Wednesday, February 23, 2005

It’s a ... Bird!

The first time I saw a Palestine sunbird, I thought it was a hummingbird. But despite its small size, it isn’t.

The males have gorgeous, iridescent coloring. The females are plain and brown, a bit like sparrows.

Last Shabbat, as I passed by an almond tree in full flower, I saw two Palestine sunbird couples flitting from blossom to blossom, chirping as they went. I could almost imagine that they were saying, “Hey, check out this one! Good nectar over on this side!”

I named them Fred and Wilma and Barney and Betty. They weren’t impressed.

A few months ago, I saw another Palestine sunbird couple outside a friend’s apartment building. The two birds were chittering loudly and I got the feeling that they were in some distress.

I wasn’t wrong. A few moments later I discovered a small orange cat lurking in the bushes just below them. He didn’t look too pleased to have his cover blown.

Palestine sunbirds are among my favorite birds. They’re absolutely beautiful and seeing one always gives a lift to my day. (Pssst ... wanna see one in action? C’mon over here.)

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