- Not Exactly Rocket Science
City mockingbirds can tell the difference between individual people
While the rapid expansion of human cities has been detrimental for most animals, some have found ways of exploiting these brave new worlds and learned to live with their prolific inhabitants. The Northern mockingbird is one such species. It’s very common in cities all over America’s east coast, where it frequently spends time around humans. But Douglas Levey from the University of Florida has found that its interactions with us are more complex than anyone would have guessed.
The mockingbird has the remarkable ability to tell the difference between individual humans, regardless of the clothes they wear. After less than a minute, they can tell one person from another and adjust their responses according to the threat they pose