Until last year, I never paid any attention to birds, except for a trip to Brackendale Park in British Columbia to see bald eagles.
I just miss seeing the red cardinal bird that’s frequently found in southern Ontario, but not in Alberta. Or the blue jay bird which seems to be rarer on the prairies. I have memory when cycling to
work over 18 years ago, by the Toronto Beaches area along Lake Ontario. There were brilliant bright yellow plump bird flashes among the lakeside tall grasses. Perhaps they were warblers or finches of some sort. Alas, I never stopped to look hard.
Now, it not as if I’ve become an avid birder creeping through the bush with binoculars. We don’t even have a set. It’s just acute awareness of creatures flitting or fleeing by, a chorus of different birdsong and chatter, or a beaver dragging itself out of the water with its heavy paddle tail.
I was nearly freaked out when brown wet beaver plopped itself less than 5 metres away to chomp away on a large tree limb. Beaver never ran away. I might as well have been a concrete bench to the beaver.
Same for the wild deer munching on wild grasses in Inglewood Park. Thankfully they were lightly controlled by a loose fence away from walking trails and sapling trees which were chewed up by hungry deer. I like deer but just to look, not to feed them.
Best times for us, have been in late afternoon into evening. The light is softer and sometimes there are less people. After a long work day, occasionally I’ve found calmness by listening to sprightly wild bird trills scattering the wilderness peace. Sound droplets on air.
We tread lightly, listen and look.
Left-hand /banner large photo: Northern Flicker bird, spotted at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.