As we approach Christmas it is appropriate that we celebrate the things important to us; family, friends, [food] and, for birders at least, fowls!
And while I don't claim to be a Christian I am very keen to wish the season's greetings to all, celebrate, count my blessings and be thankful.
To that end I'd like to offer a Prayer of thanks for birds written by Michael Leunig, an Australian cartoonist and writer and thinker. [I hope he does not mind my publishing his words here]
A prayer from Michael Leunig's A Common Prayer
We give thanks for birds. all types of birds.
Small birds and large birds.
Domestic fowl, migratory birds and birds of prey, hooting birds, whistling birds, shrikes, coloured parrots and dark darting wrens.
Birds too numerous to mention.
We pray for them all.
We mourn the loss of certain species and pray for the deliverance of endangered ones.
We pray, too, for farm birds, that they may be released from cruelty and suffering.
We give thanks for eggs and feathers, for brave, cheerful songs in the morning and the wonderful haunting, night prayers of owls, mopokes, frogmouths and all nocturnal fowl.
We praise the character of birds, their constancy, their desire for freedom, their flair for music and talent for flying.
May we always marvel at the ability to fly.
Especially we praise their disregard for their human hierarchy and the ease with which they leave their droppings on the heads of commoners or kings regardless.
Grant them fair weather, fresh food and abundant materials for building their nests in spring.
Provide them too with perches and roosts with pleasant aspects.
Dear God, guide our thoughts to the joy and beauty of birds.
May they always be above us.