Birds inspire us to be more. Birds were once lizards that sprouted wings and took flight to become something better. Their story is our story. Every story starts and ends. Migration amidst friends and foes. We return home, transformed, better for it.
I took an ornithology class in college. It opened my eyes to the world of birding. Birds are fascinating. They are the evolved form of lizards who have taken flight. Archeologists have discovered fossils of a cusp species of a dinosaur called Archaeopteryx who’s scales lengthened and eventually turned into feathers. The human equivalent would be angels.
The ornithology class I took required us to learn to identify birds by clues such as sight, sound, habitat, and behavior. Birding is a mystery to solve in nature using all of those clues. Those bird nerds who take it seriously are in sorts, detectives in search of birds they have never seen so that they can add them to their life list. I was supposed to take a test on the scientific names of birds the day before Spring Break started, but I had a flight to Tijuana that day so I skipped it to go birding in Mexico. Skipping that test should have gotten me a big fat F, but because I came back and shared the excitement of my adventure with my professor about hitchhiking through Baja seeking new tropical wonders like the Brown Booby, the Caracara, and the Magnificent Frigatbird he gave me a passing grade.
My senior thesis was on migratory and nesting birds of Alaska. I packed up my van with binoculars, a scope, field journals, and a sea kayak and headed north. I did nest predation surveys in the Copper River Delta for the National Forest Service searching for a sub-species of Canada Goose called the Dusky. I was a guide for a National Geographic photographer named Michael S. Quinton who was shooting the Spring shorebird migration. He shot 600 rolls of film. Yes, I said film.
Going to college at a school that didn't have grades and allowed me to "choose my own adventure" was perfect for my way of learning, experientially. Birds of a feather stick together.
What do you call a person with wings? An Angel. Soaring to new heights and dimensions. Birds are to lizards as flowers are the winged petals of green plants. Amidst the flowering of human consciousness. We are all evolving into something better. Ever forward, never straight. Love is for the birds, who's Love is to Migrate.
Thanks to everyone who helped the new album, Songbird, take flight!