Proverbs 1:17 is an interesting case where there was some disagreement over it’s meaning. Would a bird avoid getting caught in the trap and thus be a positive example, or would a bird obviously stumble into the net because it is, after all, a bird brain?
So a little education in bird biology was needed. From Sunday’s message….
The Father illustrated his warning with a proverb about a bird. Most commentators read it one way – that is if a bird sees you laying out a net, he will not get trapped by it. However, one commentator found that hard to believe, because he thinks all birds are basically dumb.
I went to the Biology Library at the University to see what I could discover about bird intelligence. It tunes out some birds are dumb. The Dodo bird had no fear of humans, and was soon hunted to extinction. However, I discovered some amazing indications that birds do have intelligence:
• The oldest human sport is probably Falconry, where these birds of pray are taught to hunt by their human trainers.
• Crows and parrots are as smart as dogs, and smarter than cats. There are crows in Japan who walk out into traffic during a red light, drop nuts in front of stopped cars, walk back and wait for the cars to crush the hard shells for them while they wait on the sidewalk.
• A Raven learned how to pull up a long string using its beak and foot in order to retrieve a piece of good tied to the end. Some crows use sticks to catch bugs in crevices. One bird even was able to bend a hook in a wire to make a tool to retrieve food.
• House sparrows have learned how to open grocery store doors by flying in front of the electric eye. Once inside they feast.