Monday, August 18, 2008

Migrations and Mutations

As most birds eventually migrate, so too have I for the past two months. While I returned to an earlier nesting ground of my own, I was able to observe many different species with vastly different behavioral patterns than those that flit through my backyard from time to time.

I saw a rare treat, an albino sparrow with creamy yellow coloring. Another sparrow conspicuously lacked a tail but had no trouble surviving on the richly abundant food sources available -- though I doubt they were the same nutritious fare that their wilder cousins would dine upon. I saw different species of birds take advantage of fountains, waterfalls, and lagoons to keep cool in the relentless summer heat. During nesting periods, birds of all species fiercely defended the territory they had deemed their own, regardless of the constant intrusions (and woe upon us whose necessary attire was mistaken for aggression). Fearless enthusiasm was rampant both among the birds and the humans who unwittingly increased their food supply through casual discards of fries, breads, and crackers.

Naturally, these birds and their antics are not part of my typical backyard observations, though I have enjoyed comparing the differences between the more aggressive, decadently fed birds in a less wild atmosphere and the equally entertaining birds that thrive in my growing sanctuary. While they are different species separated by hundreds of miles, the joy and determination they all find in life is identical. At times we all need a migration out of the ordinary to appreciate that.

No comments: