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Birds hold 'funerals' for their dead

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:29 AM

Some birds, it seems, hold funerals for their dead.

When western scrub jays encounter a dead bird, they call out to one another and stop foraging.

The jays then often fly down to the dead body and gather around it, scientists have discovered.

The behaviour may have evolved to warn other birds of nearby danger, report researchers in California, who have published the findings in the journal Animal Behaviour.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/19421217

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#2    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:48 AM

View PostStill Waters, on 01 September 2012 - 10:29 AM, said:

Some birds, it seems, hold funerals for their dead.

When western scrub jays encounter a dead bird, they call out to one another and stop foraging.

The jays then often fly down to the dead body and gather around it, scientists have discovered.

The behaviour may have evolved to warn other birds of nearby danger, report researchers in California, who have published the findings in the journal Animal Behaviour.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/19421217

I believe this is how the Carolina Parakeet ended up extinct .
Hunters would shoot them ,and distressed birds ,possibly same nesting group mates,would all fly down to the body,and squawk and flutter around the body,distressed,and hunters would pick off the grounded birds ,as they did this.
Wiped them all out .
Yeah,people suck .

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#3    Coffey

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:54 PM

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 02 September 2012 - 06:48 AM, said:

I believe this is how the Carolina Parakeet ended up extinct .
Hunters would shoot them ,and distressed birds ,possibly same nesting group mates,would all fly down to the body,and squawk and flutter around the body,distressed,and hunters would pick off the grounded birds ,as they did this.
Wiped them all out .
Yeah,people suck .


Stuff like that makes me hate people.

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#4    Junior Chubb

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:52 PM

View PostStill Waters, on 01 September 2012 - 10:29 AM, said:

The jays then often fly down to the dead body and gather around it, scientists have discovered.

The behaviour may have evolved to warn other birds of nearby danger

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 02 September 2012 - 06:48 AM, said:

I believe this is how the Carolina Parakeet ended up extinct .
Hunters would shoot them ,and distressed birds ,possibly same nesting group mates,would all fly down to the body,and squawk and flutter around the body,distressed,and hunters would pick off the grounded birds ,as they did this.

I was thinking that gathering around the dead was not a great idea for 'warning of danger'...

A great example of 'animal intelligence' being let down by 'animal intelligence'.

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. Anyway, it's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

#5    notoverrated

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:33 AM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 02 September 2012 - 11:52 PM, said:

I was thinking that gathering around the dead was not a great idea for 'warning of danger'...

A great example of 'animal intelligence' being let down by 'animal intelligence'.
ya it does seem pretty stupid of them.

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#6    QuiteContrary

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:15 AM

My cat used to beg me to allow her to attend the funerals.

"No Mitzi, I'm sorry, but you don't even know the family."

Edited by QuiteContrary, 03 September 2012 - 04:15 AM.


#7    Likely Guy

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:20 AM

Well. I have to offer a recent observation.

About two months ago, before I got off work, my neighbour witnessed a bald eagle killing a crow. The 'scene of the crime' unfortunately, was in my front yard. I was about to get rid of the carcass but then another friend told me to leave it there for a while, because he said, that he'd heard that it would dissuade other crows from congregating in the area (they are annoying at times).

All seemed normal for about two hours and then two crows landed near the 'murder victim' (pardon the pun, not really) and literally 'inspected' the body. Within another hour, as sure as he'd said, there wasn't a crow to be seen or heard. A couple of days later I disposed of the body and it's only been lately that they've come back.

True story bro'.


#8    Abramelin

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 02:08 PM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 02 September 2012 - 11:52 PM, said:

I was thinking that gathering around the dead was not a great idea for 'warning of danger'...

A great example of 'animal intelligence' being let down by 'animal intelligence'.

I read the article somewhat differently, but ok.

Btw, humans are not much different concerning vigilance while mourning.


#9    Abramelin

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 02:13 PM

View PostLikely Guy, on 03 September 2012 - 04:20 AM, said:

Well. I have to offer a recent observation.

About two months ago, before I got off work, my neighbour witnessed a bald eagle killing a crow. The 'scene of the crime' unfortunately, was in my front yard. I was about to get rid of the carcass but then another friend told me to leave it there for a while, because he said, that he'd heard that it would dissuade other crows from congregating in the area (they are annoying at times).

All seemed normal for about two hours and then two crows landed near the 'murder victim' (pardon the pun, not really) and literally 'inspected' the body. Within another hour, as sure as he'd said, there wasn't a crow to be seen or heard. A couple of days later I disposed of the body and it's only been lately that they've come back.

True story bro'.

The big boys, the ravens - twice as large as a common crow and with bills like a small dagger -  would have responded differently,

A single raven could never beat an eagle, so what they do? They wait till the eagle is breeding, and when the eagles (male & female) have left the nest to hunt for prey for their chicks, the ravens come in and kill all the chicks, either by pecking them to death or by throwing them off the cliff the nest is located on.

.

Edited by Abramelin, 03 September 2012 - 02:14 PM.


#10    Junior Chubb

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 10:32 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 03 September 2012 - 02:08 PM, said:

I read the article somewhat differently, but ok.

Btw, humans are not much different concerning vigilance while mourning.

There is plenty of 'intelligent' behaviour mentioned in the article, I just picked up on this bit and Simbi's comment.

As for humans being less vigilant when mourning, that really reminds me of Will Ferell in 'Wedding Crashers' (in case you want to watch it). Sorry to bring a YouTube video into the discussion.

Interesting you chose the word mourning though, I wonder if the birds are actually mourning, or just warning there neighbours of danger.

Quote

The jays also stopped foraging for food, a change in behaviour that lasted for over a day.

I would assume this is for safety, but it could be interpreted as more than that.

Edited by Junior Chubb, 03 September 2012 - 10:33 PM.

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. Anyway, it's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

#11    Ashotep

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:28 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 03 September 2012 - 02:13 PM, said:

The big boys, the ravens - twice as large as a common crow and with bills like a small dagger -  would have responded differently,

A single raven could never beat an eagle, so what they do? They wait till the eagle is breeding, and when the eagles (male & female) have left the nest to hunt for prey for their chicks, the ravens come in and kill all the chicks, either by pecking them to death or by throwing them off the cliff the nest is located on.

.
Crows are pretty smart.






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