Reflecting on Birds

I’ve amassed a small collection of bird photos showing their reflections in water, so I thought it would be nice to share them as I reflect a little bit on birds’ lives. Hope you enjoy this quick little item.

Black-necked stilt with reflection - copyright Kim Smith
Black-necked Stilt

Imagine what it would be like if you had to spend virtually every waking moment of your life either finding food, or trying to impress a potential mate, or hiding from other critters who want to eat you. I think of this often as I watch large numbers of birds arriving here in the spring, some of them just passing through and others who will stay and breed in this area. Regardless of whether they’re migrants or returning breeders, all of them are tired and very hungry. It’s a matter of life and death for them to find enough food to survive each day.

American Avocets at with reflections w sig
American Avocets (2×2=4)
Great Egret and reflection in water w sig
One of my first bird reflection shots, Great Egret
American Tree Sparrow and reflection in water w sig - Metzger Marsh
American Tree Sparrow and his winter reflection

And for many of them, this is a new place where they don’t know the special spots for the best food sources. So they’re in a strange place with thousands of others who are also hungry and tired. Competition for survival is fierce, and they get no vacation from it. I’ve never seen a bird take the weekend off to sit on the patio and drink iced tea, have you?

Watching birds in the winter is another time when I’m deeply moved by their lives. Among our resident birds, the struggle for food is more intense when most of the plants have gone dormant and insects have died or hibernated or migrated to warmer climates. And getting through the cold nights is a special kind of challenge when you can’t snuggle up under a warm blanket in front of a blazing fireplace.

We humans definitely have our own set of problems, but thinking about the difficult lives of wild animals helps put things in perspective a bit, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

Coot looking into water w reflection w sig
American Coot doing a bit of self-reflection