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Antarctic Birds Remember Humans Who Wronged Them--And Attack Accordingly

(Photo: Chris Pearson)

Wrong the brown skua and shall he not revenge?

Researchers from South Korea have discovered a remarkable ability among the brown skuas (Catharacta antarctica) of Antarctica: they can tell humans apart from each other. After just 3-4 visits to their nests, the skuas can distinguish hostile humans from non-hostile humans. Popular Science reports:

In order to test this, the researchers walked in pairs (one was a nest intruder and the other was a neutral person who hadn't checked on the nests before). The two people then walked in opposite directions, and all seven of the pairs of skua parents focused on the intruder, trying to attack it, while leaving the unknown researcher alone.

-via Glenn Reynolds

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Ah! I love the intelligence of birds! Crows and many of the other birds in the Corvus family do this too! There is a story of a man that would harass a crow out side of the building he worked at whenever he was leaving, and in turn the crow would react negatively to him. Eventually dive-bombing him since he was perceived as a threat. That crow apparently told his family, and they recognize him as the culprit to continue their attacks at. He had left his home town for a time and came back to find out that they had even told their offspring of it and would attack upon realizing he was that human. I want to know how they told of his description in their lil' birdy speak. Anywho, here's a link to a study some researches did with some crows to test this theory out.
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