Ants Bother Birds in Coffee Plantation

Posted by Gregory Gough on January 1, 2005

Ants have a reputation for ruining picnics. Well, being a bird in an ant-infested tree is no picnic, either.

Scientists watched birds foraging in trees in shade coffee plantations in Mexico. The Azteca instabilis ant lives in certain trees in the canopy where it forages for insects.

Birds did not avoid the trees, but when the ants were active they did not stay very long. The ants can be quite aggressive and may have been protecting themselves or access to their insect prey.

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