[Tweeters] Do Birds Have A Perception of Time?

jimbetz at jimbetz.com jimbetz at jimbetz.com
Sat May 21 13:01:55 PDT 2022


Has anyone seen anything on the web about whether or not birds
"perceive time"? I'm talking about the concepts of yesterday,
today, tomorrow, last week, last month, etc. I get it that they
would not use those particular constructs of time - but it's the
question of any perception of time I'm interested in.

There are many things that can appear as "time consciousness"
such as repetitive behaviors at the same time of day every day -
or the way birds such as the GBH 'know' about the tides ...
however these can also be explained by 'instinctual behaviors'
and even 'opportunistic' (such as "did the bird know about the
tide being low or did it just observe and react?").

There are -many- behaviors that birds do that appear to have
some sense of time (and other things that appear to be
"intelligence") - here I'm talking about things such as the
Morning Serenade, the way they seem to 'just appear' at the
same place about the same time every day, the way they 'just
know' to follow the farm equipment and are 'always there in
large numbers - without any apparent way for them to know
that today is plowing/discing day', etc.

I do not, particularly, consider migration to be evidence
of a perception of time.
But it -is- interesting to me that the Snow Geese left
Skagit County so much later this year (almost a month!) Why?
How did they know they should hang out here longer ("just
the temperature")? Do they understand that a later arrival
in the North will affect the success of the fledging survival
this coming fall? Or perhaps they know that the fall will
-also- arrive late this year (in the North)?

So ... have you seen anything on the web?
- Jim

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