My daily commute takes me along the city limits where there still are few green areas. Whenever the weather permits I go by bicycle, on foot or longboard. This way I get to enjoy and really take in my surroundings. Sometimes I see frogs, toads, hedgehogs and hares. More often I see all kinds of birds. How birds speak to our imagination; the mere idea that they can fly… no borders, no obstacles. And the colours of their feathers are a feast for the eyes.

Heron about to catch a fish. Photo by Marvin van Kempen (instagram: @marvinism13)

Birds are sometimes quite tame, actually. I remember this one time a sparrow ate from my hand! Amazing. Or the first time when I saw a tiny hummingbird in Brazil. It was taking nectar from a bromelia, and I even got to take a photo of it. Lucky me. Photographing a heron proved to be more of a challenge but after almost a year I finally succeeded.

Hummingbird, Pão de Açúcar, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Photo credit: Marvin van Kempen (instagram: @marvinism13)

















What strikes me is that birds seem to adapt quite well to the human presence. Considering construction projects, airports, highways etcetera. I passed by a jay the other day for example. Now, jays are quite elusive. They were known to avoid towns but these days you can see them in parks and green strips in and around cities. I guess many birds find food and/or shelter in our urban environment. All the more reason to fight every type of pollution in every way we can.

This time of the year we can see migratory birds move away in their distinctive V-formations to warmer parts of the world. I for one wish them a safe and prosperous journey. Let’s make sure to welcome them back next year by preserving their feeding and breeding grounds.

Below the photo are some links with more information on birds and bird protection. Indulge yourself in the beauty of birds.