Posted by: Green Knight | January 4, 2013

Bird Brains

There are so many cool books, articles, and videos out there that show just how intelligent my favorite birds (the corvids) are. That includes crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, blue (and other) jays, and magpies. I’ve written about the issue on here before. In case you want to celebrate national bird day, or, i think, also observed as world bird day, it’s tomorrow, and then there’s world migratory bird day in May. Links follow. I should also mention that I had a pet mockingbird that flew into my workplace in the ’70s as a tiny ball of fluff, barely able to fly. I named him Gypsy, and raised him to adulthood. He even got along with my cat! He’d ride around the apartment on my head. I had a tree with branches that brushed my second-floor bedroom window, and once Gypsy was fully-grown, I started putting him out on a branch to let him get used to the outdoors. When he wanted to come back in, he’d chirp really loudly at the window. After several weeks of that, he didn’t return — I’d successfully reintroduced him into the wild, and I’m sure that he went and found a lady friend. I was a bit sad that he didn’t come by to visit, but I’m glad that I was able to do that for a critter. I like birds.

And here are a couple on corvid intelligence that are worth a look:

raven birchmockingbird



  1. This may be off subject but I just ran across an interesting article on agrochemicals and Rachel Carson.

  2. An article by a Ph.D. containing broad statements like “History has proven…” with no references or citations to back that up is inflammatory rhetoric. The journal Science “rebuked” Silent Spring, says Angela, but I note that she didn’t quote the article or provide the date or issue. That’s obfuscation. The old-boy science crowd was mainly trying to discredit Rachel with the implication that a woman couldn’t really be smart enough to be a scientist. Eisenhower’s former Secretary of Agriculture even wrote to Dwight D. that she must be a Communist because she was attractive but unmarried! As I’ve written before, JFK’s Science Advisory Committee vindicated her research and conclusions. I don’t want to rehash my previous posts, but be reminded that she didn’t advocate total bans on anything. Thanks for the article, Dr. Jim; I’ll slog through the whole 30 pages as time permits, but I note she worked for a prominent Republican and here is just being another industry apologist, in my opinion, anyway.

  3. I also note something: Angela even brings up Rachel’s followers protesting proposed spraying for mosquitoes carrying West Nile. I don’t know that anyone ever considered testing the potential effects of whatever pesticide was planned for use on the very birds (especially my corvids) that were being decimated by West Nile. Hmm, that would’ve been good thinkin’, in my view. People only get concerned when cooties are out there which might affect THEM; screw wildlife. And Rachel’s been dead for nearly 49 years; easy to beat up on someone who’s not around to defend herself, and who only had the technology of her times available for use. I consider that cowardly.

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