Years ago, you’re in an office on the 26th floor of a Chicago skyscraper, doing work profoundly unrelated to nature.

You have the feeling of being watched.

You look over your shoulder.

On the other side of your window there’s a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, clinging to the building, meeting your gaze.


The bird had picked your window. Not the window of some guy who wouldn’t know a sapsucker from his elbow.

You grab a cheap throw-away camera and get a picture.

The shot is poor. Dark and fuzzy. You find it recently, while cleaning out a desk.

Back when you saw the sapsucker, you had the momentary feeling that it sought you out, personally.

Looking at the old picture, you still wonder about that.

But you shake off the thought.

You just chalk it up to the simple truth that sometimes you watch the birds, and sometimes they watch you.

4 Responses to “Unnatural.”

  1. Marc says:

    Thufferin’ thassafrass, a Yellow-Bellied Thapthucker!

  2. steve fluett says:

    From birds perspective; A group of 12 birders moving, stopping, and peering about; A step up from cows, out & about ? The photo looks nice, nice for a coffee mug .

  3. Rick says:

    Ha!!! Loved Peg’s comment: “she hasn’t moved for a while.” This brought back
    memories of a long-ago friend who, on a lark, decided that he’d lay on his back in a grassy pasture in vulture country just to see what would happen.

    Later, I asked him what how it had gone. He said that a couple of vultures spied him and, sure enough, they began circling him for awhile.

    “And then?” I asked.

    “Well . . . eventually, they landed and . . . ate me,” he said, matter of factly.

    Now, I ask you: Why am I so seldom around when the best Kodak moments occur? It’s just not fair!

  4. Peg says:

    Gulls watch us, for sure. “is she done with that sandwich?” tufted titmice & chickadees, certainly. “hey, she finally refilled the feeders!” …. Vultures, yes. “she hasn’t moved for a while….”