Tuesday Slice of Life : February 7, 2017.
This week I saw something I have never seen before. Not on a spring day. Not on a summer day. Not on a day when the leaves turn red. But on a wintry day this week, I saw it, this something that I’ve never seen before.
We were exiting Level 4 of the airport parking garage, just entering the spiral ramp that spins us downward to ground level. The sky hung low and heavy, its clouds spilling enormous raindrops onto our windshield with loud splatting sounds. It was an icy rain, the kind that is about to become snow. I noticed the icicles hanging in rows along the bottom of each pipe that forms the ramp railing. A strong gust blew against our car, and I felt the slickness of the road beneath our wheels. I shivered, glad my husband had made it to the airport to meet me, glad to be heading home and not stranded in a distant airport. That was when I saw them.
They were sitting on the icy ramp railing, all puffed up like they had an extra layer of feathers to brace against the bitter storm. Motionless they sat. As though frozen. Facing each other. Then I saw their beaks. Touching, tip to tip.
We swooped past them, and I turned so I could continue to watch them. The wind of our passing did not disturb them. Without flinching, they continued to sit, beak-to-beak. Like two statues. As still as the porcelain robins on my piano at home.
How could they sit there, I wondered, while the wintry storm beat against them?
Why didn’t they choose a protected place in the parking garage?
Were they warmed by a shared bond that I could not see, that I did not understand?
Perhaps there is a lesson here.
Notes from my journal...
Obviously, I’ve never done any serious bird watching.
So, I did a bit searching and reading and found that birds will put their beaks together for various reasons. It seems it is a “form of companionship bonding.” And “mutual grooming is common for birds that live together.” Also, a bonded pair of birds “regurgitate food to feed each other.” All of that may be, but I’m still wondering, Why were they on the ice covered railing in the midst of a winter storm?
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