A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Bird Whisperers

In Hearing Loss on May 29, 2008 at 10:13 am

Whisper:

1 : to speak softly with little or no vibration of the vocal cords especially to avoid being overheard
2 : to make a sibilant sound that resembles whispering
transitive verb
1 : to address in a whisper
2 : to utter or communicate in or as if in a whisper

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whisper
A good friend of mine is a bird whisperer – and I’m starting to become one too.

The other day I actually heard some sparrows chit-chatting – and it surprised me, as I usually am (deaf) oblivious to them. The only “birdsong” I can hear easily these days is the crows cackling (they “own” Sacramento, where I catch the city bus to get to work).

I’m in the habit of carrying some rather fancy “small bird seed” in the backpack I trek to work with (carries my laptop, my lunch, and assorted other oddities). While I abhor the idea of feeding the crows (then again, why are crows so maligned? – must be their “song”), I enjoy giving the local (tiny) flock of sparrows a treat when they show up at my bus stop (rare enough – they make rounds of the whole city, I’m sure). I imagine my fellow bus-stop waiters think I’m a nut case. Good call.

The sparrows usually ignore me anyway – either they’re too slow or too clever to mess around with the most dangerous and deadly species on the planet. I’m pretty sure they wait around in the trees until the coast is clear – that or the crows (and ground squirrels) will beat them to it.

Tomorrow (Friday) if all goes well, I’ll go home from Sacramento sporting my very first pair of digital BTE HAs. Strange, but the thing I’m most excited to find out is whether they’ll enable me to hear birdsong easily. Though that’s not the thing I miss most, it’s sort of symbolic for me – when I could hear it easily, birdsong meant very little to me – but as Joni Mitchell pointed out so very well (“Big Yellow Taxi”) – lose a thing, and you’ll learn its value.

I still talk (whisper, mostly – nut case and all) to the birds anyway, but I’d be really happy to hear them talk back.

Paul S
AKA LifeWrecked

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