10 March 2022
Despite distractions we humans can focus on just one thing if we want to. Birds of prey can do it, too, as seen in this video of a red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square Park, New York. The hawk doesn’t care about squirrels or people or the ambulance but when he sees a rat …!
This ability to focus is called selective attention and other birds can do it too. Eight years ago a Stanford study proved it in chickens. See this vintage article, Selective Attention in Chickens, with an amazing video to test your own selective attention.
Bonus test: After you see the video in the chicken article, try another test. (This test + answer lasts 3 minutes. The remaining 2 minutes show family & friends reactions.)
(photo from Wikimedia Commons; click on the caption to see the original. Videos embedded from YouTube)