The Heartbreaking Moment A Parakeet Refuses To Let His Dead Spouse Go

November 16, 2015

Animal behavior researchers are discovering more and more that a concept of death and the deep feelings associated with mourning are not exclusively human traits. Elephants have famously been observed mourning fallen comrades, as have giraffes and apes to name just a few examples. You can add birds to the list too.

Western scrub jays don't just exhibit behavior consistent with an understanding of death, but they have actually been observed holding elaborate "funerals" for dead birds. The behavior was recently documented by researcher Teresa Iglesias and colleagues from the University of California.

This video is of a parakeet, not a scrub jay, but he's clearly feeling the loss of his friend here. I just hope his owner gets him a new buddy soon.

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