Salted Bird’s Tail

A new way of birding

Source: Wikimedia Commons

At my annual pediatric check-up when I was seven, my mother told Dr. Roberts about my fascination with birds. She chortled as she described my repeated attempts to catch one by hand in the yard.

Dr. Roberts winked at me and said, “If you sprinkle salt on the bird’s tail, you’ll be able to catch it.”

I marveled at his wisdom. He was a doctor, after all. I began carrying a salt shaker around the yard with me, wholeheartedly believing that the crystalline granules held the power to temporarily prohibit a bird from flying.

I just wanted to hold one in the palm of my hand for a bit. Observe the bird up close, feel its weight, pet its feathers. Then I would let it go.

I’m still carrying that salt shaker around, but to this day haven’t been successful. If I can’t get close enough to catch the bird in the first place, how can I salt its tail?