Male Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)

April 9th, evening. I drive to downtown Menlo Park,  Applewood Pizza, to pick up dinner. It is my last night in Menlo Park. I’m returning to my car with the pizza and, just before opening the door to my mother’s car, I see the sillouette of a small bird on a short post, about three feet from me. The bird doesn’t fly off, and after a second or two I make out his profile and the darker patches on either side of his breast. He is softly twittering and fluffing his feathers, looking at me. I realize he is a male Western Bluebird. He utters a small clear whistle, and I respond in kind. He fluffs and twitters, whistles again, completely unafraid of me. I continue to talk softly to him, as I often do to birds.

Finally, this fellow sees that he has things to do before settling in for the night and darts off. I open the car door, pack in my pizza, and head for my last night at mother’s house. I feel a lightness, as though I have just been given the secrets of the Universe.

Photo by Kevin Cole.