Don Torino's Life in the Meadowlands: Missing the Birds and Especially the Birders

It’s tough out there for birders right now. Spring is a special time of year. We wait impatiently for the first migrants of spring like our warblers to hit our area. Then we are out at dawn from April to June absorbing the wonderful sights of the Pines, Palms, Prairies and Parulas.

Having led field trips at least twice a week for more than 10 years I was personally feeling a loss being denied the privilege of wandering the many places I have since childhood. My solace as far as the birds are concerned is that although I miss seeing them I know that they and the natural world are doing well, in some cases even better without the constant interference of humanity.

But there is however an empty place in my heart right now for all the birders I miss so much and fret about with every day that goes by. Of course there are many I am able to keep in touch with and so happy they keep in touch with me. Yet there are so many folks I have walked the Meadowlands trails with over the years that I am always thinking about. After all birding is not only about the birds it is also about our journey and the people that join us along the way.   

Just as we learn to find a special place in our hearts for the birds we love we should never forget to appreciate and cherish the people that we go birding with. We may not know much about them, what they do for a living or even where they come from, but we do know how much we enjoy the passion of birding along with them and how they along with the birds enrich our lives and make our trips afield memorable and irreplaceable. 

Through all the rainy days, summer heat and winter cold we get the privilege of experiencing what we love most together bonded by that special bird when no words are possible or ever really needed.

 I hope for the day when we all can enjoy  the sounds of the Red-winged Blackbirds and the flight of the Tree Swallows together, when the breezes of the Meadowlands combine  with our quiet  chatter of how have you been? and did you see that bird?

Our life’s journey is an integral part of the birds and places we have come to love but perhaps even more it is about each other and how nature connects and in the end how much we need each other.

  See you all soon and stay well,


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