elaby: (Manuscript - Winged horse)
[personal profile] elaby
For the past few weeks, a Baltimore oriole has been visiting me.

The first time I met him, he was chirping his little birdy head off outside a coworker’s window. Sitting about twenty feet away, I wondered what the sound was, but I was engrossed in work and couldn’t see where it was coming from. My coworker leaned out of her cubicle and hissed, “Katie! Katie! There’s this gold bird outside!”

The windows of our office building are reflective on the outside so that people can’t see in. (We must have privacy as we type away on top-secret insurance documents, I suppose!) Because of this, birds are always mistaking our windows for a twin tree to the ones outside and attempting to land in the reflection. Usually they just skitter along the glass; once in a while, they get a little more forceful.

This particular coworker sits near a big evergreen tree that presses up against the window, and when I answered her summons, I saw a bright orange and black oriole sitting in a branch, inches away from us. Because they can’t see us, birds tend to land on the sill or on close branches and allow us to get a really good look at them.

This one was utterly stunning. His black back was shiny, and the feathers on his breast melted deep yellow to the most vibrant orange. He had bright eyes and a smooth, charcoal-gray beak that he opened to sing for us a melody that would become familiar over the next several days.

I got to know that song very well. Every time I heard a clear “chirp chirp-a CHIRP chirp... chirp!” I’d look around for the oriole, and there he’d be: either sitting in the tree outside my window, jumping about in the bushes right below the stone sill, or perched on the sill itself, his little face peering up at the glass and wondering, as my coworker put it, “Why won’t that handsome bird in there play with me?”

I haven’t seen him for a week. I think perhaps he’s moved on. But it was such a blessing to see him here, up close, in all his dappled night-and-day glory <3

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March 2016

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