Confessions of a Rookie Birder

Eastern Bluebird (photo by Craig Taylor)

I’ve never really noticed birds much. The reasons behind that is another story to come. But during the self-isolation of 2020, I’ve begun to really see birds. Our back deck sits under the tree canopy, so the birds are closer. Even I could see them from the deck.

In the first two months, my husband Bob and I saw 65 different species. We saw birds whose coloring would take your breath away. We caught glimpses of rare birds who were just passing through on migration and shouldn’t have even been in our area. We’ve carefully kept a master list (the template of which was a gift from a real birder) and celebrated each new bird we spotted.

During June, the birds haven’t been all that exciting to watch. We’ve seen Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Eastern Phoebes, Carolina Wrens, and Carolina Chickadees––birds that lack the gorgeous colors we’d seen in some of the other birds. These backyard birds just go about doing what they do. And yet, they, too, are extraordinary.

Through it all, God speaks to me in a way I’ve never heard Him speak before. Our creative and creator God designed all the birds carefully. He gave them different colors and different personalities and different habits and different songs and different calls. And, He loves them all as His creation.

Blue Jay (photo by Craig Taylor)

We humans have the ability to glory in God’s creation, to be brought to tears by the beauty of a sunset, to be enthralled by the powerful storms coming over the mountains, to be enchanted by the exquisite beauty of nature, and to be entranced by the personalities and characteristics of birds and animals.

Jesus reminded His listeners that His Father took care of the birds, even though they did no physical labor. And then He asked, “Aren’t you worth more than they?” (Matt. 6:26-27) Of all of God’s created world, we are His crowning achievement. I wonder when we will be able to look at each other and see the value in each other that God sees in us.

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