We just spent a weekend in Dearborn, Michigan, a well-to-do suburb just west of Detroit. Contrasted with Chicago, where we live, this place was a veritable forest: beech, cottonwood, dogwood, majestic maples, cherries, and hawthorns abounded. Golly, it was pretty, that’s for sure, but more than that, it provided the setting for one well-planned bird party. With winter coming, the birds of Dearborn did not delay to fill their bellies with nature’s ample food supply. Each morning, we watched them flit and frolic from tree to well-stocked tree, nibbling on cranberries, service berries, and holly berries with no detectable sense of urgency. Seeing blue jays, robins, and doves high on boughs and out of harm’s way reminded me of our little sparrows back home making a meal out of the echinacea plants in our parkway. Sure, it’s nice that they have some coneflower seeds to munch on, but somehow a bird’s magnificence is reduced when he’s only 3 feet off the ground and a stone’s throw from a line of parked cars. I suppose it’s better that our Chicago sparrows don’t know of the bounty enjoyed by their Midwestern cousins in Michigan. But who knows; envy doesn’t seem to know a place in a bird’s emotional repertoire. They sing their delighted songs and make do the best they can.