Инстаграм @andreapicoestrada Andrea Pico Estrada
Lunar Landing Practice? There is no doubt that humans have studied how birds fly in order to make our own scientific progress in the area! Every bird I watch has unique techniques it uses to accomplish everything from landing to diving to braking in the air! 🐧 Gravity pulls on birds, too. In order to minimize the effects of gravity, birds are adapted to be as light as possible. These are some adaptations that help make birds light, hollow bones, feathers ✨Babies don't grow and develop inside the mothers' bodies. They develop in eggs outside their mothers' bodies. ✨Birds eat foods that are very high in usable calories so they get as many calories as possible from from a small amount of food. ✨Seeds, fruits, and meat (from prey) are the main food items for birds. Virtually no birds (except one) eat leaves, which take a long time to digest. Their efficient digestion allows birds to get rid of useless weight very quickly. Birds don't have bladders. A bird urinates as soon as it has to, getting rid of the useless weight. ✨ Bird wings are not the only part of their bodies designed for flight. Just about every part of a bird body is specially adapted to help the bird fly. A bird's center of gravity is the balance point between its two wings and between its head and tail. If it were possible to perfectly support a bird right at its center of gravity without it squirming around, the bird wouldn't tip in any direction. To fly well, birds must have most of their weight in their center of gravity, and very little weight in front of or behind it. Their bodies have many special adaptations to help accomplish this ✨ Many birds can fly fast until the last seconds and still land easily and safely. To slow down quickly, they change the angle of their wing to be higher and higher, increasing drag (to slow their forward movement) and decreasing lift (to help them move downward). Some birds need to slow down for a longer time in order to make a safe landing. Many ducks, geese, and cranes use their outstretched feet as well as their open wings to increase drag, acting as brakes to slow them.
Dashing into the new week! Summer days, hot and humid - the breeze barely moving the trees or the water... Florida - where summer goes almost all year - the seasons from hot to hotter to less hot! Both the birds and the humans adjusting as the temperatures rise - we look for the shady patch or maybe a cool spot in the water... Mother birds cover their young with their wings... the song birds tucked deep in the forest under the shade of the canopy... This is the season of the shorebirds... swooping in during migration to raise their young here... leaving again at the end of the long hot summer... Florida...truly the beautiful endless summer... SHORE BIRDS While I think of them they are growing rare after the distances they have followed all the way to the end for the first time tracing a memory they did not have until they set out to remember it at an hour when all at once it was late and newly silent and the white had turned white around them then they rose in their choir on a single note each of them alone between the pull of the moon and the hummed undertone of the earth below them the glass curtains kept falling around them as they flew in search of their place before they were anywhere and storms winnowed them they flew among the places with towers and passed the tower lights where some vanished with their long legs for wading in shadow others were caught and stayed in the countries of the nets and in the lands of lime twigs some fastened and after the countries of guns at first light fewer of them than I remember would be here to recognize the light of late summer when they found it playing with darkness along the wet sand —W.S. Merwin
The Path to Inspiration.... sometimes I need to go for a walk in nature and think in order to find my inspiration that I can in turn share with you. Sometimes that might mean a brand new image - just taken and brought home like a freshly cut bloom... I was asked about the art history of rings and angels and this Great White Egret obliged by being my bird Angel model for the day... Sunday reflections 🕊 Saint John Chrysostom once said about the significance of angels’ wings: “They manifest a nature's sublimity. That is why Gabriel is represented with wings. Not that angels have wings, but that you may know that they leave the heights and the most elevated dwelling to approach human nature. Accordingly, the wings attributed to these powers have no other meaning than to indicate the sublimity of their nature." 🕊 The al-Musnad Hadith says that the prophet Muhammad was impressed by the sight of Archangel Gabriel’s many huge wings and in awe of God’s creative work: "The Messenger of God saw Gabriel in his true form. He had 600 wings, each of which covered the horizon. There fell from his wings jewels, pearls, and rubies; only God knows about them." 🕊 there’s no evidence in the Bible, Torah, or the Quran that angels must earn their wings. Instead, the angels all appear to have received their wings purely as gifts from God. 🕊 Another view of angels’ wings is that they’re meant to show how wonderfully God created angels, giving them the ability to travel from one dimension to another (which human beings may best understand as flying) and to do their work equally well in heaven and on Earth.
