[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [TowerTalk] Bird intelligence

To: <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Bird intelligence
From: "K8RI on TowerTalk" <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 15:32:42 -0500
List-post: <>
> not just a physical challenge, but a navigational triumph of immense
> proportions, with virtually no navigation landmarks available for

Actually we give the birds too much credit for skill in this case. Their 
flights are much akin to our GPS hard wired in along with image recognition 
at the destination.

It's more like instinct rather than skill to "follow this road" and "Oh yah, 
I remember that house" at the other end.

Humans do the same thing.  We follow road maps, to the highways, airliners 
follow GPS and inertial navigation that the pilots had to learn to use.  At 
the start of the trip we use pattern recognition to the highway, or airline 
terminal, at the other end we use pattern recognition to find the rental car 
or taxi, and to find our specific destinitation.  These are things the smart 
bomb and missle are not very good at but they are getting much better.

> guidance, and terrible difficulties due to wind and weather.  These are

The difficulties they do have and many do not survive.

> the the little ones that are "at the shallow end of the gene pool"
> intelligence wise according to K8RI.


> I wonder whether his navigational skills are comparable?

That the birds can make long migrations and come back to the same spot is a 
great accomplishment, but it is instinct following well laid our roads we 
don't see. Skill and intelligence have little to do with the result.

I probably have better skills, but I don't have the built in road maps nor 
do I have instinct causing me to migrate. I have to pay money for a GPS 
that'll get me in the neighborhood, but I do have pretty good pattern 
recognition when I get in the neighborhood.  I haven't gone in the wrong 
house or gotten into the wrong bed yet<:-))  Of course a good portion of the 
latter is due to instinct and self preservation.


Roger Halstead (K8RI and ARRL 40 year Life Member)
N833R - World's oldest Debonair CD-2

> Bob
> _______________________________________________
> _______________________________________________
> TowerTalk mailing list


TowerTalk mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>