What Makes Birds So Much Smarter than People?

What Makes the Birds Seem So Much Smarter than People?

Sunday Scripture

On Saturday, I filled the bird feeder, and before I had time to close the front door behind me, an enterprising chickadee had already landed for a late breakfast. Soon, the front yard needed air traffic control to regulate all the landings and take offs.

And those honking Canada geese that pass overhead after a quick layover on White Oak Pond…?

How do they know?

Birds just seem to know things and then do things–no quibbling over details or second guessing the game plan. Often a flock of black, noisy creatures will populate every limb of our front yard maples until, on some silent cue, they go airborne in perfect unison.

We bear witness to avian wisdom every year in migratory birds who eat what’s convenient, follow the mountains, keep one eye on the Atlantic Ocean, and just turn their wings into the wind.

Birds Know and Do the Requirements of the Lord

Jeremiah, God’s fed-up prophet, weary of Israel’s spiritual shenanigans came to this conclusion:

Even the stork in the sky
    knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
    observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know
    the requirements of the Lord.”

Jeremiah 8:7

Jeremiah wasn’t arguing that birds are smarter than people, but he had observed their ability to yield to a higher wisdom, a deeper following , and a proven way.

You and I, with our New Testament underpinnings, can begin today to “know the requirements of the Lord.” Instead of “pursuing our own course” and “rejecting the word of the Lord,” miraculously, in the Spirit’s power, we can actually fulfill those righteous requirements, for it boils down to one thing: LOVE.

If love really is “the fulfillment of the law,” (and Paul says it is!) let’s believe that proven way. Let’s allow the truth to sink deep into our bones. And then, let’s fly!

Holding you in the Light,

Michele Morin

If love really is “the fulfillment of the law” (and Paul says it is!), let’s believe that proven way. Let’s allow the truth to sink deep into our bones. And then, let’s fly!

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

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30 thoughts on “What Makes the Birds Seem So Much Smarter than People?”

  1. What a lovely image: flying in the Spirit with the wind of Love under our wings! I pray to fly into each day propelled by Love for whatever I’m doing, wherever I find myself. Praise God for showing us the way to a life of love that provides purpose, contentment, and fulfillment. (Help me, Lord, to be mindful, to look for the way of love in each situation.) Thank you, Michele!


  2. So true, they yield without question. Whereas, we human sometimes have to comtemplate the outcome instead of just trusting. I’ve often wondered too how the birds know when to all fly together and when they’re visiting separately. If God provides for the birds when they cry out to Him, how much more will He provide for His children! Psalm 11:1 Thanks for visiting me and sharing. Always enjoy reading your take on things. 🙂


    1. Whenever I watch a flock of birds move through the sky together (without bumping into each other!!), I wonder how they know what to do and where to go. God obviously is taking care of them.


  3. I love watching and listening to our backyard birds. I watched amazed last year as they swarmed the Holly tree by the backporch. I’d never seen a feasting swarm like that. Today when I want to do things my way, to try to solve problems in my wisdom – and I going to turn my face to God – remembering “to yield to a higher wisdom, a deeper following , and a proven way.” Thank you for this Monday morning wisdome!


  4. Love the message. And it is amazing, isn’t it, how the birds just seem to know?

    I like your point too about love being the fulfillment of the law. I think sometimes we over complicate things theologically and just need to be reminded of that.


    1. I bumped into that in my teaching on Romans 8. Paul’s phrase, “the righteous requirement of the Law” sounds pretty imposing, but reading on to Romans 14 makes it clear that the whole law is fulfilled in the commandment to love. Not always easy, but at least it’s uncomplicated…


  5. “Turn their wings into the wind.” Imagine just how uncomplicated our lives would be if we followed the examples of birds. Wonderful post with wise words and beautiful imagery.


  6. I identified with feathered friends
    until one turned to be a turd,
    and that is where allegiance ends;
    I give you now, the hummingbird.
    I have saved their kith and kin;
    a bit of glucose when they flag,
    but when they now are on the wing,
    attacking me, yeah, that’s their bag,
    with needle-beaks aimed at my eyes
    (I duck and get stabbed in the neck);
    it’s no longer a surprise,
    so I’ll defend, and what the heck,
    they may learn just where it’s at
    on meeting my ol’ baseball bat.


  7. What a great object lesson for us. The birds certainly are a good example of trusting God for each day. Also, I’m reminded that I was supposed to fill up my bird feeders today, and I didn’t. Oops!


  8. We never get any birds on our bird feeders so gave up 😦 I hope they have somewhere better to be. The migration of birds is a wonderufl feat of nature. Thanks for linking up with #MischiefAndMemories


  9. Michele, such wonderful insight and imagery. I imagined those birds and the air traffic control needed in your front yard. Honestly, I’ve never reflected on these words from Jeremiah. But I think this is a powerful reminder, “know the requirements of the Lord.” Instead of “pursuing our own course” and “rejecting the word of the Lord,”


    1. And if we boil that “requirement” all the way down, we come up with the command to love God and others. I know that I need to make room in my life for more ways to be attentive to his love.


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