A life bird is usually defined as a bird you’ve never encountered before. I define it differently.

The life bird moment for me was years ago, maybe early high school, on our farm -standing not far from one of the two fishponds and watching that big ball of a sun rise. In the midst of my trying to comprehend what I was witnessing, one bird came swooping down the pond, maybe in an attempt to catch fish for breakfast. It had this majestic blue color. I knew for sure it was a kingfisher. I knew because the bird looked like the picture of what I suppose was a kingfisher on a kids’ series of encyclopedia. I am not actually sure but I think the brand name of that encyclopedia series is Kingfisher. I don’t know. But I’m quite sure I got the idea there.

I’ve seen birds before -in zoos, pet shops, fields, sky, and wherever for countless mayas. But I’ve never been impressed as much as that moment with the kingfisher. It’s just, well, majestic.. and weird. It’s the moment where you realize that Eurasian Tree Sparrows aren’t the only birds in the world. That there’s more to birds than mayas and bird pets which you try to get to repeat what you say.

So you see, life bird is the spark. Sure I’ve yet to see more colorful and interesting birds but that kingfisher, which actually could just be the common kind, was something. Kingfisher is the life bird.


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