On Flying – or Being a Bird

As a human being, in order to fly one must either board a plane or fit themselves with an apparatus made of nylon and launch  from a great height in order to soar.
I prefer to fly in my dreams for there lies true freedom.

I recall participating in a blog hop thing quite some time ago where I had to answer the question “If there was one super power you could have, what would it be”? If I remember correctly, I believe I answered that I would love the ability to fly.
However this could prove difficult for me seeing as I have a fear of heights. Part of this, is because more than once in my past I have toyed with dark thoughts and thought how easy it would be to just step out off a cliff face or ledge and leave my life behind.
These days, I do okay with heights if I know there is something between me (like heavy duty glass or the outside of an airplane) and the drop below.
But I admit that there is something appealing about the joy of soaring above everything. I often wake from the dreams (where I am able to move my arms and harness my thoughts to find myself lifting off ) with feelings of sadness that it was only a dream and I have awoken to reality.
Perhaps that is why I am drawn to birds.
I love to photograph them. Or to simply sit, watch and listen.
Happily for me, the Garden Gnome is also a bit of a bird lover. As are his parents and siblings.
I admit that there are some birds I struggle to like some days; like the Butcher Bird who killed my canary last week when he was put outside to enjoy the last of the winter sunshine.
But I can understand that it was only acting within it’s nature. After all, you don’t get a name like “Butcher Bird” for no reason. Nor would you have a hook on the end of your beak designed to tear prey apart if it wasn’t in your nature to kill. These negative aspects aside,  the bird has a beautiful song.
The day after my canary was killed, this same bird (I could tell from the colour of its plumage) came and sat on the water feature outside my window. My window was open and it was not more than a foot or so away from me. I said to it “Are you the one who killed my canary”? It hopped a little closer to me, cocked it’s head, whistled and flew off. I admire it’s bravery, if not the fact it killed my pet.

This video is a little long but is lovely to listen to.

Now where was I?
Oh yes, birds.
We are blessed to be visited by many different types of birds in our garden. They sqwark, croak, whistle, dance or chitter away whilst the Diva sits inside on her stool with her nose pressed up against the window making a funny mewling type of noise. Some, like the Willy Wagtail like to tease her and dance and chitter away out of her reach.
002These birds make me laugh as they wag their tails to-and-fro. I used to tell the Tween when she was younger that their chittering sounded just like them saying “Look at me. Look at me”.

The Garden Gnome puts seed out for the birds in the birdhouse he made. It sits proudly in the back yard and is visited by all manner of birds – Rainbow Lorikeets
001bGalahs
001aand others including King Parrots and Rosellas. We have a nesting box attached to the garage and there were Rosellas looking at it as possible future lodgings a couple of weeks ago but we don’t think they’ve been back. Maybe there was too much interior design work to be done.

My in-laws feed birds every morning and afternoon. They are visited by a huge collection (up to a hundred some days) of birds including Rainbow Lorikeets, Green Lorikeets, galahs, cockatoos, pee wees, magpies, doves and wood pigeons. They used to put seed out on their verandah for two pair of King Parrots but one day the birds decided to destroy the chair pads, clock and place mats on my mother in-law’s outdoor setting so she stopped feeding them. However, that doesn’t stop them coming back to visit each day.
This cheeky male King Parrot was visiting the other day, and decided to come down to where we were sitting in the yard and attempt to cajole us into coming up and feeding he and his mate. We put seed down where we were but they felt we needed to come to them and not the other way around. He made us laugh when he hopped over onto the upraised garage door and hung upside down peering at us. I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to capture that unfortunately.
001My MIL also feeds the Magpies. There are two mothers who come to visit. Magpies are also meat eaters, so they enjoyed some of the roast beef we had left over from lunch.
003From time to time at our home, we are visited by Kookaburras as well. They sit on the clothesline and look down upon the raucous lorikeets with a disdainful eye.
046This photo wasn’t taken in my backyard though 😉 When they are in my back garden they suddenly turn camera shy. lol
The galahs aren’t camera shy though.
002aOf course, I can’t talk about birds without mentioning the swallows. I haven’t seen them for several months now but the weather is warming and I hope that means their imminent return. I love watching them darting to and fro and catching insects on the fly.
003aYes.
I love birds and I envy them their freedom to soar.
It must be such a liberating experience.

Still, I’d much rather have a roof over my head to protect me from the elements and food in the cupboard and fridge that I don’t have to forage or depend on others for.
I wonder if I could still have all that AND the ability to fly?
I guess I can.

Tonight.
In my dreams.

