This past week has been Bird Week here in my part of Australia and twitchers, birders, birdwatchers and ornithologists all over have been out and about identifying and recording bird calls and sightings to go into a national count. Run by the group Birds in Backyards, even amateur bird lovers such as myself are encouraged to download the app and sit in their back yard and listen and watch for 20 minutes whilst recording the number and species of birds that they observe. This enables the group to compile a report on the changing habitats and habits of our little feathered friends.
So the past week has seen me with phone and field guide in hand ambling around my garden or seated in our outdoor entertainment area observing.
I have enjoyed it immensely and plan to continue spending 20 minutes each morning outside (with eyes closed this time) absorbing the birdsong and the sounds of nature. My only source of irritation throughout this week has been my inability to identify one particular bird. (I did however find one in my field guide that it could be and have been recording it as that).
This little bird is fairly nondescript however has a powerful range of sound. I have been out with my zoom lens waiting for it, but it times its visits closer to the house when I don’t have my camera with me and sits too far away for a good photo when I do. It has approximately three different calls that I have heard and it has the most amazing ability to project its voice so that it can be heard several back yards away.
It is also very quick and doesn’t sit in one place for too long (when I have my camera with me anyway). It may perch for longer periods of time at other times but appears to be very camera shy. It is also very quick and no sooner do I get my focus, it flits off before I can press the shutter.
I am amazed that in an area filled with bird life (I have identified over 20 species in the past week), this little bird can hold its own and make its song heard. Many of the birds identified are larger birds with raucous calls but above them all are the sweet voices of my little unidentified visitors. Whilst many of my feathered visitors are transient, I have formed the opinion that one or two of these little ones have made the back gardens of the surrounding neighbours their home. I don’t mind at all. Their call is bright and cheery and birdsong brings sunshine to my life.
I was thinking about this little bird with the big voice this morning as it’s call woke me at dawn, and as my mind usually does, it begged for a metaphor or analogy about life. What can a little bird with a big voice teach me about my journey through this thing we call life?
The analogy didn’t take too long to find really.
I, you, many of us are just like the little bird. We inhabit a world filled with much larger and raucous neighbours. We don’t have magnificent plumage (well I don’t anyway) and we don’t spend time preening or showing off our beautiful outfits however inside us is a big song. A song that can change the world of all within range of hearing. And that song brings joy, love and hope to all who listen. Karen Carpenter sang “Sing a Song” back in the 70s. She said so beautifully in her lyrics the words “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song”.
We don’t need to be big or beautiful for others to take notice of us. We just need to be ourselves and continue singing our song out loud to the world.
After all, it is our song and someone, somewhere will be blessed by it.
So go, sing your song and bless others.