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Scientists recently discovered that jackdaws practice a form of democracy when deciding to take flight in large numbers, Sky News reported.
Researchers at the University of Exeter, in Britain, wrote in a new study that jackdaws roost in groups of hundreds – or thousands – and yet make mass departures almost instantly.
They noted this would happen after the birds created a huge, discordant wave of sounds, which they believe is the birds’ way of casting a “vote.”
To prove this, they recorded the rising noise of jackdaw calls that happens before a mass flight at various roosts. They then combined this with tests in which pre-recorded jackdaw calls were played at a colony.
The findings showed that the avian species practiced a form of “consensus decision-making” – which could be compared to the noise and blabber that happens in legislatures.
“After roosting in a large group at night, each jackdaw will have a slightly different preference about when they want to leave, based on factors like their size and hunger,” said lead author Alex Dibnah.
Dibnah said that reaching an accord was integral for the survival of jackdaws because group flights offered many benefits, such as safety from predators.
He added that the study helps understand how really large groups of animals can coordinate their actions.
Instances of animal democracy have been documented in other species, according to the New York Times.
For example, African Wild Dogs will vote on whether to relax or go on a hunt by sneezing. The more sneezes there are, the more likely the canines would go hunting.