The Resilient Redwing

To claim that I am a photographer would, to say the least, be stretching the truth. I do enjoy taking pictures, however, and over the years this universally popular hobby has served as a diverting and enjoyable adjunct to my other activities which have, at one time or another, included writing, gardening, painting, ballet dancing and fencing.

These sporadic forays into the world of photography have often resulted in lighthearted, nostalgic and maddeningly frustrating moments to which I hope some of my fellow camera enthusiasts can relate and sympathize.

As many of you can attest, birds are not the easiest things to photograph and let me say here that any half-way decent pictures that I’ve been lucky enough to obtain have been just that, sheer luck. I’ve never been able to master the intricacies of shutter speed, lighting etc but the results, no matter how blurred or ill-lit, have served to record some of the many visitors to our garden.

A redwing blackbird landed on the feeder by our kitchen window one afternoon, looking like the proverbial ‘wounded soldier’. With a broken leg, severely mauled wing and no tail feathers to speak of, he certainly didn’t look as though he could survive for very long. But he was a feisty little thing and showed more resilience than we gave him credit for, surprising us by not only returning the following year, (he wasn’t hard to recognize) but also bringing a girlfriend with him. And just to prove that it was no fluke, he showed up again for one final visit the year after.

This little feathered chum had, I felt, an important message to impart. Never give up. No matter how bad things seem to be, life is always worth living. How right he was!


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