Fifth April Blog. (Again, just under the wire).
On a hilltop, bravely,
He stands so statuesque,
Leaning into a forceful wind,
Viewing a distant arabesque,
A murder of crows in a meadow,
A swirl of swifts, blowing the breeze,
A cluster of pigeons, barn-sitting,
When a hawk passes over, they freeze.
Some starlings in a murmuration
By seaside, they dip and they dive,
In patterns, they swirl in great numbers,
I suppose just to show they’re alive.
His thoughts go soaring up with them,
Those birds that are flying aloft.
He wonders at where they are going,
Then heads back to farm or to croft.
For his is a land-hugged existence,
No wings does he sprout from his spine,
Nor feathers to flip in the current,
He strolls home, alongside the chine.
Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. April, 2016.
Birds are curious creatures. How often has man or woman, gazed up at a bird flying free, catching a breeze, lifting with a thermal? Seen them diving, wheeling, wings outspread, flapping or soaring in the atmosphere, a seemlingly alien environment that all other creatures save insects, bees, butterflies etc. have to shun? Seemingly, flying developed way back in Jurassic days, though there are some people who do not believe modern thinking on this theory. However, creatures took to the skies then, and they sure have mastered the art since.
I think the largest and heaviest fliers are the condors. I may be wrong, but I think so. ( remember folks, these are just my opinions based on information gleaned by various televisual programmes and book reading, and as such, are also often second hand opinions before I even get to them.)
Of course, some avuans cannot fly, for one reason or another. Ostriches, emus and their ilk ( including the long seceased Dodo) are in fact far too heavy to lift off, but in any case, their wings are more rudimentary and could not support flight. They may have flown aeons ago but over time, it came to pass they had no need to fly, or perhaps they were never able to fly, nit destined to fly in the first place. I have no answer here.
Some can lift off for short spans, like a few of the storks, though some storks fly thousands of miles to Africa and back to places like Germany in late spring. Though a fairly heavy bird by its looks, it certainly is a good flier, making such journeys for many years.
A few birds are night fliers. Owls are such. Some have silent flight, their wings make no sound. All the better for catching prey. There is one particular hawk in the UK that is clever enough to fly between trees for its prey, giving it more options than others who have to fly at treetop level or above open ground.
Often birds of orey are referred to as raptors, harking back to our thoughts of their origins. But I feel that any bird must have come from that original source, and that tine and food, perhaps weather changes, terrain etc. would make the difference we now see between birds of prey still eating meat and fish, and insect and seed eaters around now.
Whatever made the change, we still marvel at these aerial acrobats, their command of something as ethereal as air.
Take good care in this strange world.