Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I don't like to suggest that animals are not intelligent. I think animals are as intelligent as they need to be, for the most part, and are smart enough to make the optimal use of the ecological niche in which they reside (the exception might be man: we are too darn smart in some areas, but not so intelligent in others). However, we have had a series of robin pairs (or maybe the same couple for a few years) who have nested in what seem to me to be bad places: the precarious light fixture over our frequently opened garage was one I documented last spring. Then, a pair nested in the crotch of our apple tree- this might seem a good location, except the crotch of the tree was about two and a half feet from the ground, pretty well open and easily accessible by our dog, who did indeed "access" it. This year, these little babies pictured above, are on on a branch of that same apple tree, at chest height, right at the entrance to our vegetable garden: this branch is way too easy to crash in to while going into the garden (yes, we have to bow under the tree as we enter) and is in another high, foot-traffic area.
Then I got to thinking, maybe they aren't so dumb after all: we did stop using the garage last spring until the babies fledged, and now I am climbing over the fence at a different entry point to avoid that branch. Hum, who has the upper hand here? Who is smarter?