In the Orkney Islands, off the North-East coast of Scotland, there are found many well-known types of Skua, such as the Great Skua and the Arctic Skua. The Great Skua is known as the Bonxie and is a murderous bird that mugs other birds for their food. There is another type of Skua, less well-known, called The Lesser Great Skua, which is now affectionately known as The Banxie. The Banxie is a pleasant bird that eats seeds and seasonal fruits, almost apologetically, and is the polar opposite of The Bonxie

The Banxie is a bird that uses other bird’s nests after they have vacated them. It will also nest in gutters, on rooves, and in depressions in the ground on cliff tops. The main reason for this behaviour is that The Banxie can’t build a nest to hold eggs. The Banxie is a very artistic bird, building triangular nests, square nests, and hexagonal nests. The only problem is these nests are almost always built vertically, rather than horizontally. The bird does occasionally build horizontal nests, but they tend to have no bottom in them so that any eggs laid would immediately land on the ground.

This is an extract from the book Animals Evolution Avoided