Pigeons are watching you, and they don’t forget a face.
A new study shows that pigeons can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar human faces, according
to Mat McDermott at Care2.com. The study was published in Avian Biology Research. Researchers seemed surprised, apparently because they thought pigeons were fairly dumb (or, as they put it in scientist-speak, not “considered highly cognitive”). As usual, people tend to presume animals are stupid until proven intelligent.
This study comes on the heels of one finding that ravens can recognize the voices of friends and foes even after years of separation.
Consider pigeons’ memory and the likelihood that they have cognitive skills we have yet to acknowledge the next time you let your child chase and bully them into flying away: do you really want your kid on their bad side? (More to the point, do you really want your child to learn to abuse her or his power over weaker creatures?)
Photo credit: vpickering