Magpies Make Decisions Faster When Humans Look at Them

0

Researchers from the Seoul National University found that wild birds appear to "think faster" when humans, and possibly predators in general, are directly looking at them.


"We started this study from our experience" says Dr. Sang-im Lee, the leader of magpie research team and the first author of the paper. "For a long time we had this impression that somehow magpies know that we are watching them because they often fly away from us when we observe them. But when we don't observe them, we can pass them pretty close-by but they don't fly away!"

The finding that animals notice the gaze of humans is not new. Usually animals use gaze of the conspecifics in social contexts and therefore pet animals pay attention to the gaze of humans — their social mates.

Written By: Science Daily
continue to source article at sciencedaily.com

NO COMMENTS

  1. Anyone else got the impression animals are just putting on a show for us? And they’re all watching our TVs, partying and drinking all our beers when we’re not around?

    All the ‘clever bird’ malarkey are just some corvides playing smart-asses, not getting on with the programme.

  2. I tend to work harder if someone’s watching. Didn’t the mighty Brian once say ‘consider the lilies… uh well the birds then, do they have jobs?’ And they cried out, ‘he says the birds are scrounging.’ But he said, ‘ they do alright don’t they?’ And this research suggests he was right.

  3. Researchers from the Seoul National University found that wild birds appear to “think faster” when humans, and possibly predators in general, are directly looking at them.

    I have noticed on wild life films, that various large African herbivores, seem aware if lions are hunting, hunting them, or hunting something else!

    Lions kill only when hungry. Herds sense when lions are out to kill and will often ignore lions wandering close to them.- http://www.ypte.org.uk/animal/lion/139

    Awareness of predators and potential threats from predators seems common. You only have to walk into a woodland in a slightly noisy manner, and birds will sound off alarm calls, to which many animals will respond.

  4. Usually when I am stared at it’s because my skirt is too short for the occasion.

    Seriously, though – this would be more notable if it could be demonstrated that the birds reacted when the observer was effectively out of sight.

  5. This is pretty much as you expect. If a person starts looking at a bird, very likely he has harm in mind. If the bird dilly dallies he could be toast.

    I have noticed ducks being very cautious even when you are feeding them. I gather some people feed ducks, and when they get careless kill them.

Leave a Reply