Birds Steal Scottish Skinny Dippers' Underwear to Line Their Nests

iStock / iStock

A popular skinny-dipping gorge in Scotland's Angus region has quite literally gone to the birds, Herald Scotland reports, thanks to sneaky avians that swipe cast-aside socks and underwear from the nearby rocks.

The dastardly thieves are a pair of red kites, which live at a famous estate called Gannochy, near the Scottish village of Edzell. Last year, Dave Clement, a gamekeeper at Gannochy, had the birds' babies ringed and recorded. Inside their nest, high atop a larch tree, were underwear and socks that the kites had swiped from the gorge. The enterprising birds had used the clothing to line their nest, and laid their eggs on top of the unmentionables.

This year, thanks to ongoing monitoring, even more socks and underwear have been found in their aerie (including a pair of Armani underpants, which means the greedy kites have developed a taste for the finer things in life). Four new chicks were spotted, too. Will this nefarious cycle of underwear theft continue to grow as the kites' brood expands? Only time (and a few more chilly swimmers) will tell.

[h/t Herald Scotland]