Found only on two small islands in the Galapagos Islands – Darwin and Wolf – the vampire sparrow is a subspecies of the pointed-billed sparrow, a relatively small and harmless looking bird. However, as the name suggests, it has a very sharp beak, which is sometimes used to pierce various fruits and nuts. The vampire sparrow gets its name from its strange habit of pecking the skin of larger birds and sucking their blood whenever other food sources are scarce.
The Nazca and the Blue-footed boobyh are the two main victims of vampire sparrows. Interestingly, these two seabirds are much larger than their attackers, but are rarely seen with resistance. Experts believe that’s because this unusual diet evolved from a common behavior known in many known sparrows – pecking parasites on the feathers and skin of these birds. bigger. Essentially, the Nazca and the Blue-footed boobyh don’t see the dragon’s sparrow’s incision as a threat.
Although no one knows exactly how vampire sparrows developed this particular eating behavior, it is believed that, through the ages, when pecking too hard at the skin and causing the birds to bleed other sea creatures while feeding on their parasites, over time these birds have adapted to consuming blood as a food supplement.
The consumption of animal blood and the blood of other birds is extremely rare behavior in birds, and the vampire sparrow is considered a unique adaptation to the ecosystems on Darwin and Wolf Island. .
Reference: Odditycentral; ZME; AFP