It is pretty much accepted nowadays that birds evolved from a branch of dinosaurs. And that most dinosaurs had feathers. And that some of them were quite intelligent.
Personally, I think it’s fascinating.
You see, my family used to have geese. Geese are fairly intelligent, too. They certainly can distinguish between people and they very quickly learn routines and where they are safe.
The Canada Geese in our local park don’t panic when a small dog comes running. They barely move aside for people. They have learned exactly how safe they are, and what few dangers to avoid.
Corvids are among the smartest breeds of birds. And I love observing crows on my walks. They get really creative when it comes to getting food and having fun. In fact, I once watched a crow deliberately provoking a pair of seagulls and outflying them.
To me, birds feel really, really alien.
I’m learning to read their body language. I can usually tell what geese are thinking by reading their movements and voice. I can recognize the calls of many, many bird species.
But they are alien.
Unlike mammals. There’s a kinship with mammals that I feel clearly.
It’s not there with birds. At all.
And deep in the back of my mind, that starts a “what if…?”.