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Biology, Earth, Strange, Survival

The Message of the Birds

Birds had huge meetings and spent years deciding what to say to humans, then, when the time was right, they leveraged social media to deliver the message. Would the humans understand? Would they take birds seriously? No telling, but they had to try.

“Humans, there is a guldok coming. Signal if you understand. Time is running out. You must dorg and shlok. This will save the earth. Don’t delay.”

Well, no, we didn’t get it.

“Hogging the camera and checking itself out,” we said.

All we understood is that a pair of birds got famous for their apparent fascination with a traffic camera.

The guldok, whatever that is, will happen now, and it won’t be the fault of the birds. They tried to warn us.

Here are some photos and animated gifs of murmurations, mysterious huge starling meetings.

Starlings are good representative messengers of the birds because:

1) They have a huge range:

Starlings inhabit a wide range of habitats from the Arctic Circle to the Equator. In fact the only habitat they do not typically occupy is the driest sandy deserts. 

And 2) They listen to other birds in a democratic way.

Starlings imitate a variety of avian species and have a repertoire of about 15–20 distinct imitations. The calls of abundant species … are preferentially imitated. (Source)

Below starlings act out, for us, in a massive 3D diagram, the exact steps to dorging and shloking to save the earth.

Awesome, but I’m not sure I quite understand the code. Murmerations are like sky crop circles: they look like they have a big meaning, but no one can read them.

The gulls though that we wouldn’t get it. They had been observing our behavior closely and decided we were not all that bright, so they boiled it down to a simple message, delivered to a traffic camera.

PS. This post is a joke about my ability to fool myself. I sometimes get an idea then find all kinds of evidence for it, but the original idea was not valid. Perhaps others do this as well.


About Xeno

E pluribus unum.


One thought on “The Message of the Birds

  1. And the fish too, trying to give us a good schooling.

    Posted by Oliver Stieber | 3 May 2019, 9:29 am

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