It was a cold morning, even for late February. The starlings were silent and motionless mostly. If anything chattered, it may have been their bills. It was cold with no warming sun. On my way home from the grocery, I ran into Birdman. He was broke and breadless. It may be the starlings were simply sullenly unfed. But it was cold and they did not make a peep.
Birdman was once a regular at the corner of Glenwood and Estes avenues but this year not so much. I was delighted to run into him there recently when I was on my way home from the Lincoln Park Zoo. The photo doesn’t quite do justice to the way his silver hair caught the sunlight, but… Birdman lives!
Yes, he still performs the miracle of turning bread into birds.
Birdman is a fixture on Glenwood Avenue in Rogers Park. He has his down days (begging your pardon). But in general he has an invincible cheerfulness that compliments the day if it’s bright and lightens the day if it’s gloom. His colorful attire, complete with feathers, only heightens the affect. And yes, he has his flock, rock doves and various sparrows mostly, who depend on him for their daily bread. Yea verily he performs a daily miracle of turning bread into birds.
I don’t know if they had Birdman in mind, but appropriately the Chicago Transit Authority overpass at Glenwood and Greenleaf is decorated with a bird mural.