Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Social Dynamics

Most humans these days would like to distance themselves from animals. Hell, most would like to completely deny that we are part of the Animal Kingdom at all. However, we are part of that great kingdom and animals have a way of reminding us.

Take a simple bird feeder. You buy one at the store and fill it with your choice of seed and then step back. Ever watched what goes on?

You have your general public birds, finches and chickadees, that seemingly get along with just about anyone. They come by themselves or in flocks and feed.
There are your brainy birds, the crows, who know there is food in your feeder that they would love to eat but are just a little to big to gracefully join in. They tend to flap awkwardly before subcoming to eating what has fallen on the ground.
Starlings are your little gang birds. They suddenly appear in a group and bully their way into the bird feeder with a take no prisoners attitude.
Then you have your really cool bird, the woodpecker. Everyone wants to be around the cool guy, they make sure to let him in to feed.
Finally there is the maverick otherwise known as a Stellars Jay. These crazy birds scare all the other creatures away from the area with their feeding antics.
Now under the bird feeder on the ground you have other things going on. The diligent squirrels who painstakingly look for all the fallen seed.
The occasional rat hoping to score big on something the squirrels might have missed.
A pair of pigeons who wonder around looking for a hand out.
And the remainder of the finches and chickadees waiting for their turn up on the feeder.

Seems rather like any lunch room across the country if you ask me.

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