Eggs-periment tricks crafty crows from plundering endangered ...

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Eggs-periment tricks crafty crows from plundering endangered species

Booby-trapped eggs have helped the survival rate in nests along the west coast

Senior reporter

Pied crows have long outsmarted other birds by raiding their nests. But they quickly changed their ways when scientists taught them a lesson by sabotaging their food supply with booby-trapped eggs.

The trick, in an experiment on the west coast, was an attempt to end a habit that is endangering some coastal bird species. And it worked, suggesting a method of protecting vulnerable birds from raiding crows and reducing the use of poison which often harms other species.

Scientists created 20 artificial nests and half-buried them in sand at six estuarine sites outside Velddrif. They monitored the nests with hidden cameras. While the Kittlitz’s Plover is not endangered, other plover species are, making them particularly vulnerable to nest-raiding pied crows...

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