[Tweeters] Re: Reaction to death or coincidence? Odd Towhee call

Lee Rentz lee at leerentz.com
Mon Oct 11 11:35:55 PDT 2010

About 15 years ago on an Olympia on-ramp to I-5, I saw a Northern
Flicker that had just been hit by a car. Its wings were flapping in
the road, and a second flicker, I assume its mate, repeatedly dove
over the stricken bird, in what I interpreted as a "frantic" manner.
Other people saw the same event and reported it on Tweeters years
ago. Birds clearly do not have the same range of emotions that people
have, but there is a strong germ of emotion in at least some birds
that leads to a level of understanding of injury, death, and loss.
And, as a human who feels the same tugs, I still feel bad about
seeing that stricken flicker and its frantic mate. Whenever I see a
flicker up close at my feeder, I see an intelligent creature within
those sharply aware eyes.

Lee Rentz
Shelton, WA
http://leerentz.wordpress.com (nature blog, with one recent story
about a grizzly bear encounter, and one soon to come about seeing a

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