Pigeons Are More Likely To Correct Themselves Than Republicans
Birds of a feather flock together unless they're headed in the wrong direction
Photo: Charles Smith
New York City’s local majestic bird, the pigeon, is an animal of continual wonderment. According to science, pigeons, unlike Donald Trump supporters, don’t blindly follow lead pigeons if they’re headed in the wrong direction. The New York Times reports:
Either the lead pigeon recognizes that it has no clue and falls back into the flock, letting birds that know where they are going take over, or the flock collectively decides that the direction that it is taking just doesn’t feel right, and it doesn’t follow.
Several European scientists report these findings in a stirring report in Biology Letters titled, “Misinformed Leaders Lose Influence Over Pigeon Flocks.”
As remarkable as those findings sound, how they got the results are equally as interesting. To conduct the study, the birds were fitted with “pigeon-sized backpacks” that carried tiny GPS units.
One of the study’s advisers, Dr. Dora Biro, is still trying to figure out how the birds self correct themselves:
The followers all had the right information, so they might have collectively said, “this guy’s wrong, let’s not follow him,” Dr. Biro said.
“Or, the leader said, ‘Something’s wrong here,’” and fell back into the flock, “effectively choosing not to lead,” Dr. Biro said, and another pigeon, that knew the time of day, led the way.
If only the Republican party was more like pigeons.