If I, a (somewhat trained) biologist describe a sparrow as ‘obviously happy’ – fellow (learned) scientists will suck their cheeks in in disgust. Proposing that a ‘lesser’ species is displaying joy could mean our dullard species might not be the greatest creature in the Universe – it would be like Galileo (fool) saying the Earth circled the SUN!
So then – what were the little maligned sparrows, who skip and hop sadly under cafe tables on hard footpaths, searching for crumbs and dropped treats, doing dancing along waving stems, tasting real seeds from real seed-heads, bobbing about in gangs of four or five birds in the whistling grass?
Linda Tegg’s aesthetic art work of native grasses blossoming along the steps of the State Library is billed as ‘culture vs nature’. But for me, there needn’t be this divide – how much more generous, more open-hearted would it be for our species to restore this habitat and allow other species to express themselves – even in the depths of our urban landscape? A small river of biodiversity flowing through the city is seen as a moment of ‘art’ for us, but is a dancehall of wonder for the birds we take for granted.