A Little Bird Taught Me
My mind is full of experiences with nature. Nature has always been a beautiful place to me, filled with beautiful plants and animals, a place where I can be at peace and gather my thoughts. Never have I thought of nature as a place to learn or as teacher, until the one day I focused on one thing, a bird, a robin to be specific. Watching this bird in my backyard taught me about family values and determination.
I was really surprised to see the robin come back to the exact place where he had last found some food. This occurred at about 4:45 pm. The suns rays peaking threw the trees. The weather was pleasant. Not too hot not too cold and there was hardly any wind. The robin was a dull brown with a red chest. The robin pranced around the ground among the dry brittle leaves which caused them to rattle. Searching for food, the robin continued its dance until it found something. I decided to change my seating position and got up to move when I startled the robin and it flew to another spot in the same area where it continued its search for food. Then the robin flew off, to its nest I assume. Then later the robin came back, its flaps matching that of its chirps, flap, flap, glide, flap, flap, and glide. Sometimes the robin would land in an old oak tree before scavenging again and did this so much the robin almost seemed finicky about what he would grab. It landed in the exact place where it last found food and searches again. The robin did this several times within the next half hour.
This bird reminds me of several other interesting bird encounters I have had in the past. One such encounter takes place in the Sierra Nevada’s. One day my family and I decide to go to Echo Lake. After arriving at Echo Lake I went kayaking. After I padded around for a while, I saw a bird land in a far away tree. I knew it was a raptor of some sort. I decided to paddle closer. As the distance closed between me and the raptor it started looking like a bald eagle to me. I tried to tell myself that it’s not so when I find out its not a bald eagle the disappointment won’t be so great. I had never seen a bald eagle free in the wild before. Finally I was close enough to see that had a yellow beak, white “bald” head and brown body of course making it a bald eagle. It was too far away to say exactly the size but I know it was big. I sat there in my kayak watching it for at least two minutes. Then I realized that the wind had pushed me closer while I was admiring the bald eagle. The bald eagle noticed too because he turned his head and looked at me for a few seconds and then flew off. I kept my eyes open the rest of the time I was there and saw the bald eagle flying around time to time. That whole experience was an amazing moment for my family and me. Another encounter I’ve had with a bird was at San Pedro Park, in Pacifica, California. The best thing San Pedro Park has to offer is the trails that go into the different wooded areas. It’s not rare to see quail and red tailed hawks on the trail. Then on a thanksgiving weekend my family and I went on a different trail. This trail was much longer then the one we usually go on and a lot windier but it all leads to a vista at the top of a mountain where you can see more forest below and eventually the ocean. The way back down is steeper and you feel like all you’re doing is zigzagging back and forth. About half way down at the corner of a zigzag my dad spots a huge bird in a small eucalyptus tree. It was hard to see at first because it was camouflaged so well. It was a great horned owl. It looked like a dark barked log with horns was perched on a tree branch. I tried to get closer but as my feet disturbed the foliage the great horned owls head turned so I stopped. I was surprised to see its head do a full 180 degree turn to look at me. We all gazed at it for a while and then turned its head again and flew deeper in to the woods. Its dull feathers making no noise as it flapped its big wings. We then continued to go down the trail and the whole way down I was marveling over what I had just seen.
Watching the robin has shown me that even in nature family always comes first. Watching the robin I started to understand its whole motive for living is its family. The bird flies back and forth bringing food back to his home for his family. Even in nature’s simplicity, a common bird has family values. Observing the robin also made me realize the determination of the robin. I saw for myself how it wouldn’t let anything get in the way of its goals. No matter what that robin was going to go where ever the robin had to go so that it could feed its family. And back and forth it went making trips from its food source to its nest. Even when I disturbed it, the robin just flew somewhere else to find food. That robin would have done that a thousand times if it had too. We should all be so determined to do what we want to do and what we must do.
After watching the robin for so long and after making mental notes of it in my head I have come to realized that I have learned a lot from that robin. I learned about family values and their importance to animals and to humans. I also learned about determination and how for animals it a matter of life and death but for us it’s a matter of a full, happy life or a boring sad one. All of this I learned by really paying attention to what I was seeing and then analyzing it. And from now on I will now pay more attention to nature because I am sure there are plenty more lessons to be learned.
Thanks for reading. (but I know you just scanned threw it.)