Two weeks ago Hubba came to me, just as the sun was barely peeking out from behind the mountains, and informed me that "there is something freaky on our swingset". I looked out the back window and saw that it was a bird - sleeping soundly. I love birds and felt kind of honored that this little visitor was comfortable enough to nap in our yard.
I was sure that once the sun came out, it would be gone. After the kids were all sent off to school and I was starting on the breakfast dishes, I glanced out the window and noticed that the bird was still there, now awake.
Does anyone else think it's awesome how the bird decided to rest just above a sign that reads Leisure Time?
After another hour or so, our feathered friend had still not left. I began to worry that it was injured and went outside for a closer look. I got some close-up shots and posted them on Facebook, asking if anyone knew what kind of bird this was.
My friend Jes gave me the answer I was looking for - she said it was a Whippoorwill and that I was lucky because they are rarely seen. I did some research online and found that our visitor matched the description of a Whippoorwill - except for one thing. I read that because of its nocturnal habits, the Whip-poor-will is infrequently seen. The other fact that I thought was awesome is that a group of Whippoorwills are collectively known as an 'invisibility'. Birds with super powers! Does it get any better?
This bird was definitely not trying to hide. I was sure that it must be injured and I worried abut one of the fifty million cats in our neighborhood attacking it. I went back outside to figure out a way to somehow protect it from predators until I could figure what to do next.
I walked over to where the bird sat. It was not afraid. It did not fly away. It watched me, and I admired it. It looked so peaceful and content. It was beautiful. And then it stood. I froze. I snapped a picture and then we stood there, staring at each other.
visit me often, actually. And something in my heart told me that this was not a coincidence. That this bird had come as a way of letting me know that my Heavenly Father is very aware of me. Without going into more personal details, that's the best way I know how to explain what I felt just then.
The Whippoorwill turned, sat back down, and closed its eyes.
I just stood there, in the quiet of the morning, appreciating its beauty. I wondered still if it was tethered by some kind of injury to the spot where it slept. I had seen that its legs worked fine. Maybe it had a broken wing?
And then Baby X woke up. After feeding him some breakfast, I brought him to the window and showed him the bird, still perched above the swings. He got really excited and wanted a closer look. I figured it couldn't hurt - there was no way he could get close enough to the bird to harm it in any way.
That Whippoorwill woke right up when Baby X came out there. It stood again, then tilted its head to the side, sizing him up.
Baby X leaned his belly onto a swing just below the bird and pushed himself off of the ground, laughing as he spread his arms wide and reveled in the feeling of flying.
Before I even realized what was happening, our backyard visitor surprised me by immediately following suit and taking flight as well. At first I was sad to see it go, but then felt comforted to know that it wasn't injured. It really had just come for a visit.
I thought the bird had broken wings. But no, it was fine. And now it was off where birds are meant to be - flying free. Defying gravity.
Once again, a feathered friend had come to teach me a lesson.