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Things I Am Learning From Birds

by Marie Vonow (follow)
Chief editor: readyforpets.com Blogs:www.quora.com/profile/Marie-Vonow/blogs Other:www.weekendnotes.com/profile/marie-vonow/
Family (102)      Lessons (16)      Birds (7)      Backyard (2)     
I have learnt many things from various sources over the years. My family taught me about love, helping others and social norms. I have gained formal knowledge from school, TAFE, university, books and other media. I have been exposed to different ideas and ways of viewing life from talking to people, observing how others do things and various forms of media. I continue to learn new things. At the moment I am also being reminded of some of the important basic lessons in life, not by a great philosopher but by the birds that visit my back yard.



2 Welcome Swallows
Image by Marie Vonow

Lesson 1
It is important to interact and cooperate with others, to have family and friends.
I observe how birds communicate with each other. The pair of swallows that live above my back door work together to collect food for their babies. They chatter to each other when they sense a possible threat. Sometimes one acts as a decoy to try to distract us humans from the area near the nest. Often one is on the lookout while the other is catching insects or feeding their offspring.



Swallow On Top Of Door
Swallow on lookout sitting on top of door under the nest. Image by Marie Vonow

Feeding their brood takes most of the day but the pair work together. One bird would be battling to keep the littlies fed, especially as they are growing bigger each day and need more food.

Lesson 2. If you don't ask, you don't get
Although, as a human being, it can annoy others to be too demanding, if one never speaks up one will miss out. Other people won't know what you want or that you would appreciate help. I watch the fledglings with their beaks open. They make noises to remind the parents they want food. They keep their beaks open so the parent can pop a morsel in.



Fledgling Open Beak
Make your needs known Image by Marie Vonow

Lesson 3. Every day counts
The fledglings are getting bigger and more independent each day. At first we could just see their open beaks poking out of the nest. Now we see the whole head. Their feathers are growing and their eyes are wide open, observing the world.



Fledgling Swallows
Image by Marie Vonow

A quick internet search informs me the young will stay in the nest between 18 and 23 days and then start venturing out. By around 35 days they will be completely independent and leave home.

It is easy to be so involved in rushing around that one can miss the miracles of life. Before I know it these little guys will be grown up and gone. There is a noticeable difference in their development each day. I don't want to miss one day of their childhood.

Lesson 4. The best drink in the world is water
I am reminded of basic truths not just by the swallows but by other birds that visit my back yard. Various species of birds enjoy a good drink from the birdbath. After looking around to check there is no danger they will start drinking.



Bird Drinking
Blackbird having a drink of water. Image by Marie Vonow

Lesson 5. There is nothing like a good bath to energise one
Some birds take a little bath and others really get into it. It is lovely to watch them splashing around, fluffing up their feathers and having a proper bath. Sometimes they splash so much water out that I need to refill the birdbath.



Bird Drinking
Spotted dove enjoying a long bath. Image by Marie Vonow

Lesson 6. Sometimes it is good to sit around doing nothing
I have to be reminded that it is okay to sit around just looking at the garden, enjoying the world around me. Although I enjoy just sitting I do have a tendency to feel guilty about it. Birds don't suffer guilt. Like them I don't have to be busy all the time.

Even if I am with a friend there is nothing wrong with periods of silence. We don't have to talk or be busy doing something all the time. Doing nothing from time to time allows one's batteries to recharge and is good for our mental and physical health.



Doves on fence
Two spotted doves sitting on fence. Image by Marie Vonow

I feel gratitude for the birds that come into my yard. They bring joy into my life and also act to remind me of some important lessons.


# Backyard
# Birds
# Family
# Lessons
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[ Submit a Comment ]
Thanks Marie! It's amazing to what extent instinct acts as a guide to optimise survival. I agree with you - we can learn an awful lot from birds! Justine
Thanks for your feedback, Justine. We can also learn much from dogs and cats. I recall you writing about things you have learnt from your cat.
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