Posted by: Ross Gardner | January 9, 2014

A Swan’s Eye

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor).  Copyright 2014 Ross Gardner

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor). Copyright 2014 Ross Gardner

What’s in a swan’s eye?  More than would meet our own?    Who could really say, but it is easy for humans to place something of their own feelings into the ‘minds’ of our fellow creatures.

There is certainly a truth behind the phrase ‘bird-brained’.  Many of their number have not apparently been endowed with any great intelligence; the crows and parrots are two significant exceptions.  That is not to say, of course, that many of these ‘bird brains’ are not capable of their extraordinary moments of brilliance – navigation and migration springs to mind.

Peering into this swan’s eye do we see something more than the average, or is it result of our own attachments that we place onto the birds.  There are few more wonderful sights in the world of birds than a Mute Swan – one the heaviest flying birds in the world – taking flight and gleaming white against a brooding winter sky, and their habit of pairing for life is something we might find endearing and can particularly relate to.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter.  That we might take the few moments to ponder it in the first place and make a connection is the important thing.

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