Western Scrub Jays Conduct Funerals for Their Dead
Mourning is not just a trait shared by humans, but scientists say it is also shared by the Western scrub jays. Researchers say the Western scrub jays summon others over to the body of a dead jay to screech over their dead brethren. University of California, Davis researchers said that the birds’ cacophonous “funerals” can easily last up to half an hour.
Previous reports show that other animals, including elephants, chimpanzees, and birds in the crow family, react to the dead of their species. However, few experiments have explored this behavior. The latest research, reported in the journal Animal Behavior, shows that the Western scrub jays, which are not particularly social birds, gather in times of turmoil.