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Have you ever heard of a bird that drinks blood?

Added Wed, 28/09/2022
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Wed, 28/09/2022
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Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis, aka the vampire finch, is a small bird with a very unusual diet, it feeds on the blood of other birds.


The vampire finch lives only on two small islands of the Galapagos Archipelago - Darwin and Wolf, and is a subspecies of the sharp-billed finch, a relatively small and harmless-looking bird.


However, as the name of the species suggests, it has a very sharp beak, which it sometimes uses to gnaw not only fruits and nuts. The vampire finch got its name due to its strange tendency to pierce the skin of larger birds and feed on their blood when other food sources are scarce.


The main victims of the vampire finch are boobies. Interestingly, these seabirds are much larger than their abuser, but they rarely resist. Experts believe that such an unusual diet evolved from a much more common behavior of finches - pecking parasites on the plumage and skin of larger birds. In fact, boobies do not perceive the pecking of a finch as a threat.

The vampire finch sits on the back of its victim and uses its small, sharp beak to peck at the skin until it pierces it and begins to feed on blood.


Although no one knows exactly how the vampire finch got addicted to blood, it is believed that over the centuries he sometimes pecked the skin of seabirds too much, feeding on their parasites, and eventually adapted to use blood as a dietary supplement.


Blood feeding is extremely rare among birds, and the behavior of the vampire finch is considered a unique feature, characteristic only of the Darwin and Wolf Islands.


It is worth noting that no matter how creepy the method of feeding the vampire finch may seem, its main diet consists of seeds and invertebrates. He resorts to blood only in case of a shortage of such food.

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