There are more than 10,000+ species of birds in the world. The biodiversity is vast. Not only do birds live in every habitat worldwide, but they’re often called the only living dinosaurs.

Birds have hollow bones, which help them fly. Even the way a bird reproduces is related to flight. Instead of carrying the extra weight of developing young inside their bodies, they lay eggs and incubate them in a nest.

The Ostrich is the largest bird, the Bee Hummingbird the smallest, and then of course there is “the world’s most dangerous bird” the Cassowary, which usually eats fruit, but when provoked, can harm dogs and people. (A rational response to an all fruit diet perhaps.)

And more: “Birds are social, communicating with visual signals, calls, and songs, and participate in cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of predators.” The best breeding is cooperative breeding, wouldn’t you say?

Among other random bird facts, there’s this: Pigeons delivered the results of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece.

There are birds that fly, claw, swim, waddle, talk, and well – fart? Yes, the “worm-eating Bassian Thrushes have been known to dislodge their prey from piles of leaves by directing their farts at them. The excretion of gas shifts the leaf-litter on the ground and apparently provokes worms to move around, revealing their location.”

Created for Oiselle by Marisol Ortega / @marisol.ortega

Even in our small corner of Seattle by Lake Washington, we can look out the window and on any given day see Osprey, Bald Eagles, Barn Swallows, Cormorants, Coots, Mallards, Heron, and Canadian Geese that fly six inches above the water in a living L.L. Bean ad.

Birds. Not just a metaphor for diversity, but also “coexistence in a way that we really need right now” as my friend Beachy pointed out. Most birds are not at war with each other as 2020 has come to make us feel. Birds are just birds, sharing land, sea and sky.

As we look ahead to 2021, and all that we hope it holds… our bird song is that differences should be celebrated. We are all worthy, and we all belong. And our vision is that the running community (hello Running Industry Diversity Coalition), our team (The Volée), other clubs worldwide, and within our Seattle community, is creating space for all kinds of birds.

In celebration of the bird world, please meet our Aviary graphic tee collection. We drew our inspiration from vintage Audubon illustrations, and were honored to work with Seattle Illustrator Marisol Ortega to bring them to life (read our Q&A with Marisol).

Illustrations by John James Audubon, 1785-1851

With that, I must leave you with two very provocative bird facts.

First, we have an answer to the chicken-egg question.
According to National Geographic, reptiles were laying eggs thousands of years before chickens appeared. The first chicken came from an egg laid by a bird that was not quite a chicken. Therefore, the egg came first.

Second, the term “eat like a bird”?
It should mean something quite different. Many birds eat twice their weight in food each day. In fact, a bird requires more food in proportion to its size than a baby or a cat. Which is why you’ll always find lots of snacks at The Nest. Come for a visit. We’ll eat like birds!

January 15, 2021 — Sally Bergesen
Tags: style

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