Watch: Birds commonly pluck mammal hair for nests

Titmice are among the birds found to steal hair from animals. Credit: Carol Von Canon

While researchers have long known that birds often incorporate hair into their nests, researchers only recently confirmed that they sometimes don’t wait for these strands to fall naturally to the ground. A new study published in Ecology compiling dozens of observations of species like the tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), mountain chickadee (Poecile gambeli) and a black-crested titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus) reveals that plucking the hairs straight from the source is likely an overlooked strategy for some birds. These videos, and real life observations, show the birds plucking hair from dogs, cats, raccoons, a porcupine and humans. Researchers call the behavior kleptotrichy and believe the hair might help insulate nests in cooler weather.

Read more at Science News.