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My Warbler Surprise

Written on May 18th, 2016

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Last Sunday morning I decided to wander into my back yard for a few moments before attending church. I was standing quietly on my deck and enjoying how the garden perennials were beginning to emerge.  The hostas were pointing up in thick pencil-like shoots, and little white flowers were popping up under the pine tree.

While scanning the gardens, I noticed a flutter of wings and began searching for the bird—a birder’s instinctive response. Sure enough, a little bird flew down onto the lawn. But this was no house sparrow! There before me was a beautiful bird with a bright blue colouring. Its throat feathers were a deep black. What was it? It appeared to be a warbler—but which one? Certainly not one I’d seen before. Such a remarkable bird in my back garden!

Out came my copy of the Sibley Bird Book. The little bird was quickly identified as a black-throated blue warbler. I had never seen one before, and was thrilled to have a new entry into my log book.

I need to admit that I am a beginner birder. I have been spotting birds and recording them for a few years now. For me, the thrill of spotting birds is deeply connected to my love of creation. As a boy, I loved hiking in the coulees along the Oldman River in Lethbridge, Alberta. Our family vacations have taken us to many wilderness and national parks in Canada and the USA. Currently, my current role as OACS Executive Director takes me to many places for conferences and meetings—and my binoculars and bird books usually come with me.

I used to wonder what attracts so many to this hobby. Attending to the amazing variety of birds is one way I celebrate God’s creation and His creativity. He cares for the little sparrows, colourful warblers, dabbling ducks and soaring hawks. And, I was reminded once again that He cares for me as well.