I have a thing for birds. In case you’re wondering if I’ve gone loony and eccentric, let me assure you that I have not. I have no intentions in getting a Tilley Endurables hat nor a pair of binoculars.

Simon recently observed to me that my family is into birds. That’s sort of true. When we were kids, my mom regularly took my sisters and I to go feed the ducks and swans at Stanley Park. In the summer, my mom watches birds in Dad’s lovely, lush garden. I also have fond memories of watching hummingbirds feed on honeysuckle with Mom in the summertime.

Anita likes to watch birds all year round from the windows at home; she has spotted quite a few species over the years, to the point where she’s bought books to help her identify them. I like visiting the Reifel Bird Sanctuary a couple times a year, and can stay there for hours watching birds. I like to go especially when the snow geese from Russia stop by, in the late fall.

I don’t think I developed an interest in birds directly from my family (it’s not like my mom is a diehard birdwatcher), but I suppose we do feed off each other’s interests in unconscious ways (e.g. my dad likes to watch nature documentaries). Anita is definitely more into birds than I am, and recently recommended The Life of Birds with David Attenborough. I have been dying to get my hands on this series (which recently came through on hold for me at the library) ever since she told me about the superb lyrebird, whose vocal and mimicry abilities are so … well …. superb, that it can imitate the click of a camera shutter and the screetch of a chainsaw. See for yourself an excerpt from the series featuring this amazing wonder of nature:

The one bird I really want to see sometime in my life is a Trumpter Swan. This bird was first brought to my attention when I read E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan as a child. It remains one of my favourite children’s novels because it is essentially an underdog story.

Anyways, enough of birds for now, although I’m starting to plot how to make it out to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary this weekend or the next. The sancutary is located on Westham Island so I need to find someone with an SUV and crazy enough to go with me, especially in this weather.

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