New Birds Bring Surprising Pleasure

            Spring is the time of year when song birds return from the South and find their habitat and nesting grounds in the North. Spring is also the time when some of their plumage is most colorful, as they seek to be seen and attract their mate. I’ve been visiting Forty Mile creek on a regular basis with camera and binoculars in hand. This year I’ve come across three new Warblers that I’ve never noticed before. I’ve spotted a Hooded Warbler for a number of days now and have only been able to get one good shot of this bird. It’s the size of a sparrow, and mostly yellow, with a black beard and cap which makes the bird look like its wearing a yellow mask, over black eyes. I’ve also noticed the Black throated blue Warbler, which has a strong white underbelly, and a single white fleck in the middle of each wing. I was able to see this beautiful bird upon two occasions. Once it met me at eye level and flittered from leaf to leaf, branch to branch, for a period of twenty minutes as I took some shots with my camera, trying to capture its beauty. But the bird that captured my imagination most is a Northern Parula, of the Warbler family, also at Forty Mile creek. This bird is also the size of a sparrow, with the bottom beak being yellow and the top of the beak blue. The yellow from the bottom beak drips down into a small yellow hair like beard. The underbelly of the Northern Parula is mostly white, but for a bright orange throat portion right next to the yellow. The upper body and wings of the Northern Parula are a grey blue, with the same orange hair feather spot on his back. Each wing carries two bars of white feathers too. I probably spent forty-five minutes watching this most colorful creature flit through branches and leaves on a Sunday afternoon, leaving me inspired and in awe. I will place some photos I was able to take, on my office door for anyone wanting to see. These birds certainly aren’t new, but they are new to me, and it made me wonder how much color and beauty I am missing in people who aren’t new, but who may be new to me. That’s where time, patience and intentionality are called for, in getting to know those around us better, for God has created each of us with a unique inner beauty just waiting to be discovered by those around us, by someone new.