Being a sandpiper

Here’s an interesting article about animal consciousness.

I really liked this bit: “For myself, I’d be happy to see a revival of naturalist language, the sort of charming, unapologetically anthropomorphic descriptions one finds in old field guides, written before the ascendance of the 20th century’s airless, specialist vernacular. It’s a voice heard in The Birds of Essex County, Massachusetts (1905) in which Charles Wendell Townsend described a ‘low, rolling gossipy note’ voiced by semipalmated sandpipers approaching other birds. He waxed eloquent about their courtship, the male ‘pouring forth a succession of musical notes, continuous wavering trill, and ending with a few very sweet notes that recall those of a goldfinch… one may be lucky enough, if near at hand, to hear a low musical cluck from the excited bird. This is, I suppose, the full love flight-song.’ It is the language of a man who cares.”