Sunday Gratitude: Goldfinches
Spring arrives in yellow in New England: daffodils, Cornelian cherry trees, and very soon, the forsythia will burst forth. At the bird feeder, the goldfinch has changed its drab suit of dull feathers to bright gold with shiny black accents. While the Owl is not a birdwatcher per se, this tiny finch brings much joy and gratitude. There is no other animal that so clearly says “I am soooooo done with winter” than this tiny soul.
Not only does the yellow brighten up the early spring greys and browns, but its unusual flight from the large oaks in the front yard could make anyone smile. While the chickadee, Massachusetts’ state bird, makes a beeline to the feeder, the goldfinch always seems to be just slightly drunk, up and down, left and right it flies until close to the feeder where it seems to remember what it was doing and miraculously lands on the crossbar for a snack. For those of us who generally like life to go from point A to point B, it’s a nice reminder that the journey is what makes it interesting. If there were any bird that you could believe feels an emotion, it would be the goldfinch.
Goldfinches aren’t the only birds that deliver happiness. In Brazil, someone who is feeling happy may comment “vi um passarinho verde” (I saw a green bird). In that case, it is a parakeet that once delivered messages of hope and love between friends and lovers. There, you’ve learned some Portuguese today and hopefully gotten a smile too.
Happy Easter to those who celebrate–may your day be filled with gold and green!
For more information about the American goldfinch, the Cornell Lab site is filled with the sounds and images of birds.