A young girl in my hometown
(who will be Julie in this article but uses another name in real life)
dreamed about a bird. Early the next morning her dad came into her
bedroom to kiss her goodbye before he left for work. Julie, more asleep
than awake began telling him about a white bird that was near his
workshop and cautioned him not to hurt the bird when he was leaving.
When dad returned home in the afternoon Julie came running with the news
that she had found the bird from her dream. In the grass next to the
workshop he discovered a beautiful snow-white bird.
Wow! A prophetic dream! An
innocent child dreams about a white bird and the next day it appears.
This has a very supernatural feel to it. Could be just a coincidence but
on the other hand...I guess it depends on how you feel about signs and
Julieís mother related the dream story
when she called to tell me "thereís a gorgeous white bird in our
yard and we are so excited that we just had to share it with
I asked for details and she began to
describe a pure white bird with light colored legs and beak and a pink
eye. She was describing a classic albino. I asked her if she could tell
what kind of bird it was and she answered no. Then I jumped to a big
I had been getting many calls about white
birds for several weeks. They all turned out to be albino Mockingbirds.
There were 14 of them in all. This was very unusual. Albinism (lack of
colored pigment in the external skin) occurs in all forms of life
including birds but is generally rare. In the period of a few weeks I
had seen more albino birds than in my entire life prior to then.
Julieís family lives close to the
neighborhoods where I had seen most of these, so it was not unreasonable
to assume that this bird was an albino Mockingbird. Julieís mom was
excited. I was thinking ho-hum, another albino mocker. I suggested she
think Mockingbird and have another look and call me back.
In a little while dad called with this
observation, "I donít think itís a Mockingbird. There are two
other birds feeding it and they arenít Mockingbirds." I woke up!
Thatíll teach me to take Mother Nature for granted. I made an
appointment to have a look.
When I arrived the next afternoon Julie
and her mom were out in the yard. They greeted me with bad news;
"We canít find him! We have been looking all day. We are afraid
he has flown away or the cat might have gotten him." I helped with
the search for another hour. No luck!
"Have you made any pictures?"
was my next question. They didnít have snapshots but had taken quite a
bit of video footage. I went in the house with them and took a look at
it. Dad was right; it was not a Mockingbird.
The bird in the video intrigued me.
During the night I was treated to my own dream visions of a white bird.
The following day, anticipating another fulfilled prophecy, I returned
to the street where Julie lives for a second look. I parked and walked
about the neighborhood for a bit. I didnít see the bird, but soon
realized that my search had taken me to the corner of the street where I
spent my childhood. It looks pretty much the same as it did in 1950. As
I stared at the old house my grandfather built in 1936, the place I will
forever think of as home, a flood of youthful faces from the fifties
flashed before my eyes. My childhood friends, and what a gang we were!
As my mind drifted back through the
years, Julieís "Dream Bird" stirred another memory. I
thought of my family on a fifties Saturday night gathered around a
little black radio listening to the Grand Old Opry, and in particular an
old gospel song belted out by a long forgotten country singer.
As I turned to walk back to the car lost
in a summer reverie, the child that still lives deep down inside went
tearing off down the street on a Western Flyer bicycle, headed for Mamaís
house and singing at the top of a little boy voice " On the wings
of a snow white dove, He sends His pure, sweet love, A sign from above,
On the wings of a dove."
5 species of doves found in Alabama.
If you would like to learn more about them
Charles Kennedy lives and watches birds
in his hometown of Greenville, Alabama. He is the President and founder
of the Alabama Wildbird Conservation Association.