Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Birds of A Feather

(Chickadee by dsbrennan. http://www.dsbrennan.etsy.com/)

As a child, my dad would "round up the troops", and take us to the Resevoir in West Hartford for a Sunday morning hike. A rucksack filled with lunch, and 2 pairs of binoculars, and a walking stick was all he needed. It was his Heaven.......and my, well, not Heaven.

As we walked, he would point out every bird he saw, identify it, and tell us a little bit about it. He was good. Very, very good.

We would return home, and he would immediately go for his stack of bird books.....to learn more, and help him identify the few birds that he could not identify in the moment.

Truth be told, I liked the bird books. I would use them to draw.......I'd pick a picture of a Goldfinch, Chickadee or Blue Jay, grab my crayons and start drawing. And little did I know, I was actually learning, as now I can go for a hike, and identify some of what I see. It makes me happy, and makes me (fondly) remember those Sunday mornings in the Resevoir.

Our bird education was not limited to hikes, however. It seemed to be very important to my dad that his kids knew the difference between a hawk and a turkey vulture. So important, that he would pull over on the highway to point them out (fyi....turkey vultures have "fingers" on their wings). I can identify one a mile away now.

The reason I share this is because I just purchased an awesome 1983 bird book for $1. If my dad got his hands on it, he would read it cover to cover. I, on the other hand, will use the beautiful photos and illustrations for magnets and paperweights........after I read some of it.

Thanks, Dad.


Amanda said...

I really like that story. A happy memory!

alamodestuff said...

I wish I knew more about birds. An early start in bird watching would have been most helpful.

Diana said...

Thanks for featuring my chickadee, and for sharing the story. My parents are big birders and used to make us stay quiet and still on hikes while they ID'd a bird. Needless to say we hated that :-)

Steph said...

So funny - my dad did the same with the bird thing! He took us to Alton Jones for early morning walks and would alway point out hawks on the highway.
He could always identify the song of any given bird. It's something I want to learn more about!