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The Encounter with the Redwing Blackbird

I was heading to Beaver’s Lake walking through Stanley Park in Vancouver. It was in the morning and the weather was warm. As I entered the alley that leads to the lake, I noticed the quietness of the place and the songs of the birds.

I was heading to Beaver’s Lake walking through Stanley Park in Vancouver. It was in the morning and the weather was warm. As I entered the alley that leads to the lake, I noticed the quietness of the place and the songs of the birds. Stanley Park is a forest in the city of Vancouver. Actually , the city of Vancouver rose from the rainforest that once covered the island. As the city was being constructed a part of the forest was kept. Today both city and forest coexist on the same land.

As I stood watching Beaver’s Lake, the richness of the bird songs hit my ears. I reached to my pocket to get the sound recorder out. I put the recorder on, and as I did, I heard the far away background noise of the city. I was a bit disappointed as I wanted to record the pure sounds of the birds.

One particular sound had attracted my attention. One bird was singing solo over the chorus of all the others: Chip….. Chip….. I listened carefully trying to find the location of that bird. As I stood still reaching out with my ears in different directions, I saw in front of me a black spot flying from far crossing over the lake. Very soon I realized that the black bird was aiming at my direction. Chip… Chip…. the sound was getting closer. It was that same bird I was trying to locate ! The flight was sharp and deliberate and the bird was very soon going to hit my solar plexus. But I did not move.

Swiftly, the redwing blackbird landed on the top of the recorder. The movement was super agile, passing from flying at very high speed to immediate stability on the two little feet. The claws were firmly holding on to the recorder. The redwing bowed its head towards the microphone and continued with Chip… Chip… My earlier disappointment of the background city noise transformed into an exhilaration. I was getting the purest sound ever straight into my microphone. Did the bird hear my thoughts?

I watched my left hand holding the precious creature singing for me, just for me. I felt on my hand the movement of the claws. The redwing changed position and looked straight into my eyes. Chip… Chip… Do you understand? I lived a moment of intense eye to heart communication in bird language. And then as swiftly as it came, it flew away.

by Shireen Maluf, www.nayyira.com