I'm not sure what I may or may not have told some of you in order to win your affection, but the truth is that I'm not really any kind of ornithologist. Birds are perfectly fine with me in the abstract--it's nice that they can fly around, and everything--but up close they tend to be a little bit scary and more than a little bit unhygienic. They don't seem to have any good reason to like us, and I'm usually pretty sure they don't.
But I still have to be sort of impressed when I walk a block or two from my house and come across a damned bald eagle. Well, "come across" makes the encounter sound more dramatic than it was--it was at the top of a very tall tree and paid no attention to us whatsoever.
But I'm a city boy at heart, and, you know...EAGLE! It was like an airbrushed painting from the back window of an F-150 pickup had sprung to life, right in my neighborhood! (There wasn't much mistaking it, in case you're quite rightly doubting my identification skills--my lousy cellphone photography doesn't do it justice. The bright white head, and the sheer intimidating size. Those are crows sitting there in that photo, eyeing the visitor with some alarm, not sparrows.
And on President's Day! Anybody else here proud to be an American? Huh? Am I right? For a moment I felt certain that it was the reincarnated spirit of Jimmy Carter, come to bestow blessing on us. Then, you know, I checked Wikipedia. Now I'm thinking William McKinley.
(These are also walking-in-February songs, conveniently enough.)
"The Funny Bird"