I’ve never really been a big fan of birds. Re-phrase that. I have always disliked birds immensely. Growing up on the beach in a small coastal town in Victoria, Australia, the constant squawking of seagulls and their hyper-active fluttering towards you in the summer time while feeding off your laid out picnic, is quite the regular occurrence. In my teens I moved to Melbourne, where disease riddled pigeons and sparrows naturally roam the streets of the city and circulate food courts and stores on a daily basis. They chirp at ungodly hours and they poop in the most inconvenient locations. You could say, that I passionately despise birds.
There is no doubt about the fact that I am a total complainer and a total ranter. These traits combined with my long life loathing for birds, create quite a thin tolerance for their existence and presence in my every-day life. But this isn’t about my utter disdain for the bird species. This is about two particular birds whom I haven’t stopped thinking about. The other day, two pink and white Rosellas changed my perceptions, and touched me somewhere (very deep) inside. These two pink and white Rosellas had me in tears by the time I made it to bed.
It all started when I was driving down the main road in my local area with my Dad, on the way to the supermarket. I am a learner driver and my Dad watches my speed-meter like a hawk, so I always drive very cautiously when I am with him. As we were nearing the middle of the road we were on, I could see two pink and white Rosellas in the middle of the road. One had been completely flattened by a car tyre and was dead. The other was alive, and just stood next to its deceased company, gazing at it thoughtfully. I turned to my Dad and pulled a sad face, feeling sorrow for what I had just saw. It’s not like I’d never seen roadkill before – this just affected me differently, because the road kill was being acknowledged by another of it’s kind which just made me ache. It was then that my Dad explained to me that the live Rosella, would sit there next to the dead Rosella until it too, found death.
My Dad went on to explain that they must have been mating partners and that with particular species, mating is for life – so when you find a partner, you never leave their side. I couldn’t help but weep at this tragically depressing and beautiful occurrence. I started to think about what both Rosellas must have been thinking as it happened. I thought about how helpless they must have been. I thought about how birds develop emotional attachments too, and how these two birds were lovers and soul-mates. Then I thought about my boyfriend – my lover, and my soul-mate, and what I would do and how I would feel. I drove back from the supermarket half an hour later, both birds were still there, in the exact same positions. The live Rosella still looked as loyal as ever and I still felt as helpless as ever. The next day when I drove the same way, all that lingered on the road were a sprawling of feathers. Both Rosellas were gone. As I became emotional all over again, I reflected on the many similarities birds have with humans as I re-evaluated life and all those in mine who mean the world to me. I am no longer a bird loather – but rather, a bird understander and tolerat0r.
You can read more from Adrianna Connelly on her twitter.
feature image via.