I have been bird watching. I find bird behavior very interesting, and see the similarities in human behavior.

Hummingbirds are rarely seen flocking together. They buzz in quickly to sip the nectar, then leave as quickly as they appeared. If another hummingbird comes close to the feeder, they will buzz one another as if they are in a territorial dance, defending a valued resource all for themselves.

The migratory Purple Martin scouts arrive earlier than the rest of the flock. They are typically seen alone for a week or two before their family arrives. Purple Martins are dependent on one another to locate the previous years' homes. They soar together and communicate with one another about predators, nesting and food.

Dark-eyed Juncos forage on the ground cleaning up spilled seed from the feeders. They are a quiet, community bird. They do not seem to be bothered by any of the other birds, they get along well as they keep their heads to the ground and happily bebop around.

I have heard when ducks and geese fly in their ‘V’ formation, the head bird will systematically fly to the rear. Then another bird will take over as the ‘point’ to allow teamwork in the tiring headwind flight. You seldom see a lone duck or goose; they are flock birds, and are interdependent on one another. They are also a very vocal bird, communicating frequently in flight and on the ground.

People are much like the different types of birds. Some are very territorial loners. They will quickly come into our lives and leave just as quickly. They are defensive, have a sense of greed in resources, and don’t readily share.

Some are like Purple Martins. They communicate well, look out for one another, depend on one another, and yearn to soar with others like them.

Some people are like the Juncos; quiet, keeping their heads down to their tasks, hard working, and easy going, getting along well, and happy to be happy.

Then there are those who are like the ducks and geese. They know the value of teamwork, sharing in the workload, and who are fully aware of the need for interdependence.

What type of bird are you?

— Linda Yearout,

Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist