La belleza del comemaíz / The Beauty of the Sparrow

Cuando era chiquitito le decía “pajarito” al comemaíz (Zonotrichia capensis) ya que era el ave más común en mi barrio josefino. Las otras aves tenían su nombre–yigüirro, perico y demás–pero el comemaíz era el “pajarito”.

When I was a little boy, I called the rufous-collared sparrow by the generic name “pajarito” (birdie) because it was the most common species in my neighborhood in San José. The other birds had their name–yigüirro (Turdus grayi), parakeet (Aratinga finschi), and so on–but the sparrow was the pajarito.

No le prestaba mucha atención al comemaíz, quizá por ser común. A menudo no observamos lo que nos rodea en abundancia. Sin embargo en estos días varios comemaíces han llegado a visitar mi jardín. Y me han deleitado con la belleza de su plumaje y de su canto.

I didn’t pay much attention to this sparrow, maybe because it was so common. We often do not observe what surrounds us abundantly. However several sparrows have been visiting my garden in recent afternoons. The beauty of their plumage and song has delighted me.

Son unos gorditos simpaticones de pecho y vientre blancuzcos y redondeados, alas pardas con detalles amarillos, collar bermejo, antifaz negro y copete listado como si se peinaran antes de salir del nido a volar y cantar. Y cantan con alegría en cinco notas dulces (cuatro corcheas y una negra) seguidas de otras cuatro notas muy rápidas (semicorcheas). Llenan mi jardín de un gozo infantil. Pero ahora este gozo se ha enriquecido y es más pleno por mi atención consciente a su belleza.

They are cute, chubby birdies with rotund, grayish-white tummy and chest, yellow-brown wings, vermilion collar, black eye-masks, and barred crest that rises as if they combed it before coming out of their nest to fly and sing. They sing merrily in five sweet notes (four quavers and one crotchet) followed by four very fast ones (semiquavers). They fill my garden with joy from childhood. But now my conscious attention to their beauty has enriched that joy.

(Foto: J.E. Ramírez)

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