Friday, May 4, 2012

Bird Brains

The term “bird brain” is a derogatory term describing someone who isn’t necessarily the sharpest tack on the board. Because the avian brain is so miniscule, it has been assumed that birds are more or less dim-witted. After all, they can’t read, write, swipe a debit card, or make microwave popcorn.

But birds can do many things that humans cannot: fly with ease, speed, and incredible agility without need for tickets, fees, security checks, and air traffic controllers; withstand extreme weather conditions without benefit of heaters, air conditioners, or the Weather Channel; ensure that they and their families are well-fed, though they have no fishing poles, rifles, tractors, supermarkets, restaurants, or can openers; migrate and mate on schedule without a calendar or Farmer’s Almanac; orient themselves without maps, compasses, or GPS devices; engineer and build remarkably well-designed and durable nests, with no architect, general contractor, or Home Depot.

Such avian achievement is generally attributed to instinct rather than brainpower; however, where would all those instincts be stored if not in their brains?

An expectant mama robin crafted her nest in our barn this week. It’s a marvelous nest, truly it is, but for its location: right smack on top of the drive track for the overhead door. The door (fortunately) hadn’t been used, and the robin’s choice of real estate seemed logical enough to her—her babies would be sheltered from storms and safe from the cat. Apparently, she and her namesake, yours truly, have something in common: neither of us have much in the way of mechanical instincts!

“Jesus said, ‘…Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy….’”     --MARK 12:29

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