Mockingbirds are bird-brainy

Northern Mockingbird, Longboat Key, FL 2022

Word to the wise. Don’t cross a Mockingbird. They never forget.

Students at University of Florida in Gainesville studied Mockingbird aggression and learned that Mockingbirds are seriously smart.

Over time the student volunteers tested the Mockingbirds’ ability to remember the faces of people that threatened their nest. They could pick out a person who touched their nest from a crowd of students. They dive-bombed them, picked at their hair and otherwise paid them back for their bad behavior.

It didn’t matter if the human “predator” changed their clothes, their hairstyle or wore a hat. And there was no forgiveness after the attack. On subsequent days, the Mockingbird repeated the behavior.

Here is the full (and entertaining) write up on the experiment by Professor Scott Robinson
Katharine Ordway Professor of Ecosystem Conservation, Florida Museum of Natural History.

The peer-reviewed article with full data by Douglas J. Levey, of University of Florida Dept of Biology is available from PNAS.

KTLA-TV News videos of mockingbird attacks in Florida


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s