Interesting little article on the National Trust wild bird food website (here) this morning about trees releasing chemicals to attract birds when the trees are infested with larvae. Might inspire new 'natural methods' of pest control in the future.
A trick that men have used for millenia in order to get women to do their washing for them.
Are they smelling the larvae or the infested trees? Removing the larvae, if you could find them all, would leave a scent behind. How do scientists work out the source of the scent?
Reading the short article rather than the scientific paper behind it, it doesn't look like they have got that far yet nutcutlet. They have only established that a scent is involved. It would take further investigations to figure out what the scent is, it's source etc.
Does sound interesting though, if one could just perfume the brassicas and have dozens of Great Tits come clean off the caterpillars, I would be over the moon.
Thanks, I'll keep my eye on progress Gemma.