October 21st, 2009
Dr Bekoff of the University of Colorado, an animal behaviour researcher, claims that magpies feel grief and even hold funeral-type gatherings for their dead and lay grass “wreaths” beside their bodies.
“One magpie approached the corpse, gently pecked at it, just as an elephant would nose the carcase of another elephant, and stepped back. Another magpie did the same thing. Next, one of the magpies flew off, brought back some grass and laid it by the corpse. Another magpie did the same. Then all four stood vigil for a few seconds and one by one flew off”.
It seems that similar behaviour has been observed among other magpies and crows.