And why should the gulls think or care that people
would help? Unless of course these gulls have suffered a similar entanglement
before and have learned that people can help. This is quite possible. Surely we
are more obviously a threat than a help (even though people do feed gulls).
The behaviour of the other gulls is an alarm reaction. The entangled gull was
probably stressed and exhausted so didn't struggle. Experienced banders would be
able to tell you more about that and that some birds are much easier to handle
than others. Why does the Magpie-lark's behaviour seem unlikely to have been a
coincidence? Why should it know or care? It has enough issues of its own to
worry about. Maybe the neighbour hand feeds it, wearing similar coloured
Of course your ideas (if indeed you are
suggesting it) are just as odd or maybe more even odder as those that think
that these things happen NOT by virtue of the bird's own motives and wisdom, but
to postulate that the bird doesn't think that way at all. It is usually
suggested in such cases that some sort of higher power, that does have that
motive, also has the power to cause the birds to behave in a particular way, as
though it is in their thoughts. As in when a person makes a plea (usually to
their god or gods) to be shown a sign (of something, it is never specified). As
far as I see, they are not asking the birds but maybe use something done by a
bird (or the clouds, or a cow, or a burning bush or a waving piece of grass,
etc) to be the sign. Religions and fantasy stories have used that ploy
for centuries. Some people believe that. I don't believe either suggestion.
Sure birds may have perceptive abilities that we
don't. They probably hear much faster than we do, although in a similar range,
and maybe can see things and process visual signals faster than us.
Interspecies communication happens all the time. It
is well known in mixed species social groups and in predator alarm calls and
responses, eg antelopes & monkeys understanding each others alarm calls for
"leopard". I agree with Geoffrey's advice about the hook.
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