Saturday, February 08, 2014

For the Birds

Bird banding was cancelled (second week in a row) due to weather, but as we were already at the nature centre we stuck around to meet some raptors from the Raptor Rescue. I should say from the outset, this is my son's thing, not mine. I barely existed in the same household with my sister's budgie (shudder) and the idea of willingly handling feathers that haven't been turned into a stunning hat or duvet isn't my idea of fun-particularly if they are still attached to a flapping, shrieking bird. Make it large birds...yeah, just adjust my discomfort to scale.

For my kiddo however, this was a chance to not only see these large raptors up close, but to finally meet the people who work at the Recovery. The director has rock star status for Danny, and meeting her was a very big deal. Thankfully, they got on well, discussed feather patterns, owls, hawks, and kestrels. Which was great, because while I am willing to listen to my child go on at length about spotting patterns on owls, or in some cases follow the owl down the county road from post to post, I'm not really knowledgeable on the subject.*I was able to watch Danny interact with a group of people that share his interests, and could answer his questions with more than, "I don't know, let's ask Uncle Google." I did have to stand in a room with flapping, shrieking raptors (a barred owl, two screech owls, a peregrine falcon, a red tailed hawk, a kestrel, and some other damn mouse eater I've forgotten) whichwas, unpleasant, but it was worth it to see him so engaged, and excited. Of all the things children get enthusiastic about, birding is probably better than non-stop chatter about sport, or pop music. I know for a fact I was a far less interesting child, and compared to my parents, I have it rather easy.

People keep asking us what we did as though we had anything at all to do with this child's personality, or intellect. Much as I'd like to take credit for it, he turned out well in spite of us. I had very little if anything to do with it. I have had it very easy. 

* I draw the line at tearing apart owl pellets to see what they've been eating. Danny isn't too thrilled with handling the contents of a bird's digestive tract either. *shudder* bones, and tails, and feathers. Yeah, I know that's how the food chain works but, blech.


pastcaring said...

Ooh, Nina, my youngest would adore to meet some owls close up, she loves them. She wants to be David Attenborough when she grows up!
So you've got the whole bird phobia thing going on then... You did well to tolerate it for Danny's sake, good for you!
I am constantly amazed at how different (from us and from each other) my kids are. But then, why is that surprising, really? They aren't me, or Simon, they are them, and their experience of being in our family, their position in it is unique.
Danny sounds like a great kid. xxx

Goody said...

Maybe not at phobia level, but I could find other things I'd rather do.

I think Nina might have a shot at it...I mean, Attenborough must be a million years old by now.

I watched The Birds with Danny hoping it might discourage him. It didn't.