Catching myself thinking…

Very early depiction of Cygnus atratus, given ...

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I catch myself thinking (dangerous I know!).

I was sitting by the river on my lunch break yesterday, trying to defrost from the arctic office air conditioning, when out the corner of my eye I caught site of two black swans waddling their way back into the water. They made me smile as they slowly walked along, stopping here and there for a bit of grass or a bug, and then sliding gracefully into the water, bobbing off into the distance.

Personally, I believe black swans are stunning birds. One of the things that make them so endearing to me is that they pair for life – a thing humans struggle to do in this day and age.

This was when I got to thinking, and I admit this was not the first time this thought had crossed my mind -What would the world be like if there were no longer any birds?

Think about it and let me know how you would feel.



13 thoughts on “Catching myself thinking…

  1. Funnily enough, Radio National (810 AM in Perth) is doing a piece called Birdland where they are collating listener responses to the question of what it would be like if there were no birds.

    I think you can listen to it online at the ABC as well.

    I definitely miss the birds from back home. I am tired of hearing just squawking seagulls and pigeons (and lately the screeching white cockatoos) – I want to hear my storks, my crows, my junglefowl, my seven sisters (slang name for a kind of bird), my mynah birds …

    • That’s amazing! I’ll check it out. Thanks Marisa.
      I love the cockatoos but that’s because it reminds me of my childhood. I do miss the birds from England though. Last time I was there I did a spot of bird watching and surprised myself when I went back to my Aunts, opening a bird book, and picking out the birds that I had seen. There was one amazing water diver that made the most hilarious sound!

  2. You DO know that Black Swans are considered “abnormal” events. Like the meltdown no one designed the nuclear reactors to withstand, the 9-11 fiasco, and the like.

    Maybe your mind was telling you to notice and prepare for an unexpected event…

    • Dr Ackerman,

      When the British colonisers arrived in the 1830s they were just as surprised as you are to find that black swans did and still do exist.

      There are marsupials and the platypus – a mere colour change for a swan isn’t so strange in comparison (they do differ in other ways I am sure but that’s the most obvious one).

      I do believe no one has found a white crow as yet though. We do have white cockatoos in Australia but no white crows.

  3. Birds are so symbolically beautiful to me. There are moments that I see a single bird in the sky and envision myself up there, observing and moving freely. A world without birds would be a world without the inspiration of freshness and liberty!

  4. I’m another who has never seen a black swan but they look so stately and beautiful. Interesting question you pose. Birds have been falling out of the sky in several places recently (in a U.S. town in the south and in a Scandinavian town among others). I suppose that for some reason or other, there might be a massive loss of birds, but I can’t imagine that none would survive, not even in some remote, uncontaminated corners of the earth and reproduce again. However, it is undeniable that some bird species are dying out or disappearing in some areas so it might become a matter of concern.

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