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February 24, 2022


Magpies have outwitted scientists by helping each other remove tracking devices

(Thanks to Static Joeage)


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Now if we could only do that…

Who ever said Heckle and Jeckle were stupid ?

The remote charging system is still an innovation. Satellite PTT's are not cheap (>$1000 each) and when a battery in a small one dies in months you lose a lot of money as well as the ability to collect any more data. On some larger birds, a small solar panel can keep them working for years. There are also problems with diving birds, which need to have the devices implanted internally to prevent underwater drag. This requires a vet, and creates a higher risk of complications. Can someone please find a way to use Air Tags?

Do you think that members of opposing political parties would help each other remove their ankle monitoring bracelets, or are they just not that smart?

I don't think we have to worry about magpies 'surviving in a changing world' because 'survivors' should be one of the definitions of Corvids. It doesn't surprise me that their social bonds are strong enough that they'd help each other remove trackers. After all, they also hold funerals when one of their number dies.

When the magpies learn how to pawn the trackers for money, that will be the time to worry.

Now every crook with an ankle tracker will be getting magpies at pets.

Coscolo: Just to complicate things, Australian Magpies are not Corvids but Artamids, a Family not present in the Americas and Europe. They look similar to the European birds, and were given the name by British settlers. Given their general attitude, they probably could care less about the taxonomy.

It's hard to believe scientists could be outwitted.

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