Monday, July 03, 2006

Why Blog About Birds?

Roger and I can't really answer the questions that Mike of 10,000 Birds posed for the one year anniversary of I and the Bird. We are not birders, per se. We have never traveled to see a particular bird; we don't own a good pair of binoculars; we barely recognize bird songs; we don't keep a life list. We do blog, though, and we blog about birds. Why is that?

It's really very simple: We love wildlife. Our hearts leap at the sight of a bobcat or coyote, and yes, even a rabbit makes us happier for having seen it. The amazing thing about birds is that we can be anywhere, even the heart of a big urban city, and still see them. There's a certain deception by virtue of their ubiquity that makes bird wildness seem dismissible. But they are indeed wild creatures with a myriad of behaviors, territories, diets, and quirks. Some birds sing, and others squawk, screech or whistle. They swoop and leap, dip and hover. Some skitter on the earth, scratching for worms. Some rap and rip into tree bark for insects. Some dine on fresh ripened raspberries, while others dine on the seeds from a rosemary bush, sunflower, or pinecone. Some dart through the air to grab flying insects, others extend their talons into the sea to take fish. Some sing early in the morning before the first light, some fly and hoot only at night. Some make their lives on water, some on the ice, some soar high in alpine meadows, and some live where the cactus grows. Some have colors that take our breath away, and others are merely called LBJs. Everywhere we look, we see them. Downtown, at the beach, in the oak woods, deep in redwood forests, and even in our own backyard. These wild creatures are singing, eating, building nests, fighting over territory, hunting from the sky, bringing food to their babies, bathing in the pond, flying with exuberance. Whatever they are doing, they give us a moment of awe.

It's why we blog about birds. Why Roger's youngest daughter has this tattoo. Wild and beautiful. Birds.

** Above osprey photos were taken on Sunday 7/2, right from our backyard. I was on the phone with my mom, when I noticed it. "I gotta go, Mom, I've got to get the camera. I don't know what I'm looking at, but I gotta get a picture."

The photograph of Roger's daughter was taken at the family reunion last month. She obliged me this closeup of her heart.

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