For the Birds Radio Program: Lynne Cason's story

Original Air Date: March 27, 2007 Rerun Dates: Feb. 4, 2010

One of Laura’s listeners sent some heartwarming stories about interactions with a Ruby-throated Hummingbird and a chickadee,

Duration: 3′36″


Lynne Cason’s story

I occasionally ask listeners for stories about birds, and my friend Lynne Cason sent a couple of lovely ones. First, she wrote about going down to Florida to visit her mother and brother after her father passed away in May. Lynne wrote:

I was talking to Tommy, my brother, about Dad on the front porch reminiscing and we both had some good laughs, when a ruby-throated flew up to us. It was within two feet of our faces and would fly from Tommy when he spoke, to me when I spoke and back. Like he was a third party, uninvited but definitely welcomed. This visit lasted for a couple of minutes before he flew off. These birds are so much like little spirits and so I could not help but think that my father helped this little visitor to drop by as a way to let us know that he was listening in and was with us there. I was at a resort at Split Rock one winter and was holding a palm full of seed up to a row of mischievous chickadees on a branch when one of them landed on my pinkie finger, chose carefully a sunflower seed and went back up to the branch with it. They used to play games with me when I brought my camera there. They would pose for me and just before I took the shot one would fly past my ear to a tree behind me while another flew past my other ear to the branch in front of me being photographed. I would reposition my camera and start to shoot when a different one would leave, fly past my ear and be replaced by another chickadee from behind me. This went on for several minutes. Finally I said "Would you mind holding still for just 10 seconds?" They did. I think the wildlife further north seems more people friendly. I remember see wild deer coming along my trek and I would offer them food by hand. They would walk up to me and eat my small offerings of berries and bread pieces. It was all I had to offer but they seemed grateful. I got photos of them, one of which is a doe sticking her nose almost on the camera lens. Another with her tongue out licking her face (that one my mother used to laugh at the most). I guess being up there in the north makes curious interactions like these more possible.

Birds touch our lives in so many ways. Of all natural things, birds are the most likely to catch attention of even babies. When he was 6 months old, my son Joey giggled with delight at the bizarre calls and whistles of twitterpated Great-tailed Grackles in Las Vegas. My daughter’s second word was boo jay. Both the novel and movie character Bambi’s first word was “Bird!” But even as we grow older we can’t help but notice these exquisite creatures whose songs penetrate our ears, whose plumage is a feast for our eyes, and whose flight is a fuel for our imagination. The longer we live on the planet, the more encounters we have with these creatures associated with angels and baseball teams and even automobiles. I love hearing stories from people about these wonderful moments when our lives intersect with the lives of birds.