For the Love of Birds
“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?” David Attenborough
Birds have always fascinated me. When I was a kid, I included them whenever I drew a picture, and as a young teen I had one as a pet. When I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1980, I was introduced by a good friend to the act of bird watching. Even though I am no longer keeping an active life list, the art of birding is still part of my life, especially when I travel.
As a birder, I do not just watch for birds in the garden or along the road, but I marvel at their beauty and diversity, their colors and songs, their trust if you sit quietly enough so they come out from hiding and share energy and activity with you. I see the birds as a reminder that life is full of wonder and should be appreciated. That it is important to sit quietly every once in a while and just become part of nature. That life is not about me and my to-do list but about slowing down and celebrating the wonders of life, like listening to the birds sing.
I have written about birds before whether out in the wild or on display at a zoo. Hummingbirds are especially glorious! But all birds—from the flamboyant peacock to the common sparrow, from the graceful swan to the chattering bluejay—are worthy of notice. And I always feel lucky if the birds cooperate at all and let me glimpse them in their daily routines.
Here are a few of the birds I have noticed over the years.
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QUOTES ABOUT BIRDS
“I don’t spend that much time being introspective, believe it or not. All I know is that I grew up not questioning God because that’s how you are. God was there like the birds and the wind.” Jane Goodall
“Birds sing after a storm, why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?” Rose Kennedy
“Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature. The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.” Bernard Meltzer
“I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.” Charles Lindbergh
“Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.” Douglas Coupland
“Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble.” Roger Tory Peterson
“The best thing you can do when you’re not feeling funny is go out and get more stimuli from the world, get out and walk around, read a book, go talk to some birds or a dog and replenish the well, as it were.” Rob Delaney
“I think people who don’t believe in God are crazy. How can you say there is no God when you hear the birds singing these beautiful songs you didn’t make?” Little Richard
“When the moon covers the sun, we have a solar eclipse. What do you call it when birds do that?” Kim Young-ha
“I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.” Emily Dickinson
“I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.” John James Audubon
“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.” Robert Lynd
“Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.” Rebeca West
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.” William Blake
“In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.” Robert Lynd
“A bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.” Maya Angelou
“Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps the singing bird will come.” Chinese Proverb
“We have flown the air like birds and swum the seas like fishes, but we have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes
“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” Dale Carnegie
“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dali
“You have to believe in happiness, or happiness never comes. Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing. On his darkest day he believes in spring.” Douglas Malloch
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We much be hatched or go bad.” C. S. Lewis
“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” D. H. Lawrence
“Accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue.” David Brent
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Harper Lee
“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and the flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly thing can be.” Rachel Carson
“God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into the nest.” J. G. Holland
“It’s a good thing we have gravity, or else when birds died they’d just stay right up there. Hunters would be all confused.” Steven Wright
This post is my contribution to the WordPress Photo a Week Challege: Birds.