We all know that taking a walk in the park can end with some bird leftovers on our head or shoulders. And if that wasn’t enough, a team of Korean researchers discovered that some birds remember the faces of people whom they hate – and they surely know how to express their feelings.
The scientist Won Young Lee along with his team from the Korea Polar Research Institute decided to test the possibility of birds being able to recognize human faces through an interesting experiment.
Once a week, one research would go to a nest to check the bird eggs. Each time, he tested how close he could get to the nest before the birds get angry and try to attack him. After the third week of doing so, they switched the experiment a bit: two researchers wearing the same clothes went to the same nest, one after another. One research was the same men who visited the nests before, while the other had never been there before.
Later on, each team member walked away from the nest. The birds chased them for a much longer distance, acting very aggressively, even attacking them by hitting their heads.
But the more fascinating part is yet to come: each of the 7 birds that were in the nest attacked and chased only the real intruders. Meanwhile, the other men could walk around them carelessly, as the birds showed no interest in them. Judging by the fact that all researchers were wearing the same clothes, the only option left is that the birds recognized the intruders by their faces.
Luckily for most of us, the Skua birds live only in the King George Island, which is a research point and a touristic attraction. They are not even used to people, as the island had never been visited up until the 1950’s. However, who knows how many other birds can recognize their human enemies the same way?