Have birds always inspired artists? I know that 10 years ago when I moved to Florida I didn’t have a subject matter for my photography - I tried people, landscapes, architecture and then I saw beauty in the form of feathers and I was hooked ever since... my goal is an artistic shot that also demonstrates the traits of each species... such as Mr T 🐧Artists throughout history have drawn inspiration from the birds. Part-bird, part-human forms have frequently been used to depict either supernatural phenomena or enhanced human abilities, especially those of vision (bird heads) and speed (bird wings). Perhaps the oldest artistic representation of birds or parts of birds is a prehistoric bird-headed man dating from 15,000 to 10,000 B.C. It is painted on one of the walls of the Lascaux Cave in France -- the often-described treasure-house of Stone Age art. 🐧Ancient Egyptians considered birds "winged souls"; they occasionally used them to symbolize particular gods. The symbol for Horus, the god of the sun (and the local god of the Upper Nile), was the head or body of a falcon. In a statue of King Chefren from Giza on his throne (c. 2500 B.C.), the king is not seated alone -- the falcon of Horus is perched behind his head, and its wings enfold the king's shoulders. The bird appears to be watching over the king and his realm. Raptors subsequently have often been used to represent national power -- right down to the national symbol of the United States. (The founding fathers, we would like to think, did not recognize the Bald Eagle's habit of scavenging dead fish and feeding at dumps.) Whereas predatory birds are often used in art to symbolize power, doves (frequent prey to raptors) often depict peace. 🐧Symbolic winged chimeras like Pegasus, the flying horse, are recurrent. The power of the sphinx, indicated by the merging of a human head onto a lion's body, is sometimes augmented by the wings of a bird. If the Great Sphinx had wings, they are long gone, but those of the winged Sphinx of Naxos (500 B.C.) remain resplendent. Both victory and liberty continue to be associated with bird wings.
Happy Fish 🐟 Fry Friday from Snazzy! What a great Anhinga this bird is! For several weeks a female took his favorite spot on the dock as he watched from a nearby roof - he never chased her off - I was quite surprised - maybe she was his daughter or spouse. He was never far away but “his” fishing spot was hers for many weeks! Things you notice only with a usual suspect! If I tried to walk on the dock off she would go - not at all like Snazzy! Now I’m back to lazy summer afternoons lying on the dock with Snazzy just a few feet away. When he goes for a fish catching swim I call out his name and every time he surfaces like a submarine he looks my way to see where I am! He brought this Fish out and definitely showed it off like a dog with a ball - I usually clap 👏🏼 for him and he always seems pleased with himself! Snazzy has a twinkle in his eye and an attitude like few birds I’ve ever met - he will always be one of the special ones!!! TGIF my friends!!! #fishfryfriday
Who do you find when the darkness falls - your own shadow self perhaps? Or perhaps birds that also hide in the shadows - in the safety of the fading light and impending darkness... When the light fades some of my special gorgeous friends shyly show themselves - out from under the Mangroves they appear and together we watch one another watch the last ray of light dip down below the horizon... “In full nuptial display, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is one of the most exquisite of all North American wading birds…Its soft grays and white crown and cheek patches seem to typify the elfin character of the cypress gloom.” — A. Sprunt, Jr. 🐦 Across its range, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron specializes in taking crustaceans, especially crabs, which it hunts using slow stalking movements. When it catches a large crab, the bird methodically dismembers and eats it, body first. Indeed, the breeding ecology of the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron reflects the temporal dynamics of crab availability. Northern populations retreat to subtropical and tropical latitudes in the fall where crabs are active year-round.
