In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
~ Robert Lynd
Before the snows came, the sky was bright and fluffy with clouds, and a few visitors stopped by to do some fishing in the pond.
It’s a very rare thing, but every now and then a Great Egret comes to visit the pond. They don’t live in our area, but pass through on their migration to elsewhere.
Egrets don’t seem to be as shy as our Great Blue Herons. I sat outside on the deck on Saturday and watched as this beautiful, graceful creature landed near the cattails at the back of the pond. I stayed for about an hour as he made his way around the pond. A Great Blue Heron probably wouldn’t have landed in the first place, and certainly would have left if he’d seen me walking around on the deck. The egret didn’t mind me at all.
… I keep looking for one more teacher, only to find that fish learn from the water and birds learn from the sky.
~ Mark Nepo
Here’s are some interesting tidbits about the Great Egret from Cornell’s All About Birds website:
- The oldest known egret was 22 years, 10 months old. It was banded in Ohio.
- The Great Egret is the symbol for the National Audubon Society. They were once hunted for their plumes, called aigrettes, which were used to decorate ladies’ hats. Audubon was formed to protect birds from being hunted and killed for their feathers.
- The Great Egret is a slow flyer whose cruising speed is about 25 mph, and has a wing beat of 2 per second.
The Great Egret is not the only bird fishing the pond. There is a Great Blue Heron who stops by every day now. He’s gorgeous. Great Blue Herons live in this area year round although we don’t usually see them at our pond during the winter months.
There was a Red-Tailed Hawk in the vicinity on Sunday when our Great Blue Heron stopped by. There were also a couple of ducks and geese floating around. I’ve noticed in the past that when a hawk is around, the herons will make themselves look bigger. I can’t imagine that the herons are in any danger from the hawks (herons are not listed as prey for hawks), but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to put on a little display just to show who’s bigger and who’s boss.
I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.
~ Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
It continues to be cold here in the Bogs. It’s been snowing all afternoon and there is more snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. I suspect it’s lake-effect snow, but I haven’t been paying enough attention to be sure. Does it really matter where and how the snow is generated? Snow is snow.
If we learn to read the birds — and their behaviors and vocalizations — through them, we can read the world at large… if we replace collision with connection, learn to read these details, feel at home, relax, and are respectful — ultimately the birds will yield to us the first rite of passage: a close encounter with an animal otherwise wary of our presence.
~ Jon Young, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World
Thank you for visiting today and watching the birds of the pond with me. They are so beautiful and regal, don’t you think?
Have a delightful day, evening, night… wherever and whenever you are on the spectrum of time. 🙂