The Language of the Birds

I’ve just been watching the birds on the feeders in my garden. I have two bird feeders and there are also two nests in my garden – one of robins and the other of house sparrows. And what I realised today, for the first time, is that the robins all like to eat on one bird feeder and the house sparrows on the other. There is no mixing. It’s not that the robins hate the sparrows, or that the sparrows think they are superior to the robins. It’s just a matter of what works best for all of them– and what has always worked best.

We also have flocks of starlings around here that make extraordinary patterns in the skies when they all meet together in the evening, to return home to roost overnight on the reeds of the marshes. It’s called a murmuration of starlings. There are also lots of ravens, crows, wood pigeons, cranes, hawks and owls – but you never see any of those birds flying with the starlings and messing up the patterns of their murmurations.

In other words, the birds like to hang with their own kind, and no amount of calling them racist or talking about diversity will make the slightest bit of difference to how they behave. It doesn’t occur to them to do other than will serve the highest good of their kind, for their sake of their own survival.

We could call them “bird brains” and well, yes they are. Birds are much more intelligent than humans because they have trillions more neurons packed into their tiny heads than we do in our comparitively huge craniums.

We may not be as clever as the birds, but we should try to learn from the messages they send us through their actions. We should take a leaf out of Nature’s book and start acting in a way that will promote the survival of our own kind, otherwise She will have no use for us.


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