Ornithologist Wears a Giant Bird Head To Earn the Trust of Wild Birds, but Fails Miserably

Being a scientist doesn't always mean sitting at the computer or working in a lab. If anything, this career also allows you to do some fun stuff in the name of science, right? For example, an unnamed ornithologist—an expert on the behavior of birds—found a unique way to study his subjects. He wore a giant bird mask during his visits to a bird habitat for a year… and he did it for science.

Toshitaka Suzuki, an associate professor from the University of Tokyo, was the one who posted about his peer's uncommon approach. While the disguise may look like an offbeat idea, there was some academic reasoning behind it. Certain bird species, like the great tits he was observing, are capable of remembering human faces. As such, whenever they see one of them approaching, they stop their usual chirping to put out distress calls warning the rest of the flock. For someone studying the language of birds, this was far from ideal.

The anonymous ornithologist had not been on the best terms with the flock of great tits he was observing ever since he approached the nest to weigh the chicks. As he tried to figure out a workaround, he attempted to hide his identity under an uncanny bird mask during his visits for a year. Despite his best efforts, the mask didn't fool the birds, and they emitted warning calls when he got too close to them. Hoping that they may have absolved him, he tried again without the disguise but got the same result.

If anything, this has left him with a very funny story and a hysterical picture of him in the forests of Nagano, trying to fit in. As if his efforts weren't commendable enough, Toshitaka also shared a video of the researcher trying to put on his glasses over the mask's large beak and failing miserably. It looks like the mysterious ornithologist got confirmation that birds don't forgive and don't forget.

An unnamed ornithologist wore a giant bird mask during his visits to a bird habitat for a year… and he did it for science.

The reason? Certain bird species, like the great tits he was observing, can remember human faces and put out distress calls to warn the rest of the flock. Sadly, his experiment didn't work.

h/t: [Oddity Central]

Related Articles:

Biologist Teaches Endangered Birds New Migration Path To Save Them From Extinction

These Beautiful Scarves Give You Wings Like a Bird

Rebellious Birds Are Now Stealing Anti-Bird Spikes and Making Nests With Them

Winners of the 2023 Audubon Photography Awards Celebrate the Beauty of Birds

Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content