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June 29, 2020 - Daily Mail Online

Oystercatchers sleep with one eye open

Oystercatchers sleep with one eye open
Oyster CatcherFile Photo / © Photabulous!

Oystercatchers sleep with one eye open to look out for humans and their dogs, which represent a 'real and unpredictable' threat, a study has revealed.

When the near-threatened species roosts on the ground at high tide it uses 'peeking' to keep safe, meaning the bird keeps half its brain active and opens one eye about 12 times a minute to check for danger.

But scientists watching the birds in North Wales found they kept their eye open for 'significantly longer' periods when humans were within 490 feet, and 'particularly' if they had a dog with them.

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