Hey tweets, I would add to Helen Gilbert's thoughtful insights the reminder that birding has always been a big-tent activity, meaning that people from all the byways of life, all levels of skill, all interest levels have always been welcomed with open arms into the wonders that birds and nature show us.
Today, for example, I sat under a birch tree while Common Redpolls foraged above me at my favorite place on the planet, Montlake Fill. When they saw me open my camp stool and sit down, they all descended in a waterfall of pink, red, white, and black to look me over. I can't say they approved of me, for what human knows the mind of a redpoll, but they accepted me into their world, ascended to the top of the tree, and resumed eating birch seeds. The seed coats they discarded floated down upon me like swirls of snowflakes, covering my hat and coat with a glaze of gold.
These moments are gifts nature makes to all of us equally, indiscriminantly, and without prejudice. Shall we then return hatred for this generosity, exclusion for this universality, condemnation instead of tolerance? We are all human beings, no matter where we come from, what we look like, or whom we love, and we are better than that. - Connie, Seattle