Monday, October 27, 2008

Simple Pleasures

Far too often, in our quest to find more and different species to add to our life lists, we forget the simple pleasures that come with loving birds. Over the weekend my husband and I took a bag of stale bread -- seasoned focaccia and hot dog buns -- to a large park in Salt Lake City to feed to water fowl that reside there. Our diners were Canada geese, mallard ducks, and one eager California gull, all of whom enjoyed the meal. One goose, in particular, fed willingly from my hand while growling at other birds in an attempt to keep the morsels for himself. Fortunately, there was plenty to share with all.

Many of us got into birding for different reasons, but they all come back to simply enjoying birds. Whether we crave the personal interaction with familiar birds, enjoy the majestic beauty of a falcon's flight, or admire the beauty of a rainbow of songbirds, birding brings us all pleasure. We would do well to remember that the next time the feeders are empty, the bird bath needs cleaning, or there's an unwelcome stain on our windshield. After all, they're still our friends. Let's enjoy their simple company as much as they enjoy the simple care a bag of bread can bring.


Arija said...

That is a lovely goose. Here in Australia we are recommended not to feed facory bread to wild birds because of mould inhibitors and various other chemical substances which are added. We do feed them home made organic bread though at times.

mick said...

Good post and I like the photo of the goose.

Melissa said...

Wow, Arija, I hadn't thought of the effects of processed breads on the local birds, but it's possible that our countries use different techniques -- these birds have been fed bread and scraps for years with no problem. In fact, they were upset that we'd brought so little along with us!

And thanks for the comment, Mick - the picture did turn out quite well of this old friend.

Erin Alberty said...

My favorite Canada geese memory was in Michigan, where I used to live. I was cycling with a friend in late autumn at a national wildlife refuge near Saginaw, and I rode over a branch. When it snapped, scores of geese flew off the marsh. All of those wings beating against the water made such a racket that it startled a couple dozen deer that were hiding in the woods behind the marsh. We could still hear their hooves on the ground after the geese were aloft.

My friend accurately described it as "like, a totally electric moment, man. Whoa."

I haven't been looking for birds since I moved to Utah. In Michigan, it's impossible not to notice the big herons and egrets. Your blog is an inspiration to keep my eyes peeled!