using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : March 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2011 83 video, I saw the lyrebird belt out the laugh- ing song of a kookaburra, plus the sounds of a camera clicking, a car alarm howling, and a chainsaw grinding through wood. Other avian wonders that I’ve recently seen in high definition and in books in- clude the magnificent frigate bird, which flies over tropical waters, swooping in to steal fish from the beaks of other birds. frigate birds have forked tails and are pre- dominantly black, though their scapular feathers have a purple sheen and the males sport scarlet throats that inflate like bal- loons during the breeding season. Another curiosity is South America’s hoatzin, with its unfeathered blue face and red eyes. If a chick is in danger, it will fling itself from its nest, and then use little claws on its wing digits to haul itself back. Then there are the greater honeyguides of sub- Saharan Africa, who favor the delicacies of beehives: wax and eggs and larvae. Oc- cupied hives, however, can be difficult for these birds to crack open on their own, so they sometimes chatter to get the atten- tion of a honey-hungry human, baboon, or ratel and lead them to a hive. The com- mon tribal tradition is to leave a sticky gift of comb for the honeyguide, because, it is said, otherwise—next time—the bird will lead them to danger. The honeyguide, the hoatzin, the frig- ate bird, the lyrebird—there is nothing wrong with having a list with exotics like these on it, White and Guyette say, but take a good look at why you have this list and why it’s important to you. “Sincere introspection may reveal that aspirations for a big list are grounded in selfishness or egotism, both of which are barriers to true enjoyment of the undertaking.” Such reflection can make it possible to “possess the list,” instead of being possessed by it. To borrow an expression from the Zen tradition, seasoned birders would do well to pick their binoculars up with “begin- ner’s mind,” that is, to be without precon- ceptions, to be eager and full of wonder. As Shunryu Suzuki Roshi said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibili- ties, in the expert’s mind there are few.” It is not possible for advanced birders to see exotic species every time they go birding, but they can see their region’s common birds with fresh eyes. As a new birder, I can—in a similar vein—cultivate more appreciation for what is. I can turn off the TV and the fantasies, and concentrate on the birds that are possible to see right here in the present moment. Some of them are pretty incredible. Take the cedar waxwing, which occasion- ally consumes too many fermented berries and falls down drunk when it tries to fly. A couple of days after I saw a cedar waxwing for the first time, I got on the phone with a friend and encouraged her to Google it. “You saw that bird?” she asked when a photo appeared on her screen. She was as surprised as I’d been: This exotically beautiful creature—with a black mask and yellow belly that seems to glow pale and velveteen—is a common bird here? it has been flying over me all my life, without me noticing? Then there are the ubiquitous crows. That day in the park, looking for chicka- dees, my husband and I just walked past them. In Zen Birding, however, White and Guyette remind readers that there is something beyond our preconceived no- tions of these birds too—something that shines a perfect iridescent black. In 1420, Ikkyu, a celebrated Zen master, poet, and troublemaker, was meditating in a boat on Lake Biwa when he heard a crow cawing. That was the sound that woke him up, bringing him to satori, an experience of enlightenment. Ikkyu wrote: For ten years my mind was cluttered with passion and anger. even at this moment, i still possess rage and violent emotions. yet in the instant that crow laughed, a rakan rose up out of ordinary dust. in this morning’s sunshine, an illumined face sings. even after enlightenment, Ikkyu and his world were unchanged. But Ikkyu didn’t see it that way. With fresh eyes, magic and miracles are everyday. ♦