Bird Brained?


Jenney and I were waiting for the rain to stop in the everglades last week, and I rolled the window down for some air.  No more than I had done so, we were joined by one of the locals-looking for a handout.  A “common crow”?  I thought to myself, crows in Indiana are so people shy…wish they were friendly like this one.

Crow - Paurotis Pond - Everglades National Park

The next day, at a place in the glades called Paurotis Pond, we witnessed a couple who, having set their food out for lunch on a picnic table, became distracted by a wood stork, and went to investigate.  While gone, the above pictured marauder quickly opened the lunch meat package and helped itself to the cold cuts!

Crows are opportunists.   I would go so far as to call them raccoons with wings.  This fellow saw his opportunity, reasoned he wouldn’t get caught with his beak in the cookie jar, got in, got out, and was totally undetected by the tourists.

Crows are known to fancy things that are shiny, and many an unsuspecting jewelry owner has “misplaced” their ring or necklace at the hand of this pirate!  I wonder how much time they spend admiring their collection of booty.

But crows are not the only birds to display what I would call the power to reason.  The Green Heron,  a smaller relative of the blue heron, is a secretive and shy bird.

Green Heron - Pa-Hay-Okee Trail - Everglades National Park

It is so well camouflaged that unless it moves, you may not even notice it.  Such is the misfortune of many a fish and minnow, snatched from the water by the swift strike of this amazing heron.  Green Heron - Anhinga Trail - Everglades National Park

A bird of remarkable beauty, each feather is outlined or streaked to resemble its surroundings.

Green Heron - Anhinga Trail - Everglades National Park The Green Heron patiently waits for its prey to come within striking distance.  But wait, there is more…the Green Heron also uses tools.  It uses little sticks, worms and insects to lure fish to the surface!  The real interesting part of this is that the Green Heron also eats worms and insects as a part of its diet.  I wonder how it decides whether to eat the worm, or fish with it.

With the power it has to reason, I wonder why we call them bird brained.


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