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36 thoughts on “On Flying – or Being a Bird

  1. wow parrots how so very kewl,,, don’t got those here in colorado 🙂 an well ifn ur evr want to kill ur fear of flying jest go find someone to give ya a ride in a paraglider 🙂 u would rememebr the sensations and feeling forevr 🙂 take care Q

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    1. I don’t know that I could overcome my fear to get on a paraglider although I often watch them.
      Thanks for the suggestion though.
      I guess I have become used to parrots since I grew up around them and I tend to take them for granted. Whilst they are pretty, they can be extremely noisy and terribly destructive.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah Sue, a beautiful post.
    We’re so lucky to have all the beautiful birdlife that we do.
    Im always watching them and could watch for hours.
    Those Butchers birds are hilarious and beautiful, singing together.
    I am sorry about your dear little canary though.

    The cockies are back here now and the galahs. The Maggies, Willy Wags and Blue Wrens are nesting. The pretty grass parrots are here in pairs also. I love watching it all.
    Thanks for sharing this today 🙂

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    1. I haven’t seen our Blue Wren and his harem around for a while. I am hoping they weren’t scared off by cats or something. Along with all these birds, we also have a pair of wood ducks that have made this street their home and a pair of plovers who come back each year to nest and raise their young.

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  3. A beautiful collection of birds that patronise your place Sue.
    The lorikeets and Rosellas are beautiful coloured birds and great to see in groups.
    You are fortunate to still have Kookaburras so close to your home.
    Unfortunately where I live there is a scarcity of trees for birds.
    But along the river Murray there is plenty of trees that give shade to the water fowls.
    Great pics Sue.
    Ian

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    1. We are lucky to live in a semi-rural area Ian so there are lots of trees and native shrubs around. However I found out last weekend that a lot of the farmland that is over the back from our place has been sold off and a housing estate is planned. Not a happy camper here.

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  4. I do so miss the song of the butcher bird and that of the magpie. We used to get heaps of kookaburras visiting us in our gardens in Woodenbong and Bowraville. And Bowraville was Eagle Central, we were always seeing Wedge-tailed Eagles, one flew close to our window, amazing siight, plus Sea Eagles at Scotts Head Beach south of Coffs. As for Willie Wagtails, for Aboriginal people in WA, they’re considered spirit messengers. I know when an Aboriginal friend visited me in Boonah, she remarked casually that a Willie Wagtail was happy in our garden because it was wagging its tail fast! And also, just an aside, I had to turn off the video of the butcher bird and its song because our four dogs have been running around barking their heads off!!!!

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    1. That’s funny about your dogs Mo. Sorry to upset them.
      I like the story about the Willy Wagtail. I love to see him in our garden as he always makes me smile.
      We sometimes see Wedge Tail Eagles around however you just reminded me that the other afternoon driving home on dusk, one almost collided with our car. Closest I’ve been to an eagle in the wild for a while.

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  5. Beautiful photos Suz. I am amazed at the broad range of birds that come to visit you. Thank you so much for the pics and your dreams remind me of Johnathon Livingston Seagull and Richard Bach’s other works. May your nights and days be filled with soaring.

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  6. On one of our tours in Oz, we ate lunch at a roadside inn and afterwards we learned how to feed the king parrots…a little jelly or jam in your hands or on a plate and they swooped in to get the sugary goodness. I had a great time observing all sorts of wildlife there…I am an avid bird watcher here at home.

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  7. You have such a variety of lovely birds there they make our sparrows and blackbirds look quite dowdy. I had a dream about flying once and it was a wonderful feeling. I always wondered what it meant because I believe our dreams are our subconscious trying to tell us something.

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    1. I dream quite often about flying. I love it.
      There are many online dream interpretation sites that you can look at if you ever wish to try and decipher what your dreams are trying to tell you. Sometimes mine are a combination of what I have seen/done/watched on television and really strange stuff.

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  8. I am an avid lover of swallows, too. There is something so poetic about them, and their energy is just immense. I used to come upon them in my old treks through old buildings on cold, dreary days some years ago- their cries would echo through the hollow, aging wooden walls of old barns and farm-houses, and they would flit through these void, once-human-occupied spaces with the speed and swiftness of bats.

    I of course love every single species featured here. So sad to learn of your canary’s doleful fate…but what an incredible song that bird has! The video was captivating! I would love to hear that song in person…

    I once knew a mockingbird who would sing into the house every morning. He was quite a lovely beauty and it was quite lovely to gaze upon the dawn to the lively tune of his song.

    Gorgeous post. Thoroughly enjoyed this! Jubilant cheers,

    Autumn Jade

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      1. Oh yes, I am sure you would love it. They sing myriads of songs over my head every day. They love to fly-bomb poor unsuspecting neighbour cats as well.

        I remember one evening I spent with a mockingbird and my recorder. I was attempting to capture it without any traffic sound in the distance (to no avail) when suddenly it began to play back. The singer was immediately arrested, came down, and promptly confronted the recorder with grave interest. Ah they are fun birds indeed. 😀

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