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little hummingbird
one of the lucky ones
Watching Birds
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Watching Birds

Birds. Stupid birds.

Who watches birds. I mean, how many people really sit and watch a dumb bird. You would be supprised.

I often think it's just me, because I can sit and watch not just birds, but any wildlife that comes into my view for what seams like hours. But, I like birding.

It all started when I was a young boy growing up, about eight or nine. We lived in the lower Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California just north of Sacramento. It all seemed so simple now, as I look back. But, it wasn't. Life is hard for most youngsters either in the city or country. What we kids called a prison, is probably what my kids call home too.

I'm one of the lucky ones. Growing up in the country or mountains, if you will, puts you at the feet of nature. And nature is not always a warm fuzzy feeling. Let me explain. As young boys back in the day,(late 60's early 70's) all my little buddys and I had BB guns. We could go on our little safaris most anytime and just about anywhere in our rural country neighborhoods. I don't think we could hit the broadside of a barn. But we didn't care. We were friends having fun. One Saturday will standout in my mind more than any other Saturday that I've had since. My friends couldn't come over for reasons unknown. So I remember going outback onto our property just plinking away. Again, up to that point I can't remember actually hitting anything.

So, I thought nothing of it when I saw a hummingbird sitting on a phone wire next to our house. I can remember that day, like none other of that time period in my life.

I remember pointing my BB gun at that poor little hummingbird on the wire, knowing full well that I didn't have chance of hitting it. I can still see that day. The sky, the house I lived in, the yard flowing down the hill into the woods, the telephone pole that the telephone wire was attached to. And that hummingbird, sitting there on the telephone wire minding it's own bussiness singing the day away.

Bang! I squeezed the trigger. I saw the hummingbird fall to the ground! I hit that hummingbird! I just shot a hummingbird! O my gosh, O my gosh! I just killed a hummingbird.!

I ran up to it, and it's heart was still beating. I was mortified! I was so scared! It's heart slowly stopped beating. I was in shock. I know I was crying by this time. I didn't know what to do.

So I took the hummingbird in my hands, and I went to my mother and told her what I had done.

Now, in my family, there was no golden rule or rules against shooting birds, of any kind. Except at my grandmothers. No one, and I mean No one was allowed to shoot doves period!

So, before my mother with this little bird, she obviously could see I was distraught and very upset, I confessed what had happened, and then she did a most kind thing. She asked me what I would like to do with this poor little bird. I said I wanted to bury it.

She gave me a shoe box and some toilet paper. I took that little hummingbird and made the most presious little coffin I could make for it. I then had a buriel in the back yard for the poor little hummingbird that I had killed.

I shall never forget it.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I've been given the oppurtunity to do something about that day and create a pristine habitat for the birds around my house.

That is why I dedicated a site to the birds. For birders like you and myself to share and communicate our interests with one another. So, if you have something you'd like to share, please join me at wildbirdssite. I'd like to here from you.


Street Talk

Thanks for sharing, Dave. The first animal I hit changed my life. It was a rabbit. It screamed and did flips before it died. I never again took a shot at a living creature for the fun of it. I just watch and sometimes photograph now.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Nice article and brings back some history, my father loved to hunt and naturally I had the same "Dad did Son did" my father taught me well, lots of target practice, could hit anything at a long distance and what did I do with the first Impala I was allowed to shoot? I wounded it. broke its back, he would not allowed to use another bullet, he made me cut its throat. I never wounded an antelope again. It was either dead or ran away. My blood lust did not last long, and I found my camera far more accurate. Since then it has been photos. I have the most fantastic photos of birds you can imagine. From humming all the way up to the biggest of vultures. I love birds, and bird photos, no two ever the same. Good article. will be following you now.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks mate. I still enjoy the venison hunt, but can take it or leave. I prefer to shoot wild life with a camera as well.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I love birds a lot. I have a pet cockatiel and ducks. I think my favourite bird to watch is the crow. They are very smart and very comical.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Cool. We have a family of crows living in my backyard woods. Very social and highly inteligent birds. You should see them when an eagle or a hawk comes in there space with young chicks. The fireworks fly.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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