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Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

Dale Clayton and Sarah Knutie, University of Utah

Caption: University of Utah biology professor Dale Clayton and doctoral student Sarah Knutie conducted a study showing that finches in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands will collect cotton balls treated with a mild pesticide and use them to build their nests, killing parasitic fly maggots that often kill baby birds. Here, Knutie holds one of the cotton dispensers. The method might provide a way to help protect threatened or endangered finches, other birds and even small mammals.

Credit: Nick Steffens, University of Utah Marketing and Communications

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