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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lost No More

The grins on the faces of the birders coming off the boat told me that success was the sighting of the day.

Did you see the bird?, I inquired, knowing the answer beforehand.

Oh yeah!

Beautiful bird!

The ride is worth the money!

I'd be riding the boat all right, along with 16 participants.

But today's cruisers were unaware that this tour was a cruise for lost souls.

One day earlier
I had no idea why my boss was calling, but I figured answering your boss' call is a form of job security.

"Hi". My boss intoned. "Was there a Brown Booby reported last week?" Brown Booby is a type of seabird normally seen from the waters of Central America and points south.

"There was" I affirmed.

"Well, there's one sitting on a channel marker out in the sound right now!" The excitement could hardly have been contained.

The silence I responded with was perfectly natural after such a stunning revelation.

So there we were, the next day, approaching this wayward bird that had set the birding community ablaze. Every form of instant communication among birders was chock full of messages concerning the whereabouts of this gawky avi-fauna: the Brown Booby.

If the name of this bird sounds a touch silly to you, know that you're in good company.

The original discoverers of this species, a group of French Sailors, found the bird doing its mating display; one look at the feet is enough to tell you that this particular dance is rather gawky and uncoordinated. Hence, they gave this weird creature a fitting name.

Or, as my boss pointed out, there's a lot of French Sailors having a lot of good laughs every time we find one of these birds.

Arms that are ready to shepherd the lost safely home.

The bird was a feathered dichotomy: at once gawky and graceful, clumsy and sophisticated. Subtly stunning, yet clearly awkward.

As referenced earlier, the Brown Booby is normally found in the warm waters off of Mexico and Puerto Rico. Why it likes sitting on a channel marker outside of Wildwood, New Jersey, is anyone's guess.

Some suggest that a strong, southerly wind pushed the bird towards the Garden State.

Others say it might have been an odd dispersal, as other sightings of this species had been noted along the Eastern Seaboard.

No matter how it got here, it was lost. But not alone.

Since it had been found three days earlier, the birding community had been fervently seeking views of this vagrant. The longest a Booby has stuck around is a day and a half in our area, and he proved uncooperative. This one seemed to have tape on its feet, a perfect specimen for lengthy looks.

The bird was lost, but it could never be described as isolated. It had too many people looking for it.

Similar to the child of God. With all the happenings in the world, it's easy to slip into despair and feel lost. At times, it seems the current of regret and doubt sweep us away into the dark caverns of our minds.

At times, it feels as if all is lost

But, we have a message from the Father, a Father stronger than our feelings. The message says that although the difficulties of life may cause us to question our son-ship, He has us carved into His hands.

The message says that although the journey home is difficult and often frightening, He has provided a light for our feet.

The message says He came to seek and save the lost. A promise to take to the bank next time loneliness and despair creep in; He's out there looking for us, waiting to run to us with open arms.

Arms that are ready to shepherd the lost safely home.

I am sharing this with Hear It On Sunday, Use It On Monday.


  1. This is pretty cool, Dave. That bird looks totally fake to me! And I like the way you work through the "lost" metaphor here. Nicely done.

  2. This is such a fitting analogy Dave. This past spring we spotted a crow sitting on one of the telephone poles along the road we walk. We just don't see crows in our part of Texas. I felt so sorry for him - all alone and not fitting in with the other Texas birds. He hung around for a week or so and then was gone - home I hope.
    How comforting to know that the eye of the Father was on that crow and all the more so on us.
    I really enjoyed this!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I featured your post over at my place today...

  4. Poor bird, will it ever make it back to its flock? Or do the Brown Boobys live in flocks? I love the spiritual weaving through this story.

    I'm with Michelle, though. I first thought the bird was fake and the post was a ruse.

  5. Thank you for your comments to my post. Your photos are lovely and also your thoughts. I am reminded of the old hymn, "I'll Fly Away O'Glory" Sorry pun not entended. :-)

  6. Well, David, I guess the brown booby tops our brown curlue (did I spell that right?)of a few weeks ago! What a crazy looking fellow - but fascinating! Great analogy. I'm wondering what will happen to all these guys with the storm heading for us. Cape May's been evacuated - what happens to our eagle and osprey nests?

  7. Cool bird. I want to go see it.


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