Ruffled Feathers? I’ve sure been feeling this way recently - people say maybe it’s the full moon 🌕!! Which got me to wonder (yet again) if my usual suspect here Mr T and my other bird friends feel the affect of the moon 🌙 too? 🌕 Have you ever wondered if the moonlight affects birds? Well it does and in many ways. Lunar cycles seem to affect many of the rhythms, temporal patterns and behaviors of birds and other living things on Earth. 🌕Ambient light is known to affect visual communication in birds 🌕Northern Saw-whet owls are less active during moonlit nights in order to avoid ending up as potential prey for larger owls. 🌕Brau’s Petrels synchronize their journeys to an island mating ground with the full moon. Researchers note that these petrels are also more active in general during a full moon to take advantage of the light to feed. 🌕A Japanese study involving Streaked Shearwaters determined that this marine bird flies for longer periods and lands on water more often during nights with a full moon. However, researchers reported that sharks also take advantage of the increased light, so the shearwaters don’t remain on the water for long in order to avoid winding up as shark prey. 🌕During a full moon, the Whip-poor-will, a nocturnal insectivore, increases its activity levels, vocalizations and nest visiting behavior. 🌕 Albatrosses are more active during a full moon. 🌕Researchers found that lunar cycles affect bird hormone levels. The daily variations in melatonin and cortcosterone disappear during full moons. 🌕Another study involving the white-browed sparrow-weaver found that males’ dawn songs started earlier when there was a full moon. 🌕A study involving Leach’s Storm petrels suggests that these birds assess predation risk. On nights with a full moon, the petrels remain on their nests to avoid nest predation from gulls that are also more active during a full moon. 🌕The Swallow-tailed Gull, a nocturnal seabird of the Galapagos islands, is most active during the new moon phase when its prey is closest to the water surface.
Are Beauty rituals a Transformation for you? As humans, especially women a lot goes into long complex beauty rituals that go back millennia... Birds have a similarly long relationship with the beauty of their plumage but preening is far from a question of beauty is a question of survival... 🐦 Preening is a bird's way of grooming its feathers to keep them in the best condition. While preening, birds remove dust, dirt, and parasites from their feathers and align each feather in the optimum position relative to adjacent feathers and body shape. Most birds will preen several times a day to keep themselves healthy. 🐦 The uropygial gland, or preen gland, is an essential part of preening. This gland is found near the base of the tail and produces an oily, waxy substance that helps waterproof feathers and keep them flexible. While preening, birds spread this oil to each feather so they are evenly coated and protected 🐦 Moisturizing feathers with preen oil so they are flexible and strong, instead of brittle and easily breakable. This helps feathers better withstand the stress of flight. 🐦Aligning feathers for optimum waterproofing and insulation to protect against adverse conditions, such as soaking or extreme hot or cold temperatures. Aligning feathers into the most aerodynamic shape for easier, more efficient flight. This helps birds use less energy in flight and make more acrobatic moves. 🐦Removing feather parasites and body lice that can destroy feathers or carry disease. This keeps birds healthier and protects the entire flock or nest from an outbreak.
Sunsets and Birds.... Florida in July! Had a nice beach walk and sunshine for the first time in weeks! The Skimmers at dusk were the highlight! 🐧 1. Black Skimmers use their elongated lower mandibles to feed by skimming it over the water. 🐧Baby Black Skimmers are born with their upper and lower mandibles the same length. The longer lower mandible grows during fledging. 🐧There are three species of skimmer in the world; the Black Skimmer is the only skimmer found in the Americas. 🐧Black Skimmer pairs share parental duty. Males and females both incubate the eggs - in fact, male Black Skimmers even have brood patches. Both parents also brood the newborn chicks and feed the nestlings. 🐧Folk names for the Black Skimmer include Seadog, Scissor-bill, and Cutwater. 🐧Black Skimmers are active throughout the day, but are mainly crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. 🐧Black Skimmers have large vertically-oriented pupils like cats. Such pupils are unique in the bird world. 🐧Although Black Skimmers spend most of their life near water, they do not swim. 🐧Black Skimmers nest along the Gulf Coast and thus are one of the species directly threatened by the BP Oil Spill Disaster of 2010. Their unique feeding method - skimming the water - makes them uniquely vulnerable to the spilled oil. As of November 30th, 192 dead skimmers were noted by the FWS in the area of the spill.
