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Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

Finch Nest with Cotton

Caption: This finch nest in the Galapagos Islands was built with cotton the bird collected from dispensers. A University of Utah study found that Darwin's finches on Ecuador's Galapagos Islands will collect cotton balls treated with a mild pesticide and then use them in their nests, resulting in the death of parasitic nest fly larva or maggots that kill finch nestlings and their mothers. The method might be used to protect birds and mammals afflicted by parasites.

Credit: Sarah Knutie, University of Utah

Usage Restrictions: None

Related news release: Is self-fumigation for the birds?

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