For the Birds

I’m highly allergic to birds and feathers.  My mom kept careful records in my baby book of my near-fatal asthma attacks when I was two.  After many middle-of-the-night rushing me to the hospital and numerous doctor visits, it was determined our little parakeets caused my misery.  Once the birds were gone, my asthma attacks disappeared.

Even though I still must avoid close contact with birds, I enjoy birdwatching.  Hanging hummingbird liquid feeders and seed feeders outside, I love watching the antics of my winged visitors.

Last year we moved into our house in late summer.  Although there is an abundant population of Mourning Doves, we never saw any signs of nests.  Just the soft cooing from early morning until the evening.  And the distinctive whistling sound of their wings when taking flight.

About two months ago I spotted a nest built on the outside of the front porch.  I kept close watch, knowing little ones were about to make their appearance into the world.  Sure enough a few weeks later, there were two little fuzzy heads barely visible under the adult.  Soon after, I noticed the empty nest, and saw the two little ones high atop the roof peak ready to take their first flights.  The next time I checked, there were no birds at all.  My feathered family had flown away.

About two weeks later when leaving the house, I noticed a new nest appeared practically overnight, this time on the inside of the front porch.  Both parents were on the nest, getting it ready for a new family.

They’ve been there about two weeks now.  I’m expecting to see activity soon.  This time I’ll have a better view since they won’t be hidden among the leaves.  As I sit on the porch watching, they keep an eye on me too.  Sometimes I’ve heard gentle cooing, other times just quiet observation as I water my plants or stand at the front door and watch the nest.

In retrospect, my allergies have actually brought me closer to the birds.  Watching a hummingbird flit around, dive bombing and displaying its colorful feathers.  Observing the male and female Mourning Doves nesting and raising their young.  I realize I’ve been given the gift of enjoying the marvels of nature, in their own environment in more ways than I ever imagined.

0 thoughts on “For the Birds

  1. Your post came at a good time. I reminded me that I needed to try to look up a bird I saw in Ventura yesterday. I feel that watching birds is a good way to use both sides of the brain. Left brain, right brain, bird brain…

  2. I like the way your story comes full circle, connecting the allergies to the birds and reconnecting in a healthy, almost spiritual way. Nicely done, Joan.

  3. I can't help but think about when a bird got into our house through the dryer vent and scared my two-year-old to death! She carried the bird fear for many years.

    Glad you figured out the allergy thing and can now enjoy them from a distance.

    Thank you, Joan. xoA

  4. I'll admit I'm not much of a bird-watcher (no patience) but I enjoyed your piece. Do you think it was a wariness of the birds that first brought you to observe birds and ultimately enjoy bird-watching or was it simply that your interest was by necessity focused into observation rather than interaction? I really do like the idea you've expressed…that the allergy led you to this appreciation of the birds.

  5. Too funny Mark on the bird brain comment. I have a friend that participates in the Audubon bird count each year. He can identify most birds by their markings or sound. I think that's really cool.

  6. After watching “The Birds” by Hitchcock, my childhood best friend was terrified of birds. When we'd ride bikes and bird sightings would send her into hiding.
    Thanks for reading, Annis!

  7. Anna,
    I only remember being facinated with birds because they could fly. They seemed so delicate, but at the same time strong because of their ability to soar freely in the sky.

    Once in Oregon, we passed a bald eagle sitting on a fence post by the side of the road. We stopped and just observed, it never moved but watched us as we sat in our car. I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of that huge bird, but appreciated it's quiet majesty.

    Talking birds also facinate me – mockingbirds, parrots and others that mimic.

    I think just through obervation, I've developed an appreciation for them.

  8. This post reminded me of one of my friends who is completely in love with watching the birds that come and go from her back porch in the Palm Springs Desert. It's so peaceful just sitting out there in the vast desert land that you can always hear the birds chirping on a clear sunny day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.