burning stick and carries it to a nearby unburned area with dry grass and drops it. Then the bird perches nearby and watches and waits for the new fire to start (it won't take long). Then it begins to feed on animals fleeing from the fire it just started.

How do you know that that's what it's waiting for? How do you even know that it's waiting for anything?

Quote:
I believe that this is the claim in the OP as being observed by Aborigines and other people including the researchers. I don't see why that whole thing couldn't be captured on video in one complete and unedited take. Repeated occurrences should help to solidify Steps one and two. The bird uses the fire tool and knows what the outcome will be and waits for it to happen.

But this is what needs to be proven: that the (alleged) observation demonstrates knowledge and intention! It might just be sitting there, minding its own business, whatever that might be, until it notices prey fleeing.

I propose a proper test:
1) A cage or enclosure large enough for these birds of prey to fly around in.
2) Pile of straw at one end, mice (or whatever their preferred prey is) hiding underneath.
3) Open fire at the other end.

Maybe even
4) Place the open fire behind chicken wire (maybe outside the cage, but close enough): Will the birds pick up straw from the pile, stick it through the chicken wire into the fire, and fly back, set the pile ablaze and wait for the roasted mice to be served?
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Old 16th January 2018, 12:36 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
What is it about this supposed behaviour of birds which is a religious belief?
Your daughter's response did it for me.

Quote:
Quote:
...The journal it is published in is focused more on the relationship between people and animals than the actual biology of the animals. In the case of these hawks they seem interested in aboriginal stories and how the story is represented in certain ceremonies. While this is interesting it doesn't necessarily make me think it is based on truth. ...
This is the confirmation bias I was talking about. The researchers are taking Dreamings literally. Let us just examine the firebird Dreaming for a second.

(this from a workshop on the mythologies)
Black Kite, Chicken Hawk (Kerrk – Malamalak, Num – Matngala). Milvus migrans. Often seen flying around near fires hunting for insects and small lizards escaping the fire. The name refers to its distinctive call “kerrk-kerrk-kerrk“. In the creation period or dreamtime, Kerrk stole fire sticks from the Dingo, so that he could cook the Ckeeky yam. Kerrk is still attracted to fires and occasionally he can be seen carrying burning sticks from an existing fire to start more fires further away.
Are we really meant to take this literally?
For starters - Dingoes now make fire?
Black Kites cook and eat yams?

These are Dreaming stories.

As for accurate observations, let's just see how accurate they are.
The workshop allowed for clarification of the rather confusing overlap of three bird names, karrkkanj, ngalmirlangmirlang and wunwunbu. Karrkkanj, it turns out, is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon.
Really?
They apparently confuse Black Kites with Peregrine and Brown Falcons?
That's not very observant. I could tell the difference by the time I was 11.
But of course, this is not about direct observations of a phenomenon, but "researchers" forcing fireside (hah!) stories to fit their confirmation bias.

Here is the Dreamtime explanation for the apparent confusion between these species, "The Peregrine Falcon can also be known more specifically as ngalmirlangmirlang and the Brown Falcon as wunwunbu; these are said to be husband and wife."
As a participant tells it, “Back in the Dreamtime, we believed animals were like us, the birds, all the reptiles were people like us.”
Taking these stories literally would require us to believe that male Peregrine only breed with female Brown Falcons.
If these were Bible stories, would we be having the same conversation in this thread?
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Old 16th January 2018, 12:49 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I don't know how they claim to know this - the paper is behind a firewall. There are at least some art depictions of raptors carrying flaming sticks drawn by Aborigines but I don't know about their age.
Depictions of Firehawk Dreaming should not be taken as direct observations in nature.
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Old 16th January 2018, 01:00 AM   #79
dann
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Mine also had the endearing habit of trimming off long strips of paper, which they then stuck into their tails, and once having a full load would fly off with them.

This meant that small strips of paper were being dropped all the time, and I could see no reason why they were flying over ignition sources during this.

Mine weren't flying over the stove, and pots or pans were on top of the gas flames. The love bird would be standing next to the stove on the kitchen counter, chewing on the straws from one end to the other. They often got the straws entangled in whatever they were standing next to and always seemed surprised that this would happen, and even though it's part of nest-building behavior and the straw was longer than the bird, they were conspicuously unaware that they couldn't get the straw through a small hole when they were holding on to it in the middle instead of at the end!
They didn't walk (or fly) over to the flame or seem to want to set the straw on fire - or even seem to know what the hell was going on when it happened. I also never saw them use the straws as tools in any other way: using them to pick at things or anything like that.
They were pretty good at finding stuff and taking off with it, for instance climbing into people's bags or purses to steal cigarettes that they would then take off with and chew to pieces, but I never saw them do anything that remotely resembled using tools.
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Old 16th January 2018, 01:13 AM   #80
dann
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
For starters - Dingoes now make fire?

And kangaroos use their pouches for loose change ...

Quote:
They apparently confuse Black Kites with Peregrine and Brown Falcons?

You have to consider that they were blinded by smoke at the time.

Now, I hope that you won't also deny that the Phoenix proves that the ancients believed in recycling!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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