If you haven't seen this yet, its a must see.
For more background on this experience, see this story on MSNBC.com. A full-length 1971 documentary about Christian the lion is online here.
And now for the bird connection...
Bird rehabilitators have long known that baby birds often become imprinted on humans. It can be a problem when birds think they themselves are humans. But sometimes by living closely with humans, the birds are able to still live as birds, but come to know, trust, and perhaps even prefer interacting with their human companions. Julie Zickefoose has one touching tale of baby hummingbirds that came to be part of her life (read and listen to the NPR story here, with a follow up here).
Perhaps we are missing out on how much we really can come to know and interact with wild birds. British author Len Howard opened up her cottage to birds, coming to know them as individuals as they interacted with her daily. One time a bird came in and tried to get her attention. According to Howard, the bird's nest was being threatened and the bird wanted her to come out and help defend the nest.
Its hard to know what to make of these animal stories, but one thing is for sure. The world of birds and animals is much bigger than we normally imagine, and by spending all of our time in human-centered pursuits, we only see the tip of the iceberg (if that!) of how we might better come to know, interact with, and perhaps even share our emotional lives with birds.
Tri-colored Egret or Snowy Heron?
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