Bird couples may work together to decrease predation at their nest. In a behavior called “coordinated misdirection,” both adults will initially fly toward their nest but one will veer off while the other goes directly to the nest. Scientists believe that nest predators are distracted by the bird in flight. This means it’s less likely that the predator will discover the nest entrance itself. The behavior has been shown in at least 28 species of passerine birds, across 5 distinct families.
Eric R. Gulson-Castillo, Harold F. Greeney, and Benjamin G. Freeman (2018) Coordinated misdirection: a probable anti-nest predation behavior widespread in Neotropical birds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology In Press
Evaluating Expected Outcomes
In a clever set of experiments, birds in the parrot family learned that they could exchange a token for food. Later, they were given a choice between a token or a piece of food.