What determines a birds activities, where it goes, what it does, Do Birds Think?
I sometimes wonder as I look at my garden birds, do they have a conscious mind, are they capable of thought processes like we humans, or are they merely living automatons following a set of inbuilt complex instructions.
When they awake each morning do they think "Ooh what a lovely morning, nice to see the sun again, what shall I do today?" or "What a lousy night, those bloody Starlings kept me awake all-night again with their incessant chatter, I am going to move out and find somewhere else to roost."
We know that they appear to have definite feeding circles or routes that they take each day, but they are able to adapt these in order to find new places where food is plentiful (such as our bird tables) and abandon those places that are no longer productive. Are they programmed to do this, do they learn this by example from adult birds, or do they think about it logically.
I often see the squabbles of the Starlings, Sparrows, or Tits as they feed in groups, the biggest, bravest or most assertive amongst them ensuring they have first pickings before they may need to take flight if threatened. This of course is all part of natures programme, the survival of the fittest, but is it all automatic response or are actual thought processes at work and are individual personalities involved.
I watched one of the regular Wood Pigeons sitting on the edge of the garage roof by the Pear tree, seeming to relax in the warmth of the September sun. It looked to be enjoying the peace, bathing in the suns rays as we ourselves would do.
So, Do Birds Think? I guess I'll never know, unless I die and come back as a bird.