All Flocked Up

My commute to and from work follows an east-west traffic corridor. I have noticed a pattern to the birds I see as I drive along. Of course, it varies by season and as the time of my commute changes.

First, you must know that I have been known to pay more attention to the birds at Disneyland than the attractions and shows there. I can’t help it. I am aided and abetted by my husband. He will interrupt terribly important gossip from my office involving people he will never meet to point out the hawks or egrets or any odd thing with wings as we drive along.

I get on the freeway right at the end or beginning of the modernized part. The ramp is metered, and on the lights at the top of the ramp, most mornings, I see a hawk or two. If I don’t see the hawks, I expect they are off catching breakfast.

As I leave the city I start in and enter the next one over, crows fly from the south hills to the north hills. When I get to the street my office is on, I see ducks, the occasional egret, seagulls, and crows. Several fast food places dot the streets here, and refuse is greedily sought by the last two types. There is a flood control channel where the ducks stop over and raise families, and the egrets look for anything living in the weeks and muck.

Nine hours later, I reverse my travel, making a slightly different route for my sanity. I once saw a vulture trying to feed on road kill in the streets I take home, and tried to get a photo of the creature with my phone, but had no luck. By the time I parked and got out, the poor thing had realized there were too many cars zipping past his meal, and he moved on. Such beautiful wings!

Heading home, there is one area where a huge flock of pigeons circles between a grassy field and the wires over the freeway. There are white lines, like shadows in reverse, on the road below them. One city over, near a church, there is another flock of pigeons, mostly white, and always in flight, circling over the road and then returning to the church. Great advertising!

One more city closer to home, and now the crows are wrapping up their murders and heading to their community roost. This is the point in my commute home where the traffic almost always stalls. The wide, black ribbon of birds heading purposefully across the sky mocks our lack of progress below. I love it.

Finally at home, I open my front door, and hear a high-pitched voice call, “MAMA!” I know my Amazon only wants to regurgitate on my feet, but at that moment, I am the happiest commuter ever.

I’ll be back on Sunday, have a great week.


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