Garden Club looks at the amazing abilities of birds
If someone calls you a “bird brain” don’t be offended. Take it as a compliment according to Sally Brockett of the North Haven Daytime Gardeners Club.
Sally spoke proving the amazing abilities of birds at the May 14th meeting of the Milford Garden Club. Birds are far more intelligent than people think and Sally proved her point by presenting wonderful videos of her bird studies both here and abroad.
For example, there are birds in Texas who camouflage themselves for protection. They can change color and shape to hide in trees and reeds. Kildeer pretend to be injured to lure predators away from their babies. Communities of penguins will form a wall of warmth around their babies by forming a circle around them.
Weaver birds can tie knots! They live in a social colony for protection and tie hundreds of knots to make nests to attract mates. The male takes a strip of plant, puts a foot on one end to hold it down and makes a knot with his beak. When the “honeymoon” nest is ready, the male flutters his wings to attract a “bride.”
Chickadees, who are local birds, have wonderful memories. They can store up to 500,000 food items in individual spots over several acres and are able to retrieve every hidden piece. They eat continuously during the day to survive cold winter nights.
Ravens are actually able to reason. They will forego an immediate treat to hoard food for the future.
Finally, birds display love and affection by gentle courtship, food sharing and mutual preening. A very sad proof of this is the case of a swallow couple. The female, hit by a car, was in the road unable to move. The male left to bring her food but when he returned and tried to move her from the road, she was already dead. He screamed with grief.
So, if someone calls you a “bird brain,” smile and say thank you!