Monday, February 29, 2016

A Flock is a Family

A Flock is a Family

I apologize to my all backyard friends for my not having posted for a while. Sometimes life demands our attention in one direction or another, as happened with me. My sister was battling a rare illness that took too many years to diagnose and it finally took its toll. These past several months she was in and out of the hospital, then in a Hospice facility and she recently passed away. As you can imagine, my thoughts were not focused on my blog.

Then I saw this tree. There were so many birds on it. The birds were grackles, a species that travels in flocks, sort of like traveling with a large family. It made me think about the concept of family. There are many individuals connected to each other. Sometimes the connection works, sometimes not but when it does, it is a joy.  Family members can provide support and caring, a sense of belonging and sharing.

Grackles can be aggressive with each other at times, like siblings, but they can also join with other birds like red-winged blackbirds and starlings to increase their family connection. We can choose friends to be part of our family, too. It is as much a concept as a definition. I was lucky to have a great sister as both a relative and a friend.

Info about grackles:

A discussion about what “family” means: