The secret of the vampire sparrow, the “bloodthirsty” bird on the island of Galapagos

All about the vampire sparrow – a bird with a small, cute body but a “bloodthirsty” animal.

Geospiza difficilis septentrionalisaka Vampire Sparrowis a small bird with a very unusual diet – the blood of other birds.

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Vampire Sparrow 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 its name suggests, the vampire sparrow possesses a very sharp beak with this unique weapon, which can be used to pierce a variety of fruits and nuts. Vampire sparrows get their name from the strange habit of pecking the skin of larger birds and sucking their blood whenever.

The secret of the vampire sparrow "bloodthirsty" on the island of Galapagos

The Nazca blue-faced madbird and the Blue-footed booby are the two main victims of this vampire sparrow. Interestingly, these two seabirds are much larger than their attackers, but rarely resist. Experts believe that’s because this unusual diet evolved from a much more common behavior for which sparrows are known – pecking for parasites on the plumage and skin of larger birds. . Basically, the Nazca and the boobies didn’t see the sparrow’s incision as a threat.

The secret of the vampire sparrow "bloodthirsty" on the island of Galapagos

This little sparrow will land on the victim’s back and use its small, sharp beak to peck at the skin until it pierces it and begins to eat blood.

Although no one knows exactly how vampire sparrows evolved from this “bloodthirsty” behavior, many people believe that down the ages, this “bloodthirsty” animal often pecked too hard on the skin. causes seabirds to bleed to feed on parasites and over time the animals have become adapted to eating blood as a supplement. .

The secret of the vampire sparrow "bloodthirsty" on the island of Galapagos

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Blood feeding is extremely rare for birds, and the vampire sparrow’s behavior is considered an adaptation unique to Darwin and Wolf islands.

It’s worth mentioning that the vampire sparrow’s feeding habits look pretty ghastly, but its main diet consisting of seeds, invertebrates and blood is the last choice.