Humans like to talk about stupid stuff, imagining that they are more intelligent than turnips. One conversation I heard recently is “do animals think?”Having spent much of my life observing nature, I am always amazed by questions like that.
Ten years ago, I was living in Cupertino, CA next to Memorial Park, where they held Shakespeare in the Park on summer nights. One of my kids loved Shakespeare, and we went to the shows almost every night.
The neighborhood seagulls had killed every baby duck except for one that summer, and that one was under attack. He was swimming next to one of his parents, and the seagull was repeatedly diving out of the sky. The duckling and parent simply ducked under the water on each bombing run. This went on for about 15 minutes.
Then, the seagull did something different. Instead of retreating back to the sky – he landed on a nearby rock. A soon as the duckling surfaced – the seagull picked him off. His strategy was to drive the ducks closer to the rock and lull them into carelessness. As soon as he had a sure bet, he went in for the kill.