My spark bird was a warbler. I was about eight, and I heard the sound of small wings splashing in a seep in the forest behind my house in Richmond, Virginia. The pool was surrounded by catbrier, and I remember dropping to my stomach to crawl toward the sound. I peeked through the vegetation and saw a blue-winged warbler in the sunlight, bathing madly. It was brilliant yellow, with a tiny black mask through its eyes, and I was very close to it. I remember thinking, "I did not know that such a thing existed. That is the most beautiful bird I have ever seen."

Soon after that, my parents ordered National Geographic's Song and Garden Birds of North America through the mail. I memorized the wood warblers and read the species accounts over and over. That same winter, a small flock of yellow-rumped (myrtle) warblers came down to forage on the bare, turned earth of our vegetable garden. Once again, I was enchanted by them – their small size and brilliant colors. So from the very start, warblers were what rang my bell, and (I'm not going to say how many years later), they still are.

Mary said...

Thank you, Julie. Your story has sparked me :o) I do have a spark bird. Let me write about soon :o)