Pigeons Know Which Side Their Bread Is Buttered
According to scientists from The University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defénse, pigeons are able to remember faces and therefore remember which humans are more likely to feed them and which are most likely to ignore them or even shoo them away. In an experiment that was repeated several times, two researchers of similar build and skin colour but wearing differently coloured lab coats fed wild pigeons in a central Paris park. While one ignored the pigeons and allowed them to feed, the other chased them away.
When the researchers returned and both left the pigeons alone, the birds avoided the one that had initially been hostile. Afterwards, even when the two swapped lab coats, the pigeons remembered who was who and continued to avoid their enemy. The study’s authors say that this study proves that pigeons have developed the ability to discriminate between humans and that this skill has probably come from years of domestication and also urban living.