• Up in the Air

    What else can I say about birds? What more can I tell you when I have written out my thoughts? You should know that the eagle is the mascot of the university I have been attending. Birds played a central part in the marching band show I was a part of years ago. I also had a job at the zoo for a few months during which I was privileged to be able to feed and nurture little vulture, eagle and hawk chicks. That may have been one of my crowning moments in my life thus far. To hold something so small and helpless and know what it is going to be one day. Let me tell you that there is nothing like it. Not much compares though to the time we found abandoned baby chicks in our backyard while I was still in high school.

    Before this incident though there was another time that may be important to recount. When I was in middle school my dad found a bluejay nest with baby chicks in it once in a tree in our backyard. he decided that this would be a cool learning experience for all of us and while the parents were away he gently grabbed the nest and brought it to the back door. My siblings and I marveled at the tiny little peeping chicks. My dad made sure we did not touch them so we wouldn’t hurt them at all and so we would not scare off the parents by making their babies smell like humans. All of a sudden while we were still cooing over the tiny birds. A full grown bluejay flew up fast as lightening behind my dad and pecked him on the back of the head. In shock my dad whirled around, never dropping the babies. He quickly began to jog back to the tree to replace the nest but it was far enough to where the parents of the chicks (both of them) continually dive bombed my dad on his way. When my dad finally retreated inside and closed the door, we all started laughing. He looked at my mom and said, “Next time YOU get to go get the birds”.

    This experience was a tad different in that the babies we found did not have parents. Their nest had been knocked out of the tree by something and my sister found them lying on the ground under our swing set. We decided to put them back in the tree and monitor them to see if the parents came back, but they did not. We collectively decided to foster them and my mom, being a veterinarian would take them to her clinic the next day when she went into work. So we brought them in. There were four chicks in total but one had already passed away so we nursed the remaining three chicks, keeping them warm and safe and fed, with some fishing tackle my dad had laying around. The next day my mom took them into her clinic and they raised them their and released them into the wild a few weeks later when they were old enough to survive on their own.

  • An Amazing Thing

    As you can probably tell, I love birds. Adore them even. This may come as a surprise when I tell you that growing up, I hated birds. Detested them. I was so terrified of birds that I would shrink away from the window when flocks of them would fly over our car. This may seem silly. What are birds going to do to you? Well let me tell you what one did to me when I was little.

    When I was born, my mother had a pet parrot named Lester. This bird loved my mom, but he only loved her and no one else. He hated my dad and took to pecking him whenever he got a chance. Lester became especially protective when my dad would cuddle with my mom on the couch. Lester would fly over and perch himself in-between the two of them and peck my dads face until he moved. As you can probably assume, my dad was not too fond of this bird either, but they had rescued him from a past abusive home and he had latched onto my mom, so they really could not do anything else with him. My dad tolerated him because the man loves and cares about animals and more importantly, loves and cares about my mom.

    Everything changed a little bit when I was born. I am the oldest of three, but my parents waited eight years after getting married to start having kids (and even then I was a little bit of a surprise). When my mom brought me home from the hospital, Lester instantly saw me as a threat. He was constantly picking on me, and of course as an infant, I was practically defenseless. My parents tried to make it work. Bless their hearts, they really did. But they were forced to take action against this needy, clingy and borderline evil bird. They knew they could not keep him, especially if he was going to continually bully me. That just was not going to work. With a heavy heart my mom decided to give up the bird. She searched for a good home, preferably a single woman with no children and no other pets. I am dead serious that this bird was needy. She finally found one with someone she worked with who she knew would be good to the bird. Even though all of this happened in the first few months of my life, for some reason I retained my fear of birds well into adulthood. I would never go into the atrium at zoos where bird were free to roam around and perch on you or touch you or peck you. I was terrified of flocks of ducks and geese at the park. Although sometimes I still feel a little uncomfortable around birds, I much more admire them than fear them now. They are beauty to behold and incredible creatures from tiny finches to giant eagles. All of them are lucky to be winged and free. So you can see that I have come a long ways and now thoroughly enjoy being in the company of my fine feathered friends.

  • Birds of a Feather

    I find birds fascinating. I mean seriously fascinating. I love how they seem so carefree. They have the  freedom to fly high and escape gravity and the burdens of the world. They sing in the morning and fly around all day. Sometimes (okay a lot of the time) I find myself wishing I were a bird. I would get up early enough to see the sunrise and sing it into the sky. I would take off in search of food or maybe just to get the chance to see the world from high up above (they call it a bird’s eye view for a reason you know). I would love the chance to be so high, everyone else would look like ants. Just imagine leading a life like that. How carefree. How just plain old free. Sometimes being grounded on the Earth is just not fun. Why do you think people invented airplanes? Sure to travel faster and further, but do you think that if birds never existed, we would have gotten the idea for planes at all? Humans looked to the birds and thought I want to do that too. Why should we be limited and grounded when little birds can fly wherever they want. So men invented airplanes. Now we know what it feels like to be so high in the sky. To be above the clouds and look down on the rest of the world and barely be able to make out a car from a tree. If you have never flown, I pity you, I really do. It’s an experience that everyone should witness. The chance to be akin to our avian friends. I know people who are afraid of flying and that’s okay. Humans weren’t designed to leave the ground so I understand. But it’s hard not to catch the flying fever once your feet have left the ground. A famous quote I heard once went “For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward for there you have been and there you will long to return”.

    I absolutely adore that quote and I feel like that’s how I live. I love the Earth I really do but flying gives new perspective on things that may seem so huge and problems that seem too big to conquer. For some reason flying makes everything seem so petty and small and insignificant. Why worry about Earthly things when you are so high up in the sky that you can barely make out the rooftops of houses. Nothing seems so troublesome anymore. So, if you can’t tell, I’m pretty existential in my thinking and I love contemplating the world. Sometimes I will just sit outside for hours and ponder things. Most of the time it’s just random life happenstances but lately it’s been birds and sky and flight. That’s part of the reason I started this blog in the first place. Lately I just can’t get my head out of the clouds. Hopefully after reading some of these, you will contemplate for yourself and see whether you agree with me or not.