This morning my attention was caught by a peculiar sight and looking through the binoculars there appeared to be a small Bufflehead (diving duck) who I observed to not have any wings, or very immature ones at best. To move along the small bird held it’s body upright like a bottle bobbing in the water and with paddling feet it made its way along and then would dive to feed and bob up and paddle along and dive again and again. I wondered how it had made its way thus far, it being such easy prey for a Bald Eagle to swoop on down and take. A disability as great as this and it being all alone (for there were no other birds or Buffleheads swimming with it), made its courage seem all the more immense and beyond belief to me. All I could do was to watch and silently weep for this small bird whose life was made more tender and more precarious due to its seemingly lack of mature wings. The spirit and fortitude of this solo bird humbled me greatly and its image remained with me throughout the day. I decided to post this blog for I have not seen even a juvenile diving bird (Bufflehead or Harlequin etc.) lacking normal size wings for its age moving through the water upright and on top like this before. The photo’s taken have been cropped to better show the disability.
“We gain an enhanced perspective of life when we immerse ourselves fully in nature and the natural world ~ we also gain empathy, wisdom, beauty and joy.” ~ Maureen Towers, December 14, 2014