Learn English with the News – Magpies Outsmart Scientists, Remove Tracking Devices

Magpies are not only cute, they’re incredibly intelligent and social birds. Scientists try to track them, but they find out how to remove the trackers. Privacy is important! Don’t mess with the birds or the bird might mess with you instead.

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The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored.

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

Adapted from this article

Magpies Outsmart Scientists, Remove Tracking Devices | Definition Match

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Magpies Outsmart Scientists, Remove Tracking Devices | Fill in the Blank

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Magpies Outsmart Scientists, Remove Tracking Devices | True or False

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Full text:

For those who study animals, and especially behavior, unpredictability is part of the job description.

The goal was to learn more about movement and social dynamics of magpies, a highly intelligent and social species of bird, and to test new, durable and reusable tracking devices. Instead, the birds, however, outsmarted the scientists.

Their new research paper explains that magpies began showing evidence of cooperative “rescue” behavior to help each other remove the tracker. This was the first instance they knew of that showed this type of seemingly altruistic behavior: helping another member of the group without getting an immediate, tangible reward.

Many animals that live in societies cooperate with one another to ensure the health, safety and survival of the group. In fact, cognitive ability and social cooperation has been found to correlate. Animals living in larger groups tend to have an increased capacity for problem solving.

Magpies excel in problem solving and have adapted well to the extreme changes to their habitat from humans. Within 10 minutes of fitting the final tracker, an adult female without a tracker worked with her bill to try and remove the harness off of a younger bird.

The birds needed to problem solve, possibly testing at pulling and snapping at different sections of the harness with their bill. They also needed to willingly help other individuals, and accept help.

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