Can crows and ravens taste capsaicin?

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Yoshiya Ayugai

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Can crows and ravens taste capsaicin?
« on: 27/11/2010 19:30:02 »
Yoshiya Ayugai  asked the Naked Scientists:

I'm in Tokyo, and just recently discovered your great podcast, listening to 3-5 of them a day. I am still a little behind and just heard your show from August 2, 2009.

In it you've mentioned that birds can't taste capsaicin, so it's good to put in bird feed if you don't want to have mice/rats etc come eat it.

However, in Japan, we have garbage bags containing capsaicin which are said to keep away crows & ravens - does that mean this is false advertisement? Or do crows/ravens have a different sense of taste from other birds?
I don't really expect this question to make it into the show, but I will try to catch up soon so I can ask more up to date questions...

You are a great inspiration.

Keep up the awesome work.

Thank you,


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 27/11/2010 19:30:02 by _system »