Bird Intelligence -- European Magpie
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The next you are accused of "chattering like a magpie" you can take it as a compliment.  You have been compared to one of nature's most intelligent birds.

Like other members of the corvids, the Magpie is a social animal with complex and frequent vocalizations.  They love to steal and hoard shiny objects -- including the wedding ring you temporarily set aside while gardening.  Magpies develop this ability in the first few months of life -- and like Scrub Jays, retain an episode-like recollection of the "what/where/when" details about their stashes.

However, the magpie can also perform an intellectual feat that makes it unique among avian species -- recognizing itself in a mirror.

Self-recognition can be tested by placing a hidden mark on an animal that is only visible in a mirror.  When the animal begins scratching or pawing at the mark, this indicates the animal understands the reflection is an image of itself. This intelligence test has been successfully performed with elephants, dolphins and apes -- and now in Magpies, marked with yellow spots on their throats.  Three out of five of the birds quickly spotted the mark in the mirror and attempted to remove it.

  European Magpie


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