Do you have someone in your life who’s a neat freak? Perhaps they’re always cleaning the kitchen or can’t stand a disorganised shelf. Rest assured that being OCD isn’t limited to people as there are animals who like a neat space as well. This is evident in Bluebirds, according to a study that has recorded them decorating electric and utility poles with ‘fecal sacs.’ The packets contain waste from the nest and are dropped off in other places.
Melanie Guigueno, a behavioral ecologist at Canada’s McGill University says newborn nests are “actually quite clean” and the parents “are very, very strict about removing the fecal sacs immediately.” This is an effective method of protection because getting rid of the waste makes the nest less visible to predators. Songbirds are also known to remove uneaten food, dead chicks and eggshells.
Snakes also like to tidy up, particularly the Northern Pacific rattlesnake. They use their triangular heads to sweep away messy grass in their territory. Clearing out a path makes hunting prey easier as they can’t correct their aim during an attack. Co-author of the study, San Diego State University graduate Bree Putman says that a rattlesnake “has one shot…there’s no redoing it. Having less vegetation in the way probably helps.”
While Putman only observed two rattlesnakes clearing out their territory it’s been confirmed that other species do the same. The fact that a snake can clean without any limbs is a testament to how intelligent reptiles are as a whole.