Where do the birds go to die?
Where do the birds go to die?
"Are the free flying 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 & 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 & quarreling oh 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 one does 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?
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 & funny answers. Then I came across a very interesting article on ‘Dying Pattern of birds” & cited below was a controversial theory by the 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 & death by predators, or death through car accidents. 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 use 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’ & there they were literally destroyed through a natural disintegration process. After the study of the birds, he concluded, that as birds had an inner sensory device, which told them when to migrate & like the bees, they too had an inner sensory device 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, rose up higher & higher, till they disintegrated 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 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 & intelligent human race does not know! When a bird knows that it has lived enough, seen enough, it can happily leave its body at will, by flying high-up & 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 & now it seems, they know when they will die & 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?"
Think about it...