Hiding Behavior of the Scrub Jay: More Stress Than Smarts?
- The scrub jay trick is as follows: if it notices other birds watching, it buries its worms as far away as possible and keeps recaching, over and over again, as if attempting to confuse the spies. As soon as it is on its own, it recaches its worms one more time. This behaviour appears so smart that speculation has it that the scrub jays are able to put themselves in another scrub jay's position, and that they are able to come up with a line of reasoning on what others see and know, for instance: 'If my fellow scrub jay knows where I've hidden the worm, I need to hide it again, somewhere else.' This would be very special, as this is an ability only attributed to humans and perhaps some monkeys.