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Pondering innate wisdom

Fergus Mom

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I have been trying to form words to ask this question for awhile now, and came up with 'innate wisdom' for the term I was trying to describe.

I would love to hear different thoughts on the capacity of birds as far as age related skills or things that they learn at different ages. I don't feel I am describing this very well, which was why I have waited to pose this question. I can only describe it with examples best, I think.... So, here goes.

Fergus (American Budgie), was about 8 months old approx. when he flew out of my bedroom where his cage is and into the kitchen behind the stove. I think he probably tried to perch on the rear top of the stove, but lost his footing on the smooth metal.
I have just begun opening the bedroom door again (after an entire year) of keeping it closed when the cage doors are open during 'flytime'. (Time that they can fly out of the cage and around the room).
I have this (possibly false) sense of security that since Fergus and Fiona are older now (almost 2 years old, and 1 1/2 years old), that they have learned things. Of course they know now that walls are walls, the window next to them is not fly through-able.. So we know that birds gain experience with age. Yet some wild birds still fly into windows, or other things that are fatal to them despite the experience they have gained.

I am not sure how to proceed with the question, but hope I have explained it enough to where others can comment!
 

sunnysmom

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I have only had older birds. So, I haven't really seen a bird mature from young to old. But I think birds definitely learn things. And in Elvis's case, figure things out..... :backout:
 

Fergus Mom

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I have only had older birds. So, I haven't really seen a bird mature from young to old. But I think birds definitely learn things. And in Elvis's case, figure things out..... :backout:

Thanks Michelle! I hope more folks will chime in with their opinions here - and I'll bet @cassiesdad would agree with that Elvis's figuring things out... as well as our Milton!
 

Fergus Mom

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When I took Eros to the vet for his annual checkup, his wings were clipped without my permission (I had specifically requested his wings be left alone and only his claws to be filed if necessary). Eros has been free flighted since his wings grew out when I first got him. Well, he tried to take flight and plummeted straight to the ground... He didn't even try fly for 2 weeks and I set up walk ways so he could still get around my room. He knows when he messes up and does everything he can to find the evidence (he once pushed an ornament to the floor, looked at it, flew to it, tried to push it under the bed, didn't work so flew back up and pushed a teddy onto it to "hide" it and then came to me for cuddles)

So I think birds do have innate wisdom, just not always in ways humans understand
 

cassiesdad

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You could probably have a very extensive thread of this subject.
So I think birds do have innate wisdom, just not always in ways humans understand
Agreed. I believe the thought processes of avians are different than humans. I did read somewhere that scientists believe that birds have a linear thought process...they get to a point...then it's a straight line. Humans have a stacking process...one idea will be added to the ones before. That could explain some of Milton's use of language, for example...he'll use a word or phrase for awhile...then move onto a new one. Very rarely does he integrate or expand on an idea or thought.
That doesn't mean he won't come back to a former thought or word...it's just that he moves onto new concepts quickly.

G2s are much more analytical...mechanically inclined. My thought is that they have more of the "stacking" thought process than say, U2s.

I got to see how wicked smart @sunnysmom's Elvis is. ;) He figured out how to get out of a new carrier he was in when she brought him up here to visit very quickly...and then there was the wire lock on the cage...he had that figured out in a day and half...

That boy IS wicked smart...that all I can say...:peek1:
 

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I definitely agree that birds learn as they mature and have new experiences. However, I try to never have any windows without curtains being closed. They just can't see glass and WILL try to fly through it even if they've hit it before, especially if they are hyped up or disoriented when flying. (just my 2 cents on being extra careful with glass windows). But yes, I actually love seeing/observing how they go about figuring things out and remembering things. (Their survival depends on it in the wild).
 

