Little Birds

Small birds don’t always get the recognition that larger birds do. Often unnoticed, they flit about in the undergrowth, scavenge under leaves and creep up the sides of trees. They tend to be dull in colour and furtive, yet sometimes they are outrageously brilliant to the point where you exclaim, “I had no idea we even had birds like that here.”

Consider, for example, the Lazuli Bunting with its exquisite heart-squeezing blue feathers. This guy (and it is the guy who gets all the glory in terms of colour) arrives in spring and scavenges just like all the other plain coated scavengers, seemingly oblivious to the cacophony of admiring murmurs from bystanders at the feeder.

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In contrast, there is the Pine Grosbeak, poignantly pink and red against the melting snow of spring and singing a lovely song to usher in the longer days.

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Then there is the understated elegance of the American Dipper, quietly dabbling at the frozen pond edges or melodically populating the too silent understory with its amazing songs.

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Finally, examine the sleek yellow breast of the Cedar Waxwing. There is something so solid and inquisitive and exotic about these birds who are relatives of the even more exotic sounding, Bohemian Waxwings. Watching them feed each other was a special treat.

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Even the most brilliantly coloured of small birds will go undetected; the most melodic of songs will not be heard. Perhaps birds escape our notice out of necessity and possibly they go undetected because they are on missions which are irrelevant to us. Also, I must consider that some people make a point of ignoring birds out of fear or loathing or utter lack of interest. Whichever the case, I believe it worthwhile at times, to stop and admire their resplendent or subtle colours and their perky vocalizations. They offer us the opportunity to step out of our minds and into the world-and they do so all from their teensy bit of real estate on this planet. Wow.

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