Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Our Special Connection to Birds

This is Alice, the Eagle with the transmitter

This past Tuesday I was sitting quietly in our butterfly garden. It was a rough week; serious environmental issues seemed to snowball. I was feeling down and exhausted and there was not much gas left in my tank to say the least.  I wondered where to begin and what to do next with the many issues that were piling up, but as I turned and looked over my shoulder a shadow seemed to come out of nowhere. It was a Bald Eagle!

It was gliding low, not far above my head. In almost disbelief  I watched it slowly circle and soar higher and higher into the  white clouds. It seemed just when I needed it most an incredible and most majestic of all birds flew near me, close to me! As if it had a message just for me . I now felt a bit more energy, little more focused and renewed to face the challenges of the day.  Nature can do that, and for the folks that remain close to the natural world it plays an important part of their everyday lives

Ever since man first beheld birds flying high in the heavens there has been a special connection to our winged wonders of the skies. Mythological fables regarding birds blend through every culture. Every religion has a parable which includes a spiritual linking with birds, from the many Biblical stories involving the Dove to the timeless unique Native American sacred connections to birds such as the Eagle.

Man has evolved accepting and understanding that the sighting  of birds at important times could have significant personal meaning,  which may help them receive a message, guide and direct them throughout difficult times or connect with a loved one .

But not everyone gets the message. Maybe because we have begun to lose our feeling of fitting together with the natural world around us or possibly because we have just chosen to ignore the signs that nature expresses to us it seems that less people are feeling that closeness of nature and may be missing that extraordinary experience that only being part of the natural world can give us

However, birders have not lost that special connection with nature. They may not talk much about it or find the need to express it that often, but when the Red-tailed Hawk soars overhead or a Great-Blue Heron stands majestically on the shore they don’t need to say anything . You can just see it in their faces that there is something special happening. There is that unexplainable bonding, an ancient linking with nature that has united them with the spirit of the birds forever.

Many birders have their own “special” bird that has a deep personal meaning to them. When they cross their bird’s path, it can bring back fond or even sad memories of days gone by. They may feel a connection with a loved one or even feel they are being guided on the right path .  Birders just don’t walk outside, look at birds and forget about them. There is something that touches them deep in their soul that stays with them forever .

Our connection with nature runs deep. There is something we may not fully understand and have lost touch with , but in our hearts we know we are as much a part of the natural world as the Robin or the Wood Thrush . There is no accepting or denying it. We are part of the environment. The only question is if will learn to hear its message.

If you have a special connection to a bird let me know. You can email me at

6 thoughts on “Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Our Special Connection to Birds

  1. Marianne Herrmann

    Don, you really touched a chord here. When my sister died unexpectedly at a young age we were so bereft and full of sadness that after the funeral I said to my family. I have to go to a park. We went to the Glen Rock Duck Pond and there was a Great Blue Heron in a weeping willow tree. I have a picture of it framed. When I lost a child through miscarriage I ran from the hospital rather than wait for my husband and little daughter to come and pick me up and ran down the street into Twinney Pond and there was a Great Blue solitary heron shivering in the cold looking as miserable as I felt. Lately, I feel that if I do not go to a park or see the birds at the feeders in my yard, I am sorely missing something. I think part of it is worry that we may not always be so blessed with these wonders of nature. They are calming in their true and constant sweeping, swooping flight. We should always remember we are kindred spirits with the birds and animals in nature along with the trees and all living things.

    1. Don

      Thanks Marianne , there are many people like you that have that spiritual connection to our birds , thanks for reading my friend

  2. Eve Urbino

    Don, I really enjoyed reading this article. You say much truth in this article. It’s sad that so many people don’t seem to understand how the human being is so a part of nature. The only time people take notice is when it starts to affect them personally. And it’s really sad. While I read your article, I was thinking of how many birds are closely connected to me (which I will separately email you about later in the day) and how they affect me personally. You made me “think”. Thank you so much for the work you do, and may you receive the Guidance you seek. Have a great day! Eve U.

    1. Don

      thanks Eve , sorry I didnt respond sooner ..yes our connection is not talked about much but those of us who love nature know it and feel it everyday..thanks for reading !!


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