Scientists and researchers around the world are constantly trying to unravel the mysteries of the world. This involves the study of all sorts of things including animals, how they behave etc. that could give us a better insight into life as we know it. Unfortunately, it appears that a recent attempted study of magpie behavior was thwarted by the subjects themselves.
In conversation with The conversationDominique Potvin, a professor of animal ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, revealed how a mischief by magpies had actually exhibited a rare cooperative behavior in which the birds helped each other get rid of the trackers the researchers had put on them.
The researchers had developed a kind of magnetic backpack that was placed on the magpies to track them. They even created a special feeding station that could wirelessly charge these trackers and remove them magnetically when needed, but it appears that a few days into the study the researchers spotted a female magpie removing the tracker’s harness from one of the younger birds.
Eventually, the other subjects’ trackers were removed, even the dominant male in the group, allowing members of the group to help him with the removal as well. According to Potvin, “We don’t know if it was the same person helping each other or if they shared tasks, but we had never read of another bird cooperating in this way to remove tracking devices.” The birds had to solve problems and possibly test pulling and flicking different sections of the harness with their beaks. They also had to be willing to help other people and accept help.”
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