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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Obsessed with Happy Birds

Ignoring the obsession everyone else seems to have with Angry Birds, I find much more pleasure and peace in Happy Birds, specifically the kolea, Pacific Golden Plovers, who are looking increasingly pleased with themselves every day.  It's been so rainy this season, I haven't been observing them as regularly as I might, paying a little more attention to the road conditions while on my daily commute. But this morning, a "shiny" day, as my beloved Chinese guide would call it, I saw several along the road.  Plump and fit, all spiffy in their dating clothes, they will lift off for Alaska before the end of the month. 
Kolea in Breeding Plumage

More than anything else, these birds and their regular migration have been symbols of Tao for me, in their relentless cyclic travel across the ocean (that low and most vast of watery places), to and from Hawaii and Alaska, to breed and then come home.  To what strange purpose these birds live, except as manifestations of Tao. 
The Compleat Kolea
The Wizard, in the passenger seat (his pussycat car is in the shop so he has to endure the noisy, un-air-conditioned, cramped TAO 61)  said, "I worry about them with all the feral cats around here." 

"They have incredible wingspans for their size," I pointed out, "they lift off strong and quick. They would do well on aircraft carriers.  And any creature that spends its days picking tiny edible bugs out of the grass probably is ultra-sensitive to an approaching feline."  I've seen plenty of pigeons and mynahs, sorry victims of cats and cars, but never a kolea shredded or squashed on the road.  The Wizard returned attention to his phone on which he was playing solitaire (not Angry Birds, not his style) before making the regular morning call to his dad on the mainland, 92 and alert and ready to discuss the day's news, his computer problems, and medications.  As I listened to the one-sided conversation, I realized he never mentioned the Happy Birds.  I guess it's just my obsession. Put aside the Angry Birds: do some kolea watching of your own; these birds are charming.  They'll make you happy.


sybil law said...

I won't be seeing them here any time soon, so thanks for sharing them with me! :)

baroness radon said...

Just avoid Angry Birds...unless you and Gilda play together.

Sun Mac Hawaii said...

We have a "pet" kolea that has been with us for two seasons. We talk to him on a daily basis and enjoy his silly and pleasant mannerisms. We bid them safe travels back to Alaska! :-)

YTSL said...

Hi baroness radon --

Don't think there are any kolea around in Hong Kong but I do get a kick out of spotting egrets in winter time... :b

baroness radon said...

So many of us form personal relationships with the kolea, especially because they come home to the same yards.

YTSL--We have cattle egrets in Hawaii too.

Watching birds is as compelling as HK film or Korean drama!