Do birds recognise people?
Calvin Lo of Yishun posted a most interesting account in Club Snap that I have got his permission to have it posted in the blog.
“About a week ago, I managed to save a juvenile Long-Tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) from the claws of the cat. Initially, I was worried that it would not survived because it continued to flutter carelessly to the ground quite often even though there were many cats roving the area.
“Fortunately, of late it grew wiser. Joeyao spotted it again and tried to approach it carefully with his camera, but this time it flew away before he got the chance to get near. Well, I was kind of sad that I would not be able to approach it so near any more.
“But yesterday evening, to my pleasant surprise, the little fellow appeared before me again. Instead of behaving skittishly as reported by Joeyao, it actually allowed me to move as close as 3m from it. In fact, for a while I was so near that I had to dismantle my tcon before the camera could focus properly. Managed to take about 10 over shots before it said goodbye to me. Don't think it was due to evening because the light was still bright enough for it to see me very well.
“So...I'm just puzzled, Do birds recognise people?”
Calvin Lo, 28th February 2006. Image also by Calvin.
Our bird specilist R. Subaraj has this to say: “Pet birds including mynas seem to recognise their owners and many animals in the wild have been documented to recognise specific people. It would therefore be nice to believe that this is indeed the case here too. The moral of the story is....'Be Kind To Animals' for they may truly appreciate you as a result. Well done Calvin!”