Is it really a mistake to assign human qualities to animals? There is a book named “Do Elephant’s Cry?” that was written some years back that explores this question.
My unscientific opinion, based purely on my observance with different forms of wildlife is that what we call instinct in animals is not much different than love in humans. Just watch the mothers with their babies, or the babies with each other.
These birds are just hanging together for safety right? I lived with a wonderful cockatiel for a number of years. We’d let him out of his cage and he used to stay right with us because he liked our company.
I think if we tell ourselves animals don’t think and they don’t feel then it makes it easier for us to eat them or to decimate the environment in which they live.