Thursday, April 01, 2010

Bird breath

Strange as it may seem, I have only ever witnessed this twice - condensation on a bird's breath... Oh my, talk about beautiful!

Image of adult & juvenile Tui - Buller's A History of Birds of New Zealand, 1888

I was topping up the birds' coconut chalice this morning when the tuis came down to the nearest low branch to watch what I was doing (as they do; they're incurably inquisitive) and to offer me their twangy encouragements.

And then I saw it - a tiny, airborne estuary; a vapour drawing; the tuis' song momentarily visible in air. I could almost reach out and touch the clacks and trills, the rattling flourishes and chest-filling tributaries.

It was not unlike watching steam escape from a teapot's spout; birdsong on the boil, a micro-storm brewing in the fork of the old macrocarpa.


  1. You have a poet's vision, that's for certain!

  2. Yes, wow. That description took my breath away. And a 'coconut chalice' - do you live in a fairy tale Claire?

  3. T. Clear, PC, Mary & Mim --- living in a place where I get to greet birds such as these each morning is a great gift.

    The coconut chalice is a simple drinking cup made by a friend for the tuis' and bellbirds' sugar water. (They're both nectar feeders). He has one in his own garden and surprised me one afternoon by popping by to hang one in my macrocarpa tree. He's the same kind gentleman who made my hanging bird feeder. I thank him (silently - wouldn't want to drive him nuts!) every day.

  4. What a way you have with words ... I could bask in these for a very, very long time. You certainly have a gift for discovering, exploring and describing beauty.