Can this bird self-medicate with plants to kill parasites? Some researchers think so

The great bustard’s secret weapon is ... vegetation.

Originally Published: 
Bernd Zoller/imageBROKER/Getty Images

Avalon/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

At first glance, the diet of the great bustard — one of Earth’s heaviest flying birds — seems like nothing to balk at.

Bustards munch on plants and sometimes insects — a pretty typical diet for many birds.

But during mating season, they appear to favor certain foods that could offer medicinal benefits.

imageBROKER/Ronald Wittek/imageBROKER/Getty Images