Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Birds have learned to use ‘anti-bird’ spikes to build their nests

Birds are stealing anti-bird spikes put up by humans – and using them to build their nests. 

Researchers from two Dutch natural history museums first came across the phenomenon in a hospital courtyard in Antwerp.

Magpies had ripped about 50m of anti-bird spikes from the hospital building and used them to build a huge nest of 1,500 spikes.

Anti-bird spikes are often installed on buildings to discourage birds from nesting there.


Biologist Auke-Florian Hiemstra of the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre said the magpies were using the pins in the same way humans do – “to keep other birds away from their nest”.

“It’s like a joke, really,” he said.

“Even for me as a nest researcher, these are the craziest bird nests I’ve ever seen.”

Read more:
One of world’s oldest giraffes dies
Farmer shoots dogs dead after ‘roaming’ pack attack

Auke-Florian Hiemstra with a nest on display at Naturalis Biodiversity Centre. Pic: Alexander Schippers/Naturalis

Magpies will make a roof on their nest to protect their eggs and young, and will often use thorny branches.

But in the city, anti-bird spikes offer an urban alternative.

The researchers described the behaviour as the “ultimate adaptation to life in the city”.

The research – published in Deinsea, the annual of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam – describes similar magpie nests found in the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland.

Crows have also been found making nests with the spikes in the Netherlands.

It’s not the first example of unhospitable items being used for birds’ nests.

Other sharp materials, including barbed wire and knitting needles, are also used by magpies for the roof of their nests.


Latest Tweets

London Globe

Calls for EU to investigate Russian payments to Maltese dentist.… #news #


You May Also Like

United Kingdom

Film director Ridley Scott has recalled the death of actor Oliver Reed while making the Oscar winning blockbuster Gladiator. Scott said hard-drinking Reed “just...


The controversial Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, well-known for his years-long counterstanding with his wealthy sister Elena, widow of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is likely...

European Union

KAPIKULE, TURKEY, May 24th, 9:00 GMT]- Over 100 members of The Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light, a persecuted religious minority, who have presented...

United Kingdom

The Watneys Party Seven is making a comeback. The ubiquitous 70s beer was a bland fizzing bitter ridiculed by many. The drink’s insipidness helped...