UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL — Eavesdropping birds?
Yep, it’s a thing.
In a study published in Australia on Aug. 2, scientists found birds listen to other bird species to gather information on incoming danger from predators.
The Associated Press reported the birds effectively eavesdrop on their neighbors’ “gossip” and pick up key information that can mean the difference between life and death.
Researchers observed the fairywren — a small Australian songbird— and discovered it mastered the meaning of a few key “words,” though it isn’t born knowing the “languages” of other birds.
The scientists tested their theory and introduced two distinct recordings for the birds to hear. One would cause a sort of warning signal and the other a distress sound.
After three days of playing the recordings to the fairywrens, the birds flew away for cover when they heard the sound that meant danger.
The birds stayed put on the other sound.
One researcher said it proved birds can learn to associate “new sounds with danger.”