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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mockingbirds Don't Forget!

   An interesting new study that came out this spring found that mockingbirds can remember people who have threatened them in the past.

IMG_2444 Northern Mockingbird - photo by Alan Pulley, 2009

The study was lead by Doug Levey, a professor at the University of Florida, showed that mockingbirds ignored most passers, but attacked when they recognized people who had approached their nest just days before.

"Sixty seconds of exposure was all it took for mockingbirds to learn to identify different individuals and pick them out of all other students on campus," Levey said.

Check out the article and video when you get a chance - it's very interesting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/may/18/mockingbirds-human-recognition

 

 

13 comments:

Janet said...

Mockingbirds are incredible birds!

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Alan,
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Interesting about the Mockingbirds. We have a pair of Mockingbirds living here. They hang out nearby when I'm in the garden and follow me up to the mailbox and back. I've been surprised that they don't bother (dive bomb) our greyhound. I guess it's only cats that are a threat to them. These birds have an amazing knack for mimicking so many of the other bird songs in our garden.

Thanks,
Cameron

gwendolen said...

In only 60 seconds. Wow, that is quite amazing.

BirdingMaine said...

Amazing indeed! Thanks for the info on these amazing birds.

mick said...

Very interesting and I think that other birds may have a similar ability. Out here in Australia its magpies that frequently attack. At my mother's place I had to put her hat on when I went out her back door to avoid being attacked.

mapleview said...

Some of this research should put to rest the term 'bird brain'. I think I read about this not too long ago or something similar...Thanks for posting this...Michelle

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Interesting information, Alan. Now I must remember to steer clear of nesting Mockingbirds. :-)

Larry said...

Great post on the Mockingbird's abilities Alan. I think they have a better memory than I do ;-)

I recently posted another interesting story of birds identifying individuals, they were Crows. Amazing!

Kelly said...

Interesting!! Thanks for posting... That they can identify someone in 60 seconds is amazing. I wonder if they've done studies on chickadees recognizing the person who puts seed in the feeder. Ours seem to know me...

Neil said...

Very interesting well done

Mary Delle said...

I am a bird lover, as you are. I just haven't gotten the knack of photographing them. Fascinating study of mockingbirds. Shows how intelligent they are. Here in Southern California they sing all night in the spring and summer. I'm very fond of their varied song.

APRIL LORIER said...

So, odd as it may seem, Mockingbirds have something in common with elephants! Who knew? :-D

Arija said...

A great number of birds and animals have a much longer memory than we give them credit for.Behavioural attitudes can also be transferred from one generation to another.