Since I was young, I’ve always loved birds, especially since I was a proud owner of a particularly cheeky and smart parakeet. Traveling to different parts of the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, Brazil, and South Africa, was eye-opening in that I finally got to see some of the most colorful birds I’d ever seen before. In South Africa, I remember the moment while on a safari, we saw the bird that Zazoo from The Lion King was named after, the red-billed hornbill; this bird had at least a dozen different colors on its vibrant feathers and was quite the looker!
But without really thinking about it, right here in New York City, a concrete jungle, exists over 270 different bird species that come and go in Central Park. While pigeons, sparrows, and American robins, and blackbirds are common sightings throughout, other lesser known beautiful birds flock all over the park, particularly in the springtime when it is mating season. I didn’t realize at least half a dozen different sparrow species existed, nor did I realize that there are endless swallows all over Central Park. Very briefly, I was able to spot a cute and plump barn swallow, noted for its deep blue coloring all along its back, a white breast, and a reddish-orange throat. I’ve also seen at least four different wild finch species, ranging in brown and white colors to even red, blue, and yellow. And somehow, what they all have in common is that their preening looks top notch, as though they are extremely healthy, and they are all quite plump and fat! What the heck are they all eating?
I’ve also had the time to observe them taking their sand baths to help with their preening and shedding excess oils on their feathers. It’s quite a sight to see them fluff up and bury all parts of their bodies into areas that are quite sandy and dusty. I suppose this is what you miss during the daily hustle and bustle, even when you are taking the occasional stroll through Central Park. You miss moments in nature like these. But I guess now I can appreciate them more during my daily walks there, listening to podcasts and observing others around me, jogging or taking their own casual walks, masks on face.