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.