Friday, March 14, 2014

Avian Intelligence


Thanks to a documentary, I learned that Ravens travel and live with extended family.  It is strange to think that sitting in the branches above us are dark winged cousins, aunts and grandparents.

I watched behavior that is mostly incomprehensible.  Twigs are selected, stripped with beak and talon (I did not know they could do that), and then discarded. It reminds me of woodworkers, who are not happy with their work.

On rooftops they hide food under shingles. Clever. They seem to prefer wealthier areas, possibly because the roofs are better maintained.  They take rainshowers with joy. Sentinels sit on peaks and warn others of threats; or they could just be discussing the weather.  Shift change involves preening of the one who is leaving. You don't see that in the human world.

I was surprised when I watched a lone raven prevent a significantly larger falcon from gaining altitude with a startling display of speed and maneuverability. It flew above the falcon, anticipating the falcon's moves, preventing it from getting sufficient lift for its larger wingspan.

They watch us. They watch me watch them. And they think. They are the true eyes in the sky. We search for intelligent life in other solar systems, but cannot communicate with the intelligent life around us.

10 comments:

  1. I always had great doubt that we could communicate with aliens when we can't even come close to understanding something as clever as a squid.

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    Replies
    1. If we encounter aliens in the near future it is likely that they'll consider us too stupid to communicate with.

      I don’t think that they'll waste the resources to visit us.

      Delete
  2. There you go making me see the world differently again.
    P.S. I heard that when ravens encounter walnuts they drop them in the streets so cars will "crack" them open. Hmm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) They fascinate me, although I do not understand them.

      I think that may be one of the documentaries I watched. David Suzuki, I believe. Great country destroyed by politicians.

      Delete
  3. I've gotten into some bird watching a little myself (mostly because there are so many of them on my street). They really are interesting. There's this one tiny species that perches on anything high enough and then does this strange jump-spread wings-tweet-land in the same spot-repeat routine again & again, all morning long. Maybe it just wants attention because it's so small.

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    Replies
    1. Too funny "wings tweet land". I wish I would have taped the wild pigeon that did the "flap flap snap glide land" and then got pecked by the female it was trying to impress.
      Looks like tiny got your attention.

      Delete
  4. And they can crap on windshields on the interstate without getting arrested.
    Now THAT is a gift worth having.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We can't decline the fact that Shift change involves preening of the one who is leaving.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Problems arrives when the information entered relies on verbal communication or is entered incorrectly.

    ReplyDelete

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