Speaking of magpies

To: canberra birds <>
Subject: Speaking of magpies
From: Susanne Gardiner <>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 12:25:02 +0000 (GMT)
me, yet again, sorry.
this is an article about the tests in Japan - in English:
(who will now go to bed and stop spamming.... and who feels deeply embarrassed about writing pidgeon instead of pigeon.)

me again:
According to wiki the Pidgeon-Mirror-Test (self-awareness) was published in Science in 1981. According to the respektive German site, there were some doubts about the actual tests.

--- On Sun, 24/8/08, Susanne Gardiner <> wrote:
From: Susanne Gardiner <>
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Speaking of magpies
To: "canberra birds" <>
Received: Sunday, 24 August, 2008, 9:38 PM

oops, send this to Philip directly, here for the list:
Sorry, I should have been more specific. This was in the 1980s and pretty much the same experiment setup as with the magpie. Pidgeons with dot and mirror in a cage. Still have a recollection of the picture that came with the article.
PS: Can't find it at the moment (the German word for pidgeon is a homonym for deaf people and Google can't distinguish)... but turned up another study from Japan, where Pidgeons recognise themselves in mirrors and video-recordings, even when the image was not live, but shown to them later.
It's in German and only a short newspaper story, not much depth:
There are several other studies with pidgeons and their ability to think abstractly and to recognise various things (Humans, Art....).
In this article from 2006 it is already mentioned that magpies have the context of self.

--- On Sun, 24/8/08, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
From: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: Speaking of magpies
To: "canberra birds" <>
Received: Sunday, 24 August, 2008, 6:02 PM

I don't know about that. Just because someone found out the same thing about pigeons.... some "dirty" pigeon tried to clean itself after seeing its reflection in a mirror.
That doesn't mean the bird realised it was looking at itself. A lot of bathing behaviour in birds is by social facilitation, they like to do it together. Beside it would take many repeats of an observation like that, to be convincing.

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