Magpies trick bird tracker

© APA / AFP / YURI KADOBNOV / YURI KADOBNOV

Australian researchers wanted to measure the range of motion and social behavior of magpie bird explore. They inadvertently made a completely different discovery.

Because magpies didn’t think much about being tracked by a tracking device developed for the study. Instead, they got rid of each other’s unwanted heaviness.

Rescue behavior was first observed

“They beat us,” says the ornithologist. Dominic Botvin in an article Conversation. Rather than figuring out how far birds fly each day and how their behavior is affected by age and gender, the researchers found signs of altruism and problem-solving skills in the birds.

Writing in Australian Field Ornithology, the researchers wrote that the rescue behavior of Australian magpies may have been observed for the first time. Published study. Science talks about rescue behavior when a helper attempts to free another person in distress from an emergency situation without any direct, obvious benefit. According to the researchers, such behavior is common in ants, but new in magpies.

Australian researchers’ innovative tracking device can wirelessly read data at the feeding station

track the novel

The tracker, which the magpies rejected, is a new type of device the researchers developed specifically for the planned study. less than one gram The bird weight tracker is attached to a backpack-like stand wirelessly charged become and Data can also be transferred wirelessly. The tracker was to be removed with a magnet after the study was completed.

Shortly after running the tracker 5 test birds Attached, the first magpie began removing the tracker from the back of the other magpie. After 3 days, all birds were euthanized from the apparatus.

Although the researchers aren’t sure if the same magpie removed all the organs, or whether multiple animals were involved, they certainly see a sign of the animals’ rescue behavior: “The birds had to help others and accepted help too,” the study says.

Behavior also shows signs Complex cognitive problem solving skills, which increases the animals’ chances of survival, the researchers wrote. It is very likely that the tracker was seen as a parasite that should be removed.

Scientists want to study the magpie’s cognitive problem-solving skills in more detail in future studies.

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