“Hope is the thing with feathers...” even when all seems lost there always appears a chance for redemption or a helping hand often from a stranger.. these moments build on our faith and belief in the innate kindness of others... light as a feather Part 2 on feathers of 🦢 🐦 Semiplumes are a second type of feather. As in contour feathers, barbs come off the sides of the rachis, but the barbules lack hooks, resulting in vanes that are soft and fluffy. Most semiplumes are concealed under contour feathers and help with insulation, but some, such as the enlarged, lacy feathers on the back of egrets, are used for courtship. 🐦 A third type, down feathers, are anchored in the skin by a calamus but lack a rachis. Barbs with smooth barbules radiate from the tip of the calamus, forming a short, loose, fluffy feather. Both down feathers and semiplumes lie under the body’s contour feathers, forming a mass of feathers that trap air, forming an excellent layer of insulation. 🐦 The other three feather types are quite specialized. Two, filoplumes and bristles, are hairlike. Filoplumes consist of a calamus and rachis but have only a few small barbs, near the tip. The feathers are found around contour feathers, especially on the wings. Filoplumes are associated with sensory receptors in the skin, and are thought to provide information about wind, air pressure, and feather movements that birds use to maintain efficient flight 🐦 Bristles are short and stiff and lack barbs along most of the rachis but the base. They’re thought to be sensory in nature and are found around eyes and near the base of the beak. You will see them on insectivorous birds, such as flycatchers, which feed on the wing, and they are best developed in goatsuckers, such as Common Nighthawk, which appears to use them to funnel insects into the mouth while flying. 🐦 The final type is the powder down, a specialty feather that resembles semiplumes but differs in that the barbs grow continuously. Tips of the barbs crumble into a powder when bitten. Birds apply the powder to other feathers while preening, which serves to waterproof them.
Can colors make us stronger? In the case of birds I had always wondered why so many of the white birds had dark wingtips; especially noticeable in the Ibis, wood storks, some gulls, geese, and other species. Probably the most important aspect of any bird are their feathers.... 🐦 Feathers are the ultimate characteristic of birds. No other (living) animals have them. The qualifier is required because feathers have now been found in fossil imprints of some dinosaurs and related reptiles. 🐦Like hair on mammals and scales on reptiles, feathers are part of the integument (skin). All are largely composed of keratin, which is also the main ingredient of human nails, animal claws, and the scales on the legs and feet of birds. 🐦 Feathers are remarkable structures, both very strong and very light. They’re subject to long flights and are bent and twisted, yet they are rarely damaged. Abrasion causes their tips and edges to wear, but this is natural and remedied periodically through molt. Melanins are common pigments that can make feathers black. Dark feathers containing melanins are more resistant to damage than other feathers. This is why the outer wing feathers of many birds with white wings, such as gulls, have black tips. 🐦 Birds have six different feather types that vary in shape, structure, and function. The most familiar is the contour feather. It consists of a central shaft and countless barbs that protrude from either side, forming vanes. The portion of the shaft that supports the barbs is called the rachis, while the bare portion that embeds in the skin is called the calamus. 🐦 Strong, rigid vanes are especially important for flight. The trailing, inner wing feathers, the secondaries, provide lift, while the trailing, outer wing feathers, the primaries, provide thrust. Most species have large tail feathers. They function like a rudder when flying and like brakes when landing. 🐦 Smaller contour feathers cover the body and leading edges of the wings. On the wings, the feathers help form the airfoil shape that is necessary for flight.... 🐦more tomorrow on the amazing feathers of our beautiful birds!
