Friday, October 19, 2007

And I Claim to Love Birds?

At the risk of reminding you that I still haven't posted a pic of Marguerite's (captive) lovebirds, I shall be writing about birds again. What can I say? They're awesome creatures and people don't pay nearly enough attention to them.
Last Saturday, one of the speakers - I believe it was Barbara West (the emcee had a blooper, btw, and called her Barbara Walters. He immediately corrected himself though, jokingly putting it down to not having been homeschooled himself) - talked about lessons you can get from nature and how one of the values one can learn from studying it is loyalty between a Canadian goose and her mate. She said that these birds have such deep loyalty for each other that one would never abandon the other even if it meant both of them dying. I was able to witness something akin to this, but strangely enough, it involved birds of different breeds. I may be mistaken, but I believe that the one that was wounded was a sea gull and the one that was trying to rescue it was a pigeon. We were at the Oceanside Pier (or was it Carlsbad?) and it looked to me as though a wave got the bird and the crash must have been strong enough to sprain or break a wing because the bird wasn't able to fly away again. There was a whole flock of them, different kinds, and they all went about their business but for one. This other bird hovered above the gull that was bobbing along the surface of the water, dipping every now and then, trying to pull the wounded up. We were up on the pier, so I couldn't do anything. There were surfers milling about on their boards though. I thought one of them was going to rescue the bird, but he got distracted by an oncoming wave. We were really on the point of leaving at that time and the birds were really far from the shore (we were on the pier. on a cold fall morning. in fall attire I might add), so I felt that I had no choice but to walk away and hope that the birds would be able to sort it out for themselves, that the one that was down was really just temporarily winded and would be able to summon enough strength to fly off again, that one of the surfers would do something about it, or one of the pier regulars would do something about it (I knew they could see, we could all see, but I was the only one who seemed bothered.).
I wish I had enough presence of mind or knew what the protocol was to at least have reported my concern, but I was a visitor to the area. I wish I hadn't been so self-conscious, worrying that people might laugh if I made a fuss about the bird. I wish I had enough courage and skill to have stripped down, jumped off the pier, and rescued the bird myself. I wish a lot of things and I guess you can tell that my lack of action still bothers me on and off to this day. Beyond the guilt that plagues me though is much admiration for that compassionate, inspiring pigeon. Birds rock. Me? Not so much.

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