Many children have had a sad experience holding a funeral for a dead bird in the backyard, and birders always mourn the unfortunate victims of cats, window collisions or disease, but scientists are only just learning that birds also mourn their dead. According to Discovery News, a new study of western scrub-jays has revealed that the birds will gather around a dead bird and vocalize, which may help to spread the word about nearby risks that could have been the cause of death.
Anyone with a close association with birds, either pets or backyard guests, soon learns that birds can show emotions. Mourning is a new example of the social bonding that birds may use, and by studying these behaviors we can learn more about how birds interact and what social clues they use for better survival. Those clues can help us learn more about threats to birds, and in turn practice better bird conservation.
Photo © *~Dawn~*