Common Resentment

I’m a bit of a bird snob.

I love watching birds, just not all birds. I have a large picture window in my office. Just outside this window, I have strategically placed two bird feeders and a bird bath so that I can look outside and watch the array of birds native to this part of Texas.

There are cardinals (my personal favorite)

finches and sparrows

the loud and proud Blue Jay

The State bird of Texas, the mockingbird

But mostly there are doves…

Lots and lots of doves.

So many in fact, that frankly they’ve become a nuisance for me.

There are dozens of them. While some weigh down the feeders, others peck on the ground for seed. More await on the roof. They're everywhere.

They’re like rodents with wings. Hungry rodents. The city pigeon’s country cousins. I bought three 5 pound bags of bird seed over the weekend. As of Thursday afternoon, those bags are empty. I don’t want to look at these doves. They’re common, they’re dull, and they are eating up the bird seed I would much rather be eaten by the birds I actually like. Then something occurred to me while I was watching them gobble up all that bird seed and repeatedly fly into the window. (Yeah, they’re dumb, too.) I have turned this pleasant experience into something less than that because I’ve lost my ability to see them as anything special. But they are special.

and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” ~ Luke 3:22

Dove image courtesy of

How could I have disdain for a bird whose descent is compared to that of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus?

But familiarity really does breed contempt. The images I conjure up in my mind when I think of the American bald eagle are similar to this one. Majestic, independent, powerful and graceful.

Bald eagle image courtesy of

And frankly, that’s the image I want in my mind. But how would your image change of the National bird of the USA if you saw hundreds of them every day scouring a landfill in search of food?

Image courtesy of the Vancouver Time. In February, 2011, 1400 bald eagles were spotted at a Vancouver landfill.

I can’t pick and choose which birds come into my yard, and I can allow my disdain for the commonness of these doves to spoil my enjoyment of bird watching.

Instead, I think I’ll choose to embrace the fact that just because things are common doesn’t mean they aren’t of value.

Unless, of course, any of you know of a way to get rid of the doves without getting rid of the other birds. Not that I would entertain that notion, of course. Being all enlightened now and whatnot…

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