Friday, November 24, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Magpie shiny objects obsession debunked


Posted on Sunday, 17 August, 2014 | Comment icon 9 comments

Magpies have long been associated with stealing valuables. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Tatiana Bulyonkova
Scientists have discovered that Magpies have no interest whatsoever in stealing shiny objects.
The infamous black and white birds have long been associated with the theft of jewelery and other valuables due to their alleged obsession with shiny objects, an unfortunate reputation that has since turned out to be nothing more than a myth.

In a new study conducted at Exeter University, scientists placed two piles of shiny objects, one covered in blue paint, next to some bird food to see what the magpies would do.

During the test the birds appeared to be hesitant to go near the objects and ate less of the food when either pile was present. On the odd occasion that a magpie did pick up one of the shiny objects it seemed to discard it again straight away.

The team concluded that the birds were actually scared of the objects because they were unfamiliar.

"We did not find evidence of an unconditional attraction to shiny objects in magpies," said lead author Dr Toni Shephard. "Instead, all objects prompted responses indicating neophobia fear of new things."

Source: BBC News | Comments (9)

Tags: Magpie

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 16 August, 2014, 12:09
So no reward then?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Oppono Astos on 16 August, 2014, 20:14
Or the magpies are smarter than the researchers and didn't play the game...
Comment icon #3 Posted by bobb73 on 18 August, 2014, 6:27
I call BULLSH*T!!!!
Comment icon #4 Posted by chopmo on 18 August, 2014, 11:50
Why the hell would they try a feed trial? They are not consuming the jewellery/shiny things as food, it is either a qwerk of kleptomaniac and/or nest building tactics through habbits grown over generations that wire and things similar (shiny) are good nest building tools, as the birds themselves are strong enough to minipulate them to shape. If someone put a hammer in one corner of the room and a buffet table in the other corner, most animals including our species would choose the buffet.
Comment icon #5 Posted by shrooma on 18 August, 2014, 13:08
scientists. conducting pointless research since the formation of the first grant commitee.....
Comment icon #6 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 on 20 August, 2014, 18:56
This is the worst possible test they could have done... Oh Gods... *facepalm x2*
Comment icon #7 Posted by minera on 28 August, 2014, 5:20
maybe they could explain their theories to the annoying magpies in my yard. I used an aluminum plate weighted with stones and filled it with water and put it in the birdbath as the birdbath leaked. they took the rocks and flew with them across the street then they came back and took the plate!Scavengers!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Red Howler on 28 August, 2014, 10:28
As a kid my toy jewels and beads disappeared from when I was playing with them in the back garden. There wasn't any magpies. I later found them under some holly bushes at the very back end, where grass snakes lived and I couldn't get them back. I doubt birds put them in there.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Realm on 28 August, 2014, 13:54
Magpie. What a cool name. If I was a bird I'd want to be a magpie.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6037984
259305
171281

 
Unique moth species looks like a hummingbird
11-24-2017
Sightings of a particularly unusual type of moth are becoming increasingly common across the British Isles.
Mysterious loud booms heard across the world
11-24-2017
The deafening sounds, which have been heard in dozens of locations this year, remain unexplained.
Dolly the sheep had no health abnormalities
11-23-2017
A new study has indicated that the famous cloned sheep had not suffered from any abnormal health issues.
Mars liquid water discovery cast in to doubt
11-23-2017
Dark streaks on the Martian surface thought to be evidence of water may actually be little more than sand.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
The rainbow turkey
Posted 11-23-2017 | 1 comment
This turkey has gorgeous iridescent feathers but you won't be eating it for Thanksgiving.
 
What do we know of the giant squid ?
Posted 11-20-2017 | 1 comment
The giant squid is so elusive that it took until 2004 for someone to photograph a live specimen.
 
Slow motion katana slice
Posted 11-18-2017 | 0 comments
The Slo Mo Guys attempt to slice through a row of water bottles using a katana sword.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Strange occurrences
11-15-2017 | Fife
 
Mysterious music box song
11-15-2017 | U.S.A
 
Haunted military house
10-23-2017 | New Zealand
 
Sleep paralysis or real encounter?
10-18-2017 | United Kingdom
 
Ghost playing with a balloon?
10-18-2017 | Australia
 
Impossible phone call
10-18-2017 | West Virginia
 
Seeing cats
10-18-2017 | Santa Rosa
 
Fourth of July UFO show
10-18-2017 | Hillsboro ND
 
Guardian angel ?
9-13-2017 | Middle of nowhere Iowa
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