Yangtze River Headwaters Volunteering Day 11 长江源志愿工作第11天

This is a series of journals recording my days in the Yangtze River Headwaters volunteering project. I will try to update every day but there might be delays in the days I work in the wild without the internet. I’m also trying to write bilingual if time allows. Like it? Follow my Instagram (@anar.chica.yichenguo) for updates!
这是我参与长江源志愿工作的一系列记录。我争取每日更新,但在野外工作没有网络的那些日子会有延迟。在时间允许的情况下,也会尽量使用中英双语。喜欢的话,关注我的Ins账号(@anar.chica.yichenguo)获取更新吧!

Through observation of many kinds of birds, especially the two black-necked crane families, I feel more and more what we perceive ‘humane’ is the same in the other animals’ world.
通过对班德湖各种鸟类尤其是两个黑颈鹤家庭的观察,越来越觉得我们认为所谓人性的东西在其他动物的世界里也是一样的。

An interesting finding is that, the more a species is close to the top of the food chain, the more efforts they endeavour to raise their young. For example, bar-headed goose which is at a relatively low level have babies that can feed themselves grass or insects without being taught by the parents. As long as they don’t get eaten, they can grow up healthily and happily by themselves. However, the black-necked crane at the top of the food chain need to spend lots of energy raising their babies. First they try to feed them tiny insects, so tiny that their long beak cannot even hold it steady. And then they give them pupas that are slightly larger. And finally normal food, which is other smaller birds or mice, etc. Today I saw them feeding the babies with a little mouse. But the two babies were not much interested, and the pieces are too big for them to swallow. So the parents then went to catch a very tiny slim fish from the lake for them.
一个有趣的发现是,越靠近食物链顶端的物种抚养后代所付出的努力就越多,越精细。比如说,处于较低层的斑头雁宝宝出生后不需要父母喂养教育,自己就会吃草吃昆虫,只要不被吃掉,他们自己就能健康快乐地长大。而这里食物链顶端的黑颈鹤则费尽心思抚养宝宝。开始是试探着给他们吃很小的飞虫,小到大鸟细长的嘴都夹不稳。接着是大一些的虫蛹,再然后是正常的食物,也就是其他鸟类和老鼠之类的小动物。今天我便看到大鸟为小鸟喂食老鼠,可是见到两个小的都对大块的老鼠肉没太大兴趣,也吞不下,便又到湖里捉了细长的小鱼。

The above is one of the black-necked crane family. The tragic ending of another one is already known to all of us but themselves, who are still holding on. They have been brooding for over forty days already, almost half longer than normal length. But the only egg they have still doesn’t have any sign to break. The baby should have been dead already inside the shell. I heard from the staff here that the destiny of this family last year was also a tragedy. First they lost a baby, and then they had another egg immediately. However, since the baby was born very late, when the window period for migration is finished, the baby’s feathers are not ready for flying yet. So the staff here thought they face two choices under this condition: to give up the baby and fly away, or to stay and the whole family die together. The result was unexpected. The crane parents didn’t leave their baby and fly away, nor did they stay. They took the baby with them and migrate from land, walking. Unfortunately, judging from the return this year, the baby eventually didn’t make it.
以上是其中的一个黑颈鹤家庭。另一个家庭的悲剧结局我们已经知晓,只是它们自己还在坚持。它们孵蛋至今已四十几天,几乎比正常的时间要多了一半,然而唯一的一枚蛋还是没有任何动静,想必已经胎死蛋中了。听这里的工作人员说,去年它们的命运也很悲惨,先是夭折了一只幼鸟,随后立刻又生了一枚蛋,但是因为这个宝宝出世太晚,等到迁徙的窗口期已过了,宝宝还羽翼未丰,无法翱翔蓝天。于是观测站的工作人员认为,黑颈鹤夫妇面临两个选择:一是放弃宝宝,自己飞走迁徙;二是留下来陪宝宝,一家一起冻死。结果出乎大家的意料,黑颈鹤没有丢下宝宝飞走,也没有留下,而是带着宝宝从陆地上走路迁徙。可惜的是,从今年返回这里的结果来看,那只宝宝最终还是没有活下来。

(I guess) this caused the infidelity of the female from this family. I’ve read in a book previously that one of the main reasons for the infidelity of the female bird of a monogamy kind is to get better genes. This female crane has been losing babies and the egg she broods now is not coming out either, which have given her enough motivation to find the male of the other family. And the male genes always want to reproduce as much as possible. Therefore we saw the female of the first family taking care of two babies, the male of the second family on duty brooding the egg, and both their partners came out to have a date at somewhere for example 50 meters from our station. Poor cranes, I busted them when they’ve just met today. The staff here also saw them together twice in the past. They become shy after being seen several times. They are especially diffident today and only dated for 3 minutes before going back to their own families. Also it was cheating that I ruined, somehow I feel guilty for that. After all, the anti-nature human society rules cannot be used to limit the normal situations in nature.
(我猜测)这促成了这个家庭雌鹤的出轨。之前在书中看过,一夫一妻制的鸟类雌鸟出轨的主要原因之一是为了获得更好的基因。这只雌鹤不断失去宝宝,现在的蛋也迟迟不破壳,这便给了它足够的动机去找另一个家庭的雄鹤。而雄性的基因永远是希望越多传承越好。于是我们便看到第一个家庭的雌鹤在家带两只宝宝,第二个家庭的雄鹤在换班孵蛋,而它们分别的配偶却相约在比如说距离我们观测站只有五十米的地方约会。可怜的它们今天刚一见面就被我看到了。据说之前它们也被保护站的人看到过两次,被看到的次数多了就不好意思了,今天尤其心虚,约会不到三分钟就被迫各自回家。虽说是破坏了偷情,不知为何我却觉得无比内疚。毕竟人类的一套反自然的社会规矩不能用来限制大自然中的正常情况

It reminds me of the argument in <The Thought-Reader Revolution> that the marriage system is based on ‘thought cannot be seen’. ‘Thought cannot be seen’ has made infidelity a possibility. Therefore, except for law, a man-made ideology, marriage is meaningless. If thought is readable, what changes would there be in human society?
想到《阅脑革命》中关于婚姻制度是建立在思维不可见的基础上的论证。思维不可见使出轨成为可能。所以说,排除法律这种人为的意识形态,婚姻是没有任何意义的。如果思维可见,人类社会会发生什么样的改变呢?

Cheating busted!
逮到你们了!

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