Bird Eyes

When you’ve been looked at by a raptor, you know you’ve been looked at. In fine detail. You’ve been seen and evaluated by eyes far better than human eyes. Looking back into the eyes of a raptor is a journey to a foreign consciousness. That implacable raptor stare involves more than just the bird querying whether we are prey or threat. (Think of “The Hawk” by Ted Hughes we recently posted. We’ll have more about the eyes of raptors soon. For a human to see as well as a Peregrine Falcon would require that each one of our eyes weigh about ten pounds. More than half our brain would be necessary to process the information we would glean visually.)

But it doesn’t have to be a raptor which looks into your eyes. It can be something as small and as cute as “The Angry Bluebird” whose photo now adorns so many coffee mugs. Or it can be a small White-breasted Nuthatch which you have just rescued from inside your house and taken back outside. cabin-september-2007-2-of-8.jpg Look into those eyes for a minute or so and you realize humans are not the only sentient beings on the planet nor are we the only intelligent ones. In fact, our entire idea that intelligence is correlated with brain size is called into question.

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