Leafing the Nest
Researchers discover that plant materials stuffed in bird nests are more than just building supplies
Roger Di Silvestro
PLANT MATERIALS stuffed in bird nests are more than just building supplies. Researchers at Ohio Wesleyan University have found that aromatic leaves, from plants such as yarrow, birches, oaks and dandelions, repel insects and help kill feather-damaging bacteria. The result: Aromatic nests, like this one built by a wood thrush, produce more chicks.