Sunday, August 11, 2013

Borrowing Birds

One Good Reason Birds Stay Clear

Despite the threat of two resident felines, the birds abundantly surround my niece’s yard.  The tree just outside the second story window is lush with shiny green leaves and little sparrows that flit from branch to branch waiting for their turn at the nearby feeders.  The cats in my house outnumber the birds that have visited our birdfeeder outside our bedroom window.  Every few years, the feeder returns to the spot or we try a different location, expecting different results, but the birds remain high in the tree tops far away from the house.   Joyfully, I hear evidence of their presence a distance away.

When I was about eleven years old, and my sister was an infant, my mother began studying birds.  The double-sided bird feeder hung just outside the window and nearby, inside the house were binoculars and a Peterson’s Guide to Birds in the Northeast and a small black binder with journal pages where my mother recorded bird sightings.  She made a few visits to the Scarborough Marsh with Audubon members noting encounters with the Great Blue Heron and the Snowy Egret. 

Prior to my mother’s interest in birds, I was able to identify a blue jay and a robin.  Under her tutelage, I began my careful observation, noting various shaped beaks, markings and sizes of birds.  The most elementary knowledge of the difference between males and females had previously eluded my need to know.  My mother’s enthusiasm and persistence to learn more about birds and pass this knowledge to me helped to cultivate my interest in nature, and now that I think,  this was the beginning of my interest in quietly observing and noting what I see.  

Somehow, I wish that my kitties and the wild birds would be able to co-exist. Right now, I will enjoy their song and make visits to other people’s houses (borrowing birds), where the cats can inhibit their true nature or the birds can fiercely overcome their fear of felines. 

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