Helping birds doctor their babies

An observant biologist figured out how to help birds treat their nests and kill a parasite

By Sharon Oosthoek, 10:10 AM May 15, 2014

A biologist working on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador has come up with an unusual way to help critically endangered birds fight off a deadly insect parasite. The adult insect lays its eggs in the birds’ nests. As insect larvae emerge from those eggs, they feed on the blood of the baby birds. If they drain out too much blood, the birds will die. But Sarah Knutie tricked the parent birds into bringing an insecticide into their homes — one that would protect their fragile brood.

A biologist, Kn...

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