UC Davis :: Scrub Jays React to Their Dead
Western scrub jays summon others to screech over the body of a dead jay, according to new research from the University of California, Davis. The birds’ cacophonous “funerals” can last for up to half an hour.
Anecdotal reports have suggested that other animals, including elephants, chimpanzees and birds in the crow family, react to dead of their species, said Teresa Iglesias, the UC Davis graduate student who carried out the work. But few experimental studies have explored this behavior.
The new research by Iglesias and her colleagues appears in the Aug. 27 issue of the journal Animal Behaviour.
Western scrub jays live in breeding pairs and are not particularly social birds.