The Scent of Fear: Birds Vomit to Warn Parents
by Jennifer Welsh
Ever been so nervous you upchucked? So scared you spewed? Well, baby birds are right there with you. Baby Eurasian rollers vomit a smelly orange liquid when scared by predators, which signals to their parents to stay away, new research indicates.
“The parents seem to be saving their own skin,” study researcher Deseada Parejo, of Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, CSIC, told LiveScience in an email. “Parental birds are quite protective of their nestlings, but they have to be cautious too because if they die they cannot care for the surviving offspring.”
Eurasian (also called European) rollers, Coracias garrulous, are violet- and turquoise-colored birds, with chestnut brown backs, which live throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. They live in abandoned nests and crevices in rocks and trees…
(read more: Live Science)
(images: T - Johan Swanepoel, B - Nadia Silva)