I learned about Snake Bight after reading about it, like so many dangerous things, on the internet: it was a recommended spot for the mangrove cuckoo. Snake Bight can have spectacular views of hundreds and sometimes thousands of wading birds and shorebirds feeding on the mudflats.
The biggest thing was the way the swallows made that place theirs, disrupting the sameness—however soothing—of corporate aesthetics with…mud. And homes. And baby birds. I wouldn’t have expected to find a cliff swallow colony on the side of a hotel. Seeing that brought me real joy.
Some birds are like that, I think. You’ll live your life, and while you’re living, the bird will intersect with your own lifepath, shocking and delighting. A ballast during both the good and bad. Not a common bird, but not a once-in-a-lifetime find either. Just a bird that always surprises.
A few weeks ago, my wife, Adrienne, quizzed me. “There’s a new study on what the four most common bird species in the world are…want to guess? One is pretty hard I think.” These four birds are the only wild bird species estimated to have populations above one billion.