January 5: Let’s Celebrate “Bird Day”!

On the surface, birds and humans don’t appear to have a lot in common. They have beaks. They’re covered in feathers. They fly. They eat worms, people. Worms.

But if you look more closely, maybe we can take some lessons from birds.

Take the bird’s nest: a collection of twigs, feathers, grass, moss, and pine needles artfully woven together, creating a home that is structurally sound and warm enough for a nursery of tiny eggs. It’s one of the ultimate examples of innovation – taking what you can find to make what you need.

Consider perhaps the most enviable skill of the bird: the power of flight. Although we lack the ability to propel ourselves into the air with giant feathered wings (and we learned from Icarus to stay far away from the sun with wax ones), our shared sense of adventure binds us together. Birds remind us of the importance of seeing the world from a different perspective every now and then.

But I think the best lesson we can learn from bird is taught by geese. The V formation we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing actually serves a really important purpose. When a bird flies slightly behind another bird, the position reduces wind resistance and allows the bird to expend less energy and, as a result, fly for a longer period of time without getting tired. If a goose falls out of position, he immediately feels the drag on his wings, and he quickly resumes his place in the formation. When the bird in front gets tired, he falls back, and another bird takes the lead. Their example speaks to the importance of sticking together, of finding people with whom you can travel in the same direction, of being comfortable asking for help, and of being willing to step up when a leader is needed.

So whether you identify more with flamingoes who enjoy a good shrimp dinner, parrots who just can’t stop talking, or cardinals who just love to stand out, we can learn a lot from our feathered friends. Whether you’re more of a Big Bird, a Nerdy Bird, a Road Runner, or a Woodstock, embrace your inner bird because the world could use more of them.

Except for the dive bombing seagulls who steal your sandwiches on the beach. There are already way too many of those.

watching the Pixar short “For the Birds.” What lesson can we learn from these birds?

Think about your one word resolution. Who could you “fly” with to help you reach your goals with less “wind resistance”?

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