Being called a Bird Brain is not necessarily the insult people think it is
The Killdeer, a smart but dozy bird
My wife and I are great fans of bird watching. In fact we love the outdoors and many a day we can be found with other bird watchers searching for birds and studying the habits of our feathered friends.
Who would have thought that after growing up with sayings like "Bird brain" and considering it to be of a negative connotation, that it indeed should be a compliment. Considering their size, and the amount of brain they have to work with, some birds have demonstrated how incredibly smart they are.
Let's take migration for instance. Could you start out in Mexico walking and find the same pond in Alaska year after year without a compass or any other aid to help guide you. People say it's in their genes, but does that make it any less an incredible feat? How about recognizing your partner among 1000 other bids that to us look exactly the same!!! We now of course that birds can see far more than us mere humans, to us we can usually identify a male or female bird and it's type, but to another bird there is far more to it.
The graphic above compares the human field of vision to a bird’s. Birds see four colors: UV, blue, green, and red, whereas we can only see three colors: blue, green, red. Bear in mind, that the magenta UV “color” shown here has been chosen to make it visible for us mortals, as UV light has no color
One day we were wandering through the woods and saw a Killdeer standing on the path. As we approached, the poor thing starting limping heavily and wandered away from us. Now we were totally intrigued by this and followed to see if she was okay. Then, up she pops takes off and lands back where we started behind us. Now this was our first encounter with a Killdeer so we didn't really understand what was going on. In fact we felt quite sorry for the little fella.
Well it turns out the little fella was a great actor and this was all part of an elaborate ruse to pull us away from her nest. Smart cookie for sure. Of course if she didn't lay her eggs on the path in the first place that would have been even smarter, but hey, who am I to comment, its not like I've never done anything dozy in my lifetime.