Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guest Artist: Marian Lews, Birdwatcher - Walk This Way

Marian Lewis, truly a city birdwatcher, knew something was up...

As I hurried up First Avenue with all the other people walking briskly, something caught my eye.

There on the sidewalk, by the wrought iron fence around a tree pit, was a small bird.

It was not unusual to see birds on the Upper East Side.  Often pigeons or sparrows scurried and fluttered by winging their way into a bush or tree.

This one was different.  This one hopped out into the middle of the sidewalk and started walking down the sidewalk with the flow of human traffic.

I knew it was a starling. I kept walking the opposite way, but kept glancing over my shoulder.  This bird was still marching boldly in the middle of the sidewalk.  I turned toward it thinking I would need to rescue it.  Maybe it couldn’t fly.

But it seemed fearless.  I walked faster to catch up.  Just as I was closing in, it reached the intersection of the cross street.  I was not near enough to grab it before it got to the curb but I could see it was a young starling not yet afraid of the perils of New York streets.

It stood still at the curb’s edge.  I wondered if I could get to it.  Suddenly it flew across the street just skimming over the moving cars.

“Surely it will perch in a tree,” I thought.  But it came to a landing right on the sidewalk across the intersection.  Standing on my tiptoes, I looked over moving traffic, straining to see where it would go.

The little starling continued strutting down the middle of the sidewalk amidst the parade of human feet.  No one paid mind to my little bird of wonder.  I turned around and walked on my way.

Related Posts:

Pets of Our Lives: Part 1-Pigeons

Pets of Our Lives: Part 2-Squirrels

Pets of Our Lives: Part 3-Horses

Pets of Our Lives: Part 4-Cats