Birds fly low. by Keysha Whitaker


Why do birds fly so low to the ground?

Not all the time, just when they’re crossing the street – which is something they do strangely enough pretty regularly, even though they don’t have any feathery business doing so.

Fly above the street. Around the street. But don’t cross it, bird. You’re not Big Bird trying to teach six-year-olds social niceties. Roads and lights and crosswalks shouldn’t matter to you.

Yet, here you come.

Swooping down low from the edge of a fence, diving towards the center of the road, a low-flying dip calculated to beat my car to his flight path and make his ascent on the other side.

I’ve seen birds do this more than once. Yesterday, a tiny bland brown one, so colorless it’s almost a grey brown, started his mission across North Wyomissing Boulevard.

Do they understand moving objects? Large objects? Maybe it’s poor peripheral vision?

Blind as a bird.

Sometimes I guess they’re lucky, like the almost brown one yesterday. Sometimes they’re not.

A robin, one day a couple years ago, crossed the street a few avian seconds too late.

Instead, he ended up crossing over at the hands of my right front tire.

In the rearview mirror, I watched, horrified, as the  black and red spot grew smaller and smaller.





I can’t decide.





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