Smart Birds, I had no idea

Steve Owst

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!!! 

One day we were wandering through the woods only to see a Killdeer standing on the path.  As we approached, the poor thing starting limping heavily and wandering 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.  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 that's another debate.

I must admit even though I love birds I never really considered them to be the smartest of creatures. That was of course until I read the "The Genius of Birds".  I'm not going to go into detail here but boy I will never look at a crow the same way again.  I've been outsmarted by raccoons before but some of the stories in this book are just incredible.

Anyway, enough., Don't take my word for it. Check it out yourself.  It's well worth the read.


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