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Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:04 PM

Great tits are killing birds and eating their brains. Climate change may be to blame.

https://www.popsci.com/great-tits-murder-climate-change?cmpid=ene20190112&utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&cid=46539&mid=401399543


Every year, little black-and-white birds called pied flycatchers make the lengthy trek from sub-saharan Africa to northern Europe to feast on caterpillars, claim a nest, and have babies. This typically goes off without a hitch, and the birds return to Africa a few months later, offspring in tow. But recently, some flycatchers have arrived to find their nesting sites occupied by haughty, territorial great tits. And those birds don’t just chase flycatchers away—they brutally attack them, kill them, and eat their brains.
Article Continues Below:

The reason for such grisly bird murders might be due to a shift in migration and nesting timelines for both birds, according to a new study published Thursday in Current Biology. While great tits typically breed two weeks earlier than pied flycatchers, their breeding periods now occasionally overlap due to climate change-related factors, the authors say.

Great tits live in European forests like the Dwingelderveld and Drents Friese Wold forests in the Netherlands, where the study took place, all year round. Flycatchers, on the other hand, are merely regular vacationers. Since the 1980s, flycatcher breeding season has been inching up earlier in the month of April. Warm spring temperatures have caused caterpillar populations to boom sooner in the month, so flycatchers adapted to that and started arriving a bit earlier, too. That wouldn’t be too big a problem for flycatchers, except that great tit breeding periods are also in flux. Now, when tits delay their breeding period a little bit in colder Aprils, they overlap with the flycatchers, and violence ensues.

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Reply Great tits are killing birds and eating their brains. Climate change may be to blame. (Original post)
LakeSuperiorView Saturday OP
Fozzledick Saturday #1
Lochloosa Saturday #2
Glamrock Saturday #3
Iggo Saturday #4
The Velveteen Ocelot Saturday #5
FirstLight Saturday #19
Fuzzpope Saturday #6
NurseJackie Saturday #7
The Velveteen Ocelot Saturday #9
NurseJackie Saturday #10
LividModerate Saturday #8
jmowreader Saturday #11
csziggy Saturday #15
GulfCoast66 Saturday #18
betsuni Saturday #12
skylucy Saturday #13
Elwood P Dowd Saturday #14
Ferrets are Cool Saturday #16
Atticus Saturday #17
Takket Saturday #20

Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:10 PM

1. ...and I thought this was about a soft-core zombie exploitation flick!

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Response to Fozzledick (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:19 PM

2. There's a movie in there somewhere.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:23 PM

3. Great tits fuck with my brain too!



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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:25 PM

4. They ate my brain a long time ago.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:41 PM

5. Tits (Europe) are close relatives of chickadees (North America).

There are chickadees on my bird feeders all the time. I wonder if they'll start eating brains?

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 08:40 PM

19. Hahahaa.... yikes...

I have said before, while watching the chickadees, Jays and various others in and around my deck... "There's actually a lot of them, good thing they don't have a taste for human flesh..."

*gulp*

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:42 PM

6. Heh..

I love tits, great tits even more, good golly.

And I'm willing to put up with a metric ton of crap for the sake of having great tits in my life, but brain eating tits are where I draw the line, goddamn it.

No can do.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:44 PM

7. My husband always compliments me on mine.

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:52 PM

9. Bet if they were brain-eating he wouldn't be so complimentary.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:54 PM

10. I think that's WHY he's so complimentary.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:51 PM

8. It's amazing,

They’re all over the place in Islamorada.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:06 PM

11. Compared to non-tit birds, the great tit isn't so great

According to its Wiki page, a great tit is 12.5 to 14.0 cm in length. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' great tit page gives their weight as 18 grams - an ounce is about 30 grams, so there's not much meat on these things.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:19 PM

15. There is a lot of spunk the those few grams!

As said above, tits are related to American chickadees. I've seen chickadees chase much larger birds, such as blue jays, away from the bird feeders. One chickadee can show up and clear the feeder of a half dozen larger birds. They are also champions at scolding the cats, snakes and other predators that might be around. I've even had thm dive bomb me if I get too close to their nests.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 07:30 PM

18. I've always been partial to smaller tits. They are great.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:07 PM

12. Maybe that's why Trump is the way he is. Great tits ate his brains.

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Response to betsuni (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:16 PM

13. LOL!

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Response to betsuni (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:17 PM

14. Great Tits would starve to death eating Trump brains.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:51 PM

16. I realize that this story is ripe for legendary verbal titilation, however,

it is a very sad tale.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 07:06 PM

17. Thanks for the mammaries. nt

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 08:44 PM

20. raise your hand if you read the OP title more than once

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