Birds are liberation that never ends. But enjoying their company is also to know an inconsolable sadness. Richard Flanagan

The fairy penguins under my shack are gone, and soon the forty-spotted pardalotes and swift parrots will join them. Our children knew these birds; their children will not.

I am not a twitcher’s binocular strap, but I adore birds. I watch birds for hours. Their freedom and joy move me. Something in their play and way suggest minds far different than ours. A man I once met who kept cockatoos told me that you have to be careful because they fuck with your head.

And they do.

Birds are an education to watch, and a liberation that never ends. I love seeing the golden whistler sing so beautifully in its honeyed whistle to its reflection in our shack kitchen window, like a lost troubadour. It is a cliche but in this case nevertheless true to say that I feel my soul soar in the heat thermals above when a sea eagle that nests in a stag two kilometres down the coast arrives and circles and circles, because it can, because it will, waiting, gyring freedom, while the little songbirds nesting far below shriek a cacophony of terror, absolute freedom’s corollary.

Read the full article at The Guardian website.

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