Human beings aren’t the only creatures on the planet that enjoy relaxing by the waters edge and watching the fish. A black-headed cardinal has recently been observed feeding goldfish at a pond… While it’s unclear as to exactly why the bird has taken a fancy to the eager fish, a Princeton biologist has a theory…
Check it out per National Geographic:
Originally posted on YouTube in 2010, this footage shows a cardinal hopping alongside a goldfish pond, then dropping what appears to be seeds into their waiting mouths.
“My best guess is that the appearance of the goldfish’s open mouth at the surface of the water is just similar enough in size and shape to the open mouth of a baby bird that it triggers the instinct in the adult bird to provide food to it,” Princeton biologist Christina Riehl said in August.
And here’s more from Mother Nature Network:
Filmed in 2010, the video shows a black-headed cardinal feeding seeds to very eager goldfish. According to the video’s description, the bird would fly down as many as six times a day, depositing seeds into the open mouths of the fish.
“It’s an amazing demonstration of how simple stimuli can trigger very hardwired behaviors, even in situations that seem obviously wrong to us,” she says.
It’s not the only instance in recent memory of inter-species feeding, either. In July, a lioness in Tanzania was spotted nursing a leopard cub, an “unprecedented” pairing.
So, the next time some tells you, “oh that’s just an animal, they don’t think like we do” — remind them of this little video!
Philosopher David Hume famously proclaimed that “no truth appears to be more evident, than that beast are endowed with thought and reason as well as men.”
In the age of youtube videos and ubiquitous camera phones, that statement seems all the more verified today. The natural world is teeming with examples of animal compassion, interspecies bonding, and creatures using tools to problem solve.
If those aren’t demonstrations of an inner mental world, I can’t imagine what is… Here’s the amazing video!
What’s the coolest interspecies bond you’ve seen?
Do you think the cardinal is enjoying her time with the fish?