Bird - Blue Jay

The Birds

Growing up, I knew my grandmother loved birds. She’d make a pheesh, pheesh, pheeshing noise that would get whatever birds were near to look her way. This was cool, but I never understood her fascination with them in the first place.

Bird - Cardinal Jump to years later and I find out that my dad has the same fascination. He’ll see a new bird on the feeders he’s placed around the back yard and grab his binoculars to see what kind of beak it has or what the coloring on its belly looks like. He’ll listen, trying to categorize whether a bird’s call is a wherrring or a chick-a-dee-dee-dee or a trilling. Then he’ll open his nifty guide book and try to match all his observations to a bird.

From spending time with him, I now know a male cardinal’s brilliant red coloring or a hairy wood pecker’s whirring that oddly sounds similar to its pecking on a tree. I find myself eyeing a brown bird with a black beak in order to tell him about it later so we can discover what kind it is. (Brown cow bird. Dad knew this one without even looking it up.) They’re all so beautiful and different.

And I wonder, did I not understand my grandmother’s fascination because one bird was just like another to me and I didn’t know how she was able to figure out new birds? Did I miss out simply because I didn’t ask her questions? What else would I find interesting if I took the time to understand how something works?



(My most recent multi-ending adventure book, Discarded Dragons, published this month. Check it out here on the site or on Amazon!)

13 thoughts on “The Birds”

  1. I got obsessed with birds one winter, and as I watched the drama unfold in the tree outside our kitchen window (one female cardinal being courted by four – count them, FOUR – bright red males), my daughter came in and sternly ordered me, like a police officer making an arrest, “MOM! STOP! Step. Away. From. The. Window!” I did, and figured I’d better get some other hobbies.

  2. There are questions I have for folks now gone and wished I’d asked. Ask now if you have the chance. Good lesson to learn!!

  3. What to say here? Guess it’s just plain good to stop and smell the roses or in this case pause long enough to enjoy the blessings that surround us. His creation is truly amazing and birds are just one part.

  4. My grandmother had a weird fascination with birds, but in a not nearly as much fun way as yours. She was from old world China where crows (or any dark colored bird to her) meant death, so it was always kind of weird to watch her chase off a bunch of birds. I just wish that hadn’t been imprinted on me at such a young age because now I silently ask every dark colored bird I see if someone’s going to die. I’d much rather enjoy my time watching birds in nature wondering what kind of bird they are!

    1. I’ve heard of crows and ravens being viewed that way but have never met someone who actually believed it (that I know of). As a writer, I love the depth that simple fact could add to someone’s character!

      1. It was always an interesting experience, and she’s the only one I’ve known so far to hold that belief. She was quite a character all on her own!

  5. Birds are cool! I wish I could identify them with the same precision as your dad, but my years in grad school studying Marine Ecology did teach me a lot about the fascinating world of fish! The natural world around us is full of magic and wonder, if we only know to slow down once in a while and see it! 🙂

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