Birds of a Feather

“Birds of a feather flock together.”
William Turner

Birds of a Feather

Jimmy 1986 to 2013

The saying, Birds of a feather, flock together, has been around for hundreds of years. It means, people who have similar characters or similar interests will often choose to spend time together.

In nature, birds of a single species frequently form flocks. Ornithologists explain this behavior as a ‘safety in numbers’ a tactic to reduce their risk of predation.

Take for example the horse. In the wild the horse likes to stay in a herd with usually one stallion in charge of the entire herd. They do this because they do not like to be alone and when they are alone they become exposed to possible predators.

For centuries now the domesticated horse still have the same instincts as a wild horse. Often when a stable mate leaves the barn and the other horse is left behind alone, both horses can become nervous and anxious. This is known as the horse being “herd bound”.

There was one particular horse at the stable where my horse Jimmy lived that became so nervous, you could hear the tension in her high-pitch whinny to her stable mate when they were separated.

Jimmy on the other hand, was entirely focused on me and never got nervous or attached to his stable mates. In fact the opposite was true with him. We were so bonded, that he was known to break-out of his stall when he heard my voice, but could’t see where I was.

Everyday when I arrived at the stable I would call out his name. Jimmy always gave me a welcome whinny like no other horse at the barn. Although I did get other whinnies from his stable mates, Jimmy always greeted me with the most welcoming whinny of any horse I’ve ever known.

Jimmy and I had a strong kinship. I often knew what he was going to do before he even did something. Often he knew what I wanted from him with just the most subtle cue. We would protect and look out for each other, no matter what the circumstances were.

Call it love, call it respect, call it what you may. But, I like to think that we were, birds of a feather.

Shine On