WPC: Family

You’ve probably heard about elephants mourning their dead, but what about cockatoos?

I often pass this family of cockies on my way to work. They’re usually feeding on seeds on the verge, playfully whirling and wheeling, and creating general cacophonous havoc.

bb-fm0But yesterday, they were crowded around on the road; I drove back to see what they were up to: it was a heartbreaking scene.

bb-fm1They were very quiet except for a few plaintive squeaks and squawks.bb-fm3aOne kept on nudging the lifeless form on the road.

bb-fm4aI wonder if they feel grief.

1For more entries to this week’s challenge, see The Daily Post.

Previous WPC Family theme

54 thoughts on “WPC: Family

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | A mom's blog

    • Yes, it’s a busy road in the morning, and there are a lot of buses, so it may have been knocked out of a tree, or while flying, by one of them. Poor things.

    • Yes – scientists talk about the dangers of anthropomorphising animals, but they can’t deny that, on the face of it, our behaviours often have a lot in common. I was so fascinated by their behaviour, I would have watched them all day if I could have.

  2. Birds and animals certainly show that they feel loss and grief. Many pets have been known to mope to death after the death of the owner, and mate-for-life birds and animals very often do the same after losing a partner.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge-Family | WoollyMuses

    • It was so unexpected – they are very cheeky birds, and are often up to no good (like chewing wooden fencing etc), so it was very strange to see them in this state.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: family (More Lensbaby 4) | What's (in) the picture?

  5. heartbreaking 😦 Cockatoos are highly intelligent so I am sure they have emotions (sadness, insecurity, confusion) – whether they feel grief as we know it is not clear but I am sure they feel something similar, just as a child is devastated by the loss of something but not really understanding the nature and permanence of death – who knows! You have done well to capture this sad moment bb

    • Thanks, Gabe. They certainly seemed puzzled and distressed, with their plaintive little squawks and squeaks to one another. Some came close, but others kept their distance and watched. It was a remarkable, but very sad, event to witness.

  6. I do believe that living things…animals, birds…feel a sense of loss. They may not feel grief as we do but something inately tells them that one of their kind will no longer be with them as they were. These are wonderful telling photos of the many things we are not privy to and you have captured them for us to see. Thank You!

  7. Pingback: Family… | Words 'n Pics...

  8. Yes, very sad, Bluebee. Here’s a link to an article by Nicholas Kristof in which he discusses growing up on a farm with geese. When it came time to fetch one for dinner, the mate would follow, offering himself (or herself) as a replacement on the chopping block. The capacity of birds for love, devotion, and presumably grief at loss seems grandly beyond our comprehension. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/opinion/sunday/are-chicks-brighter-than-babies.html?_r=0

  9. Pingback: Leading Lambs To Slaughter | Spirit Lights The Way

  10. How beautiful this is. And I am sure they are a family in shock and in mourning. How wonderful nature is when it comes to love. Thanks for sharing and for following my blog. I will follow you too.

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