When we lived in Chicago, I first became acquainted with red-winged blackbirds. The red flashes on the wings are fine but they have a terribly annoying call and they get quite aggressive when you get close to their nests. There are a lot of them in Juanita Bay and I have to say that they are clearly not the sharpest tools in the shed. They build their nests very close to the heavily trafficked areas where people walk. There is a lot of space in the park but they build nests within feet of the boardwalk.
The result of this is that they are constantly freaking out about how close everyone is to their nest. They fly up on to the boardwalk, swoop around the heads of people and land on the handrails right next to you. It is quite fun to have them so close (except when they start with the calls) but you would think that they would have made life slightly easier for themselves by building a nest just slightly further away from everyone!
As the days get longer, love is in the air and this includes the world of geese. Suddenly the geese get very territorial both about potential mates and potential nesting locations. Fights can break out with very little warning. One of the geese in Juanita Bay was definitely in no mood for any competition. It was taking on anyone that happened to be in the way, whether they were a threat or not. Not just one at a time, either. A few other geese were in the area and they each got a dose of its attitude.
The flurry of activity when geese start sparring can often be intense but brief. In this case, the aggravation continued for quite a while. One goose would lunge at the others and they would settle again before he came at them once more. Much splashing of water, flapping of wings, honking and waving of tongues ensued. The goose that was chasing the others would be mouth open and tongue out as it charged at them. The tongue is a nasty looking thing on a goose. Lots of barbs on its surface.
After a few charges back and forth across the inlet, the others started to get the message. They took off and headed across the bay. The main goose was not satisfied yet, though. He took off after them and chased them well across the bay before deciding that the message had been received upon which he returned to the inlet to be ready for the next round of intruders.
Go to any zoo and, if there is a gorilla enclosure, you will find a lot of people. I suspect there are many reasons why people like gorillas but the similarity they have to us is probably one of the big ones. The hierarchy of their groups is also interesting and so it proved to be while we were in San Diego. One male seemed to be testing how much of the enclosure he could control. He would sit quietly in one spot for a while and the other male would find a spot to hang out somewhere out of the way.
Then the prime would decide to move. Surprisingly enough, he would always go roughly where the other male was. He would make himself scarce. He might then sneak around the back in the diction of the spot the prime had previously been. I think you can guess what happened next. This game went on for quite a while – longer than I was prepared to watch it.
Needless to say, if you are looking for similarities between gorillas and humans, go for the intimidation and pettiness elements. You should see some close parallels. It is hard to see which one is more advanced in that case!