Everyday Spirituality: The Blog

Lesser but Equal | blog

by | Dec 20, 2021 | connect.faith, Everyday Spirituality: The Blog | 1 comment

According to the Society, (we will not utter that bird killer’s name*) we are surrounded by greatness.  Great Blue Herons – big gray birds, so what; Great Egrets –big white birds, ooh we may faint; Great Horned Owls – splendid birds (gotta be nice they could eat us).

We are also surrounded by all kinds of birds with cool names: ruddy turnstone, short-billed dowitcher, dunlin, belted kingfisher, whimbrel, semipalmated plover.  So what has the Society labeled us?  Yellowlegs.  How unimaginative!  We look around and see yellow bellied sapsuckers, yellow throated sparrows, and yellow rumped warblers.  Us, we are just yellowlegs.  But it gets worse.  We have a cousin who is slightly larger, so we are called Lesser Yellowlegs, while they are called Greater.  We could have been called yellow legged willet, or something.  But no, the Society took the easy way out and labeled us by the color of our legs, just because we are different; and then added to our degradation by calling us lesser.

Well, we are not lesser.  We have our place in the world just like all these other birds.  We are just as good as anybirdy else.  We know that, but it is hard sometimes when your nickname is Less.

American oystercatcher

Look at this guy who just flew in.  You can see that orange bill a mile away.  Is he an orangebeak?  Nope, American Oystercatcher.  A great name, but c’mon, how hard can it be to catch an oyster?  Admittedly, we’ve never tried, but how fast can they be?  

Red Knot in breeding plumage

Ah, there’s a friend of ours-Red Knot.  He looks a lot like us, but with a red chest, and black legs of course. We never have seen the knot, maybe we’ll ask him some day.

We have decided to change our name to Yellow legged Knot.  So if you see us around the pool, please do not call us Less.  Call us Y-Knot .

*the name not uttered is John James Audubon.  If you want to learn more about these birds ebird.org is a good place to start.

Steve & Linda Berg

Recently, Steve and Linda Berg, moved from Pleasantville, NY to Biddeford, ME.  Their new “backyard” is a tidal pool.  They are sharing their thoughts as they adjust to their new surroundings, revel in nature, and find new communities.

1 Comment

  1. Scott Mosenthal

    Steve–this is terrific! I hope you are starting a regular update on life in Maine! Best wishes for a wonderful holiday to you and your family 🙂


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