At the laundrymat I noticed a bird sitting on a telephone wire overheard. It was facing the setting sun in the soft 'golden hour' light before the sun touches the horizon. I have often noticed birds watching the sunset. Down in Florida they line up on the wires in great flocks, all facing the setting sun. I wondered if this reflected the human behavior in the same area of going out for a cocktail and watching the sun set. Do the birds chat quietly about what they did that day and share gossip and make plans? Because none of them roost there. They all take off before the sun really sets and it is too dim to fly.
Today I had a different thought, watching a bird watch the sunset. What if birds have an instinct, as sure and sound as the one that pulls them along their migration routes - what if birds are all born with the instinctive knowledge of the number of days they have? Even if it a general lifespan of the species knowledge. What if they know how many days? Humans always sort of brag that we are the only species with a knowledge of death. What if that's wrong?
Maybe the birds do know and are handling it better. Maybe a lot of species handle it better. Maybe the birds sit there and watch the sun setting and think about what they accomplished that day and think about how many more days remain.
Maybe they are not resigned or depressed or even accepting. Certain things do not require us to react to them. They simply are.
I wonder what the birds think.