Birds Are Dinosaurs
What do birds do to ensure the survival of their species? Everything. They are dinosaurs, descended from theropod dinosaurs, which first appeared more than 200 million years ago. The same branch of dinosaurs that gave us the tyrannosaurus rex and velociraptor spawned the birds we know today.
Looking through the images, I saw the complex nature of these simple creatures that live among us. Captured in a moment with a camera, I saw even more. Frozen in mid-air, trampling over grass, rummaging through a feeder, fighting over territory or attracting a potential mate, I saw the characteristics of their survival. I saw feet and talons that grip the natural or man-made surface they land on. I saw beaks that act as an appendage as they sift through a food source and look for the best morsel. Their wings aren’t just for flight - they provide balance or – puffed up or spread out – intimidate and increase their size. Every muscle of their body seems to be called into action to propel them into flight at just the right moment to escape danger or me – a perceived danger. But I can’t blame them. Walking on two legs and towering above them, I probably resemble their cousin, the t-rex. Their flight is what sets them apart from me and most prehistoric dinosaurs. Their tiny size and light weight are an advantage that came with the transition to flight, an evolutionary path that is still in question and debated by paleontologists. I’ll leave it up to the paleontologists to study it further.
In lockdown from COVID-19, I have experienced a range of emotions, and I saw them in these images. I saw uncertainty. I saw fear. I saw a battle for dominance. I saw quick action – an escape to safety. I saw the chance to reach for an opportunity. I saw the loneliness of a solitary creature and the battle for attention or position of one in a flock.
Birds are the result of millions of years of survival. Birds are small. Birds can fly. They can land. They eat. They mate. Birds watch. Birds run away. Birds are dinosaurs, but they survived.