Sunday, July 16, 2017

Where do birds go to die?


An interesting article by Naresh Sadhwani that I came across and it is knowledge that I wasn't hitherto aware and had taken it for granted. Thought I must share it with all of you.

Are the flying free birds the crown creation of nature? Where do birds go to die? Strange questions but the answers are stranger or probably there is no answer at all. One fine morning, seated at my favourite tea spot, overlooking the evergreen banyan tree against the background of the pleasantly warm early morning sun, watching my avian friends, a mix of parakeets, sparrows and Mark Twain's favourite friends, the Indian crows. All of them permanent occupants of this peaceful tree colony, the following thought just popped into my head. I have been watching my feathered friends, chirping, cooing and quarreling o' so sweetly ever so often but I have never seen any one of them ever lying dead either under that tree or anywhere in the vicinity or our residential colony or surprisingly, even all over the world.

The world is populated with flocks of birds, but strangely, one never sees bodies of dead birds lying around. Rarely does one see bird remains left behind by a careless cat or a pigeon killed in flight by the sharp kite string during the 'Makar Sankranti' kite festival. But lying around dead from a natural cause? Never! So do birds live forever? When no answer comes to mind, what does one do? Well for many unanswered questions one does ask Guru Google!

That's exactly what I did. Guess what? Google had no logical answer! To find the answer to my question, I browsed bird watching sites skimmed through ornithology resources but with no luck; just vague and funny answers. Then I came across a very interesting article on "Dying Pattern of Birds" and cited below was a controversial theory by Late Cork Bishop Cornelius Lucey that begins with the question: "Where do birds go to die?" The Bishop challenged anyone to produce evidence of a bird that had died from a natural cause. Bishop Lucey distinguished death from natural causes and death by predator or death through car accident. Death through accidental or deliberate means resulted in mangled bodies we all have seen, but it is a fact, dead birds are so difficult to locate that scientists used birders to help track population in order to estimate number of annual avian deaths.

The Bishop, who had an in-depth knowledge of the life patterns of bees, conducted the study of birds, with the same gusto. In the case of bees, the Bishop explained that bees died by rising, into the 'upper air' and there they literally were destroyed through a natural disintegration process. After the study of birds he concluded that they too had an inner sensory device like the bees which told them when it was time to die or when their life cycle was complete. On the premonition of death, they too like the bees rise up higher and higher till they disintegrate in the upper air. This unpublished theory is the closest answer to my query.

This triggers the following thought: If we go by the Bishop's hypothesis on the dying pattern of the birds for which as of date there is no counter solid scientific theory, then it would not be out of place to conclude that birds are at a higher plane than humans since the birds actually KNOW when they are going to die, something that even the so-called evolved, aware and intelligent human race does not know! That when a bird knows that it has lived enough, seen enough, it can happily leave its body at will by flying high-up and just disintegrating; no age related aches, pains of suffering. Wow! Our feathered friends seem to be more evolved than humans.

They live that freedom we all would die for; freedom to go where they want, when they want, cross all borders sans passport, the power to detach themselves from the young ones as soon as they are ready to take their own course and now it seems they know when they will die and where to die. Real cool. They can attain 'moksha' at will.

Thereby lingers the thought: Is Man, the self proclaimed most evolved living being really at the apex of the evolution pyramid? Or please tell me where the birds go to die.


Achu, Rema and Padmakumar drove in by lunchtime and it was exciting conversation on all subjects, under the sun. It has been decided to go to Rameswaram during end Sep - early Oct to immerse a handful of mud from mom's cremation site. This should help the working lot among us to adjust their leave requirement accordingly. They left by 5 and reached back at their place at 8.

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