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Wildlife Myth-buster!

There are many different myths about wildlife in the UK and our job today is to bust these myths! During my research I found out some quite surprising facts! Read below to see what I found out!

Baby Birds

Ever heard of the old myth that touching a baby bird will mean that it gets abandoned by its mother? Well that’s not necessarily true. An old myth says that birds can detect the scent of a human and this is what makes them abandon their young. However, birds actually have a very weak sense of smell, and will very rarely pick up on the human scent! So what should you do if you see a baby bird on the ground?

  1. If the baby bird is a nestling i.e. does not have its fledging feathers or is fuzzy, and is close by to the nest, then you can put the bird back into the nest to be welcomed back by its parents without harm.
  2. If the bird is a fledgling i.e. has its feathers then it is old enough to be on the ground and should be left there. Fledglings are usually being carefully watched by its parents and will stay on the ground for a few days until it is strong enough to fly.

Still, this is no reason to go messing around in occupied nests as disruption to a nest is often the cause of abandonment!

Learn how to build bird boxes in our Nature Rockz sessions

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Black Ladybirds

Many people believe that black lady birds are poisonous to humans and try to avoid them. However we have discovered that this is not true! Ladybirds do produce a chemical that both smells and tastes bad to deter predators, but this is not poisonous to humans. The bright colours of ladybirds are also used to deter predators away! Although the chemicals they produce are not poisonous to humans, they can be poisonous to animals!

Blind Bats

Ever heard of the common saying as blind as a bat? Well I was quite surprised to find out that bats aren’t actually blind! Bats are nocturnal creatures so only come out during night time, and no animal can see in complete darkness! Because bats come out and hunt for insects during night time, they rely on their other senses a lot more than they do their sight, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t see! Because of the low visibility at night time, bats rely on other senses such as sound by using a technique called echolocation where they create high pitched sounds unheard by the human ear, the signals then bounce off nearby objects to help bats get around and catch their pray!

Seagulls

Did you know that seagulls don’t actually exist? There is no type of bird that is actually called a seagull! The name seagull is just used to refer to the different types of seabirds you can find. There are a number of different types of seabirds and gulls, and seagull is just a general name used to refer to them all!

Goldfish

The saying: “You have a memory of a goldfish” is often used when somebody is forgetful. Many people believe that goldfish only have a three second memory span, therefore cannot retain old information. However, studies have found this not to be true! Goldfish have been known to operate tiny levers, associate sounds with feeding times and even recognise when their owner is present! This all requires a longer memory span than 3 seconds meaning it really is a myth!

Cows

Something that I always believed is that when all the cows are lying down in the field, it means it’s going to rain! It’s believed that cows lie down when it’s about to rain to protect their patch of grass and keep it dry. However, after some research we have found this not to be true! So next time you’re heading for a day out and drive past a field full of cows lying down no need to worry, they may just be having a rest!

Do you know of any other wildlife myths that need busting? Let us know in the comment section below! 

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