The centuries-old neighborhood of people and forty gave rise to a persistent myth that these birds love to steal all kinds of shiny trinkets to improve the design of their nests. However, ornithologists at the University of Exeter had serious doubts about this, which were confirmed after a series of experiments.
For the experiments, which were carried out at eight sites near the university, magpies, accustomed to the presence of humans, were involved, which made it possible for scientists to calmly observe the behavior of birds from a close distance. To test their "thieves' tendencies" they were offered rings, shiny nuts and sheets of foil. All this "wealth" scientists have decomposed into two heaps, having previously painted one of them in a matte color.
Magpies did not succumb to provocation, showing rare indifference to the offered trinkets. In the course of 64 experiments, only one of the birds was briefly interested in the silver ring, which she immediately threw back.
After the myth of forty kleptomania has been dispelled, it is worth remembering that they have an enviable intellect. No one, except them, can recognize themselves in the mirror, find things hidden from them and remember the place of hidden food.