December 6, 2012

"Birds Appear to 'Self-Medicate' With Our Cigarette Butts."

Headline at The Atlantic. What birds are actually doing, apparently, is using the butts in nest-building, and nicotine works as an arthropod repellent.

17 comments:

n.n said...

It's difficult running the windmill gauntlet every day. Around one hundred thousand birds and bats meet their demise at the end of a blade.

Presumably, there is a similar reason for humans to self-medicate.

n.n said...

Tobacco contains proteins which exhibit antiviral characteristics.

Two antiviral proteins from tobacco: purification and characterization by monoclonal antibodies to human beta-interferon

If they consume in moderation, they should be able to enjoy the benefits while avoiding the harmful side-effects.

Larry J said...

Is that 100,000 dead birds every day, every week or every year? Cats kill many times that many birds every year.

Killing birds and other flying critters isn't much of a reason to oppose windmills. Better reasons include the fact that windmills are an expensive and unreliable way to generate electricity in most of the country. You'd never see many big windmills if it weren't for the heavy subsidizies.

edutcher said...

Hmmm, if it's repelling the arthropods, maybe that's a warning.

Astro said...

I guess I'm an arthropod. I can't stand to be near the stuff.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Wouldn't the birds eat the arthopods?

YoungHegelian said...

Just imagine what the birds are going to start doing after marijuana is legalized and they start picking up the spent roaches.

Ever heard a crow say "Duuuuuuuuude" before?

ndspinelli said...

My uncle fed his beagle pups pipe tobacco when they had worms..cured it.

Methadras said...

Symbiosis.

n.n said...

Larry J:

It is an annual estimate (i.e. extrapolation from a sample) for the United States. Cats are not included because they are not relevant to anthropogenic effects. Other than, perhaps, through causing an artificial concentration of cats.

You're right. That is not the reason to offer general criticism of the technology. The primary issue is, as you have stated, that the technology cannot reliably produce energy with reasonable isolation from the environment. I only repeat it to remind people that "green" technology is a marketing term, which does not mitigate risk as reported, and this specific consequence is a readily observable and quantifiable phenomenon to establish its fraudulent presentation.

Also, it is relevant within this context and it has humorous implications.

After running the gauntlet all day. A bird recoups by lighting a cigarette and smoking his worries away.

DADvocate said...

nicotine is a pesticide.

bagoh20 said...

I encourage and tend to have quite a few nesting families on my property every summer. I'm amazed at the number of parasites and predators that take their toll. Crows, hawks, foxes, raccoons - it's a genocide. And the nests themselves are teaming with parasitic blood sucking mites by the thousands. Let 'em have their butts. Life is hard enough.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Althouse-
Need a 'nicotine' tag?

Mitchell the Bat said...

It's good to know that The Atlantic is pandering to an ever-diminishing category of shit-head.

KenK said...

That nicotine stuff is pretty good at repelling many humans too.

Muhammad Amir said...

You'd never see many cigarettes on line big windmills if it weren't for the heavy subsidizies.