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What factors do they weigh on? Shape, position of branch within the tree body/structure, fatigue, nearness to current position, etc.

And how fast does a bird's brain and nervous system decide on this?

Narrowing it down to a bird of prey, say the Harpy Eagle.

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closed as too broad by AliceD, another 'Homo sapien', Bryan Krause, James, Chris Feb 23 '17 at 12:00

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I think that the question is too broad. There are over 10000 species of birds and the majority of them uses branches to perch. The reasons/ motivation can be so many that your question should be targeted to more specific situation to be able to provide an answer. $\endgroup$ – have fun Feb 20 '17 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ I agree it is fairly broad question, but, nevertheless, I'm sure the OP would benefit from a brief discussion (or the very least a list of potential sources to read) examining/reflecting on this question for any species. I wonder myself if anyone has tried to model/determine these behaviors. I vote to keep this question open. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 21 '17 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist thanks for the upvote. I understand that the question is too broad in a sense. But my question was directed towards the basic premises of a bird's cognitive decision making. Let me narrow it down to a certain species within the wide classification of birds of prey in that case. $\endgroup$ – Aurodeep Ghosh Feb 26 '17 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ Btw, I found this for a start. asifg.mycpanel.princeton.edu/publications/pdfs/… $\endgroup$ – Aurodeep Ghosh Feb 26 '17 at 6:14