Friday, March 07, 2014

TOPIC - Birds and Emotions

 (Below is a letter i submitted to a Professor engaged in Bird Studies, that i'm sharing here for any others that may also share in this Field of Study.)

ATTN: Prof. Tim Birkhead

Re: New Scientist (Aug.3rd/2013) - "So Much To Discover"

Blessings Professor;

This letter is in regards to your article in New Scientist (Aug.3rd/2013) - "So Much To Discover", centered around birds and their emotions. It invoked memories of earlier days and the couple of times i have successfully raised and released baby birds, because their mothers had died.

While my perspective at the time was an Empathic one and not a Scientific one, i still feel that, despite my lack of documented data, my LIFE experiences and observations may still provide some insights or confirm some suspicions.

Both birds, i had raised from when they were still featherless and newly hatched, till they were old enough to leave the nest, literally speaking, as i never raised them to be pets. The first was a pigeon, my uncle brought to me as a kid, because the cats had gotten the mother and other babies. He used to fly around and follow me when i delivered newspapers in my little country village, and land on my head for awhile, then take off again, over and over, until i was done, every day. Around that time, my dad tagged his leg so we'd always know him and soon after, he joined a flock at a nearby farmers barn. For years after, every now and again, sometimes many seasons in passing, he would join me in the backyard and land on the ground, or on the lawn-chair i was in and coo for a little bit, hang out and then take off again just as suddenly. The feelings i got from him and actions displayed, were similar to those you described of birds re-uniting.

The second was a baby Robin,  and i seemed to get a lot of negative feedback from those around me this time, stating it couldn't be done because it was too young,  i'd now handled it, and more negative reasons than even worth listing. Again, my perspective was an Empathic one and not a Scientific one, so something inside me decided to proceed anyway and Limit those Limitations, as without me the baby would surely die, as the mother was already dead. (Slammed into patio glass door)

I recognized my greatest limitation was to be able to follow and provide for the baby once he had reached that full and final stage, so i convinced another mother Robin to adopt him as he was on the very last stages of leaving the nest, when they are still ground fed.
This took time, but as he was reaching that final stage, and getting all his feathers in, i would take him to a tree i'd found much earlier, that had another Active Robin's nest . Although, these babies were in an earlier stage of development, (still fuzzy, where mine was feathered), it was the only other active nest i had found nearby. I began by getting close enough to startle her from her nest, but no so close she wouldn't still return to it. Sometimes, i'd just lay there on the ground as the baby would nestle in my beard and lay on my chest. The mother on her nest guarding her babies and me, being the nest, guarding mine.

I'm not sure how many days/hours etc. passed during this process, as i say i wasn't keeping records on this experiment, i was just attempting to save a life, but eventually i got to the point where the mother wouldn't leave her nest as my approach got closer, or i had to chase after the baby,( because he was hopping too far away for my liking). During those moments of calm, i sought to Empathic-ally reach out and communicate to the mother that i was ill-suited to be this babies mother and am only truly qualified to be a caring nest and if he was to have any hope for continued survival, he would require a True Mother.

Now i don't have any scans of either of our brains to show you what was going on, but i can describe the jolt of energized, excitement and wonder that surged through ME the very first time she left her nest of young, to fly down and feed my baby. I can also describe the overwhelming calm and joy, mixing to create a euphoric sense throughout me when i saw her do it for a second and third time. That also brought about the realization that my work here was done and he would be safe now.

Again, i never tagged this bird, as my dad had done with the pigeon before, so it may well be whimsy that makes me think that the young Robin, that would land on the closest branch and sing to me from time to time when i was outside, was the same one i began raising, but something inside me tells me it was.

As i stated earlier, i only share these Life Experiences, despite the lack of hard data, with the hopes of it being more relevant than long-winded and can confirm some suspicions, inspire some insight or direction.

your humble servant,
ancient clown

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