FuneralsÂ by definition are ceremonies honoring a dead person, but researchers have just observed what appears to be the avian version of a funeral.
Teresa Iglesias and colleagues studied the western scrub jay and discovered that when one bird dies, the others do not just ignore the body. Multiple jays often fly down to gather around the deceased.
The subsequent ceremony isn’t quiet either.
“Discovery of a dead conspecific elicits vocalizations that are effective at attracting conspecifics, which then also vocalize, thereby resulting in a cacophonous aggregation,” Iglesias and her team wrote.
This part of the response is similar to how the birds react when they see a predator, such as a great horned owl.