Musings on Florida Birds

by Arthur W. Anderson

Birds here in Florida amuse me. But, sometimes they scare me. I discovered that carrying hotdogs on the beach is something you should not do. Normally, birds do not intimidate me, but the other day when a squadron of seagulls dive-bombed my cardboard tray as though it were the top of an aircraft carrier, I felt as though I were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Fortunately, however, they only roughed me up without carrying off the loot. My wife called them off. I t must be said, however, that these raucous creatures still have a certain civility about them, which may be more than can be said for homo sapiens.

Recently, my wife and I stood in the crowd surrounding the 18th green at Eagletrace in Coral Springs, Florida, where the Honda Classic was being held. The likes of Larry Rinker, Jim Carter, Payne Stewart with the knickers, Dan Pohl, and the winner (whoever he was) strolled in. We enjoyed watching several of these pros getting their "birdies," but the birdie that really had our eyes riveted was a baby screech owl, sitting in the fairway approaching the green. Once it tried to escape, hovered over the crowd, then came back down. We intimidated this little creature of the night. "Oh, for the wings of an angel!" We applauded the winner and his record-breaking score, but that little owl got our hearts!

A day or two ago, we sat with friends in a porch overlooking a small lake. Suddenly, our attention was drawn to an eagle in a tall pine nearby. Discovering us rushing out with our cameras, the beautiful bald eagle took flight and put on an airshow that had us in awe. Circling, floating, soaring, making turns with matchless grace, the bird reminded us, caught in our paunchy and stodgy ways, that we, too, if we chose, could "mount up with wings like eagles!" Oh, what wonder, to be created a little lower than the eagles and other angels of the heavens!