(pic) Red Kite feeding Crows . Picture: Paul Heaney, 2022
It is a common misbelief to see Nature in constant antagonism, with animals and the beasts of field and jungle on constant alert and rivalry against one another. However, this is certainly not necessarily the case, as this picture attests to of a raptor feeding Crows.
There is another way to see the world of Nature, which goes like this … Nature reflects the energies in the environment. Animals are influenced by the energies of the humans around them. If you’ve observed the animals on leads in our towns, villages and cities, you might see a correspondence between the two species. How often have we noticed that for instance a dog will likely match the temperament, if not the look of the guardian human, or ‘owner’. An aggressive dog will usually be the result of learnt behaviour from an aggressive human. Gentle dogs will often indicate a soft or kind temperament coming from the human. It is easy to observe these things.
There are plenty of videos out there on YouTube showing how animals in the wild and in captivity that are perfectly happy in each other’s company across different species. But have you ever seen anything like the activity apparent in the pictures here? What we see is a Red Kite, having fed, perhaps to its fill, actually offering or feeding the left-overs of what looks like a mouse or suchlike to Crows, perched on the same branch.
The Crows I noticed had been waiting in line patiently for any scraps the Red Kite might offer. And sure enough, the larger bird of prey obliged. This species is on the increase, having been largely wiped out by hunters in the UK. And although it is a raptor predator, it prefers to eat dead animals or roadkill. So, it is not on a constant mission to kill in order to survive. It will if it has to, which might be a fair comparison to humans. Except we know there are a species of hunters amongst us who will kill for the sport, not out of necessity.
The point is however, that it might behove us to change our perceptions about Nature, and come to realise that the ways of the world are not necessarily the way we have grown up to think about it. Perhaps, we need to get out there and see for ourselves just how Nature operates. That actually, mutual support is common in the so called wild. And especially in times of need, it could be appreciated by any species, and even be the normative, that different species realise they may find it easier to be mutually supportive in their neck of the wood or natural communities. After all, it makes sense, as it requires less energy and ensures greater harmony and security in the environment.
I recall observing for quite a few weeks how the community of Crows already established in my neck of the woods (seen here) were antagonistic towards the newcomer being the first Red Kite that dared to fly over their territory, and the intruder even dared to settle on the branches of trees in the vicinity. It took some time for the crows to realise the Red Kite didn’t mean any harm and was not therefore a threat after all.
Might we humans also take heed of this realisation and approach? Indeed learn from the Red Kites and other such species. That rather than constantly looking at what is in our supposed own self interest, as governments and politicians most often like to pontificate, that on the contrary, that a wider supportive attitude might go a long way to help all. That looking out for each other is in fact in our self interest, as it expands the scope of awareness and even care. All it takes is for one example of kindness, or sharing and giving, or ‘community spirit’ to show a different way, in order to encourage others to do likewise, however different we may at first appear to be.
A little giving and mutual support is not just for Christmas. It could be a way of life, that all can enjoy and benefit from. Connecting with our senses and our heart may actually help change not just our often narrow minded based perceptions of the world, but may actually change the world to our mutual advantage, way beyond the diet of narrow straight-jacketed belief systems we might have been brought up on. Like the birds in this picture, should we too not get off our little perch of a mindset and branch out onto the communal branch? There could be a whole other world out there we never knew could co-exist.
In my next article, I will have something to say regarding a growing problem in our communities, and especially in Europe, and how we might have, and might yet help resolve and mitigate such a problem.
Paul Heaney, December 2022
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