Talk “Birdy” To Me…

Pam Pollock
March 2024

As I write this column, yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  Some girls swoon over expensive jewelry, exotic vacations, designer clothes and handbags, and dining at swanky restaurants.  And me?  Well… the key to my heart is to talk “birdy” to me (but I won’t turn down some Sarris chocolate). 

Luckily, after almost 42 years, my husband gets me.  I received lots of chocolate from him – and he also willingly drove me over 20 miles each way on a wild goose chase to search for Bob Whites. He then spent over 45 minutes traipsing through fields in 28º weather helping me to search for the birds.  We came up with goose eggs (pun intended).

He’s driven 5 hours one way in a snowstorm to take me to see the Snow Goose Migration in Eastern Pennsylvania. He lugs my 40 pounds of birdseed to my storage bins when they are delivered to the Homestead.

It’s not just my spouse who humors my bird obsession – my grandkids enthusiastically point out  birds when we are at my house or walking in the woods.  They buy me bird décor.  My kids give me wonderful gifts of bird handprint artwork,  and bird feeders that go in the window so it appears that the birds are in the house.

I hit the jackpot this past Christmas when I received not one, but two Bird Cam feeders!  I can now watch from my phone and get videos of birds (and squirrels) noshing on the treats that I leave for them.

My shoulder and neck are perpetually aching from lugging a heavy camera with a gigantic lens on my birding adventures.  In my quest for learning how to advance my photography, I recently took a Bird Photography Workshop at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.  I ventured down to the ‘Burgh on 2 Sunday mornings and was literally in bird heaven. I photographed Steller’s Sea Eagles, Toucans, Roseate Spoonbills, Flamingos, Owls, Parrots, Penguins and so many other species.  I took over 2,000 photos!

Growing up, I was the skinny, weird, nerdy girl who wasn’t very social and usually had my nose in a book.  Now, at the ripe old age of 62, I am not skinny, but still weird and pretty much anti-social.  I’ll pick the table or chair in the corner and try to blend in with the wallpaper.  If you want to engage me, approach slowly so as to not startle me and start talking “birdy” to me.  I will come out of my shell faster than a Southern Three-Banded Armadillo.  I’ll be whipping out my cellphone to go through my thousands and thousands of bird photos and videos.  I’ll want to discuss squirrel baffles, feeders, seed and suet with you.  I’ll pull up my eBird app.  In short, I will be your new best friend and my family will thank you for giving them a break from my incessant babbling about my feathered friends.  Go ahead, make my day and talk “birdy” to me…