A post that looks at our research into firespreading raptors in the Top End of Australia ... and beyond.
Anecdotal historical reports from qualified observers support the hypothesis that this is a hitherto-undocumented tool-using behavior that, if verified to satisfy the standards of Western ecologists, will have important ramifications for understanding pyrophytic landscape evolution as well as human-bird relationships.
There is compelling evidence that at least two raptor species – the Brown Falcon and the Black Kite – act as propagators of fire within the Australian savanna woodlands and perhaps in other similar biomes elsewhere
Use of fire as a tool is normally considered to be restricted to humans, and hence to have played an extremely important role not only in human societal change but also in the large-scale modification of landscapes across the world. But what if animals other than humans exhibit pyrophilic behavior?