Today I was wondering if a love of animals and birds is more nature vs nurture. As a child we only ever had birds (budgies) as pets and as I got older I was able to convince my parents to let me have rabbits and hamsters as well. But I always loved animals. One year, when I was a youngster, my family took a trip to the Poconos and spent time at a family resort. On the property, there was a lake and a flock of geese feeding and walking around. I was fascinated by these big birds and thought I would try to get close by sitting quietly on the grass to observe. After a few minutes, the birds ignored me and started to walk close to me. I don’t remember how long I sat there, but it was long enough for my parents to find me and see me sitting amongst the birds. Fast forward approximate 25 years later, and my parents and I took my son to a bird and reptile park in Florida. My son loves animals including birds and at the park we were able to get up close to the ducks and flamingos. My son ran to the edge of the little pond they had and the ducks started to come up to him. He put his hand out and a duck almost touched his fingers. My parents were immediately reminded of me in my childhood. Then we went to the flamingos and these birds just walked right up to everyone. He stood there in the middle of these huge birds with no fear, just amazement. He was only 21 months at the time. So you have to wonder how much of this love and interest in birds and animals is due to exposure versus an innate interest in these animals. I am sure it is a combination of both, just like everything else is. I will be curious to see if he grows this interest on his own like I did, or if this is going to be one of many fascinations that he has as a toddler. I hope he continues to appreciate animals the way I do. I know I will be encouraging it, as much as possible.