First Baptist Church of Herndon

681 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170-4722, Phone 703-437-3620

New Bird On The Block

Linda Soller | May 10, 2021

I stood frozen facing out the backdoor. I stood for so long not moving that finally my husband asked if I was okay. I carefully turned toward him and whispered, “We have a new bird on the block, he’s at our feeder, and he’s amazing.” Soon there were two people staring out the window. The new bird just sat and continued to consume the sunflower seed. No other birds seemed to be around. He was black and white with an intense rose/red breast. He sat there calmly for what seemed like forever. Eventually we moved further from our vantage point. I looked him up in my booklet, a Rose Breasted Grosbeak. Not rare in the sense of endangered, but not frequently seen. We took pictures with our phones. We read all about him. He seemed exotic, a bird that spends some of his year in South America was sitting on my feeder.  I brought the feeder in a little later than usual that night and set it out full the next day. Fingers were crossed that he would stay local.


A few days later I noticed him again on the feeder. This time with other birds. They were gradually accepting him, getting comfortable.  I moved carefully when near the windows so as not to frighten him. 

As I watched this colorful creature so close to my house I started to think. If I took as much effort when I encountered new people in the neighborhood wouldn’t they feel more welcomed and more at home. If I could be so cautious and thoughtful for this bird, couldn’t I be the same with people?


It was then I realized I’m careful, thoughtful, considerate when it’s important to me to be that way. When I’m distracted or very busy, I may not be all those things. I decided going forward to look at the people I encounter a little differently. Everyone will not become a best friend, but I can try to be more welcoming, more interested in where they come from and what they like. When I’m unsure of what to do, I’ll just think of how I acted around the new bird on the block.


Make a difference this week! :o)