Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Sunday Book Review, November 27, 2011: Flyaway

Did Shakespeare love birds? Madame L asks only because he has Portia say to Nerissa, in "The Merchant of Venice":

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
When neither is attended, and I think
The nightingale if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season seasoned are
To their right praise and true perfection?

...and has Hamlet say to Horatio, "There is special providence in
the fall of a sparrow..."

Birds are so perfect a creation that God himself notices the fall of every sparrow (Matthew 10:29). 

Does that mean that people who love birds are special? Probably not in the usual sense of the world. Possibly so in the sense of being somewhat crazy, and Madame L says this as a more-than-slightly crazed bird person, herself.

But you don't have to be crazy about birds, pet birds or wild birds, to enjoy "Flyaway: How A Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings," by Suzie Gilbert. 

The author's five-year work of love as a bird rehabilitator started with a vow not to take babies or fledglings or songbirds of any sort. In the middle, she took in lots of baby birds because she couldn't say no. 

In the middle, she would take baby birds in baskets and reptariums to her children's baseball and soccer games so she could keep up with their every-half-hour feeding schedule. 

By the end, she had two large bird flights in her back yard, cages inside and outside her house, herons in the bathtub, owls and red-tailed hawks in the shed, a freezer just for rodents and fish for the raptors and other predators, two- to eight-hour drives to pick up and deliver wounded and recovering birds, and a deep sorrow for all the birds she couldn't rescue.

What did the author get out of all her experiences? Her love for wild birds and all wild animals grew, her despair for humans increased but was mitigated by the people who cared for the injured creatures, and her need for a mission was satisfied.

As always, Madame L will gladly share her copy of the book with any of you Good and Faithful Readers who are interested.

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

My life is made doubly enchanted by a hummingbird feeder outside the window of my office. I also have a seed-feeder for those kinds of birds, and it's hilarious to see a Scrub Jay try to fit himself into it to eat the sunflower seeds. But the delicate - and highly territorial - Colibri (hummingbirds) can make my day.