Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bird Nerds

I was sitting on the front porch this evening with my daughter and her boyfriend.
“There’s a downy woodpecker on the tree over there,” she said to us. “A male. See its red head?” All matter-of-fact.

A simple comment on the surface about an avian sighting, perhaps, but not to me. I was beyond thrilled. Not every twenty-one year old knows a male from a female downy, or cares, for that matter. But she did, and boy o’ boy, that means the world to me.

My husband and I not infrequently wonder what we’ve managed to pass on to our children. But in this case, it was obvious. Our love of birds. And I’d count that among one of the traits definitely worth passing on, besides a love of dancing, of course.

I then told  my daughter about the many entries on my Facebook page in the last few days either mentioning bird sightings or showing pictures of them. Several friends went off to Point Pelee this week, and I was appreciatively the recipient of wonderful photos of a rose-breasted grosbeak, kingbird. yellow warbler, Baltimore oriole and black-throated blue warbler.

“Bird nerds, that’s what you are,” my daughter said. “In a good way. I’m one too, I guess.”  She mentioned some guy she saw recently in the city with a pair of binos around his neck looking up, and actually thought it was cool someone young was interested in birds (other than her parents, I guess).

We talked about the many Facebook entries of birds, and I realized how our postings says as much about the  recipients as it does the senders. It's not just a fluke that besides bird musings, my page was plastered with political issues (with links), comments about major social issues (with links), a Save Species of the Deep message (with link), notices about flora returnees to the garden as well as announcements about upcoming events, particularly photography shows and music concerts.

No entries about extreme fighting or duck hunting,  petitions against gun registration or fundraising appeals for the Tea Party.  I liked what all my entries said about my interests. They were pretty much all there.

But today, I liked a bird entry on my Facebook page best of all. My daughter had posted it a few days ago. It was a simple message, but it made my heart skip a beat.  “Great-crested flycather!” it said.

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