"The ants are savage, relentless, capturing as many as 30,000 prey items in a single day. They scale trees to pull down giant scorpions, raid wasps’ nests and overwhelm the defenses of even the most violent Africanized bees. Any life form lying in the ants’ path knows its only chance is to try to leap away—and the antbirds know it, too. The birds swoop down and pick off as many of the harrowed menu items as they can get away with, a kleptoparasitism that ends up reducing the ants’ hunting success by one-sixth. Each of the three types of antbird makes its grab from a particular position around the swarm."
—Though its title, "Feathered Freeloaders at the Ant Parade," is a little Romneyesque for my taste, Natalie Angier's article in today's Science Times is almost certainly the most exciting story you will read about bird watching all day.
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012