Sorry, the title translates to “I love birds.” I just wrote it in French to make it sound more passionate. It’s February, after all.
February. The month of hearts and flowers, of chocolate and love–and more chocolate. It’s also 2018, which has been designated the Year of the Bird by the Audubon Society and a few other bird-loving organizations. And so, in the spirit of Coffee Love and Kitty Love–and once again with profuse apologies to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning for shamelessly mangling her famous poem–I present to you my love letter to the birds.
How do I love thee, my fine feathered friends? Let me count the ways:
I love your sweet music the most dear, methinks. Your serenade, Song Sparrow, as I toil in the garden. Your possibly never-ending trill, Winter Wren, as I navigate the dusky forest. Even your extremely odd melody, male Anna’s Hummingbird. I daresay it almost defies description, but if I were to hazard one, methinks it sounds uncannily like the mingling of an ancient door creaking and nails scritchy-scratching across chalkboard.
But yes, even this.
I love your staggering diversity of form and feather color, your sheer beauty. Your steely plumage, Great Blue Heron, as you glide across the sky like a pterodactyl. Your sensible shades of black, white, buff, and chestnut, tiny Chickadee, as you flit from branch to branch. Your flamboyant tail feathers and suit of gaudy green and red, Resplendent Quetzal, as you tease birders from your perch on high in the cloud forest. I could praise each of thee on and on; however, with some 9,000 to 18,000 bird species inhabiting this orb of ours (depending on the lumper’s/splitter’s definition of species), it would–I fear–take an eternity I do not have.
I love your engaging behaviors, your surprising intelligence, and how you fascinate me so. Especially you, Crow, and you, Raven. Oh, and you, my dear Cockatiel. Do you hear and understand these words of adoration? I suspect you do. I love, too, how I can travel almost anywhere in this country of mine–nay, in this world–and you will be there, banishing any boredom with a flick of your wings. Yes, even in Nevada.
Which reminds me, I love your astounding capability of flight. Watching you fly, I fly a little bit, too.
Lastly, along with the song and beauty and interest you bring into my world, I love the other gifts you bestow. Your devouring of foul pests and carrion. Your pollinating of the blooms that give me such joy. Your dispersal of tree and plant seeds far and wide (but please, hold the Himalayan Blackberry and Poison Hemlock). Your provision of delicious fresh eggs and cheery companionship.
My dear friends, how could I live without you?
Truth be told, I could not.
What do you love best about birds?
Thanks for reading!