Saturday, November 20, 2010

Of nature, man and relationships

Let me start off by saying I love nature, animals and the harmony in which we all live on this earth.  I have bird feeders all around my screened-in porch and in the fall I love sitting and watching them.  Today was a day like no ever in the life of my bird haven.  As I watched out the window I saw about 16 small birds at the feeder, all getting along great and eating the seed like crazy. These birds were of various breeds, some sparrows, some finches, a couple of chickadees and a thrush or two.   They stayed there in perfect harmony for several minutes.  Just then I heard the unmistakable call of a Blue Jay.  Now for those of you who have not seen a Blue Jay close up, they are large birds with a long-scary looking beak, almost intimidating, even to me.  The Blue Jay called out two distinct times and the smaller birds scattered in all directions.  The Blue Jay ate from the feeder for several minutes, very content to be the only bird at the feeder....anti-social and eating alone!

The next few minutes were quite amusing.  I saw them, they crept up the deck, across the stairs and headed for the feeder - not one but two grey squirrels.  They proceeded up the railing and across the cross boards of the deck then up the slats to the feeder.  Taken by surprise the Blue Jay flew off very quickly.  Ah-ha I thought  the guy with the loudest call does not necessarily win the battle, sometimes two quite fellows can take over in a split second.  Now back to the little birds.  As the squirrels ate their way into oblivion the little birds perched around the feeder and waited, occasionally picking up a morsel or two that the squirrels thew out.  They waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally the squirrels finished their feast and made their way back into the woods.  The smaller birds again took over the feeder and ate for several more minutes.

Looking at the bird and squirrel behavior left me to think there is a lot to say about working together, formulating relationships, and getting along with others.  The smaller, diverse,  non-vocal group of birds knew when to give up the feeder and let the louder more disturbing bird take over.  The loud disturbing bird ate alone, no one wanted to be-friend him, he was too aggressive, not a fun bird to be around.  Then the squirrels knew that if they ambushed the bigger bird that their tactical behavior would be a win-win for them.

We can all identify with this situation at some time or another in our careers.  There have been times when working with a large, diverse group worked out very successfully.   Then at other times there was the feeling that if you did not complete the project alone it would not get done.  Sometimes you need to make a loud squawk in order to complete the task on time and on budget.  Then again there are times that teaming up with a great partner that can compliment your expertise and will help you accomplish the goal, even faster than you ever thought possible.

Man and nature, we can take a lessen or two from this wildlife. Watch them and learn.

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