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With glass I just don't think they learn because they fly through clear things (air) all the time. Imagine flying as normal and something that looks no different than an open doorway or open cage door suddenly stops you. To their eyes, it looks no different yet the result is different, so it's very confusing.
You might just cover windows or put decalls up so there is a difference they can see and learn from. I think that's why it appears that birds "never learn" to not run into windows, because windows look no different than any other open passageway so they simply cannot learn because it's the same in their vision. Same appearance in almost every way, different (dangerous) result.
But they definitely do have incredible minds, just not like a human mind. They learn differently and have different instincts and responses to different senses, so their process of learning is very different. It's very interesting to see people post on here about their fids (especially 'toos) learning new things. :D
 

hrafn

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Both Kraz and Réy were brought home as young months-old babies, and it's been incredibly entertaining watching them learn. Kraz very quickly figured out that windows are solid, and has never in his twelve years made that mistake a second time. Any time they learn how to do something new, they'll do it again and again until they've perfected it, and then they seem to remember it forever.

The most intriguing process to see is analysis and tool use; when Réy learnt one day that she could give herself scritches with one of her molted feathers, she started trying out the technique with various objects until she found a favourite (a pink straw) and has used it ever since. Kraz doesn't hold food with his feet, and when he eats pellets he'll place them one by one on a flat surface so he can take bites out; when he first started, he had a hard time finding somewhere that the pellets wouldn't roll away or fall from, but when he finally found the Perfect Spot he never ate anywhere else.

Both had a learning curve in how to use their feet to hold and manipulate objects, but when one approach didn't work, they'd stop using it and keep trying out new ones until they had it mastered. They definitely, without question, learn through experience and build on prior knowledge to problem-solve. It's so much fun to watch!
 

sunnysmom

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You could probably have a very extensive thread of this subject.

Agreed. I believe the thought processes of avians are different than humans. I did read somewhere that scientists believe that birds have a linear thought process...they get to a point...then it's a straight line. Humans have a stacking process...one idea will be added to the ones before. That could explain some of Milton's use of language, for example...he'll use a word or phrase for awhile...then move onto a new one. Very rarely does he integrate or expand on an idea or thought.
That doesn't mean he won't come back to a former thought or word...it's just that he moves onto new concepts quickly.

G2s are much more analytical...mechanically inclined. My thought is that they have more of the "stacking" thought process than say, U2s.

I got to see how wicked smart @sunnysmom's Elvis is. ;) He figured out how to get out of a new carrier he was in when she brought him up here to visit very quickly...and then there was the wire lock on the cage...he had that figured out in a day and half...

That boy IS wicked smart...that all I can say...:peek1:
One of the scariest things about Elvis is that you can see in his eyes when he's plotting/figuring something out. And, thanks, I do think he's smart too. He got a toy with big plastic clips on them. After he took it apart, he started hanging the clips back on his cage. It's pretty amazing. He put them all around the 4 sides of his cage. Howie thought I had done it. LoL
 

cassiesdad

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He got a toy with big plastic clips on them. After he took it apart, he started hanging the clips back on his cage. It's pretty amazing. He put them all around the 4 sides of his cage. Howie thought I had done it. LoL
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
 

Fergus Mom

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You could probably have a very extensive thread of this subject.

Yes, I have tried googling it, but I couldn't seem to find the right words to do a proper search! Now I'm trying to wrap my head around
linear thinking vs. stacking! LOL... but hey, I'm the one who for years hasn't bought any Kleenex, (I used toilet paper since it was cheaper),
and when a family member brought some here recently and gave them to me, I have pondered for over a week on what an important development
Kleenex have been to society and civilization. I mean, they're SO convenient, and pop right out of the box time after time! It's a miracle!
:rofl:

With glass I just don't think they learn because they fly through clear things (air) all the time. Imagine flying as normal and something that looks no different than an open doorway or open cage door suddenly stops you. To their eyes, it looks no different yet the result is different, so it's very confusing.

Yes, I was thinking about that too - I mean, look how many people nearly knock themselves out on clean patio sliding doors each year, or the clear storm doors (I have done it before and had a dandy goose egg on my forehead). I have heard there are many emergency room visits from these glass incidents.

Kraz doesn't hold food with his feet, and when he eats pellets he'll place them one by one on a flat surface so he can take bites out; when he first started, he had a hard time finding somewhere that the pellets wouldn't roll away or fall from, but when he finally found the Perfect Spot he never ate anywhere else.

Wow - this almost sounds like one of the disorders people have huh? I mean, one by one placing that pellet? What patience that shows. (Or obsessive compulsive?) where do we draw the line, you know? I once asked that question, and the OCD person was supposed to feel compelled to do something but not LIKE it.. Like the 'something' they wanted to do didn't make sense even, but they had to keep doing it.