Smile!!! It’s Happy Pelican Friday!! #hpf One of the sights that truly made my heart smile was the youngest baby Pelican I’ve ever seen this past Spring! In Florida Brown Pelicans are an iconic symbol of our love of the sea, sitting on docks and Sharing our beautiful shoreline with our amazing wildlife!! We sometimes might take these beautiful birds for granted until we visit a place without them and then we realize how much we miss their presence!!! 🐦 Brown Pelicans live year-round in estuaries and coastal marine habitats along both the east and west coasts. They breed between Maryland and Venezuela, and between southern California and southern Ecuador—often wandering farther north after breeding as far as British Columbia or New York. On the Atlantic and Gulf coasts they breed mostly on barrier islands, natural islands in estuaries, and islands made of refuse from dredging, but in Florida and southern Louisiana they primarily use mangrove islets. 🐦 The male selects a site on the ground or in an exposed treetop and performs head-swaying displays to attract a female. Ground sites are often covered with dense vegetation or surrounded by low shrubs, but they have nearby perches and enough open space for parents to land, take off, preen and loaf when not on the nest. Pelicans occasionally nest on bare sand or shell. In tidal areas, experienced breeders choose higher sites to keep the nest safe from flooding. 🐦 The male defends a nest site and nearby perches for up to 3 weeks until he attracts a mate, and the pair is monogamous throughout the breeding season. The parents incubate their eggs with their feet. If disturbed suddenly they fly hastily, sometimes crushing their eggs. Pelicans regurgitate predigested fish onto the nest floor for their nestlings, later switching to whole fish once the young are big enough. The young can fly and fend for themselves after 3 months, but take 3–5 years of age to reach sexual maturity. 🐦Pelicans are a living symbol of how successful wildlife conservation can be. They nearly disappeared from North America between the late 1950s and early 1970s because of pesticides entering the food chain.
Happy Fish 🐟 Fry Friday! As I wait for the rains to stop I think of the young 🦅 Eagles practicing their skills over the lake. Some of the juveniles don’t migrate and can be often found in small groups practicing their fishing skills. Every skill takes time to develop, for them and for us humans too. If we had to build our own homes and catch our own food I’m sure life and growing up would be more challenging than what we have become accustomed to! Learning is a process! 🦅 Young eagles from wild nests develop their hunting skills on their own, but spend considerable time after they fledge watching their parents and undoubtedly learning by watching what the adults do. The actual skills involved are learned by trial and error, I'm sure. Much of the hunting skill (or at least the drive to hunt) is innate, as our hacked eagles were fledged into an environment without adults around to "teach" or "show" these young birds. Yet, these birds, again through trial and error, learned to hunt for themselves and survive. We felt it was important to continue to provide food at our hacking towers after the eaglets fledged, to give them a source of food for as long as they needed it. Eventually, each eagle at it's own pace, these young birds stopped using our offerings and began foraging on their own. Similarly in the wild, the adult parents will continue to provide food for some time after fledging, while the newly flighted birds hone not only their hunting skills, but there flying skills. On average, I would say it takes about 4-12 weeks for young eagles to start hunting successfully. True, fully refined, specialized hunting skills, probably take years to develop
TBT - Family Ties! Christmas in July memories! 🐦 While it appears that many species do not recognize family members after the first year, others stay in close association. These Canada Geese goslings remember their parents, and may even rejoin their parents and siblings during winter and on migration. 🐦 Mallards and grouse do imprint on their parents, but there is no evidence that they recognize their parents or family members after their first year. 👩🏼Back to my youth like these Tri Color Heron triplets and their caring parent - tight family units. As an ex pat you often arrived to new countries not knowing anyone - the adventure was exploring - you did so with your family at first... driving from landmark to landmark, weekend drives - finding good places for local cuisine and once you settled in you started to bond with the other expats in your new cities. They too were far from home (migration due to work) and they were always a help to the newly arrived with tips and ideas. My Mother didn’t have a family of her own after the war and she embraced the idea of this big extended family to embrace as her own. I particularly remember a Christmas in Jamaica where she found all the other lonely expats far from home (about 50 people) and how we went shopping for a gift for every single one of them hosting a big Christmas Eve party - not generic gifts but thought out and chosen for each person! We wrapped them all and had a Christmas tree, we prepared meals from around the world - it was one of my fondest memories of “family”. When I grew up that’s how life was - much like a rookery of birds - communal family with big happy feasts !! Times that I will always remember and as we have discussed - memories are part of our living legacy that hopefully our stories will pass on!
My Father loved to quote Rudyard Kipling - I think about him a lot during my long days and started reading Kipling - my father felt we were all equals in every way and these words resonated for me... ❤️🐦❤️ #holdon If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream — and not make dreams your master; If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same:. If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And which is more: you'll be a Man, my son!
