Cigarette butts help drive parasites from bird’s nests

House finches use cigarette butts to fight parasites trying to invade their nests, but the practice may have some negative side effects for the birds, according to findings published in the Journal of Avian Biology. Researchers found that when they introduced live ticks into nests, the finches brought butts in to drive them away, but the scientists later found genetic damage in the birds from exposure to the butts after examining their red blood cells.New Scientist (free content) (6/26)

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