Food crisis sets off killing spree in Guillemot colony

A shortage of fish is causing nesting guillemots to kill their neighbours' chicks. Scientists studying these hardy British birds in a colony in the Firth of Forth are anxious about an impending catastrophe.

Guillemots are highly social and huddle together in vast colonies to protect themselves against marauding gulls and jaegers that threaten their nests and chicks. However, depleting fish stocks in the North Sea are said to be the reason why the guillemots are turning on their neighbours' chicks when they are not looking. Usually, one parent stays behind at a nest when the other is out foraging. But food shortage has forced both parents to hunt, leaving the nest unattended.

How human!

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