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Planet Earth

Eau d'Oiseau

By Josie GlausiuszNovember 1, 2002 6:00 AM

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People do it. Birds do it, too—stock their homes with sweet-smelling herbal disinfectants. Evolutionary ecologist Marcel Lambrechts has found that Corsican Blue Tits scent their nests with a potpourri of perfumed plants, including lavender, mint, yarrow, and citronella. And the birds keep bringing fresh herbs, from the onset of egg laying to their offsprings' nestling stage.

rd_eau.jpg

Strong-smelling herbal plants create a safe haven for these baby Corsican Blue Tits.Photograph courtesy of Marcel Lambrechts and André Joly.

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