Birds Experiences in the Past
My relationship with birds is not based on a great personal history. Growing up, I was afraid of the winged, flying creatures. I saw a red headed school girl about my age in the aviary at the Seneca Park Zoo in the late sixties be dive-bombed for strands of her fluorescent locks! Yikes! In addition, my own thick dark, almost black, hair attracted barn swallows in very much the same manner when I was a teen on our riding lawn mower. I left the mower running while in park more than once while I made an escape screaming across the yard!
During the same years, as a young teen, I was pooped on by seagulls while lying on the beach during Easter vacation in South Carolina. Someone else was feeding the birds and I got the stuff as it came out the other end…..right on my chest and in my hair. Then, there was the time I was watering a hanging plant on the front porch of the first home my husband and I owned and knocked down the basket, spilling a bunch of baby robins from their next onto the sidewalk. This devastated me! It seemed that birds and I were not meant to be friends.
I learned, through these past experiences, to keep my distance from birds and rarely admired them. That was the case until lately, anyway. Friday morning, I glanced out my window and saw chickadees playing together, flying in and out of the Norway spruce and into the bare limbed apple trees of our side yard. A male cardinal joined them only for a brief period; I assume because they were being very rowdy! Yesterday, sitting in the same spot at my desk, I noted a large bird, a Red-tailed Hawk, sitting in the tree in the dry creek bed that lines our property to the north. The large tree serves as a great perch for dinner decisions.
Learning to like Birds
As I’ve aged and came to understand animals more, birds have gained their popularity with me. I like the many songbirds that visit our yard. Cardinals, orioles, blue birds, blue jays, chickadees, goldfinches, robins, red-winged black birds, and wood peckers all visit our yard. I enjoy seeing them and hearing their songs. Occasionally, at night, I can hear the barn owls too. At our cabin, we are blessed to hear the loons call at dusk and again at dawn. They have become one of my favorite birds.
And, then there are the bald eagles that can be regularly seen in our area near the Mississippi River. The same tree that served as a perch for the Red Tailed Hawk also served as an outlook for a Bald Eagle a few weeks ago.
Birds are Awesome
I’m not sure if it is that I’ve noticed more about birds since I’ve aged because I’ve learned more about our natural world and the need for biodiversity or that I’m just less scared of them, but I have come to appreciate birds.
In any case, birds make for some awesome excuses to use my camera and pause during my day! I guess I am a bird watcher, after all!
Today is day 2/31 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks go to TwoWritingTeachers.org for organizing and hosting this challenge.