One of the scariest things about Elvis is that you can see in his eyes when he's plotting/figuring something out. And, thanks, I do think he's smart too. He got a toy with big plastic clips on them. After he took it apart, he started hanging the clips back on his cage. It's pretty amazing. He put them all around the 4 sides of his cage. Howie thought I had done it. LoL

Oooh - like a 3 year old, when you can see those wheels turning! Wow on those clips, were they in any particular pattern around the four sides?
:jawdrop1:
 

sunnysmom

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:rofl:





Oooh - like a 3 year old, when you can see those wheels turning! Wow on those clips, were they in any particular pattern around the four sides?
:jawdrop1:
No, but I was watching him do it again last night. For as crazy busy as he can be- flying around, etc.- when he gets in "clip" mode, he can play happily with his clips for over an hour. He has the little clips that I buy and hang for him, but this toy with the big clips, he figured out by himself that he could hook them to the cage. I had never done it before. Now, I will rehang them for him and he'll undo them and redo them. But he figured out the first time that he could disassemble the toy and hook the pieces.
 

Fergus Mom

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No, but I was watching him do it again last night. For as crazy busy as he can be- flying around, etc.- when he gets in "clip" mode, he can play happily with his clips for over an hour. He has the little clips that I buy and hang for him, but this toy with the big clips, he figured out by himself that he could hook them to the cage. I had never done it before. Now, I will rehang them for him and he'll undo them and redo them. But he figured out the first time that he could disassemble the toy and hook the pieces.

I'd love to see a photo of the kind of clips they are if you get a chance?
Do they make them small for budgies? Everyone probably knows what a fool for toys I am now... :huh:
 

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Zara

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the window next to them is not fly through-able.. So we know that birds gain experience with age. Yet some wild birds still fly into windows, or other things that are fatal to them despite the experience they have gained.
No, I think, our birds learn our homes. They know where the windows are, and learn that they cannot pass this line. To us we see the glass, to them it is an imaginary line. It doesn´t just come to them with age.
Wild birds travel all over so can´t know where new windows are.

I have two slide patio doors, like 2 big windows. None of my birds fly into them. I leave the curtains open and the shutter is up.
When each bird was small, I took them so they could touch the window. I´ve never had any problems. (When I found Aldora I did close the curtains at first)
 

Fergus Mom

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I'll have to try to find a picture of the toy he took a part. The hook/clip things are probably 5 times bigger than the ones above.

Thanks Michelle!
The clips like these c-clips are what I thought I was buying when Fergus first came.
I ended up with these teeny tiny things that I hung on a floor lamp in the living room for lack of anything else to do with them, because it was
SO not what I thought they would be.

Now the Amazon link does describe these as being for parakeets, but knowing what I know now about toys and safety, I'd be skeptical of
them, since they say we're not supposed to have something that a budgie can get their body stuck in.
Of course you don't have to worry about that with Elvis! I think Ferg and Fi would love these if I could find some they would not get stuck in!
 

Fergus Mom

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No, I think, our birds learn our homes. They know where the windows are, and learn that they cannot pass this line. To us we see the glass, to them it is an imaginary line. It doesn´t just come to them with age.
Wild birds travel all over so can´t know where new windows are.

I have two slide patio doors, like 2 big windows. None of my birds fly into them. I leave the curtains open and the shutter is up.
When each bird was small, I took them so they could touch the window. I´ve never had any problems. (When I found Aldora I did close the curtains at first)


Good point Zara, about them learning our homes.
I wish my budgies had been more conducive to being held, etc. as it's a great idea to show them the dangers in advance!
 

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Good point Zara, about them learning our homes.
I wish my budgies had been more conducive to being held, etc. as it's a great idea to show them the dangers in advance!
I struggled with this with Aldora as she couldn´t be picked up. One day after stepping on my boyfriend for the second time, he took her to show her the mirror as I couldn´t.
I think she learned the doors from the rest of the flock. Sometimes she would climb down the curtains and lick the glass doors.

I haven´t shown adelie yet but he´s still not flying. He has seen the mirror, not the doors.
 
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