Flying Backwards - Poem by Kim Barney
If you are ever
on a TV quiz game show
and they should ask you
What's the only bird
in this whole wonderful world
that can fly backwards
Be sure to answer
with all of your conviction
It's the hummingbird
That's the right answer
at least it's the one they want
but it's just not true
Poet's Notes about The Poem
I have had bird feeders in my yard for years and have observed many birds flying backwards for short distances as they jockey for position on the feeders.
The first ones I noticed were goldfinches, but I have also seen black-capped chickadees do it, as well as dark-eyed juncos, house finches, purple finches and even common house sparrows (what we used to call English sparrows when I was a kid) .
I suspect that all small birds can do it to some degree.
Written 25 November 2015 in Annabella, Utah, USA.
poet's note updated 30 May 2016 (poem itself not changed)
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