Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Most Humble Bird.

There is not a single bird in all creation that does not have some remarkable characteristic that makes it beautiful and a marvel of creation. The lowly sparrow is actually a very delicate and pretty bird when you examine it up close. My first encounter with a House Sparrow (as pictured above) was when I was a small boy and one of these delicate creatures flew into a large window in our home in Saskatchewan. I ran to the bird and found it in the flower bed, barely alive, panting for breath and its eyes already starting to cloud over. It was warm and its heart was beating rapidly. I examined the delicate feet, the tiny claws, the variegation in the wing colouring, and as I was deciding what to do, it died in my hand from what I assumed was a broken neck.

Sparrows have come be known as nuisance birds, only good for making a mess. I changed my mind again as one year we had a pair of them raise a family of four in a birdhouse just outside our living room window. I was endeared to these birds as I watched their antics, especially as the young came out of the house after hanging their heads out for several days. Even after learning to fly, they hung out around the bird house the rest of the summer. The next year, I was sure that the same four yearlings were checking out the house for their own nesting purposes, as their antics all looked so familiar.

After a boyhood of guns and hunting, I have changed my tune and now could never harm one of these beautiful creatures.

A well camouflaged Song Sparrow at Reifel Bird Sanctuary.

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