A German researcher has proven that a species other than a mammal is capable of recognizing its own reflection: the magpie. In order to test this theory, Chancellor Helmut Prior of the Goethe University stuck stickers on a group of hand-reared magpies in places that the magpies could only see in a mirror. When the magpies noticed themselves in the mirror, with stickers attached, they immediately attempted to remove the stickers with their beaks and claws. Red and yellow stickers elicited this reaction; black stickers did not. Either way, when no mirrors were present the magpies carried on unknowingly with the stickers stuck to them.
Edo pergamenta ergo sum
Dr. High Chancellor Prior published his findings IN DER SPIEGAL!!! First of all, if you read that last sentence and then yell the last phrase out with a heavy German accent it’s hilarious. Second of all, he actually published his findings in PLoS Biology.
Though it would be presumptuous to propose that there is any level of self-consciousness or awareness in the birds, it is not to assume that they think that they’re pretty sweet.