How many ways can we ask: What is a bird?

Musing on this question, I’d like to figure out what, to me, a bird MEANS. Here’s what Melbourne birder and writer Harry Saddler says, in his wonderful book “The Easter Curlew: The Extraordinary Life of a Migratory Bird”:

The world is vast and no birds encompass this vastness more than shorebirds. Yet by navigating the world so consummately, by isolating and utilising those landscapes that find parallels across the world, by shaping the ecosystems of that world as they go, perhaps shorebirds also, unwittingly, make and have made the world – or parts of it, at least.

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