There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.

ROBERT WILSON LYND, The Blue Lion and Other Essays

Here in Flint, Michigan, where the public water supply’s lead levels created a huge public-health crisis a few years ago, I walk along the Flint River and marvel at what birds can teach us. Every day they do what they need to do to feed themselves and their offspring. They go where they need to go. I’m not suggesting a direct connection between lead levels in municipal water and birds in the river here. I’m merely saying that birds never become sidetracked with the wrong goals or values. They just want to live. How much that can teach me, every day.

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