Ants in Birdie Pants! Wait, What?

what is anting? Symbolic lessons from crow and ant

what is anting? Symbolic lessons from crow and ant

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Sitting on the Stings of Life: The Art of Anting and Symbolic Lessons from the Crow and Ant

I really try to appreciate life in all its forms, and I give everybody space to eke out their own way in life. However, sometimes I get irritated.

Ants, for example. I let them be – but sometimes ants still creep in and cause issues. I realize they were here first, but man!

That’s when I think about a neat observation my mentor Ruth shared with me many years ago. One day she said to me: “Avia, do you know why the crow sits on the anthills and allows itself to be covered with ants?” Of course, my youthful, numb-skull response was: “Huh?

Ruth went on to explain that crows and ants were kinda like ‘frienemies‘. Ants need crows for the tasty leftovers they leave for ants to eat. Crows need ants for their stinging properties. Neither one of them particularly love each other, but they need each other.

When I asked Ruth why in the world a crow would want to be stung by ants?

She said: “Because those ants in their birdie pants keep them clean and pest-free!

It wasn’t until much later I got the science behind the old-way-wisdom Ruth was talking about. The act of crows sitting on ant nests is called ‘anting‘.

Why do crows go ‘anting’?

Ants eject formic acid when they attack. This acid is a natural pesticide and antibacterial agent. Effectually, crows take advantage of the ants’ sting so they can keep pest-free and clear themselves of bacteria.
Who knew!?

Ruth knew, and I think she shared this with me to prove a point (as she always did).

Over the years, I’ve thought about this and applied this Natural wisdom in the form of life lessons. Here are a few:

Life-Lessons from Crazy Crows and Weird Anting Behavior…

  • When things get bothersome, how can we take advantage of the irritations?
  • How can we transform the stings in life into our best assets?
  • Instead of seeing ‘enemies’ how can we learn and grow from our so-called nemesis’?

Catch the full post on how ants and birds in the crow family (like blue jays, magpies, etc) thrive from the stings of their frienemy, the ant. Here is the full article: Sit on It! Lessening the Sting in Life.

If you like this, I would be delighted if you might share it on your social networks.

You might also like my related articles about symbolism of ants, crows listed below.

As always, thanks for reading!

Brightly, Avia

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2 thoughts on “Ants in Birdie Pants! Wait, What?

  1. LOL! 😮 I thought this was an old wives tale. My gramma told me about this, and I never believed her. What’s really strange is I noticed a blue jay doing this in my back yard on top of an ant hill. At first I just thought it was crazy behavior (you know how jays can be). Then I saw this in my email! Coincidence? We think not! This brought back memories of my gramma too. You always have the best timing and you always come up with the most off-the-wall (but fantastic) articles. Thank you Avia!

  2. Hi Sean,
    I know, right? It seems crazy, but it’s true. I’ve seen blue jays go ‘anting’ too (and crows). What a happy prompt to remind you of your gramma too! Thanks for your comment!

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