The Joys of Travel! Recently I was looking at all the trips advertised around the world - from culinary experiences, architecture or history based tours, adventure travel, luxury resort getaways... and then there are us birders...😄 best jungle habitat? Missing species? Favorite bird? Hummingbirds? Our conversations aren’t about how wonderful the hotels are but how exciting the Birding is in each different country! Such was the case with Brazil - one my longest flights but definitely quite the Birding experience! Minus losing most of my pictures which I believe taught me to cherish the memories of moments that we live in... This beautiful bird was one of my memories from my trip to Brazil. Here in Pindamonhangaba 🐤 The Burnished-buff Tanager is a common resident of gallery forest, pastures, and savannas across South America, from Colombia and Venezuela south to northeastern Argentina. The color of this tanager's opalescent plumage varies with the light, but in general the Burnished-buff Tanager appears greenish gold, with pale greenish blue wings. The two subspecies found in northern and western South America have a black mask and bluish throat. In contrast, on the four subspecies found in eastern and central South America black extends from the sides of the face to the throat, and in a broad stripe down the center of the breast. A seventh subspecies found at the mouth of the Amazon River has plumage that is intermediate between the two other subspecies groups. Burnished-buff Tanagers are usually seen alone or in pairs flying from tree to tree in search of fruits and berries. At times these birds may join other species at fruiting trees. A tanager of open areas, Burnished-buff Tanagers are regular visitors to gardens and trees around buildings in llanos.
I’ve been thinking too much (my theme song for three years) and of course the eyes I look into the most happen to be that of birds... are they thinking? How smart are they? 🐦 Deciding just how smart birds are depends on how intelligence is defined. Birds exhibit a wide range of smart behaviors, including good memories, extensive communication, planning for the future, and remembering the past. Some birds can solve problems, and others have been observed playing: both activities that indicate more than just basic instinct 🐦 Without a doubt, birds do learn, and every backyard birder knows birds are capable of adapting to new environments and conditions. Ongoing observations and studies are revealing that birds may be far more intelligent than initially believed. 🐦 Brain size and structure is not an automatic gauge of intelligence, but it can be a clue. Birds may be small, but they have proportionally large brains compared to their overall body and head sizes. In fact, birds' brains are similarly proportioned to primates, including apes, monkeys, and humans 🐦 The best indication of how smart birds are is direct observations of birds acting intelligently; ✨Amazing nest architecture with intricate construction ✨Returning to the same ranges, even the same nests, for many years ✨Ability to navigate migration safely despite changing landmarks and hazards ✨Play behaviors, including taunting cats or playing with objects for entertainment ✨Recognizing who refills feeders and interacting with that person ✨Curiosity when responding to pishing or investigating new stimuli ✨Showing emotions through courtship, caring for nestlings, etc.
That Monday Look! Do birds have a sense of time? As yet another Monday arrives into my life I started reading about birds and time... more commonalities? 🦉 As early as 1926, pursuing earlier suggestions that light may be a factor in annual cycles of birds, William Rowan showed that the timing of avian migration resulted from a clock-like perception of changing photoperiod. Since then, much work has been conducted that places the avian biological clock system among the best characterized mechanisms of biological time-keeping. 🦉There is growing evidence that the biological clock influences the timing of song production and learning. The song control system of oscine passeriform birds is a specialized network of brain nuclei involved in singing and song learning 🦉Song learning is linked to timing in two ways. First, it exhibits daily patterns. An increasing body of evidence points to a central role for sleep in the sensorimotor phase of song learning 🦉Song-learning is also linked to seasonal timing. Birds living in temperate zone latitudes generally restrict breeding to the spring and summer, maximizing the likelihood that young will be hatched during times at which food is plentiful 🦉The simplest form of cognition in spatial orientation in birds is the ability to cache resources such as food or nest sites and then to remember their location at some time later. Several groups of birds are particularly adept at caching food, including parids such as chickadees and tits, corvids, and several species of owls. Food caching behavior has been compared to human “mental time travel” 🦉One of the great mysteries of animal behavior surrounds the abilities of birds to migrate over great distances, to identify appropriate breeding, and/or feeding sites at the appropriate time of year and to return to their home consistently and accurately. At the face of it, these behaviors are impressive cognitive feats, and they are embedded in birds' sense of time at several different levels.